Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Open House

Welcome to Open House at Chets Creek. At our school Open House means more than just meeting the teacher and looking around the room. Open House is a time to learn about their childs' day.

In our classroom, we do everything we can to motivate the students to come to Open House. We talk about what we are going to share with the parents. We discuss we want to show off (this year it was a song with the months of the year). We talk about how excited we are for the parents to see our work and our classroom.

This year we began with a song. Once we were done the kids stayed on the floor and read our Mem Fox books (this is our current author study). Then we presented a short powerpoint presentation about key information to help first graders be successful. Then the fun began. Each student was given a map of Australia with 7 different activities (ex. read the standards board with your parent or find two word family charts to read). One of the activities was to complete the skllls sheet that was an example of what we do in class. The final project was to name 3 out of the 7 states (or territories) that are included in Australia. This was a previous homework assignment from the week prior. The kids were calm but the parents were sweating bullets! Finally the kids came up, shared with us the great job they did with thier parents, and received a treat.

It was a great Open House. We love getting to see our kids with their families. I only hope that each parent walked away with positive thoughts about first grade.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Traveling Chet and Chelsea

This year we have started a traveling bear for our school and classrooms. Many classrooms have adopted their own Traveling Chet. Our class has Chet and Chelsea. Twin bears that are ready to see the world. We have invited parents and students to take Chet or Chelsea with them on their travels and to document it along the way with journals or pictures. We are so excited to see and learn about their destinations. You can tune into all our Chet travel bears to learn about their journey around the world in 180 days!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flag Raising - A Tradition at Chets Creek

On Friday we had our first Flag Raising Ceremony of the year. This has been a tradition at our school since the beginning. What a celebration it is. The whole school is able to come together and be a part of this ceremony. Students and teachers gather around our primary playground. On the side of the school, our principal and administrators stand together. The patrols are called out to raise the flag, pledge allegiance, and sing the National Anthem. Then Mrs. Phillips sends a message to all the students and teachers. It may be about making good choices and presenting ourselves as good school citizens. It may be about how our families support our school through PTA and the importance of that connection. It may be about the men and women who serve our country to protect our flag and our freedom. What ever the message is for the day, it is always a valuable thought. What a great way for our children to understand the need to respect our flag and what living in our country means.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

School is finally starting to become routine

For those of you that live outside of Florida (especially Jacksonville) you may not know that our school year has been anything but normal so far. We started school on the 21st of August only to attend two days that week until we were showered by Fay. It may have only been a tropical storm but it dumped many inches of rain and wind on us which in turn stopped us from going to school. We came back the following Monday to what felt like the first week of school for us and the students. The week was rough as we were all trying to figure out exactly what day we were on - mentally! This week started with Labor Day off and put us on a four day week - crazy once again. With 12 new students added into our looping class, we could not take for granted that they knew what to do. As hard as it was to get rituals and routines down with all the days off in between, this week our class is becoming one once again.

Our kids will become better readers and writers, mathematicians, and scientists! They will have a year full of music and art. They will become immersed in books. They will have lots of PE and recess time to run and play. They will become fabulous first graders. I hope you enjoy our journey around the world in 180 days!