Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Water Cyle

Look right in front of you. Do you see that? Yes, right there all around you.  It's water vapor!  Over the past month, 1st graders have become weather experts.  We transformed into scientists and began a water cycle experiment.  Students were paired up to construct their Mr. Potato head inspired water cup to be filled with water and placed around the classroom. Some experiment cups had nothing on top of them, other had napkins, tissue paper, monkey duct tape and even plastic bags. We need lots of variables for a good scientific experiment.
Once experiment cups were filled with water, students worked as pairs to make a hypothesis about what they predicted would happen to the water in their cup.  Scientists observed all month making notes, diagrams and observations in their journals.  Today was the last day of our experiment because the cup with no covering had only one single drop of water left!  It took a few weeks but the water sure did evaporate.
Not only are 1st graders scientists but they have also turned into meteorologists and learned all about clouds.  We have learned about four main types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus, stratus & cumulonimbus. Students have learned describing words for these clouds, constructed cloud flip books and even went on a cloud QR hunt with the iPads. Once students became experts on clouds, they made their own cloud flip book using cotton balls to make realistic looking clouds then flipped open their books to write describing words.
Do you know which clouds are the dark and stormy clouds? Or which clouds sometimes look like pancakes?
After 1st graders learned all about weather, they used the iPads to go on a QR hunt. Using the app, Qrafter, students worked in pairs to scan the QR codes located around the classroom. When students scanned each code it brought them to a question about clouds. They discussed the answer with their partner and then recorded it on their answer sheet. Try scanning the code below (all you need is any free QR scanning app).
Try scanning this code!
Make sure to take a peek at the clouds with your child. They have tons of cloud knowledge to share! Science is as much fun as being on cloud nine!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Go Sox!

The 2015 baseball season is officially underway!  1st grade friends are hoping our support can lead the Red Sox to another World Series Championship. Opening Day at Fenway Park is always a special day so we took the celebration into the classroom to show a little Sox Spirit!
As part of our poetry unit 1st graders learned the correct form of creating a diamante which ties perfectly with baseball.

two adjectives
three _ing words
4 word phrase
three _ing words
two adjectives

This form of poetry also helps us practice the different parts of speech. As a class we brainstormed baseball nouns. 1st graders came up with everything from Wally to Dustin Pedoria to Fenway Park, even hot dog. We brainstormed adjectives and baseball words ending in -ing. Students then created their own baseball diamante poems to decorate our classroom door.
From all of us 1st graders in Red Sox Nation we wish the Sox the best of luck in their 2015 season. Let's "Play Ball"!

MA State Standard 3A: Writes poems with rhyme and repetition.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Author Visit

Author and illustrator, Mary Newell DePalma visited Fuller Meadow School yesterday. She spoke to students about becoming book creators and how it all starts with an idea that could be sitting right outside your window.  Many of Mrs. DePalma's books are inspired by the outdoors.
Mrs. DePalma also told us all about the writing process, how she gets her ideas, and how a book gets published.  Not only is she an author but she is also an illustrator. She brought the rough drafts of her artwork and even let students touch some of her collages that eventually turned into real pages in her published stories.

In preparation for her visit and as part of Read Across America month, 1st graders read her story A Grand Old Tree. Students then made the different stages of the tree, used transition words and retold the story in order.  We were also so inspired by her visit that 1st graders were able to design their own tree illustrations just like she did.
Once there was a grand old tree...
Check out our talented retelling illustrations!

I wonder where our next story ideas will come from.  Maybe we can start with, once there was a grand little monkey...

Common Core State Standard R.L 1.2: Retells stories including key details and demonstrates understanding of their central message or lesson.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Egg-cellent Activities

Believe it or not, it's springtime.  Even though it may not feel and look like spring outside, we are celebrating spring in Room 116.  This week, first graders were busy learning and working with spring eggs.  We started this week by reading an interactive story, A World of  Easter Eggs on the Smartboard.  It was fun to learn about colored eggs in Ukraine, golden eggs that take over a year to make in Russia and delicious chocolate eggs from Italy.  We even learned that chefs in Argentina made a 28 foot chocolate egg that started melting in the sun!  

Students were given the challenge of finding an object to fit inside a spring egg and write three clues for that object. On Friday, we partnered up with Mrs. Thomson's class to share our clues.  
After we then shared our clues as a class.  I was so impressed with students' thoughtful clues.  Can you guess what was manufactured by the government and made of copper?  Or can be a home for animals and found by sand?

To end our egg-travagant week we met with our Kindergarten buddies and made eggs of symmetry.  Buddies each decorated half of an egg, then traded to make the other half symmetrical.

Happy spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dr. Seuss QR Hunt

Klipfel & Kids ended our Seusstastic month of March with a QR hunt.  Using all our Dr. Seuss knowledge and the Qrafter app, students worked in pairs to scan the QR codes with the iPads.

Once they scanned the QR code it brought them to a Dr. Seuss question that they needed to work together to answer. Try scanning the codes above (all you need is any free QR scanning app for an iPhone, iPad or iPod).

There was lots of Dr. Seuss trivia. Do you know where Dr. Seuss was born or what the first book he ever wrote was? How about the number of words in Green Eggs and Ham? If not, ask your first grader to help.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” -Dr. Seuss