Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Digital Blue Microscope

One of my favorite things to use with my "firsties" is a Digital Blue Microscope. They are not that expensive and when used with the Smart Board there is a whole lot of bang for the buck. Kids are always finding things from nature and it is so much fun to plug in the Digital Blue Microscope and take a closer look at what they have found. We have put together many project using it. Here is a sampling.
This is what we did today.
Looking at caterpillars and wasp

We did these earlier.

This one is from several years ago but I really love it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Book Whisperer

I have been reading The Book Whisperer By Donalyn Miller. Donalyn is a 6th grade L.A. and S.S. teacher. She believes in the power of reading. Although I am a First Grade teacher, I found much of what she said about teaching the love of reading to line up perfectly with what I believe even with "Firsties". I had just been reading the section about "stealing time for reading" on Sunday, Mother's Day. As I slipped in to my pew at church I waved "Hi" to one of my "Firsties". Then I noticed that she was reading her library book. I smiled to myself although I had mixed feelings. I was so happy to see that she was "stealing time to read" but in church??? My worries were soon put to rest, for when the service started she quietly closed the book and put it to the side. I feel validated that we truly can teach a love for reading to 6 and 7 year olds. They can learn to use every minute to get in a bit of reading time. There is nothing I love more than reading stories to children. I have always hoped it was contagious. Our school is moving toward the Daily 5 model for our schedule and the CAFE for our conferring. Everything is coming together. I love my job!