Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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 below and we'll see you next year
Click to play this Smilebox greeting

Monday, December 22, 2014

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.

Last week, 1st graders began their trip around the world. We have been 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
Last week we also jetted off to Italy and checked out the Leaning Tower of Pizza, Coliseum and Venice.  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
Next, our flight on Klipfel Airlines departed to Germany, where we sang O Tannenbaum, a traditional German song and discovered that Germany is famous for their gingerbread men.  Our layover in Sweden allowed us to learn about Tomte, a traditional Swedish gnome.  Tomorrow, we will fly first class to our last stop, England to make Holiday Crackers.  Have your child share what new customs and traditions they're learning. Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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 Room 116, with one grouchy face. 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. 

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
What better time than the holiday season to remind ourselves that something as kind as a smile can brighten a classmates day.  Look our Grinch's heart grow!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

1st Grade Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a school far far away, our class along with Mrs. Higgins' and Mrs. Thomson's classes wrote one magical fairy tale.  It all began many days ago with our initial collaborative brainstorming session to discuss potential fairy tale elements.  After each classroom wrote one section of the story, we swapped to create illustrations that complemented our peers' writing.  
Klipfel & Kids was responsible for illustrating the middle part of our fairy tale that Mrs. Higgins' class wrote. In partners, students illustrated one or two sentences using a drawing app on the iPad. Once illustrations were completed in all three classrooms, our group fairy tale was ready to be put together in Book Creator using a little extra fairy dust.  1st graders are pleased to present The Princess and the Pearls!  

You may download our fairy tale on any electronic device to add to your digital library or you can view our book as a PDF for reading or printing on a computer.

Option 1: Add The Princess and the Pearls to your digital library.  
Click on the link: The Princess and the Pearls
Then click on Download.
Click Open in iBooks.

Option 2: Read The Princess and the Pearls in PDF form by clicking here.

As the story goes, students and teachers lived happily ever after with a new magical tale added to their digital library to read again, and again and again.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Winter Math

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. 

This month in math we have been focusing on numbers eleven through twenty.  1st graders have been practicing counting, comparing and ordering these numbers.  As a class, we made a life size number pattern and practiced comparing numbers using tens and ones pieces. 
To keep things festive, 1st graders made number dreidels to show off their knowledge of numbers from 11 to 20.  Students practiced using ten frames, grouping by tens, number sentences, tally marks and number words to represent these numbers.
Visit spelling city to practice spelling and reading number words from 11-20.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gingerbread Kids

Run, Run as fast as you can, you can't catch us, we're the Gingerbread Kids.  Some of our favorite fairy tales we have read thus far have been the Gingerbread Boy, The Gingerbread Girl and of course The Stinky Cheese Man (a twist on the Gingerbread Boy).  After reading The Gingerbread Girl, 1st graders each took a different part of the story to retell using one of our favorite apps Drawing Box.  When students were done creating, they put their pictures together to retell the story in sequence.  1st graders focused on illustrating the background to show off the important setting as well as adding details to their characters.
Sequencing The Gingerbread Girl
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. We started with a class graph on the Smartboard.

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.

Most 1st graders would eat the head first.  The least number of students would eat the arm first.  Two more students would eat the leg first instead of the arm.  Which part of the gingerbread man do you eat first? Make sure to add your vote to our poll below.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Fairy Tales

Princes and princesses of 1st grade have been royally enjoying exploring the elements of fairy tales.   We discussed how fairy tales are made up stories that usually have magical elements and often contain the number 3 or 7.  1st graders have been reading many different traditional fairy tales as well as some funny fractured tales.  Klipfel & Kids along with Mrs. Higgins' Class and Mrs. Thomson's class are writing our very own group fairy tale.  We began with a collective brainstorming session to discuss possible story elements.

After coming up with some magical ideas, each class had to determine which part of the fairy tale they would write.  Here is how we broke the story into three parts: The Beginning, Middle and End.

Klipfel & Kids got the beginning and were responsible for writing about the characters and setting. Wait until you hear about our beautiful princess, evil prince and his pet, Harry the fire-breathing dragon.  
We anxiously waited for the middle and ending to be written.  We were so excited to hear what happened with our characters.  We are happy to announce they are complete and now we are ready to illustrate.  Even though we wrote the beginning of the story, we will now be digitally illustrating the middle.  This really is one collaborative project!  Stay tuned for our first grade fairy tale coming to an iPad near you soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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 and students were so excited to see their published work. Enjoy!

Common Core Standard 4. Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Writing 1.3: 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
Production and Distribution of Writing 1.6: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Klipfel and Kids along with Mrs. Thomson's 1st graders had a magical opportunity to skype with Mrs. P today. Mrs. P's Magic Library came to life at Fuller Meadow. You may recognize Mrs. P as actress Kathy Kinney. When she isn't sitting in her library, wearing her fancy clothes and glasses you may have seen her on the TV. Mrs. P provides a wonderful opportunity for teachers from all over to connect with her on Skype in the Classroom.

