Creating handmade gifts
This has been an exciting week with Valentine’s Day and the 100th day of school. The first graders used these holidays to practice what we have been learning in science and social studies. The students went through the design thinking process to create their Valentine boxes. Then, with a focus on kindness, we worked on our social studies trait of collaboration by interviewing each other and designing balance toys to give as gifts. We also blended the two holidays together by coming up with 100 Acts of Kindness that we did around the school.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
The first graders have been busy learning all about famous artists who have shaped the art we see around us today. They loved studying about Henri Matisse, his bright colors and simple shapes, and have had a ball trying their hand at cutting shapes from large colorful paper. It is so fun to just start cutting and then see what interesting shapes emerge. They each created their own piece of art then worked together to create a beautiful Matisse style piece of art for our annual auction. Look for it online on March 5th!
We are continuing our artist studies with Wassily Kandinsky and are exploring his expressionist used of line, shape and color and how we can show emotion in our art. When you see these pieces, ask your student what emotions or feelings they wanted to show when they created it.
First grade math is action packed and balanced with stations where we work on procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, and real-life application. This last week at the conceptual understanding station, the students filmed themselves teaching how to regroup when adding double digit numbers. They used manipulatives to represent how we trade in ones for tens. They were amazing teachers that showed great higher level thinking in their ability to explain what regrouping is and how it works. While they were filming, one group was working at the real-like application station with Mrs. Collins, using their knowledge of addition and subtraction to solve real-life math problems that may occur in the school. The rest of the students were at the procedural fluency station racing the computer with their math facts. All the students get to participate in every station, as they rotate through all three stations each day.
First grade PE has been action packed by practicing skills and learning how to jump rope. We have been playing many types of games that require hand eye coordination. Students have also been working on dodging and fleeing by playing variations of tag.
The first grade class ended their unit on how parents help their offspring survive by comparing and contrasting several mammal species, as well as reptiles species, and finding patterns in the behavior of the parents. Then, last Friday they went to the Reptile Zone to see, hold, and learn more about the reptiles that they had been studying. Our character trait this month is courage, and this was a great opportunity for the students to try something new that may seem scary at first. They held several species of snakes and lizards, and got to see a parent lizard and its offspring.
Our first grade class is learning about empathy through design thinking. The students interviewed and observed their parents to learn more about what their parents enjoy.Then they brainstormed ideas of things that their parents could use and appreciate, based on what they learned through the interview. They took this list of ideas and zoomed in on one that they will make in the Design Lab, and give to their parents as a holiday gift. This design thinking unit integrates in all that we have been learning in science about parents and offspring, what we’ve been learning in social studies about communities, kindness, and active listening, and our reading and writing strategies.
Music with Mrs. Miler
Our Holiday Sing-A-Long is right around the corner! We are so excited to show our parents all the hard work we’ve done in preparing for this fun evening. Please have your student to their classroom at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 21st in festive Christmas attire (dressy is not required). Our show will begin promptly at 6:00pm and following the conclusion, we invite you to join us to walking or driving to our neighbors at TouchMark and blessing them with a few Christmas carols. We will sing 3 songs as a school community at the end of our show – and you’ll have the lyrics on your programs to take with you to TouchMark. The residents are very much looking forward to seeing us and we are excited to have this Community Partnership in giving to others. Thanks for all your support!
Last Friday, the first graders walked into a classroom transformation! Their classroom had turned into Mario Kart Land. They spent the morning going through the design process as they designed cars that they would later wear for the Mario Kart math games. Their cars needed to be able to stay up on them the whole time, as well as, be able to collect gold coins. After the students finished their car prototypes, they tested them out while doing Mario Kart Math. In one game, the students were solving challenging addition problems and then finding a gold coins that had the same sums. Later, they went to the gym with their fourth grade buddies and raced to put sticky note addition problems onto the correct number posters that were all around on the gym walls. It was a day full of student engagement as they worked hard to complete a TON of math problems!
We are all about student engagement in first grade! As we work on our penmanship and spelling, why not get up and move around the room while doing it? One of the activities that we have been enjoying is “Write the Room”. The students go around the room with a clipboard, paper, and pencil, while finding the sight word task cards. Their job is to make their words look exactly like the words on the cards. Not only is this an activity on sight words, but also on paying attention to details. It is a simple activity that has the students excited to get to school early in order to get a head start on their mission to “write the room”. For every five sight words that they can make look exactly the same (handwriting and spelling) as the cards, they earn a class point. The students earn these class points through several activities where they are showing traits such as self control, perseverance, respect, responsibility, and doing their best work. When they get 25 points they can “buy” a letter for our puzzle that eventually spells out a classroom experience that they get to enjoy together, such as Pajama Day or extra project time in the Design Lab!
First grade has been working on this month’s character trait of Self Control. They have worked so hard so that they earned the opportunity to teach Silly Sally about it. Silly Sally is one of Mrs. Collins’ characters that loves to be silly but doesn’t always show self control. The students spent the day helping her show self control in her behavior and school work. They helped her rewrite her sentences correctly, put her stories in order, and even helped her build her vocabulary by explaining the emotions behind each emoji.
First grade has been loving our reading workshop time! The students have worked on finding good fit books for themselves to add to their book boxes. After learning a new reading strategy, the students spread out around the room and practice their reading strategies with books that they’re interested in. During this time they get to conference with the teacher and associate and show their growth and set goals. On Fridays, we have Flashlight Fridays, where we dim the lights and get to read with flashlights! This class LOVES to read!
With Halloween just around the corner, students are enjoying some fun Halloween songs from Quaver in class! To take a peek at one we learned, visit this link for a little “Monster Groove” http://bit.ly/2yHKvqd (do you spy the references to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?”)