Core virtues are an everyday part of life in first grade. Kindness is one that we focus on as we explore and learn about friendships and classroom dynamics. We were lucky enough to have local business owner Heather Nashelle, owner of Nashelle Jewelry, visit our classroom and share her message of kindness and the ripple effect with the class. She then shared her gift of jewelry making! They each chose one word that spoke to them and hand hammered it into their necklace. These pieces will help remind each student how their kindness can affect others. We believe that social emotional learning needs to be explicitly taught and modeling and teaching students how to treat others is a core part of the first grade classroom. The students had a blast and we appreciate the time Heather spent with our class!
For the last month or so, first grade has been working their way through our Carnival of the Animals unit. Camille Saint-Saëns composed this piece in 1886 with 14 humorous suites, designed to mimic the sounds of various animals. While he designed for this 25 minute work to be a joke, it is an excellent teaching tool for learning about a variety of musical basics like fast and slow (largo and presto), high and low, and various instruments. The students have been working their way through a listening journal that allows them to color each animal as we listen to the music from that suite. Additionally, we incorporate literacy and movement by reading a classic children’s book associated with each animal depicted and move like the animals. This is one of my favorite units to teach and your students have been a joy to work with.