New Blog Site

We’ve moved! Yes, we’ve moved our classroom blog site to another blogging platform. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but hesitated to make the move because of all the work that’s gone into this site. Most of the posts have been moved over to the new site and we’ll be posting a lot more when school starts in September. You can find us at our new site: Growing First
http://growingfirst.blogspot.com/

Check out our “Before” pictures at the new site!

We hope to see your there!
Mrs. Ruckes

Book Review: Goofballs (The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder)

Welcome to “Keep In Touch Tuesday” and our Third book review. We are featuring the book, Goof Balls (The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder) by Tony Abbott.  Read my book review below and leave any questions or comments in the Comments and Trackbacks section.

Product Details

Goofballs (The Crazy Cas of Missing Thunder by Tony Abbott

There is nothing like a good mystery and the Goofballs love solving mysteries.  The Goofballs are four friends, Jeff, Brian, Mara, and Kelly.  They meet at the town library to solve mysteries.  In The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder, the Goofballs solve their latest mystery and it has to do with a missing horse, named Thunder.  Did you think Thunder had something to do with the weather?  I did, until I read the book.  I can’t tell you the rest.  You’ll have to read the book to find out how the mystery is solved.

I enjoyed reading this book.  I also liked the fact that the main character is a boy named Brian.  However, I think both boys and girls will like this book.  I think this book is especially good for its play on words, like thunder and Thunder and porpoise and purpose.  The book also uses a lot of interesting words like suspicious, mysterious, and culprit.  This book was funny and I kept wondering how the Goofballs were going to solve the mystery.  I give Goofballs, The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder-5 STARS.  Leave your comments below and Happy Reading!

 

Book Review: Katie kazoo, Switcheroo (Anyone But Me)

Welcome to “Keep In Touch Tuesday” and our second book review. We are featuring the book, Kattie Kazoo, Switcheroo (Anyone But Me) by Nancy Krulik.  Read my book review below and leave any questions or comments in the Comments and Trackbacks section.

Product Details

Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo (Anyone But Me) by Nancy Krulik

Have you ever been bullied?  Hopefully, you have not.  If you have been bullied before, you probably felt like Katie.  You wish you could be someone else–anybody else!  Katie ruins her favorite jeans, lets out the loudest burp in the history of her school, and gets teased by the classroom bully, all in one day!   It’s no wonder that she wants to be anybody else.  However, in the words of someone famous, “Be careful what you wish for.”  Katie soon discovers that things are not always as they appear to be.  Read the book to find out what Katie discovers.  You might enjoy reading other books in the Katie Kazoo series:

Katie Kazoo-Out to Lunch

Katie Kazoo-Oh, Baby!

Katie Kazoo-Girls Don’t Have Cooties

katie Kazoo-I Hate Rules!

I enjoyed reading this book.  Both boys and girls will enjoy reading this book too.  I love the title of this book because the word “switcheroo” is one of my favorite words.  Just ask my first graders.  I give Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo–5 STARS.    Leave your comments below and Happy Reading!

Book Review: Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest

Welcome to “Keep In Touch Tuesday” and our first book review.  We are featuring the book, Heidi Hecklebeck and the Cookie Contest by Wanda Coven.  Read my review below and leave any questions or comments in the comment section.

Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest by Wanda Coven  Product Details

Have you ever entered a contest before?  Heidi decides to enter her family’s recipe in the local cookie contest.  After learning what the other kids are making, Heidi decides her cookies are too plain.  She wants to change the name of her cookies and spruce them up to make them really special.  However, things don’t turn out like Heidi expects.  I can’t tell you the rest.  You’ll have to read the book to find out how the drama ends.  I enjoyed reading this book.  There were a lot of funny parts that really made me laugh.  I think both boys and girls will enjoy reading this book.  I give Heidi Hckelbeck and the Cookie Contest – 5 STARS.   I think you will enjoy reading this book too.  Happy Reading!

 

Keep In Touch Tuesdays

The Book Stack – Keep In Touch Tuesdays

I hope you’ll join me for Keep In Touch Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, I’ll post a review on a new book I’m reading. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to read the book too. You may discuss the book with me by leaving a comment. You can also ask questions or share something that you’re reading or doing this summer. Below is a list of the dates and book titles I’ll be reviewing. The first book review will start in a week. This will give you time to get the book and read along with me. Remember to check the Library or Book Mobile for copies of the book. You can also purchase any of the books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble for about $5 or $6. If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the book, don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about it in my review.

Happy Reading!

June 26th
Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest By Wanda Coven

July 3rd
Catie Cazoo Switcheroo (Anyone But Me) By Nancy Krulik

July 10th
Goofballs (The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder) By Tony Abbott

July 17th
Bad Kitty Gets a Bath By Nick Bruel

July 24th
Mercy Watson To The Rescue By Kate DiCamillo

July 31st
Hi! Fly Guy By Tedd Arnold

August 7th
I Spy Fly Guy By Tedd Arnold

August 14th
Bink & Gollie By Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

August 21st (Open to suggestions)

Fluency Poems on Animoto

December Poem-Animoto

Fluency Work
Each week my first graders practice a new fluency poem during our morning meeting time. The poem is introduced after we read our morning message together. The title of our newest poem is, December. We use poetry to practice our fluency. Poetry is a fun way to practice reading with expression, to learn about punctuation and phrasing, to notice and identify word families, and to work on our word accuracy strategies. At the end of the week, we illustrate our poems, and then we place them into our poetry notebooks.

Walking Museum
After our poems are illustrated and placed in our poetry notebooks, we share them with our classmates. A fun way to share our work is to have a Walking Museum. During the Walking Museum, we walk around our table groups and notice the great work of our classmates.

Daily 5
During our Daily 5 time, we also make good use of our poetry notebooks. We use them during Read to Self, or independent reading. We also use our poetry notebooks during Read to Someone, when we read with a buddy.

As you can see, we love using poems to work on fluency. We hope you enjoy our illustrations too. Just click on the Fluency Poems-Video link at the top. You’ll see our illustrations via Animoto.

How is fluency practiced in your classroom?

Rachel’s Winning Entry in the Reflections Contest

Each school year our PTA/PTSA sponsers a district wide Reflections Contest. Students participate in one or more catagories which include Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Musical Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. In each category, students enter, based on division (primary, intermediate, middle, and senior). Four winners are selected by division in each catagory. There are first, second, and third place winners selected as well as an award for honorable mention. This year’s theme was “Diversity Means…”

When Rachel, one of my first graders, brought her entry to school, I looked at her beautiful drawing and said, “That looks like a winner to me.” as Rachel displayed her always beautiful smile. Well, Rachel submitted her entry back in November. We recently found out that Rachel was in fact the first place winner!

Rachel submitted a piece in the Visual Arts catagory. The title of her piece is, “Horses Are Different”. Rachel loves animals, especially horses, and her love for horses was the inspiration for her drawing. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Rachel is depicting the diversity found in the different breeds of horses. Thanks Rachel for teaching us about the diversity in horses. I love your artwork. You are truly a winner!