Saturday, October 24, 2015

1st Grade News 10/26/15

1st Grade News

 Enrichment Spelling Note and List
This exciting week ends with an all-school parade and Halloween party on Friday and students are counting down to trick-or-treating with friends and 
family.  :)
We have 27 poems in the poetry/song binder to date and recently, I overhead an adorable conversation between two students who have an interest in squirrels so we added the Busy Gray Squirrel, an oldie but goodie.
Link for Busy Gray Squirrel
A Halloween Pumpkin will be added to poetry/song binders on Monday.  Students will draw a
jack-o-lantern on the page, at the bottom.

We worked on research and inquiry skills this week, a 1st grade Common Core writing standard. (W.1.7 participate in shared research). Students worked with table groups and used books from the classroom library and iPads to locate bat facts. 


We spend a lot of time building skills to work effectively with partners and small groups.  

This collage shows two activities - partner reading and a reading response session in which students talked with partners to answer comprehension questions. 

In this picture, students are working on number sense by clap counting with partners. Students listen to directions and count up or back by 1's, 2's and 5's, beginning with the number I call out. 

Partners work on building fact fluency with dice roll activities. 

Students quickly discovered Top-it on the iPad is an exciting partner game!

First graders love to work with buddies. :)


Scientific Method in 1st Grade

Science is a little challenging at our level in our district because we don't have supplies on hand or a series to use as a tool to teach scientific method.  When you're ready to teach a lesson, it requires a search to find an appropriate lesson and a trip to the store to buy the learning materials.  
Recently, however, we discovered a wonderful resource for science lessons in first grade - Sue Cahalane, Science for Kids.  Her TPT store is filled with outstanding free and paid units for grades PK-4 lessons.  We look forward to utilizing many of Sue Cahalane's units this year!
The focus of our first lesson was to explore the five steps of the scientific method with The Runaway Pepper Experiment. 


  I was able to use supplies from home for this activity.

Materials were set out at each table group. 

We didn't use all pages of the unit; instead, students recorded observations and conclusions in writing journals.

In this wonderful journal entry, a student observed her friend dipping his finger into the bowl. Her writing continued onto the next page where she wrote about the pepper moving to the sides of the bowl. 

A colleague shared a resource from Coast to Coast Kinder and we completed the apple experiment this week.  I loved this activity because there's nothing better than a lesson followed by a snack. My husband bought delicious locally grown apples for the kids to enjoy.

Enjoying yummy apples!

 I was surprised about the lemon juice that it did not turn brown.
(Love the look of surprise on her face!)

Happy learning!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Science - Nature Walk

Science in first grade provides opportunities for students to develop questioning, investigating and communication skills as they explore the world around them. 
Last week, we set out to explore our school grounds. Before we left the classroom, we discussed the purpose of this exploration. Students were asked to notice details about the changing seasons and then record observations in writing journals.  We introduced and discussed science vocabulary words - observe, explore and investigate. To add a little challenge to this activity, students were encouraged to collect items that represented colors of the rainbow. 
As soon as the building doors opened, the kiddos eagerly made their way to the natural area that surrounds the playground.  They collected pine cones, acorns, small flowers, sticks and a variety of colorful leaves.  Students used magnifying lenses to observe details and plastic baggies to collect signs of the changing season.  

Back in the classroom, students wrote in their journals. 
"I observed that leaves can be red on the front and yellow on the back."

"I want to know how leaves change from green to red."

  This fella used a ruler to record measurements of his collection. 

"The leaves blow in the wind. Some of the leaves had dots. The little mushrooms look like fuzz balls."

Nature's rainbows...


First Grade Friends

I hope this is a wonderful week for all!

1st Grade News 10/19/15

Link for 1st Grade News 10/19/15
We follow the WONDERS's spelling program in first grade.  Each list contains six spelling words that follow a new spelling pattern, two words with the previous pattern and two word wall words.  This year, the alternate (enrichment) spelling list for students who receive 80%-100% on the pre-test at the beginning of the week contains ten words with the new spelling pattern.

This is the alternate list for words with short /u/.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Where's My Mummy?

If you're looking for a book of high interest to first graders - this is it!  With a little suspense, but a tender ending it's a wonderful Halloween book!
Our lessons included sequencing, a character study and a reading response activity.  Students worked with partners to discuss Baby Mummy's feelings and actions, using text evidence to identify feelings.  Together, we retold the story and created a sequencing chart.  The final activity was a mummy craft and reading response.  Students drew pictures of Baby Mummy looking for Mama Mummy and something coming out of the swamp.  We cut out the pages and glued them to construction paper to create flap books.

Baby Mummy in the swamp...

Lift the flap and discover a skeleton coming out of the swamp!  :)

Top page

Out comes a panda - his favorite animal!

Room on the Broom

This is a fun book to read with first graders!  We worked on identifying rhyming words and comprehension (ask/answer questions, sequencing, retelling). 
I created a two-page document and this year, I chose the second page to work on correctly sequencing story events.
Page 1
 Page 2