Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us in 1st grade!  Thank you for all the adorable Holiday cards and the generous gifts.  Have a wonderful relaxing week with your children.  Please enjoy our Holiday video.  Klipfel and Kids will see you next year.
Click to play this Smilebox greeting
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fairy Tales

Once upon a time in a far away classroom, nineteen first grade students were hard at work writing their very own fairy tales.  In this magical classroom students discussed all the different elements of fairy tales.  There is usually royalty, magic, villains, heroes, spells and sometimes even dragons.
Our Castle Word Wall
It all began with students filling in their castle organizers with title, characters, problem, solution and setting.  While reading a variety of different fairy tales we have been focusing on what the problem in the fairy tale was and how it was solved.

Students then wrote, wrote and wrote some more using all the fairy tale elements.  Some students had Gingerbread Dogs, Big Bad Pigs, magic wands and even a Fairy Godfather.

1st graders then used the iPads to illustrate a detailed cover page.  We included three important parts: title, author and illustration.  
As the story ends, these nineteen first graders kept learning happily ever after!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holidays Around the World

Welcome aboard Klipfel Airlines!  This is your captain, Captain Klipfel, speaking. Please fasten your seat belt and prepare to hear about our Holidays Around the World trip.

This week 1st graders began their trip around the world.  We are creating a Holidays Around the World Scrapbook as we travel on our adventure.
Working on our scrapbook
We began in the United States and discussed traditions and customs of different holidays celebrated.  We then boarded Klipfel Airlines and flew to Mexico.  Students learned about poinsettia plants and holiday piƱatas.
Making our own poinsettia plants
Our next stop took us to France where students put their shoes by the fireplace, like traditional French children. Then we took a short flight to Italy and checked out the Leaning Tower of Pizza, Coliseum and Venice.
We even discovered a prize in our shoes
Our flight on Klipfel Airlines will depart to Germany on Wednesday. We're ready to sing O Tannenbaum, a traditional German song and discover that Germany is famous for their gingerbread men!  Have your child share what new customs and traditions they're learning.

Bon Voyage!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Grinch

The Grinch's heart is two sizes too small, take a look at how we're showing kindness to one and all.  The mean Mr. Grinch has made an appearance in our classroom, with one grouchy face on.  During our Olweus Health and Wellness Block, students discuss ways to include others and be a good friend.  1st graders are showing the Grinch ways to be kind by writing about acts of kindness they see in our classroom.  What better time then the holiday season to remind ourselves that something as kind as a smile can brighten a classmates day.

So many hearts have all ready been filled out and it makes not only the Grinch's heart grow but mine as well.  Take a peak at a few hearts that have already been added to our Grinch.


In the words of one of my precious first graders "Look at the Grinch's heart grow".

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gingerbread Kids

1st graders have been hard at work reading and writing fairy tales.  Some of our favorite fairy tales we have read thus far have been the Gingerbread Boy, Gingerbread Girl, Gingerbread Baby and of course The Stinky Cheese Man (a twist on the Gingerbread Boy).  After reading and comparing all these stories, we had fun with Gingerbread Boys and Girls during math time.  Students graphed which part of the gingerbread man they would eat first.  First, we graphed on the Smartboard which is always fun since the boys and girls like to see who "wins".

We then took our graph and made it life size on the bulletin board.  
We made sure to analyze our results and had a good math discussion.  1st graders also wrote sentences about what they noticed after seeing our finished graph.  

Which part of the gingerbread man do you eat first?  Make sure to add your vote to our poll below.

Which part of the Gingerbread Man do you eat first?


