One of my favorite parts of working with first graders is sharing some of my favorite books.  This week we read The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill, one of my all-time favorite books about friendship breaking down barriers.  The story is told with enough whimsy to provide children the comfort of humor while accessing the gravity of the main character's mean disposition.  And Laura Huliska-Beith's illustrations are magical.

Throughout first grade, we develop our comprehension of a story by retelling the main story components and by making connections.  The students worked in small groups to discuss the importance of key story elements and personal connections to the book.  Some of the children may post additional connections and thoughts next week.  For now, we will share our current work-in-progress with you.  Enjoy!

The students have each taken a turn sitting in our author's chair this week.  They have spent most of November writing a variety of nonfiction books, and it was time to celebrate their effort.  Each child chose their best or favorite nonfiction piece and read it to the class.

In preparation for all of this nonfiction writing, we did a lot of nonfiction reading.  Many of our large group read alouds have been nonfiction, and several literacy centers have focused on nonfiction books in the last few weeks.

We noticed that many nonfiction books use a question and answer format, so some of the children decided to try that in their writing.  Sometimes the title of the book is the question and the entire book is the answer.  Sometimes there is a question on each page.  Sometimes the same question is repeated throughout a book and in other cases there are a variety of different questions all about one topic.

I was truly impressed by the children's enthusiasm in diving into nonfiction writing.  They shared information and expressed their creativity.  If you have the chance to visit our classroom, please spend a few moments enjoying the children's work on our "I Am An Author" wall.   The students would love to hear your reaction.  Until then, here are a few photos of our young authors.
The children in 1H have been singing and humming since the first day of school.  Thanks to our amazing music teacher we have evidence of their progress in music!  Ms. Kuebel shared this video with me, so that I could share it with you.  We are so fortunate to have her here at ASW!  Enjoy!

My middle-schooler and I discovered that we have something in common -- we both are drawn to exploring new technology.  He knew I was experimenting with a couple of different options to build a classroom website.  The other day, he came home from school and said, "Mom!  Have you seen weebly? It's the best way to build a free website!"  Imagine his surprise when I showed him my work in progress!  Perhaps Dear Old Mom isn't as out of touch as he thought.  Though it's a near thing, certainly.  :-)

Anyway, it's time to see whether or not I can successfully post a video clip.  Wish me luck!

Please keep in mind that this is just a test.  But I do hope you love this performance as much as I do!