Thursday, January 29, 2015


During reading we have been busy exploring nonfiction books.  These books have special features that inform, tell or explain new information to us.  The table of contents, real life photographs, labels, captions, bold print, maps, and glossaries all help us understand the information we're learning.
Using our anchor chart to help us decide if books are fiction or nonfiction
We have done lots of different activities with all these nonfiction features.  We sorted books into nonfiction or fiction.  1st graders went on a scavenger hunt for nonfiction text features and even wrote down nonfiction notes with all the facts we learned.
Working in pairs to hunt for nonfiction features
Make sure to keep looking for these text features while reading at home. Remember, reading is thinking!

Common Core Standard: RI.1.5 Reading: Informational Text Craft and Structure- Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Opinion Writing

In writer's workshop, 1st graders have been working on opinion writing.  1st graders have LOTS of opinions but we have learned that the best opinions are supported with reasons why.  To practice our opinion writing, students first voted on their favorite season.
In these seasonal groups, students then worked together to brainstorm why they like that season.  Many students loved summer for swimming, fall for jumping in leaves and winter for sledding.
Group members working on reasons for why they love their season
Each group wrote their reasons on large chart paper and then presented their work to classmates.  Groups made sure to start by stating their opinion, giving multiple reasons and closing with their opinion. This helped us work on being good presenters and audience members.

We'd love you to leave us a comment with your favorite season and a reason why.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Want to Build a Snowman?

No New England winter is complete without building a snowman.  So this morning, 1st graders took their learning outside.  As a class, we built a snowman (well he was more of an iceman) outside and then brought our new friend into Room 116.  
We made scientific hypotheses about how many hours we thought it would take him to melt.  Then we waited....and observed...and waited...and then observed some more.

 After 8 hours we no longer had a snowman (or as we called him schoolman) but an icy puddle instead.
Before                                                                                 After
Send me a picture of the snowmen you make with all this snow and I will add it to our slideshow below-make sure to check it out from a laptop.  Stay warm!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mystery Skype

Everyone loves a good mystery!  Yesterday morning, 1st graders played guess my number with a mystery class on skype.  No, we didn't go to Canada. No, we didn't go to Texas.  No, we didn't leave Massachusetts.  We didn't even leave Middleton.  Students were shocked to quickly realize it was Mrs. Thomson's 1st graders right down the hall!  Each class had pre-selected a number between 1 and 120 for the other class to try and guess.  We got our 120 charts ready and began asking questions using our good math vocabulary such as greater than, less than, odd, even and between.  Some friends even asked questions about place value.
We finally narrowed it down and Klipfel and Kids is proud to say we guessed the number correct! We look forward to having more mystery skypes soon.  Try playing guess my number at home with the blank 120 chart students have in their folder.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy 2015!


To start the new year off right we brainstormed New Year's resolutions. We discussed how these are goals or promises we make to ourselves for the new year. 1st graders used an organizer to think of personal goals, school goals and goals for friends and family. Then, they picked one resolution and typed it using the iPads onto our Wallwisher.

We would love for you to add your 2015 resolution to our wall. Just double click anywhere on the wall. Then add your name and type your resolution (I need to approve it before it will show up on our wall). Happy New Year!