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Room 116 has been having lots of seasonal fun.  Take a stop by to snuggle up to the fire with a good book or a fun iPad app.  Maybe you even want to listen to a story with a handheld CD player or Walkman.  Yes, I still own both and no the students had no idea what either of these electronics were, until now that is.  They are loving being able to listen to a story anywhere in the classroom.
We've changed over our high turkeys and have made snowmen to help us count by twos.  Students brought in objects for their snowman's eyes.  1st graders brought in some very creative eyes.  Objects included gems, googly eyes, pennies, pom poms and even tires.  Our snowy back door helps up skip count by twos.  Make sure to practice this at home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Penpal Letters

As many of you have probably heard we have been writing penpal letters to 2nd grade students in Chelsea, MA.  This has been so much fun for the students and myself!  There is still something to be said about the good old fashioned snail mail.  Towards the end of October we were the first to send off letters introducing ourselves to our penpals.  There were resounding cheers within the classroom before Thanksgiving break when we received our first letters back.  Students were SO excited to read and learn about their penpals, they wanted to share with everyone.
Last week was such a wonderful week in Writer's Workshop.  1st graders were begging for writing time so they could write back to their penpals.  Having my announcement that it's writing time answered with cheers couldn't make me happier.  Students wrote about some of their holiday traditions, their favorites and made sure to ask a question with a question mark.
Student's excitement and curiosity shined through their lengthy writing pieces.  Our letters have been mailed and we're waiting patiently for our next batch.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Junie B. Jones

We finished reading Junie B. Jones First Grader (at last!).  I love reading this book as our introduction to one of my favorite book characters, Junie B. Jones.  In the story, Junie B. finally starts first grade.  She deals with making new friends, having a new teacher (Mr. Scary) and worst of all learning she needs to wear dreaded glasses!  During this read aloud we worked on visualizing what was happening in the story.  It's fun to close your eyes and picture Junie B. Jones running out of her first grade classroom on the very first day of school.  We also worked on making predictions of what we thought would happen.

Once we were finished reading Junie B. First Grader (at last!), 1st graders brainstormed describing words from Junie B. Jones.  1st graders described her with some good descriptive words such as funny, silly, shy, excited and crazy in a good way.  We put these adjectives up around our big Junie B. poster.

In the wise words of Junie B. Jones, "A little glitter can turn your whole day around".

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Before Thanksgiving break we ended the day by playing my favorite game show, Jeopardy!  We took a little field trip and played in the new and improved ampitheater equipped with a brand new Smartboard.  1st graders had a blast reviewing all the different things we've learned so far this year.

Students took turns selecting a category and amount.  Our categories included:

Writer's Workshop

What's the date?
Count on Me
Gobble Gobble
Name that Sound
Miss Klipfel & Mango

1st graders worked as groups to figure out the answer and then wrote it on their iPad.  Groups then turned their iPads around to reveal their answers. For one question, two quarters were shown on the board and students had to write the correct amount.  One group was having a little discussion whether the correct answer was $0.45 or $0.50.  A 1st grader in the group said in a very confident manner,  "I know this! It's $0.50, I did this on IXL."  She was of course correct and made her teacher very proud!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Part of Me

I am SO impressed with the students' Best Part of Me project!  As a class, we read the book The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald.  This book is written by real students and served as great inspiration to us in Writer's Workshop.  1st graders wrote about the favorite part of themselves, we then worked on adding descriptive words to our writing.  After our pieces were published, we recorded ourselves reading our very own writing.  We had a special movie screening this week with Mrs. Carreiro, where students were so proud and excited to see their published work.

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in 1st grade!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Floppy Turkey

Last week we discussed how the Pilgrims and Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoags, lived differently than we do.  We used a variety of books and online sources to help us learn about life back then.

I stumbled upon a stack of old floppy discs and as any good teacher I thought these are cute, colorful and free, what can I do with them?  So with turkeys on my mind we turned them into floppy turkeys.  Students each got their own floppy disc (after learning what a floppy disc was) and feathers to decorate.  I love how different and creative all the turkeys came out. 

