Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Parental Involvement

Image: Parents Students Teachers Administration logo
Both students and schools benefit when parents are involved in education. Academic achievement and standardized test results are higher, students have a more positive attitude toward school and their behavior is better.

When do I begin parental involvement? On the first day of school, I invite the families into my classroom to share a brief overview of their child's first grade experience. I provide them with a handbook tailored to my classroom. Here are two highlighted ideas within its contents:

A Parental Involvement Poem Volunteers Needed!

Parental Involvement Magnet

The graphic and poem were placed on a business card with a magnet secured to the back. I encourage families to place this magnet on their refrigerators to remind them of the parent/teacher partnership that will be encouraged throughout the school year.

An apple for the teacher is really nothing new, Except when you remember Parents are teachers, too!

“Teachers are really the glue that holds the home/school partnership together.”
- Patrikakou & Weissberg

Miss Sterczek
Image: Hand Prints

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Science Discovery Bag

goggles and flasks
The "Science Discovery Bag" is a way to give your students an opportunity to explore the many curiosities of the scientific world.

In the Discovery Bag, your students will find various books that explain how to do a simple Science experiment with items that are used in their household. Their family will assist them in choosing one experiment and practicing the experiment at home. Then they will fill-out the "Lab Report" in the Lab Book (located in the Discovery Bag). Each student receives a special scientific apron (he/she can color) and scientist glasses. These items become keepsakes after the experiment is performed.

Each scientist keeps the bag for two days. When taken home on Monday, he/she will return it Wednesday. A new scientist is selected on Wednesday and the bag is returned Friday. Scientists wear the special apron and scientist glasses when they present the experiment to the class.

Contents of the Science Discovery Bag
  • 1 science apron
  • 1 science apron
  • 1 bag of markers (use to color apron)
  • 1 pair of scientist glasses
  • 1 bottle of glue (use to make glasses)
  • 1 "Famous First Grade Scientists" Journal (lab reports inside)
  • 1 copy of 365 Simple Science Experiments
  • 1 copy of 365 More Simple Science Experiments
  • 1 copy of Super Science Concoctions
Student Scientist
***Science aprons & scientist glasses were purchased from Oriental Trading.***

**Clear backpacks can be found at Lakeshore Learning**


365 Simple Science Experiments Book Science Kids Super Science Concoctions
Click on the "scientists" to obtain the Lab Report
Happy Experimenting!

Miss Sterczek
Test Tubes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cereal Box Report

Cereal boxes and books images

The purpose of this assignment is to expose the first grade students to book report content. In second grade, the students will be asked to write several book reports throughout the school year. This is a great activity to introduce and familiarize them with the meaning of a book report.

Material Needed:
  • cereal box
  • crayons or markers
  • glue stick or bottle
  • scissors
  • construction paper
  • pencil
  • cereal box book report printable
  1. Select a book that your child has recently read.

    Explain: He/she will be writing a book report to share highlights of that book with other readers.
  2. Cover the front and back of the box with construction paper (I will provide construction paper upon request).

    On the Front: Design a book cover using markers or crayons. Include the title of the book and a picture that will encourage another reader to want to read the book.

    On the Back: Draw a picture of his/her favorite part or event from the book.
  3. Cereal Box Book Report Printable:

    Left Side of the Cereal Box: Summary: Write a summary describing the main problem and how it was solved.

    Right Side of the Cereal Box: Characters: List the main characters and write a sentence about each one.

    Setting: Describe where the story takes place. If the story takes place in more than one setting, choose one to describe.
Click the Pinkalicious book below
to obtain the printable.

Cupcake  Pinkalicious Book - Click to obtain the printable  Cupcake
Miss Sterczek

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Readers

Detective kids
Mystery Readers
Every month, I invite a Morton faculty or staff member to visit our classroom and read a story to the students. He/she is called the "Mystery Reader". Before the "Mystery Reader" arrives, I share three clues about him/her. The students make a prediction based on these clues.

The purpose of this activity is to allow students to become acquainted with various members of the faculty and staff. Most important, it shows students the "Mystery Reader" values reading. Students begin to realize that in addition to their family, friends, and teacher, others also want them to be motivated and successful readers. The importance of reading is emphasized.

Once the "Mystery Reader" has completed the story, he/she chooses several students to choose a "story wand" (Lakeshore Learning product). The student reads the question and answers it.

I take a picture of each "Mystery Reader" and create a wall outside my classroom to honor them. See for yourself!

Notepads with questionmarksMystery Readers WallNotepads with questionmarks

Will you start your school year with a
"Mystery Reader"?

Miss Sterczek

Lakeshore Learning Materials  Story Wand picture


Monday, May 23, 2011

Flashlight Fun

ABC blocks and flashlight images
Turn out the lights. Give one student a flashlight. He/she will stand facing the Word Wall. Say this poem with your class:

“Flashlight, Flashlight, oh so bright,
Shine on a word with your light.”

The student will “shine” the flashlight on a Word Wall word. He/she will choose various students to guess the word. When the word is recognized, the students will write it on the recording sheet. It can be obtained by “clicking” on "Word Wall" picture below. The student who reads the correct word is the next one to hold the flashlight. Repeat the process over until all ten words are completed.

My students LOVE this activity!!! Not only are they practicing word recognition, but all of them are thoroughly engaged in the process.

Boy with a flashlight Word Wall picture Girl with a flashlight

Miss Sterczek

Working with Words

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Technology Activity

Wartville Wizard book
Technology is a part of our children's lives. It engages students to acquire and use higher-order thinking skills and their imagination. Imagination helps children grow up to become adults who are creative thinkers.

Each month, my students participate in a technology activity connected to a piece of literature which requires them to use their imagination and reinforces keyboarding skills.
mouse and the world wide web
This month, I read The Wartville Wizard. In this story, a man has the power to get rid of all of the trash forever. When someone litters, that piece of trash sticks to them! My students thought this was hilarious!!!

Using the Kid Pix program, I displayed a picture of a student on each computer. Then he/she used the rubber stamp option (comprised of various objects) to "stamp" objects on the following body parts: hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, cheeks, chin. These objects represented the trash the students threw away while walking through the town of Wartville. Here are some of the finished products:

  student photo  student photo

  student photo  student photo

blue and green hearts

These creations were displayed as a hallway bulletin board entitled "The Wartville Wizard". "Click" the recycling icon below to obtain the explanation of the activity. It was placed in the hallway to give "curious" viewers background knowledge.
Image of kids recycling
I bet you will never litter again!
Happy Recycling!

Miss Sterczek
mouse and the world wide web