Sunday, December 4, 2016

Santa's Stuck!





I've done a variation of  Nancy Vandenberg's (incredible blogger!) Santa's Stuck activity with first graders for a few years now.  This year we changed it up because a few creative kids had a couple special requests: extra large chimneys, stockings, and they wanted Santa to be stuck going up the chimney for the craftivity.


In order to properly display the awesome finished work, we glued the writing to the back and created a display that included both sides of the project - the decorated chimneys and writings.


Student Writing Page



Bulletin Board Posters

Santa's Stuck Link


This year,  students wanted Santa to be stuck going UP the chimney for the craft, instead of going down.














He will push Santa up the chimney all by himself!  :)  
Love his confidence.  :)





1st Grade News ~ 12/5/16



1st Grade News Link



Making Connections

Students understand text more effectively when making connections. In this session, students were comparing and contrasting text to a text that was previously read.  They were invited to talk with friends and discuss:

"This text was similar to  ______ because ... "

"This text was different than  ______ because ... "

This strategy can be used anytime throughout the reading process. Also, listening to student discussions is a great way to evaluate students' understanding of text. :)




Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Frankenstein's Fright Before Christmas

Link for Bulletin Board Poster


Little Frankenstein can't wait for Santa's visit.  When Santa finally arrives at Miss Devel's castle, however, he lands on the roof and crashes to the floor below.  All the little monsters are thrilled to discover  Santa brought gifts - new heads for each monster!


We read this silly book and worked on comprehension skills - retelling and identifying setting and characters.

Link for Document



Recreational books like this are an important part of a first grade classroom as they provide motivation for beginning readers to read independently. 



1st Grade News ~ 11/28/16

Link for 1st Grade News






Sunday, November 20, 2016

December Activities

During Friday's record-breaking temperature (72 degrees!), we took advantage of the glorious weather and worked on journal writing skills outside. Our PSO purchased beautiful tables and umbrellas to add to this perfect setting for free writing.



(Two days later, we're covered in snow and breaking out winter apparel!)




After we come back from Thanksgiving break, we have three weeks of school before winter break.  

Kids love counting down to special events!





We're studying addition strategies to 20 and moving onto subtraction strategies soon.  Holiday-themed worksheets provide extra practice and a little fun!





Sunday, November 13, 2016

1st Grade News ~ 11/14/16


Link for 1st Grade News





This week, we'll practice how to build fact family sets for given numbers.









In November, first graders get a little glimpse of history by comparing life in their own families with families who lived in other times and places.


Children learn how life changes over time by spending time with older adults, grandparents and neighbors, and there's no better time to discuss similarities and differences between then and now, than a holiday weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving



1st Grade News ~ 11/14/16


Link for 1st Grade News





This week, we'll practice how to build fact family sets for given numbers.









In November, first graders get a little glimpse of history by comparing life in their own families with families who lived in other times and places.


Children learn how life changes over time by spending time with older adults, grandparents and neighbors, and there's no better time to discuss similarities and differences between then and now, than a holiday weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving



Sunday, November 6, 2016

1st Grade News ~ 11/7/16

Our 1st Grade Halloween party was spooktacular fun!  Students played games, completed a craft and enjoyed wrapping up like mummies.
























Project of the Week - Only You Can Help To Save Fred





























Miss Kolis coordinated another outstanding learning experience for our students.  "Only You Can Save Fred" was contributed by Stacy Fox from NSTA ListServe.  Click on the link to check out the project details.



Sunday, October 30, 2016

S.T.E.A.M.

What is STEAM?

An acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and math, STEAM education provides experiences for student inquiry in these subjects.  Designed to encourage higher level thinking, STEAM is a hands-on learning approach.


And lucky for our student population, Miss Kolis, a teacher in our building wrote an amazing grant and opened a STEAM lab in our building.  2nd and 3rd grade students participate in Maker's Club projects and a P.O.W. - Project of the Week is provided for all students.

Last week, we participated in the pumpkin investigation.  Miss Kolis setup hands-on learning stations, using resources from her grant and online resources.  Students used this booklet to record data.













Collaboration and communication are a major focus with STEAM activities.  During our hourlong session, I observed highly energized conversations as students rotated through seven stations.  Although I am having problems with my camera, I managed to take a few pictures of students working together.




Grab a handful of seeds and describe how it feels.



Art - sketching pumpkins



Smell and taste station



Describe the pumpkin



Measure the pumpkin using standard and nonstandard measuring tools



Investigate - sink or float



Measure - predict, then weigh the pumpkin


The STEAM room allows students to make discoveries and connections across the curriculum.  I am grateful to Miss Kolis for generously sharing grant materials that allow students to participate in rich, engaging learning activities!