On the left side 1st graders wrote something that the Pilgrims or Wampagnoags had then and on the right side they compared it to what we have now.  We brainstormed so many different ideas about how their lives were different than ours.  For example, the Pilgrim boys wore dresses until the age six or seven but now boys wear jeans and t-shirts.  Or that Pilgrims and Wampagnoags played games like ten pin and marbles but now we have computers, TV, iPods and iPads (no more floppy discs though)!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

High Turkey

I was shocked that some friends had never made a hand turkey before. I guess you have to learn everything somewhere and what better place then 1st grade! Check out our hand turkeys.

These turkeys quickly turned into mathematical tools.  We'll use them to help us count by fives throughout the month of November.  Make sure to practice counting by fives at home.  Mix it up by starting at different numbers.  Use your hand turkey to help or nickels to make sure your child really understands how to count automatically by fives. 

Can you find Mr. Nobody's hand turkey?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gobble Gobble

As you may have guessed already, I love holidays.  I enjoy decorating, getting excited for the event, dressing for the occasion and of course celebrating.  But there is something about 1st graders making turkeys that has always been my favorite!  Check out our 1st colorful turkeys of the season.

Last week we took a little time to reflect on what we are thankful for.  Some friends were still thinking about the election while others chose to be thankful for me.  I promise I didn't give them any ideas.

We are Thankful!
I am thankful for the ocean because I love the fish. Riley
I am thankful for voting day because Barack Obama won. Allison
I am thankful for Ariana because she is so so so so so nice. Olivia

I am thankful for Miss Klipfel and my family. Miss Klipfel is my favorite teacher. Aidan
I am thankful for my mom because she makes dinner for me. Kurt

I am thankful for my family because I love my family. Maxwell
I am thankful for my brother because he plays with me. Jake

I am thankful for cats because they play with me and are cute. Kaitlin

I am thankful for Olivia because she colors with me. Ariana
I am thankful for my guinea pig because he loves me. He is thankful for me because he loves when I feed him and when I give him a drink. I love my guinea pig. Liam

I am thankful for my cousin because he plays football with me. Andrew
I am thankful for my kitten because it purrs at me. Mia
I am thankful for my dad because he helps me vote for Romney. Brady

I am thankful for Rebbecca she is my most BFF I like. Ana
I am thankful for my family because my family goes fun places. Kenna

I am thankful for animals because they are pretty. Emma
I am thankful for my dad because he plays sports like soccer. Rayan
I am thankful for my mom because she helps me spell words. Nicholas

I am thankful for Miss Klipfel. She is nice. I like Miss Klipfel she is the best teacher ever. Rebbecca

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reading Buddies

Stuck on a word? In class and in reading groups, we have been discussing different strategies for decoding unknown words.  So far we have focused on S-t-r-e-t-c-h-y Snake, Chunky Monkey and Eagle Eye.  Have your child practice using these reading buddies while you read at home.

Remember, never let the word win!
As some of you may have heard, I have been without my computer this week.  It has a virus and has been under the weather, maybe the hurricane and snow got to it.  Needless to say, I have felt quite lost without it.  We spent one whole day without the Smartboard.  I even did my phonics lesson on the whiteboard.  So I need to end this post with a huge THANK YOU to my Mom (an avid Klipfel & Kids follower) for allowing us in first grade to enter back into the 21st century and borrow her computer for a few days.  Fingers and toes crossed that my computer is back up and running soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Election Day was in full swing in Room 116.  It really was too cute listening to the conversation around political talk yesterday.  Quite some strong opinions from my little friends.  I did have to explain that no Matt Romney isn't a candidate for president.

We started learning about both candidates by checking out some educational sites and videos. Students learned all the rules about becoming president. Some were sad to learn that Justin Bieber couldn't be president (since he's not from the United States or 35 years old).

After learning about the candidates it was time to vote!  Students polled 10 friends and asked them who they'd vote for.  One student informed me  they were voting for Obama because "he's handsome".  After polling friends around the room, students recorded their data by tallying the results and making a pie graph.

We ended our day with Scholastic Time for Kids Let's Vote.  We read the magazine and did an activity to recall information.  It was split right down the middle in our classroom. Now let's see what the electoral college has to say.