Friday, September 13, 2013

Perfect Attendance!

Every day we had perfect attendance because no one was gone. -Karys
Today we did Word Work. That was part of Daily 5. We had Music. Mr. Chan always tries trick us to do the wrong stuff. -Cole
Today we had Library. We got to pick books. We all remembered our books. -Nick
Today we went to Mrs. Kosolowski's room because we went to do surveys. Some of us didn't get to finish. We did TWAS and our homework is to do a survey with our family and other people that come by. -Cali
We wrote a piece of paper called TWAS. I wrote about going to the book fair and open house and gym. -Issabella

It has been a GREAT first full week of school! Like Karys said, we've had perfect attendance since the very first day and that is AWESOME! I am enjoying getting to know all of the new children in my room, and I am feeling very greatful toward the students that are in my class for the second year in a row. They have been a tremendous help in showing their new classmates where things go, how our routines work, and what my expectations are. This is one of the things that I love most about teaching a combined grade classroom. Each year I love to watch my second year students step up to the challenge of being a leader and doing what their former classmates did for them. I seen huge differences in confidence in these children already this year. It's amazing!

This week we introduced the new students in our classroom to the "Brain Game". (It's actually called "Cranium Brain Breaks: 200 One-Minute Mini Games"... the box looks like a big purple brain.) We've played a few of them as a whole group this week. Most of the games that work for a large group are word games. They are a great way to get kids thinking about words and letter sounds, and they're a whole lot of fun. Today at the end of the day, we played a game where everyone had to answer this question:

If you could dive into a pool filled with something other than water, what would you dive in to?

Some of our answers were gummy worms, whipping cream, ice cream, mud, spaghetti and meatballs, and jello. After a great first full week, I think I would dive into a pool of feather pillows. Good night Room 9!
-Ms. Clarke

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our Day

Today we had jungle gym. It was fun. I went on the ropes and the spider web and I played Skittle Ball. -Cole
At jungle gym I went on the spider web. I had fun. I climbed to the top and I played Skittle Ball with Cole. -Dylan W
We had Daily 5. We read to someone. -Nick
At Read to Someone, my partner was Gabby. I read a book called Frog and Toad. -Sofia
At school what we just did was we wrote our first name and our middle name. Then we wrote a story if anybody in your family has the same name as your middle name. My story was my all the girls in my family, their middle name is Jane. -Mackenzie
When I went out for recess I played with Claire and went on the glider and the monkey bars, and the pole and the slide. And we went on the spinny thing together. Then we went inside. -Issabella
We wrote some surveys. My question was "Do you like pets?" -Anna
When we did the surveys, our table group got a giant piece of graph paper and Ms. Clarke had a bucket of questions and we had to pick a question out and we had to decide which one we were going to do because there were two sides with a question on it. We each voted which one we would do. -Cali

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

All About Me Bags

Yesterday we made "All About Me" bags. We're taking them home today and we're going to look for stuff and bring it to school and tell everybody about it. -Cole
We decorated our bags with the things that we like. You have to put 4 things in your bag and bring it to school on Monday. -Dylan W
We can only put 4 things in the bag and if we didn't finish the outside, then we have to do it at home. We all got an "All About Me" bag. Ms. Clarke already did hers. -Cali

Today I shared my "All About Me" bag with the children of Room 9. I showed them a picture of my family, talked about some of my friends, and shared some of my favourite things with them. The four objects in my bag were a copy of The Book of Awesome, my passport, my Blue Bomber baseball cap, and my geocaching kit. Many of the kids in our class already knew that I love to read all kinds of books, that I love the Bombers (despite their unfortunate record this year) and have season tickets, and that I love to travel. However, the kids in Room 9 didn't know that I like geocaching. It's a fairly new hobby for me. As a pulled out the items in my kit (a tiny flashlight, a pair of big tweezers, an extendable magnet, pencils, a Swiss Army knife, coins from different countries that I've visited, and some ziplock bags) one of the boys raised his hand and very seriously asked "Ms. Clarke, are you a SPY?!?" I quickly explained what geocaching was, and assured the children that I was most definitely NOT a spy. We had a great laugh together. Here's a photo of my "All About Me" bag... and my Spy Kit :) -Ms Clarke

Today at recess Ms. Clarke taught us a new game. It's called "Switch". It's really fun. How you play is you have to have 5 or more people. You have to stand in a square and the person in the middle has to yell "SWITCH!" and everyone runs to a different spot. If you don't have  a spot, you go to the back of the line. -Sofia
You have to stand in the corner or in the middle. People have to wait in a line sort of beside the four square. -Karys
If you want to play, you ask someone how you play the game. -Issabella
I felt AWESOME! -Dylan W
It's a fun, fun, fun, fun game! -Danika

Monday, September 9, 2013

Classroom Rules

Last week we talked about what kind of classroom we'd like to have this year. The kids of Room 9 came up with a list of things that they thought they could do to make sure that everyone in our class has an AWESOME year. Here is the list in a Wordle:

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Morning with Hal!

