Ok, so I feel like this post comes with many apologies. Yes, I know that Halloween was 3 weeks ago, and I know that Thanksgiving is this week and I know that the best blog posts are not just boatloads of pictures thrown at you, but I could not let first grade Halloween be forgotten–even if it is a little late. So here you go with lots of Halloween cuteness, and even some Halloween learning, too. Hope you enjoy! (And that you forgive me for my tardiness! 🙂 )
Our class has been working with nonfiction text in a variety of meaningful ways. Last week we took a walk around Robinson to see how many examples of nonfiction writing we could find. We gathered a list of what we found, and talked about the purposes of these different texts. Besides being really great detectives, I was uber-impressed with how my Rm. 202 friends were able to go on a 20 MINUTE walk through the hallways without bothering anyone’s learning! That is definitely an example of following the Robinson Road Rule of Respecting Others, and only happened because everyone was being gritty. WAY TO GO, 1ST GRADE FRIENDS!
Check out our adventure with some pictures. 🙂
Landen works hard to add to his nonfiction text list on a post it after he finds something in the hallway.
Ella Marie led our super-silent first grade line down the 4th grade hall as we began our hunt.
We stopped at the end of each hallway so that friends could record what they saw.
The 5th grade hallway had a WEALTH of interesting nonfiction text.
Peyton stops to write a note about a diorama he saw in the 5th grade hall.
This nonfiction writing helped us celebrate Veteran’s Day and was found outside the gym. Besides the title, all of those flags have words to patriotic songs on them.
Kindergarten was using nonfiction in a really meaningful way! They lost something important and needed help in finding it. Update: Their flag was found and returned to them! I bet they’re glad they wrote that news flash!
Stay tuned for more ways that we’re working on understanding nonfiction texts as both readers and writers. What an important genre to read, write and dig into as first graders (and way beyond that!).
Diego must have had a patriotic loose tooth, because he lost it today–on Veterans’ Day! Check out his fancy digs (sorry you can’t see his shoes–they were stylin’ too!). Congrats, Diego! Who will have #8 in Rm. 202? Nate? Will you be next? 🙂
If there’s one thing we do well at Robinson, it’s make memories! (Wait, who am I kidding–we do so many things well!) From the Halloween parade to the Holiday Sing-Along and the end-of-year staff vs. 5th grade kickball game–fun is part of our culture! Besides fun, though, we know how to make meaningful memories, too.
Today was one such day. 🙂
It’s Veterans’ Day, and as we have for the last few years, we had a fabulous assembly planned—well Mrs. Kesler and her very talented cohort had a fabulous assembly planned–and our kiddos were a big part of it. They have been working since August and this year it did not disappoint!
The day began in the gym, and once we were all settled, some 5th graders led in a procession of our guests of honor: veterans from every branch of the armed services. I’d love to say I had a video of this, but I just couldn’t take one–partly because of logistics, partly because of respect, but mainly because I wouldn’t have been able to see the buttons on my iPad through the tears in my eyes. Our kids gave a standing ovation while they came in, and sang a medley of all of the branches’ songs. Very powerful.
Then, in turn, each grade level shared a special patriotic song they’d been preparing with Mrs. Kesler in music. I know I’m a little biased, but first grade may have been the best (don’t tell my 2nd grader!). Here’s their performance (get ready–it’s pretty great!):
The rest of the program was very special and included many other songs, as well as videos with words of wisdom from some of our visiting veterans. 🙂
We had some conversations in our classroom as well, and wrote letters to some important veterans in our lives. Mr. Raeber, Nate’s dad, and Mr. Wehrle, Amelia’s grandpa, were both in attendance for our special day and so we wanted to make sure we said our thank yous in a special way. Check out our kiddos’ kind words:
I didn’t get to catch Amelia and Mr. Wehrle because they were at the reception following the ceremony, but I did get to snap a sweet picture of Nate and his dad outside our classroom. Mr. Raeber was in the Navy for 24 years! Thank you for your service, sir! We appreciate you!
A couple of other sweet things happened during our day that I just had to capture and share, too. 🙂 Kylie came in this morning telling me about a special locket she had that held pictures of her grandfather who was a veteran, but who had passed away recently. Her mom had pinned that locket to her sleeve, and so he was here with us, today, too. Wow.
Later on, after our assembly during Writer’s Workshop, kiddos were brainstorming how they could include Veterans’ Day topics in their work. Millie was inspired to write a song. 🙂 Darn it–I should have gotten her to sing it. Instead, I just have the lyrics–written on a flag!
What a great day of celebration and remembrance! 🙂
This is the first year I’ve taken kids to the zoo in the fall. And you know, I wonder why we’ve never done it before!? Who needs to be there in May when it’s hot and ALL of the other teachers around town also have the idea of going to the zoo during their animal unit? We had the idea to go now, when we thought we’d have a chance for good weather as well as a chance to front-load our kiddos with information for when we do study animals later this year. We tried it last year in 5th grade for our study on the Cahokians (went to Cahokia Mounds BEFORE the unit instead of after!) and it was great! Once we got into the unit, there were so many times where we could tie our conversations to specific experiences we knew that all of our learners had been a part of. This made the connections they created even more powerful!
That being said, we knew it this would be a great idea, and THANKFULLY we got one of those sunny, crisp and cool kind of all days instead of one of those St. Louis fall days that are cold, rainy and dreary! Our kids were excited, we had loads of helpful parents and we were on our way!
Our kiddos went with a job–to take the temperature of certain places in the zoo and record the time as well as the temperature. This would tie to the work in our Matter & Energy unit where they are expected to know how to do just this thing. They decided on the places we’d record, as well, which made this an even more meaningful task.
Thanks to Mrs. Ross, Ms. Branco and Mrs. Buesching (plus a few of my own!) I have LOADS of pictures to share with you. While I should probably caption every last one of them, I am just going to show them all to you here in a fabulous slide show. It’s really hard not to smile when you see how stinking cute all the kids–and the animals–are!
Just one more thing…I asked everyone what their favorite thing about the trip was and here’s what they said. Priceless answers 🙂 :
Charlie: “Being in Landen’s group!”
Landen: “The picture I took with the bear!”
Amelia: “When I saw the giraffes…”
Makayla: “The elephants.”
Sara: “Seeing the zebras and being with my friends.”
Lauren: “We joined up with another group and spent time with our friends and took pictures together!”
Ava: “Elephant poop.”
Kylie: “The seal tunnel.”
C.J.: “Seeing the tigers, lions, giraffes, and zebras.”
Emily: “The reptile house.”
Millie: “We saw the seal show before lunch!”
Ella Marie: “The log with snake eggs and the zebras.”
Nate: “When we saw an eagle.”
Jacob: “I ate a second lunch.”
Peyton: “I got to stand by an eagle.”
We had a great time and learned a ton! I’m excited to see how this learning connects with our animal study that comes this Spring. 🙂 THANK YOU to the parents who helped make this happen! What a fun day at one of the best zoos in the country! 🙂