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Banyan Newsletter FALL 2009



First Graders practice reading independently after choosing just right books.

Reading: Our Reading Identities Who Am I as a Reader? Students explored identifying aspects of their reading lives. They spent time thinking about and answering the following questions: •What types of books do you like to read? •What is your ideal reading environment? •What is your favorite book? •Where is your favorite place to read?

•What is your reading goal? Yo u r c h i l d r e n w e r e s o thoughtful about their responses. I will be posting their responses on the webpage soon.

How do I choose a just right book? We also discussed and practiced choosing just right books. We learned about the five finger rule and talked about strengthening our reading muscles. We added to our strong

reader chart as well. We spent time each day reading, choosing and adding books to our book

Grand Opening! Banyan Class Library Tuesday:9-28-09 bins. The entire Banyan class students and teachers signed the reading contract, that all the

Word Work: We played rhyming Bingo, mixed up names and a rhyming matching game. We played a new game called Sparkle to review our word wall words. We learned some tongue twisters with our classmates names and played guess the covered word. Word Wall Words: a, I, is, it, the, to, am, an, at

Math: Counting and Comparing Comparing Numbers Banyan mathematicians counted and compared numbers these past two weeks. We began our mornings with a new morning routine called “Start With/Get To.” Students pick starting and ending numbers to learn counting forward and counting backwards using a number line. We start the year with smaller numbers and then move up to larger numbers as the year progresses. We also started looking at quick images of dots. The children then reproduced the image with their own circular counters and we discussed: How many dots did you see? How did you know? We played some new games: Staircase, Mystery Boxes, Compare and Compare Dots. Staircase: Students build cube towers to match numbers and then they put them in order. We discussed how each tower went up one cube when they were in order. We took

out towers and played “what’s missing?” Mystery Boxes: Students counted mystery objects in boxes and recorded responses showing counting strategies. Compare: This game is like the old game called “War.” Students flip over number cards and the larger number wins the set. When you both turn the same amount, you place down a new set. Compare Dots: This is the same game as Compare, except we use cards with dot for mations to represent a number. Mystery Boxes and Staircase helped us to talk about strategies for counting accurately and for ordering numbers. Compare and Compare Dots helped students understand the concepts of greater than, less than and equal to. We looked at the symbols for these terms as well.

Banyan Mathematicians explore counting accurately and comparing numbers through Mystery Boxes and Compare.

Science: Nutrition & Snails We began science this year with a look at nutrition and making healthful food choices. We worked with Alice and Sharon to create a lunch tray full of healthful foods. Then, the Banyan class visited the lower school garden and drew and labeled vegetables and fruits. We also set nutritional goals for ourselves! Hopefully our students will be making better choices about foods on the lunch line and at home!

We observed snails and used our senses to record what we noticed.

Snails! Snails! Snails! We began our unit on snails! Thank you to all the families that sent in snails. We could still use more. Our first discussion was about habitat. What do snails need? Then, we built our own habitat. Each child helped pour dirt in the tank . We made a chart about snail handling etiquette and actually took them out of the tank to observe. We noted all the things we notice and wonder about snails so far. It was fun being real scientists!

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