Crew News June 3, 2011

Have a wonderful summer! Thanks for a fantastic year! Enjoy lots of great books this summer.

We reflected back on our year and created a list of things we remember. I was interested to see what actually made their list. It lets me know what things they really connected with this year. We also created a Voice Thread with each crew members picture and their favorite memory of 1st grade.

We Remember…

• learning about worms
• learning about families in China
• going to the Asian Market, Chinese restaurant and Chinese Cultural School
• making dragons in Art
• writing stories and making books
• making pattern books
• making bamboo paintings in Art
• learning about bees
• making charts about what we are passionate about or experts about
• writing question and answer books
• filling up our Things We Make Wall
• Ms. Jill, Ms. Marion, Ms. Pam, Mr. Doug, Ms. Cheryl
• PE games, Circus Arts, climbing
• Teacher Appreciation Week
• Camp Elim – Fall Voyage/ Winter Voyage
• Ms. Jill reading chapter books to us
• the things we do on the computer: games, Storybird, Kidblogs, Voice Thread, Skype
• learning about the environment
• having 5th and 6th grade buddies
• making new friends
• doing learning centers

Dirt Day

We had another fun day today. First we got to meet with our 6th grade buddies and we always love doing that. Later we did our “Dirt Day” activities. We dug holes to plant some bulbs outside the windows of the teachers’ lounge, we dug in bins of dirt looking for items on our checklist and we hunted for bugs and insects. It was a very low key afternoon and everyone had a great time. These activities were so developmentally “right on” for the crew. It was nice to see them have such a good time. Thanks to Ms. Cari for organizing these activities and for helping us get our holes started. She got a workout today.  Ms. Dana brought in our special snack – dirt and worms. It was very tasty. You will have to ask your child all about it. One student even asked her for the recipe for the dirt and worms. Thanks, Ms. Dana. Enjoy the very short Voice Thread below.

Crew News June 2, 2011


Reading ~ Read a good book or two.

How to Practice Skills Over the Summer

Reading ~ Read, read, read and read some more. The best way to practice reading skills is to read. You can find some online reading sites on the resources page of this blog. Here is a list of some favorite series in our crew this year:

Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold
Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer
Dragon Tales series (not the PBS show) by Dav Pilkey
Pidgeon series by Mo Willems
Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems

Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant
Poppleton series by Cynthia Rylant
Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik
Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel


Gus and Grandpa series by Claudia Mills
Fluffy (the guinea pig) series by Kate McMullan
Walter and Iris series by Elissa Haden Guest
Ant series by Betsy Cromer Byars
Ready Freddy series series by Abby Klein

If you ever need more book recommendations, please don’t hesitate to send me an email and ask. I love to talk about books.

Writing ~ I will be keeping our Kidblogs page and our Storybird account open and available to the crew all summer. They can blog and create stories all summer. I would love to hear all about what they are doing. They can also send me emails and I will answer them. Another fun idea might be to keep a journal in a cool notebook. It is amazing what a cool notebook, pencils, colored pencils and pens will do to stimulate writing. Our crew also really loves to create books. All they need is some lined loose-leaf paper and some construction paper for the covers. A fun way to practice spelling is to play “Melting Snowman”. It is our version of Hangman only in this version the snowman “melts” or loses parts as incorrect letters are guessed.

Math ~ Students can play any of the math games that we have learned this year – either online or off-line. Online games are on the resources page of our crew website. Directions to some off-line games are below:

Addition Top-It

The game is played with a deck of number cards, 4 cards for each number 0-9. As many as four children can play, but at first, children should play the two-player game.

1. Shuffle the deck and place it on the desk with the cards face down.

2. At each turn, players turn over two cards and call out the sum. Players should check each other’s sums.

3. The player with the higher sum takes all the cards. In case of a tie, players turn over two more cards and call out the sum. The player with the higher sum takes all the cards from both plays.

4. Play continues until there are fewer than 4 cards left in the deck. The player who took more cards wins.

Race To 20

You need a partner. Take turns. On your turn, you may count one or two numbers. So the first person says: “1″ or “1,2.” And the second person continues with one or two more numbers. The player who says “20″ wins.

Number Line Squeeze

Number-Line Squeeze is a math game we played in class that many of the students really enjoyed. Here are the directions for how to play in case you’d like to play at home. You’ll need to draw a number line on a piece of paper and then have something like sticky notes to slide and cover up the numbers.

Directions: The leader thinks of a mystery number and then calls out two numbers such that the mystery number is somewhere between the two numbers. The sticky notes (or whatever) are placed on the two numbers. The leader then calls on someone to make a guess. The leader then indicates whether the number is higher or lower than the guess. The appropriate sticky note is then moved to cover the number that was guessed. Play continues until the mystery number is guessed.

Sample Game

1. The leader chooses 5 as the mystery number and says, “I am thinking of a number between 1 and 9. What’s my number?”
2. Two children act as bracket holders (or use stickies). One child covers the 1 on the number line, the other covers the 9.
3. The leader calls on someone to make a guess. The guesser guesses 7. The leader says, “No, my number is smaller than (or less than) 7.” The right bracket (sticky) is then moved to cover 7.
4. Another child guesses 4. The leader says that the mystery number is greater than 4. The left bracket (sticky) is moved to cover the 4.
5. Children continue to guess until eventually the correct number is guessed (”squeezed” between the two brackets).

Race to $1.00

You need: a partner, collection of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and a dollar bill, two dice.

Players take turns rolling the dice and taking that many pennies. On their turn, players may exchange 5 pennies for a nickel, 10 pennies for a dime, 2 nickels for a dime, etc.

Play continues until one player has collected enough coins to exchange them for a dollar bill. To make the game easier, use only one die or choose a smaller amount (50 cents) as the winning amount. As you play ask your child: How much money do you have now? Who has more money? How much more?