Friday, December 20, 2013

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 vacation with your children.  Klipfel and Kids hopes you enjoy our holiday video and we'll see you next year.
Click to play this Smilebox greeting
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fairy Tales

Once upon a time in a far away classroom, seventeen first graders were hard at work writing their very own fairy tales. In this magical classroom, students discussed all the different elements of fairy tales. Unknown things such as royalty, magic, villains, heroes, spells and sometimes even dragons became part of everyday lessons.
Fairy Tale Word Wall
It all began one snowy day with students filling in 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 Big Bad Gorillas, magic bananas and even a Fairy Dogmother.
1st graders then illustrated a detailed cover page.  They really needed to imagine the characters and setting of their magical tale.
As the story ends, these seventeen first graders kept learning happily ever after!  

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Klipfel Airlines

Welcome aboard Klipfel Airlines! This is your captain, Captain Klipfel, speaking. Please fasten your seat belt and prepare to hear about Holidays Around the World.
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.  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.
Working on our scrapbook
Our next stop took us to France where students put their shoes by the fireplace, like traditional French children.
We even discovered a prize in our shoes
Later this week we'll jet set off to Italy and check out the Leaning Tower of Pizza, Coliseum and Venice.  Our flight on Klipfel Airlines will also depart to Germany. 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 16, 2013

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 Baby and of course The Stinky Cheese Man (a twist on the Gingerbread Boy).  1st graders and Kindergarten buddies created iPad illustrations and sequencing activities to go along with the Gingerbread stories.

After reading and comparing all these stories, we had fun with Gingerbread Boys and Girls during math time. Students imagined running after that quick gingerbread boy and going snip, snap just like the fox.  1st graders then 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?

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Snowy weather has put students in room 116 in the seasonal spirit. Take a stop by to snuggle up to the fire with a good book or an educational iPad app.  We've changed over our high-five turkeys and have made snowmen to help us count by twos.  1st graders brought in some very creative eyes to help us skip count by twos. 
1st grade mathematicians have been discussing defining and non-defining attributes for plane and solid shapes.  1st graders have been investigating the number of sides, number of vertices, color and size.  We've even hunted for these shapes around the classroom.
Check out all the circles we found!
With our discussion of shapes, 1st graders have also been learning about symmetry.  Lines of symmetry divide shapes into two equal parts.  1st graders can partition shapes into halves and fourths.
Hunting for the line of symmetry.
1st grades experimented with making pictures out of shapes.  Students were very creative making robots, flowers and many different animals.

Hunt for plane and solid shapes or try going on the hunt for line(s) of symmetry at home.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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 discussed 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 than 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".

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Pen Pals

There were resounding cheers within the classroom this week when we received our first penpal letters. This was so much fun for the students and myself! Old fashioned snail mail really is lots of fun.  Students were excited to read and learn about their penpals.  We were shocked to learn that many of our penpals like the same color, food and sports as us.

This 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
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We are Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving from all your 1st grade friends.  There are so many wonderful people and things we are thankful for each and everyday.

I am thankful for my lovable first grade family.  Happy Turkey Day!
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Best Part of Me

1st graders should be SO proud of their 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 inspiration to us in Writer's Workshop. 1st graders wrote about their favorite part of themselves, then worked on adding descriptive words to their writing. After our pieces were published, we recorded ourselves reading our very own writing. We had a special screening today with Mrs. Higgin's 1st graders, our Kindergarten buddies and Mrs. Carreiro, where students were so excited to see their published work.  Enjoy!
Click to play this Smilebox greeting

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Friday, November 22, 2013

K Buddies

1st graders have begun working and meeting with their Kindergarten buddies.  We love Thursdays when Mrs. Newton's class comes to visit.  
So far buddies have shared poetry binders, shared a reader's theater skit and explored the iPads.  
This week in order to get ready for Thanksgiving, buddies designed beautiful feathers for Tom the Turkey.  Buddies sat together and discussed different people, things, and places they are thankful for.  After their discussion students designed a thankful feather with pictures, words or labels.  Check out how beautiful Tom turned out!

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Floppy Turkey

1st graders have been discussing how the Pilgrims and Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoags, lived differently than we do.  It was pretty hard to learn life hasn't always been iPads, computers and fast cars.  We used a variety of books and online sources to help us learn about life back then compared to life now.
With old floppy discs still laying around and the fact that I love to put free things to good use, 1st graders created floppy turkeys.  After it was clarified that a floppy disc is not a calculator or a camera and no the disc inside does not come out to play a movie, students got busy decorating feathers.

On the left side, 1st graders wrote something that the Pilgrims or Wampagnoags had then and on the right side students 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 of six or seven but now boys wear jeans or shorts.  Pilgrims and Wampagnoags played games like ten pin and marbles but now we have computers, TV, iPods and iPads but thankfully no more floppy discs only floppy turkeys.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Character Adjectives

For our final Global Read Aloud project, 1st graders illustrated a character from our beloved Marty McGuire book.  Students used the iPads as a digital tool to create these detailed illustrations.  Once illustrations were complete, students thought of adjectives to describe their character.  Check out our final project created with a new app animoto.
After our animoto video was complete, we tweeted it out to Kate Messner, the author of Marty McGuire.  Kate Messner then posted and tweeted about our wonderful artwork!  Check out her tweet:  

After viewing Kate's blog and watching her author videos, we were ecstatic that she acknowledged our hard work.  Twitter might be one of our new favorite things! 
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Give Me Five, Turkey!

I am always shocked that some students have 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 from any number. Use your hand turkeys to help or nickels to make sure your child really understands how to count automatically by fives.
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