 Before our visit her elves even sent us fancy bookmarks that look like a movie pass.
Mrs. P began by telling us a secret, "If you can tell a story, then you can write a story." After asking Molly and Sophia about their pets (3 dogs together) , Mrs. P used her imagination to tell an entertaining story with them (and their dogs) in it. "Once in a land that was always orange...".

Mrs. P taught us not to let our imagination get "flabby". She even helped us give it a stretch. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about story telling and writing. We look forward to continuing to use our imagination to write stories, poems and songs.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


1st graders have been busy exploring 2D plane shapes and 3D solid shapes.  Students worked on distinguishing shapes by defining and non defining attributes.  As part of our Math in Focus program we explored, identified and described plane and solid shapes. Students took plane and solid shapes to compose pictures.  Partners worked on using good math vocabulary to discuss how many sides, vertices, edges and faces these shapes have.

Students then took cut outs of plane shapes to compose pictures in their math journals. Students counted the different number of triangles, circle, squares and rectangles in their creative pictures.
You can even make a monkey out of shapes!

Our shape creating fun led us into a great discussion about the 2D and 3D shapes we see at school, at home and all over the world.  Our easy button is really a cylinder but has a face of a circle.  The orange tissue box is a rectangle prism with 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices!
What shapes do you see around you?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Global Read Aloud

For our final Global Read Aloud project, 1st graders illustrated their favorite part from our beloved book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  As a class we began by retelling Edward's journey using our transition words.  Students then used the iPads as a digital tool to create their detailed illustrations. Once illustrations were complete, students typed a sentence describing their favorite part.  We put our illustrations together based on when the events occurred in the story.  Check out our final project created in animoto.

After our animoto video was complete, we tweeted it out to all the other global read aloud participants.  Even though we have finished reading the book, Edward's journey not only changed him but changed us as readers too. As Edward learned to love throughout the story our hearts grew. As Kate DiCamillo wrote and Edward needed to learn, "Open your heart. Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart."

Common Core State Standard RL 1.2 Retells stories including key details and demonstrates understanding of their central message or lesson.  RL 1.7: Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Personal Narratives

Personal Narratives are stories we write about ourselves. Rather than writing large watermelon narratives we have been focusing our ideas into "seed" stories. 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 seeds on a sticky note and added them to our class watermelon.
Students took their idea and wrote a detailed story using transition words to show the sequence of events. Like all good writers, we began with detailed pictures. Next, we added sentences and used a green pen to revise and edit our work. All circled words are ones we need to look up in a pictionary. We also checked for capitals, periods and ways to make our writing better.
Part of making our writing even better is including sensory words in our stories.  We visited the leaf covered courtyard 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.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Edward Tulane

As part of the Global Read Aloud Project we have continued to practice our reading comprehension strategies while reading our shared book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  Students have loved traveling with Edward from the bottom of the ocean, to a fisherman's house, into the trash and even on the road with a man and his dog.  We took all our character trait knowledge to write letters from Edward to different characters from the story.  Students did an excellent job putting themselves in Edward's shoes and writing about how he was feeling and thinking.

We have continued to connect with our friends in Texas to share our thinking with one another. We make predictions, ask questions and even make some very strong inferences. Our comprehension skills are improving daily.  We're looking forward to our next Friday skype date!

Common Core Standard R.L 1.9: Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.   R.L 1.6: Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reader's Theater

1st graders have been working hard on their reading fluency this month with a delightful Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater.  We practiced, performed, and then recorded our work.  We even got a little fancy and used a green screen while recording to add a real pumpkin patch to our movie.  Check it out below.

Make sure to be on the look out for these future Hollywood actor and actress.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from your favorite 1st graders! Thank you to those who donated to our Halloween Party with delicious food or games. A special thanks to our room mother for organizing our event and all the parents who helped during the big party. Costumes are on and we're ready for some Trick-or-Treating.

Leave us a comment with the total number of candy you collect tonight!  You can even tell us how much candy you already ate.  Stay tuned for our Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater coming to a theater near you very soon.

 Just as Pete would say, "It's all good in 1st Grade!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Perfect Plump Pumpkin Alliterations

Our first published piece on the iPads is complete. Students created, wrote and then published an alliteration. Alliterations are sentences that have the same sound repeated at the beginning of many 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 to making 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 independently typed their sentences, picked their color, size and placement. As a class we recorded ourselves fluently reading our sentences. Make sure to watch our final published piece above.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nanananana Batweek

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 bats bite?", "Do bats eat meat?" or "What do bats do during the day/night?". There were also some clever 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 week: 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. First we worked on our understanding of the commutative property of addition. 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 sentence went on one side of their bat. We then flipped our parts and our bat to write the turn around fact. Amazingly 1+3=3+1!
Our love of bats also helped us with our math fact families. Students were given bats with different parts on their wings. 1st graders were challenged to create fact families and number bonds to accompany their bats.  This helped us work on related math facts!
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.