My Day Is Ruined

Overreacting is common for children, but as they get older, it becomes important that they learn to manage their emotions and practice flexible thinking. Flexible thinking is when children are able to think about something in a new way. Today we read a book called: My Day Is ruined: A Story For Teaching Flexible Thinking.

In this book we learned 4 Steps To Flexible Thinking:

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Realize some things are out of your control.
  3. Change your plan.
  4. Accept the change.



During our outdoor learning time we have challenged the children to demonstrate how they can be good school family members just like we do inside the classroom. We have been practicing different ways of greeting people throughout our day and we have learned that some greetings are appropriate for friends and family but not for people unknown. This is yet another “hidden rule” in society that some children seem to pick up  on and some need explicit teaching! When I come to work and see my teaching partners I may say “Hey, how’s it going?”, but when I see Mr. Illman who is in charge of the school I would probably say “Good Morning!”.

Think It Through Thursday

Thinking, problem solving, and accessing resources independently is a skill children growing up will need to have to prepare themselves for the 21st century. Through Guided Exploration the children have been developing these skills while having fun and learning at the same time. Beginning today we will be trying a more focussed attempt at developing these skills. The children will be provided with a question and given time to think about it and come up with a response. The “Think it Through Thursday” questions are designed to be open-ended to allow for different solutions. This helps to build confidence.The questions encourage students to really “think about their thinking” and to explain their answers. When we share our solutions we learn from each other.



Shared Reading: Apple Tree

This week’s shared reading is a big book of a song called Apple Tree. We will continue to talk about the reading strategies Eagle Eye and Stretchy Snake and will also introduce the Flippy Dolphin strategy.

  1. Eagle Eye (use picture clues to help you understand the story)
  2. Stretchy Snake (sound out the letters)
  3. Flippy Dolphin (if the word doesn’t make sense try the other sound the vowel makes)

Some of the words from the song are posted below.

Apple Tree

This book and song are filled with great learning opportunities. It will help the children continue to connect to the concept of the four seasons that we are using our 5 senses to explore this year in first grade. This song is about a family using apples picked during harvest time in the fall to create different apple products. The life cycle of an apple is also explored in this big book which help the children connect to the concept of living things and what they need to survive. Thanksgiving weekend is coming up and it might be a fun time to go apple picking and make some of the apple products the children sing about this week during shared reading.

Here is a video to explore about the life cycle of an apple tree. Watch the videos and try to find other trees or plants that follow this cycle!

The Parts of the Brain

Today we began our journey into the world of mindfulness! One of our goals in Grade 1 is to learn not only to recognize when our bodies and brains are not calm, but to also learn what to do to keep our bodies calm and ready to learn! This mindfulness journey is one your child will be on throughout their entire life and I encourage all of my students’ families to join our class in this journey and practice being more mindful in our very busy world!

Today we learned about three parts of the brain! We looked at the poster below and at a video about how to make a brain with our hands. The song in the video posted at the end will remind us of these three parts of the brain and introduces the term Core Practice which is a breathing technique we will be using to help keep our brains and bodies calm and ready to learn.

The prefrontal cortex is the wise leader and helps us make decisions. It is the learning, reasoning and thinking centre of the brain.

The amygdala is the security guard and keeps us safe. It regulates our our emotions. When we are in a positive emotional state, the amygdala sends incoming information to the prefrontal cortex. When a child is in a negative state (stressed or fearful) the amygdala prevents the input from passing along to the prefrontal cortex and instead the amygdala processes the information in an automatic reflexive response of “fight, flight, or freeze.”

The hippocampus is the memory saver and allows us to learn. It also helps us manage our response to fear and threats.