Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's SUPER TEACHERS!
Have no fear Super Teachers are here!
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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater

1st graders have been working hard on their reading fluency and expression this month with a delightful Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater. We practiced, performed, and then recorded our work, focusing on our expression and fluency.  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 actors and actresses.

Common Core State Standard R.F. 1.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Perfect Plump Pumpkin Alliterations

Our perfectly pretty pumpkin published alliteration are done!  Alliterations are sentences that have the same sound repeated at the beginning of many words. First, we used pictionaries to help brainstorm words that 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 make their own alliterations that went with their adorable pumpkins.

Wait, we weren't done yet. Next, we used the iPads and took a picture of our pumpkins in the courtyard. As a class we recorded ourselves fluently reading our sentences using one of our favorite apps Chappterpix. Make sure to watch our final published piece above.

First Grade Common Core Standard for Writing: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Giant Pumpkin

Last week, we had our very own Klipfel & Kids and the Giant Pumpkin moment. Thank you to Mrs. Lancaster for bringing her father-in-law, Woody Lancaster (who is the former Topsfield Fair Largest Pumpkin Winner) and his giant pumpkin to Fuller Meadow.
Every year, Mr. Lancaster attempts to grow the heaviest pumpkin and enters it in the Topsfield Fair. This year his pumpkin weighed in at 1954 pounds! Most of us were surprised to observe that it looks, smells, and feels much different than a regular pumpkin.
Mr. Lancaster shared his wealth of knowledge about growing such a large pumpkin. Let us tell you it is no easy feat. Surprisingly, giant pumpkin seeds are only double the size of typical pumpkin seeds but it takes lots of planning when finding the right ones to plant. Mr. Lancaster tends to his pumpkins for 4 hours everyday and watches them grow 30 to 40 pounds a day. Each pumpkin needs about 50 gallons of water a day, heated soil and lots of love. Here are the pictures of how his pumpkin plants grow, right in his backyard.

Don't try and turn this huge pumpkin into pumpkin pies. These giant pumpkins and seeds don't taste very good because they are mostly water and not sugar. However, they do make wonderful Jack-O-Lanterns!

The last two years, I was fortunate to help Mr. Lancaster and Mrs. Lancaster carve his giant pumpkins. The pumpkins are so big, I fit completely inside! We're looking forward to carving this year's Jack-O-Lantern face soon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Global Read Aloud Part 2

Global Read Aloud is in full swing in Room 116!  Our first stop was with Mrs. Corliss' third graders and Mrs. Klipfel (yes, she is my lovely and talented mother) 9 miles down the road in Topsfield. We got to know each other by sharing a little about our classes and towns. Topsfield students shared about the Topsfield Fair and we shared Richardson's Dairy facts. It was very impressive to hear these first and third graders discuss their favorite book characters and favorite parts of their shared story.

Throughout all our reading of The Year of Billy Miller we have focused on different comprehension strategies and genre details.  We ventured next door to join Mrs. Higgins' class for a few chapters.  1st graders used their knowledge of the story to make prediction about the story.  As we read we are checking to see if these prediction come true or not.
Mrs. Thomson's class came to visit later in the week and together we worked on determining different parts of the story that make it realistic fiction. 
We ended the week by skyping with our friends 1,807 miles away in Texas.  We shared our week of learning with them and then hung everything up on our GRA bulletin board.  
Does anyone spy the story Grandpa & Bo.  It's another realistic fiction story by Kevin Henkes.  Thanks to Mrs. Thomson for letting us borrow it.
Next time your in 1st grade stop by to check out all our hard work!  If you didn't read about our previous GRA work check it out here

Friday, October 16, 2015


A huge thank you to Mrs. Rullo for her very generous donation of pumpkins for the whole classroom! We decided to make the most of this bountiful harvest and complete different learning activities with our pumpkins. 
First, we turned into scientists to observe our pumpkins.  We used all of our senses - we smelled the pumpkins, felt the pumpkins, and looked at the pumpkins' color, shape, texture, lines, etc. We looked very closely using our magnifying glasses as scientific tools!

Next, we decorated our orange friends and soon we'll use them for some fun fall writing! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pumpkin Adjectives

Clever 1st graders practiced their knowledge of adjectives or words that describe nouns, by making adorable Adjective Pumpkins. Enthusiastic students chose an adjective from the back table and then created a pumpkin that matched that describing word.
Smart students really grasped the concept of an adjective with this activity...thank you Halloween!

Precious 1st graders were even coming up to our adjective wall to use them in their writing pieces.
They couldn't be making their happy teacher prouder!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Writing Process

It looked like a squiggle but it wasn't a squiggle...

We read the story, It Looked Like Split Milk to get ideas for our own writing pieces. Students were given a squiggle line and created a picture around that squiggle. It is always fun to see what the boys' and girls' creative minds come up with. Students' drawings were unique and interesting. Once we completed our pictures, we wrote a sentence to go with our work. Then, we took our sentences through the whole writing process!   We especially focused on revising our writing to make them even better.  Using green pens we revised to add descriptive words and phrases so our work was more interesting.  We used purple pens to edit our capitals, punctuation and spelling.  The pictionaries really helped us to make sure our spelling was fixed.  1st graders are really turning into true authors.

When our writing was published we recorded our draft sentence and then recorded our revised sentence.  Click on our recordings above and make sure to pay close attention to how student's second sentences are much BETTER than their first . What do you see in the squiggle?

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Global Read Aloud

We can officially say we have a friend in Texas, well nineteen friends actually. As part of the Global Read Aloud project, Klipfel & Kids virtually met another group of 1st graders in Texas.  The Global Read Aloud mission is for one book to connect the world. Over the next few weeks we will be reading, doing activities, and working on comprehension skills while reading The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes. 296,000 students, 5,600 different teachers in more than 60 different countries are already signed up to take part in this global project.

Friday afternoon we had our first skype visit to introduce ourselves and talk about the first few chapters of our shared story, The Year of Billy Miller.  Our Texas friends were surprised to hear about our changing fall leaves and we couldn't believe that is was 90 degrees there on Friday!  
To kick off the project, 1st graders used clues from the title, pictures, and cover to make predictions. Now we're ready to take part in Billy's year and are all looking forward to another skype date soon.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Heart Maps

Writer's Workshop has launched in room 116. Students filled in heart maps with topics that they love. These ideas will serve as "seeds" for future writing pieces.
Our heart maps show what is close to our hearts: people, places, events, and memories.

 After finishing our heart maps we chose one "seed" to draw a detailed picture of. We labeled our picture to give the reader more information. Next, we used these pictures to add a caption and practiced going through the writing process. Check out how this caption was revised and edited. Only step left is to publish. Twenty plus days down and we are already becoming excellent writers.