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.
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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.