Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

1st graders have had one fun filled Halloween Day!  Thank you to those who donated to our classroom with delicious food or crafts.  A special thanks to our room mothers for organizing our event.  Costumes are on and we're ready for some Trick-or-Treating. 
Below is our Halloween Spook poem for you to watch.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Plump Published Pumpkins

Our first published piece on the iPads are finished!  Students created, wrote and then published an alliteration.  Alliterations are sentences where the same sound is repeated at the beginning of words. 

First we used pictionaries to help brainstorm words the start with the beginning sound in our names.  We unscrambled funny alliterations on the Smartboard to help us understand that our alliterations must make sense!  Students then wrote a sentence using their words to make their own alliterations.  After our sentences were complete, students wrote them on sentences strips and made an adorable pumpkin to go along with it. 
Wait, we weren't done yet.  Next, we used the iPads and illustrated our pictures using one of our favorite apps educreations.  Students even typed their sentences choosing their color, size and placement.  As a class we recorded ourselves reading our sentences.  Make sure to check out our final published piece above.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Going Batty

We've gone batty over bats in 1st grade.  We started by asking I wonder questions about bats.  There were typical questions such as, "Do they bite?", "What do they eat?" or "What do bats do during the day/night?".  There were also some cute I wonder questions such as, "I wonder how bats get in our house" or "I wonder how bats don't fall".  National Geographics for kids was our resource for learning about these interesting creatures.  Here's your fun fact for the day: One bat can eat almost 600 mosquitoes in 1 hour!
We used our love for learning about bats to help us practice our math facts.  Students were amazed to learn that 3+2=2+3.  Oh the wonders of learning in 1st grade.  Each student was given a number which was called their whole. Then we split our whole into two parts to write an addition sentence.  This addition setence went on one side of their bat.  We then flipped our parts and our bat to write another addition sentence.
We are officially experts on bats.  Although we still don't know how bats get in our house.  I guess that will remain a mystery.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sensory Writing

During Writer's Workshop we have been talking about the 5 senses.  We started by brainstorming Halloween senses. Students discussed what they see and hear on Halloween night.  We also talked about how we feel with all the spooky things going on around us.  The following day we went outside so students could record what they were seeing, hearing, feeling, and touching.  Each student had a flipbook to fill in words or pictures about the senses they were experiencing in the courtyard.  We will continue to use our sensory details to make our writing even better.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Word Families

First graders have been hard at work learning about word families. Word families help us with reading, spelling and phonics. Each student was given a word family to brainstorm as many words as they could. We used rhyming dictionaries and pictionaries to add words to our word family list.  After we worked independently on our word familes, we paired up to work as a team and think of even more words.
Using pictionaries and rhyming dictionaries
We took our word family lists and turned them into word family mummies.  Practice hunting and recognizing word families while you read with your child.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

iPad Apps

We finally have some apps!!  After we did a cheer and a little happy dance, we explored the new apps on the iPads.  Of course one of our favorites was Spelling City.  Now with the app we can play...I mean learn right at our desks.  We also checked out a sight word app to practice matching and reading sight words.  Some students tested out a money app to match, spend and count coins.  I have to say our classroom has never been SO quiet.  I think they like the apps!

Monday, October 15, 2012

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.
Class watermelon with seed sticky notes
Students took their idea and used transition words to break the story into a sequence of events.  Like all good writers we began with detailed pictures.  Next, we added sentences that we revised and edited. We always use green pens to edit our work. All circled words are ones we need to look up in a pictionary.  We also check for capitals and periods.
Small moment story with transition words
After we finished our first small moment story, we brainstormed a big watermelon idea that we could write lots of "seed" stories about.  We took these watermelons and glued them in our writer's notebook to use as ideas for future writing. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bucket Fillers

In Team Time and during our Wellness Block the boys and girls have been discussing bucket filling.  "Bucket fillers" are those who help without being asked, give hugs and compliments, and generally spread their love and good feelings to others.  A "bucket dipper" robs us of happy feelings by refusing to help with a task or by saying or doing cruel things.  Each student brainstormed ways to fill someone elses bucket.

Ways to fill a Bucket:
Giving a smile Kenna
Help someone who is being bullied  Mia
Saying something nice to a friend  Ariana
Include other people who are alone Nicholas
Sharing games with friends  Jake
Include people that are left out  Rebecca
Being nice to one another  Ana
Smile at someone who is sad  Katlin
Include others  Brady
Respect one another  Aidan
Giving your mom a hug  Andrew
Share with a friend  Kurt
Be kind to each other  Rayan
Asking someone to play with you  Liam
Being a good friend at the park  Riley
Include others  Maxwell
Give someone a compliment Olivia
Throw the ball back in at recess so they can play  Emma
If someone does not have a friend you should ask them to be your friend.  Allison

Have you filled a bucket today?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Writer's Workshop

It looked like a squiggle but it wasn't a squiggle...

We read the story, It Looked Like Split Milk to get ideas for our own writing pieces, during Writer's Workshop.  Students were given a squiggle line and created a picture around that squiggle.  It is always fun to see what the boys' and girls' creative minds come up with. Students' drawings were unique and interesting. Once we completed our pictures, we wrote a sentence to go with our work.  Then, we took our sentences through the whole writing process!  We especially focused on revising our writing and making them even better.

Steps in the writing process
Here are our published pieces. Click on the pictures for a close up.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Math has been all about numbers. So far 1st grade math has been filled with writing numbers and number words, comparing numbers, counting and creating number patterns.  During math class we use vocabulary like mathematicians.  Making sure to say 10 is greater than 5 and 5 is less than 10 or that 4 is 1 more than 3.  Currently, we are focused on number bonds.  Ask your child to share their knowledge of number bonds.
Making numbers with our ten frames
Using iPads and cubes to make number bonds
Working on number bonds with math balances on the Smartboard and in groups