Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Room 4 studied fish before Christmas. Kindergarten is studying the healthy environment fish need to live. The study is called "Aquaponics". It is the science of raising vegetables AND fish in a closed recirculating system.

This enclosed "eco life cycle" teaches how living things affect each other. Plants provide clean water for the fish. Fish waste provides food for the plants! Room 4 is excited to watch the changes.

Monday, January 25, 2016

"I Can ... "

Walking up and down the halls of Ridgeview you may have noticed teachers have "I Can.." statements on whiteboards and walls. What you may not know is they are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in kid speak! As each teacher plans their daily lessons they consider the objective or "big idea" being taught. Depending on the lesson, teachers break the ideas down into smaller parts, and write them on the board as an "I Can" phrase. Students always know what they are learning and teachers always keep the steps to accomplish the CCSS goals in front of them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Math Fluency

First graders take a 25 problem math test 2-3x each week. We keep track of our progress on a bar graph, and on our "Busy Bee" flowers in the hall. Most first graders in room 4 are working on their 3's. The CCSS's ask all first graders to be fluent in facts through 10 by the end of first grade. If your child struggles to remember what 5+5 is, or 7+2 with "automaticity" please find ways to practice these facts at home.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Forming Good Reading Habits

We are almost half-way through the year! Our class has been working hard on reading independently, forming good reading habits. Please reread "Reading", and "High Frequency Words" to refresh this important big idea. Rereading a story over, and over, is essential to increase word fluency and confidence. As we approach the halfway point in first grade please be reminded reading is the gateway skill to all learning.

Every first grader has a book box. Book boxes contain "I Can Read" books, and high frequency words for extra practice. I encourage choices. When a child has read their books, they read their way back! That means they read the stories again. Every child chooses the books they want in the box. We trade books in weekly. First graders may read words and stories aloud to a partner.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spotlight Music Program

January 7th first graders presented their well practiced Christmas Program! All Ridgeview students have been singing in the gym since September due to the ongoing construction. The delays meant our program was postponed until January. Our program was a wonderful celebration of music at Ridgeview!

Sharing New Year Stories!

Room 4 writes daily in a journal called "100 Days of Writing". Our first day of the new year we shared our writing with each other. Every first grader in room 4 writes on a subject we all agree on daily. First graders now choose to write a personal "choice" entry most days. They are becoming confident, independent writers, who want to read their ideas to others.

Family Trees

Merry Christmas Room 4! Families created some beautiful trees together. May 2016 be happy, healthy, and successful for all!

Information Reading and Writing

First graders are reading stories "all about" animals. Our reading text has stories sprinkled throughout the series that teach us about the nature.

Room 4 read all about aquarium fish, where they come from, and how they live in their natural habitat. Our class visits the Monterey Bay Aquarium live via webcams weekly to revisit fish in the Pacific Ocean, our ocean. We have visited the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the USA. We learned how hard it is to feed animals from the wild while they are in captivity, how hard it is to keep them happy and healthy. We have also visited via you tube the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, learning how fragile the reef is, and how much sea life it supports. Ridgeview Kindergarten has received a grant for a hydroponic/aquaponic aquarium with live fish and plants. We look forward to learning with kinder kids how the plants help the fish, and the fish help the plants. We will write "all about" what we learn!

Computer Technology

Room 4 practices computer fluency weekly. First graders share laptops with grades K-2. During our 40 minutes 2x a week we practice signing into Safari, the Ridgeview Homepage, and the student programs we are exploring. This fall we also learned how to visit the Ridgeview Library site. Mrs. Babcock introduces new sites and available programs weekly. We look forward to receiving a tech grant in spring 2016 that will provide an ipad cart for just first graders!


Thanksgiving Celebration

Room 4 made "Thankful Turkey" headbands. On each feather we wrote what we felt thankful for, and created a headband to wear during our "feast". Our handmade butter and cornbread were delicious for some, and not so great for others! A great experience for all!

Making Butter

Long ago cows were milked, milk contained cream. It floated to the top of the milk. Children skimmed the cream off the top of the bucket, and "churned" it in butter churns made of wood. In room 4 we "churned" our butter by dropping marbles into a plastic jar and shaking the cream until a clump of butter formed. We poured the milk off and enjoyed our fresh butter with our cornbread.

Dipping Candles

First graders have studied how children lived long ago. In November room 4 continued our study by making candles. All first graders dipped string wicks in hot wax. Room 4 appreciated parent volunteers who heated and supervised the hot wax. Each child took home a hand dipped candle. Our class agreed this was fun at first, but having to dip for 20-30 minutes to make one candle taught us it was also hard work! If your family needed candles to see at night, many candles would be needed!!!

Writing Daily

First graders are use red writing folders to hold their stories. We write every day, working on one story until it is completed. Our folders hold "word walls", laminated lists of frequently used words, blank paper, and checklists. Checklists help first graders stay focused on the big ideas we are teaching.