Monday, October 23, 2017

Pen Pal Letters

A very special part of being in our 1st grade classroom is having a penpal! This school year, Mrs. Dunn's 1st graders in Topsfield, MA and our class will get to know each other through letters. Mrs. Dunn and I are excited to bring penpal letters to our classrooms as a way to connect our Tri-Town schools. In a few years these groups of 1st graders will be at MASCO together. Towards the end of September we were the first to send off letters introducing ourselves to our penpals.

Our letters were signed, sealed and ready to deliver. We walked them up to the mailboxes and off they went.
We have been anxiously checking the mail and waiting to hear back. Just a few days ago we got a message from Mrs. Dunn's class on Twitter and instantly wrote back.

Now we watch the mail as we know these pumpkin pals are in transit. There is still something to be said about the good old fashioned snail mail. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watermelon vs. Seed

Personal Narratives are stories we write about ourselves. Rather than writing large watermelon narratives we have been focusing our ideas into "seed" stories. The 1st graders thought of one small moment in their long 6 or 7 years old lives to write a seed story about. We shared these ideas on a sticky note and added them to our class watermelon.
Students took one of their "seed" ideas and used transition words to break the story into a sequence of events. Like all good writers, we began with detailed draft pictures. Next, we added sentences that we revised with our green pens and edited with our purple pens. All circled words are ones we need to look up in a pictionary. We also checked for capitals and periods. Yes, we're only in first grade!
Small moment story with transitions
The last stage of the writing process is to publish our work, meaning we copied it over in our neatest printing so the reader never knows we made so many revisions and edits. To celebrate all our hard writing work we had a publishing party with Mrs. E. Higgins' class.
Common Core State Standard: Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Adjectives

Clever 1st graders practiced their knowledge of adjectives or words that describe nouns, by making adorable Adjective Pumpkins. Enthusiastic students chose an adjective from the back table and then created a pumpkin that matched that describing word.
Smart students really grasped the concept of an adjective with this activity...thank you Halloween! Precious 1st graders were even coming up to our adjective wall to use them in their writing pieces.
They couldn't be making their happy teacher prouder!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

iLove iPads

We are definitely lovestruck with the iPads! If you haven't heard, we each have our own iPad in our classroom this year. You guessed it...that means even more digital projects and sharing. Everyday we spend time learning, creating and innovating on the iPads and we are loving it! We love using the iPads as a digital resource for reading and showing our reading thinking. Students have discovered reading on Epic! which is the Netflix of books. We have even been making our own sight word books (complete with our very own pictures and voices).

1st graders have been taking their math assessments on the iPads using Google Forms. We have even utilized the iPads as digital white boards to practice number bonds, forming our letters, practice Fundations sounds, numbers and number words.
This isn't even the best part...each first grader has their very own google drive. Students have been uploading their reading thinking, digital projects and math work. We have learned to take pictures, crop pictures, record our thinking and upload to our drives. Yes, this teacher is VERY impressed. Stop by Room 116 and ask us to see our drives.
As you can tell we are simply in love!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dot Day

Yesterday, Fuller Meadow celebrated International Dot Day inspired by Peter Reynold's book, The Dot. Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration. Polka dots, creative dots and even dot socks were everywhere! Check out all the dots in room 116.
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a reluctant student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark". After staring at her paper with no ideas for drawing, the little girl angrily jabs at the paper and says, "There!" Then, this one little dot marks the beginning of this girl's journey to find confidence and courage in her work.

First grade students were given the same challenge today-to make their mark in the world. In order to practice the themes of Dot Day, with a little help from Dr. Carreiro, we did our very 1st Breakout EDU of the school year. Students were split into two teams to work together to solve clues and unlock locks in order to break into the box. During the Breakout EDU, Klipfel & Kids were problem solving, using critical thinking and working on their communication skills. 

Once groups finally broke into the box, they found stylus pens and used them to go make their digital marks. We then read the story and listened to the adorable Dot Song (listen above).
Check out the dots we created by clicking below:
To end our dot-tastic day, 1st graders collaborated to make our mark together and headed to the giant dot on our hot top.
We encourage you to make your mark and see where it takes you...
1st Grade Dot