How Will You Make Your MARK Today?

Remember Dot Day?  And then our Dot Day Mystery Skype? Well, I know it’s been a month since that fabulous day, and so you probably weren’t expecting another Dot Day blog post, but SURPRISE–here’s another one!!

We’ve been looking for a place in our hallway to hang our amazing dot creations, and it seems that it took us a LONG TIME to make that happen.  Yesterday we finally decided to put them in a doorway where they could hang indefinitely, with an invitation to the rest of Robinson to make their own mark on the world EVERY DAY.  Here’s what we came up with:

See how it’s double-sided??  Originally our paintings were big and on whole pieces of paper, but we made them into dots to make them fit better in that space and to highlight the designs.  The best part?  Someone (our art teacher even!!) already noticed and pointed out how much she loves it!  YAY!!  Great work, first grade. 🙂

 

 

Exploring Light and Sound!

We have been working on exploring light and sound in science right now, within the context of a story about three friends who get lost in the woods while on a hike.

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In small groups in our room,  kiddos rotated through several stations where they explored light in a variety of ways: mirrors, shadows, spectrascopes, and colored tiles.  Kiddos used flashlights in each station to see what they could discover about how light looks, how it travels,  how colors work and how to create shadows.  I love their faces in the pictures and how you can tell just what they are thinking in each picture, exactly what question they are trying to answer or what they are trying to do.  They applied this exploration to what they knew already and also what we had read in our story.   Kids worked in Rm. 112 on sound in addition to their discovery stations in Rm. 111.

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We’re excited to finish up this unit with a novel engineering challenge based on our Global Read Aloud book, as well as with an interview where kiddos can apply and  demonstrate their light and sound learning.  Can’t wait to see how it goes!

Global Read Aloud Week 1: Koala Lou Continued

I shared already about how we finally started this year’s Global Read Aloud, and about many things we had already done with our first book–Koala Lou. 

Well, those predictions and pictures weren’t the only things we did!  As in the story, we created our own version of the Olympics, but made the Robinson Olympics and created animals that we would see in our own “bush” that could cheer on Koala Lou.  We worked with our “pincher” fingers to create our animals, rather than scissors.  Ms. Turken created a fabulous tree for our Koala Lou to climb, and two friends also created a sign.   We were pretty proud, and hung our Olympics in our hall for all to see.

As we went through the week, however, I kept looking at our FABULOUS display thinking something was missing.  Those animals down there, who were supposed to be cheering on their friend Koala Lou, weren’t saying anything!  Also, we didn’t have a sign and so really only we knew what the mural was for but no one else who walked by and saw it knew what our creation was about.

So…we worked another morning to add speech bubbles to our animal friends.  We worked in partners to make sure our work was first grade perfect and that others could read what we were saying.  Our friends helped us make sure we used the word wall, put in all the sounds and had the correct punctuation before we “published” our final bubbles for the wall.

And so now when you walk down our hallway–which is a pretty great location for sharing what’s going on, by the way!–you can tell exactly what’s going on and what the mural is for. And so that way you can more greatly appreciate all the hard work that these first graders have done!  Way to go, Rm. 111 and 112 friends!

What a great way to respond to a great book!! 🙂

#classroombookaday 2017 UPDATE: Week 9

We ended our first quarter this week, and also our first chunk of fun in our #classroombookaday challenge.  We ended up with 142 books in our first 9 weeks together and WOW were there some good ones!  Here’s our wall as of October 13:

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We must have been busy doing lots of other things (including end-of-unit assessments I guess), and only read 10 books this week.  Here are the highlights:

We were in Week 2 of the Global Read Aloud this week, and so Possum Magic was on the top of our list. 🙂  We also added in This and That and also Particular Cow by Mem Fox.  As we like to do, we added in more books by authors we already know, and so we read My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown and The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers.

As we were studying light and sound in science, we read The Energy We See.   This week was disABILITIES awareness week in our school, so we read Aneil Has a Food Allergy, as we talked about physical disabilities on Thursday.  The Amazing Autumn book was just for some fall fun, as was the book When I Was Five.  Lastly, we added another Show-Me Award nominee to our list, and read Fur, Fins and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo.

Whew!  That list makes me a little tired and a lot happy!  Here’s to adding even more to the wall this week as we start a new quarter of reading and learning together!

And just because I’m always thinking about numbers (and reading, too) I figured out 142 X 4 quarters means we’ll be at 568 (or so) and that beats last year’s number!!  Here’s to continuing to share amazing books with amazing kids!

 

Names, Names, Names!!

One of the most important words a first grader knows (how to read and how to write) is their name.   We have done lots of work with this, including making sure everyone knows how to write it neatly with only 1 capital letter.  Along with knowing the letters in our names, we will soon officially begin to focus on the SOUNDS in our names, as well as the chunks, blends and patterns in our names that can help us read other words! We practiced in many different ways with many different materials.  We are getting SUPER good at names now and are using beautiful handwriting in other places, too!

Check out our work from the last few weeks!

Playdoh

Just like when we use our pencils, using our “pinchers” to make the Playdoh into sticks and curves is a challenge.  Our goal was to make the Playdoh letters look just like the name on our name tags.

Inch Tiles

Who’s Name is Longer?

This one was a name practice that we used as a math investigation.  Each kiddo made their name on inch tiles and groups worked together to figure out who’s was longest, shortest, and how many letters their group had altogether.

 

Legos!

Boo…so I just realized that most of the pictures we have of this activity are on kiddos’ iPads. 😦  Maybe I’ll come back and add them after I get them transferred to me, but for now, trust me that this was a challenge!  I had to nudge many kids to create 3D versions (to actually connect the Legos, rather than just lay them on the floor) and that up’ed the ante on the thinking.  Plus–it was a really fun and totally engaging way to practice letters and names!  Goodness, what can you NOT use Legos for?

Good ‘Ole Fashioned Handwriting Practice

 

One More Time: Analogies with Mrs. Berger

We had one more Kingore lesson this past week with Mrs. Berger.  This time it was analogies.  Man, these can be hard for first graders, but like with most every time, we had some great examples before we got started.  We tried some together (with pictures to help us out!) and then she read to book Animalogies to us, which was written by some other kids and involved analogies that were all about animals!

And…just like last time, we smelled brownies!  What great opportunities we’ve had with Mrs. Berger to think in a new way, stretch our brains a bit and show how creative we are! We will definitely continue to put these skills to work in the classroom as we go forward in first grade! 🙂

Another Kingore Lesson: Pentominoes

We have visited Mrs. Berger many times recently to stretch our brains and show our ability and creativity.  Recently we went to work on pentominoes puzzles.  Basically, a pentomino is a plastic piece (labeled with a letter name because of its shape), made of 5 small squares.  They can all fit together to make a rectangle, but can also be used to create other shapes and designs.  That was our job on this day. 🙂

After the explanation and some “try-its” together, we got to work, using our grit and perseverance to figure out the puzzles on the sheets Mrs. Berger gave us.  Some of them were really hard, and you had to turn the piece around and around and over to make it fit.  We were all able to do it, though, and the smiles on faces when they got it were priceless.  I heard so many “yes!”‘s and it made me smile, too. 🙂

Perhaps the best part was when we figured out what our class grit smells like (which you can smell in the room when we’re all working hard and using it!): chocolate chip brownies right out of the oven. 🙂