Last night I was asked to speak to Hal Anderson on CJOB's morning show this morning about the first week of school. I was first on Hal's show last year for the kick of of Manitoba Education Week. You can read a post about it here. Even though I spend my days talking in front of an audience, I am always quite nervous to do things like this. If you'd like to listen, here's the clip!
-Erin Clarke

The Third Day of School

Today we did TWAS. We had to write as much as we could. I wrote about self portraits and my friends. -Dylan
Today in the morning, we had gym. We played games and we did 8 laps. After gym we had recess. -Nick
Today our teacher talked on the radio. We got to listen to what she was saying. She's been on the radio twice. -Sofia
In gym we played catch with bean bags and we played match the colour. -Carter
Today we worked on self portraits. We watched a music video. The song was called "Don't Give Up". You can see it here: -Matt

Yesterday we started counting happy recesses. If they were good recesses, we got a tally mark. Yesterday we had to get 5 tally marks to get some choice time. Now we have to get 10 tally marks to get something. -Karys
We got our book boxes out. We picked three books out of the books and then we read them for a little while. Then we had recess. -Issabella
At recess today it was very, very hot! -Katrina
At recess we played hide and seek and the snake game and jumped rope. -anna

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Second Day

Today we played a new game. It was called "Spot It!". How you played was you all got a card and you had to match the letters or shapes to a different card in the middle. -Karys
We had choice time today. I made bookmarks. -Nick
We did our self portraits today. Today we added the nose, ears, hair, mouth and neck. Ms. Clarke called all of us up and we painted them and then we were done. -Sofia
We had choice time. I coloured. -Anna
Choice time was AWESOME! -Dylan W
Today we had music. We learned a new song. It was a Christmas song. -Cole
Today we had library. Mrs. DeBruyn made a castle. The grade 1s got to get 1 book and the grade 2s got 2 books. -Matt
Today we had music for the first time this year. It was fun. We played Doggy Doggy. -Jonathan
We got a piece of paper out and wrote some rules about school. One rule was listen to each other. -Issabella
Today the grade 2s gave the grade 1s a tour around the room and some of the new 2s. We had to walk around the room and tell them what's what. We each got three. -Cali

Day 2 was a great day! I am always so amazed at how quickly children accept one another and begin to build friendships. Our first choice time was awesome! The children in our class drew, wrote notes, played dinosaurs, built lego structures, made marble courses, and looked through our library. As I watched them explore and play, I saw them using manners, inviting each other to join in games, experimenting and asking questions about spelling, sharing, cooperating, sharing their thinking, and telling each other about themselves. Most importantly, they were beginning to build their community and learn about one another. Community building is so important in a classroom. In a school year we share a physical space and a variety of experiences. We share ideas, questions and wonderings. We share in pieces of each other's lives and celebrate milestones together. It's a chance for children to learn to care, trust, feel welcome, and safe with one another so that throughout our time together they will take risks as learners, be willing to try and try and try again, to be proud of their accomplishments and the accomplishments of others, and to have a lot of fun along the way. Dylan had it exactly right... Choice time IS awesome! Until next time...

-Erin Clarke

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day of School!

Today was the first day of school. We did self portraits. We did it by steps. We only did the head and the eyes today. -Cali
Today we took pictures outside on the playground after recess because today is the first day of school. Then we got to play a little bit more on the play structure. -Karys
We had an assembly. Mrs. Ziprick picked a video to show us. Here it is:

The message was to try again if you mess up on something. -Sofia
When we first got in our classroom, we put our stuff for computers into the brown pockets. -Mackenzie
When we got to school, we sat in a circle and shared what we did this summer. -Anna
When we got to school, we looked for our spots and took our backpacks in to look for all the stuff we need. We went to gym and played games and then we went to eat our lunch. -Nick
We had snack and recess and I loved recess because we had it four times! -Issabella
We did five laps around the gym and we did push up, sit ups, and star jumps. -Dylan W

Today was a great first day of school! This is my 10th year as a teacher and the first day is always very exciting, nerve wracking, busy, and the best kind of exhausting. I can't wait to learn more about the kids in our crew this year, and to see what kinds of amazing things they'll do. One of the reasons I love teaching, and can't imagine doing any other job, is that every year is different and new. Every year I get to start again. Every September brings the beginning of a new story, with new characters, new learning, new laughs, and a different ending. I can't wait to see how this year's story goes!

As some of you know, and others will soon find out, I am an avid reader of all kinds of books, articles, blogs, and magazines. Every year I seem to revisit one book in particular during the week leading up to the start of school. The book is called "The Last Lecture" and was written by Randy Pausch. (You may have seen him on Oprah or on Youtube, talking about his book and sharing his story.) There are a number of passages in this book that I connect to as an educator, but none more than this one (from Chapter 36 - Look for the Best in Everybody):

"This is beautiful advice that I got once from Jon Snoddy, my hero at Disney Imagineering. I just was so taken with the way he put it. "If you wait long enough," he said, "people will surprise and impress you." "

This is another reason I love my job. Young children tend to surprise and impress more quickly and more often than adults... usually on a daily basis. :)

Thanks for reading... see you tomorrow!
-Erin Clarke