Monday, January 31, 2011

What to do on a snow day??

I have been sitting here wondering what to do on a snow day.  Then suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks!  Donors Choose!  I just submitted my FIRST request for Donors Choose.  I hope my project gets funded.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Science posters

How we start our science units

Then we generate questions about our "big idea" and decide if our questions are researchable or testable.

Then we make claims based on our questions.  With our data we find out the facts.

With our evidence is how we interpret the data and see if our claims are supported or wrong. 

Then we revisit the concept map and make changes as our questions are answered.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SWH (Science Writing Heuristics)

In Science we use the SWH approach.  We start with a "big idea" usually the benchmark/standard put in kid-friendly terms.  Then we "get at what they know"  In my class we do this in a variety of diferent ways.  We make concept maps, we fill out KWL charts, we write down our ideas about something, and the newest one that I have done is labeling a diagram. 

I started this unit off by using Kidspiration and having them sort pictures into 3 categories: living, nonliving, and was once living.  We then started with the smallest group to cover, "was once living" 
The students then filled out a concept map
We then got back together as a class and listed what we thought was once living. 

We chose dinosaurs to learn more about.  The next goal was getting at what they knew about dinosaurs.  At first I was just going to list what they said, but they sat there not quite sure how to begin.  So I drew some "scary looking" dinosaurs and asked them to help me label them.  This helped out a lot!  We were running short on time so I had to cut them off. 

The next lesson was to talk about the questions that we had about dinosaurs.  Since we aren't experts on the subject we had a lot of questions.  I tried to limit them to 1 or 2 questions each.  I got a variety of questions which helps with the research!  We then went through the questions to see which one we needed to answer first. 

Next week will will start our research and see how many questions we can answer.  And then create our dinosaur books.  We are hoping to consult with some experts, our kindergarten teacher will be one of our guest speakers to talk about the Mastadon bone found in her childhood schools town, and we hope to skype with a palentologist about their job and dinosaurs. 

Celebrate good times! Come on! It's a celebration... the 100th day!

I could barely sleep last night anticipating the excitement of our 100th day!  We have been counting down the days and working on some projects to share with our classmates and members of our school. 
On Tuesday, a GREAT volunteer came to my room to help us out!  We made pictures of what we thought we would like like when we are 100 years old and then wrote about it.  Here are a few of our creative creations. 

This was SO fun to see them do and hear their stories.  One student wrote that he will be a Great Grandpa and then he will be in a graveyard and under the ground forever and ever and ever.  I asked him about this, and he said that 100 is more than 86 and so he would be dead, or REALLY REALLY old. 

Another project that we did was 100s collections.  This year I had some VERY creative students!  One student brought in 100 silly bands, we had 100 Thomas stickers, 100 pennies, 100 M&Ms, 100 fruit loops, 100 BB's, 100 gem stones, 100 beads, 100 googlie eyes.  They were all fun to share. 

And THIS is only the BEGINNING of our fun!


These are a few of our classroom models!
We had a whole day of 100s activities. 
We journaled 100 things we have learned in 1st grade. 
We read 100 books (between 4-5 per student)
We were authors/illustrators of our 100s book.
We wrote the room of 100 words we could read and spell.
We put together 100 piece puzzles.
And that was just the morning!!!

 In the afternoon we listened to 100 seconds of music, predicted where 100 steps from our classroom would be, and then measured it.  There was 5 students that came within 5 feet of the actual 100th step. 
We counted by 5s and then by 10s, we rolled some dice, added and made tally marks.  We went on a scavenger hunt for 100 kisses and 100 jolly ranchers.   

And we ate about 100 grams of sugar at our 100s party!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friendship Group.

This year in my classroom we are really focusing on friendship and what it means to be a friend.  
Our AEA gal Val, has been coming in to help us with this.

We started off reading How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson and talking about all of the ways the character lost their friends.  We then created a list of things to do to KEEP our friends. 

The list my kiddos came up with were great!
1. Be polite, use your manners.
2. Smile LOTS!
3. Be a good sport.
4. Be helpful.
5. Be honest and tell the truth.
6. Share with others.

Each day we talk about the ways to keep friends and how we can do that during each day.  After our holiday break we started bucket fillers.
     We read the book:  
And made our buckets (using the bucket template from Mrs.Walkers Frog-tastic website.  We also use the bucket filler notes from this website also.  
After reading the book we created our buckets and put them in a pocket chart.  The kiddos were then told that they could fill out bucket notes for members of our class.  They could only write 1 to each student.  We waited all week, from Thursday to Thursday.  Students put their finished notes into a bucket for me to "proof".

 After our friendship group meeting about ways to fill and dip buckets, we got into a circle and got to read our bucket notes.  Here are a few pictures of my kiddos reading their notes:  
We are DEFINITELY planning on continuing to do this EVERY week.  The looks on their faces as they read their notes.  Some of them never knew that they filled the buckets of their peers.  Their "love tanks" were filled by their classmates.  It was truly awesome to see.  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pictures of our shirts!

 Making our 100th day shirts was TONS of fun! Our volunteers were GREAT!  Thanks so much!

 Our Final Product!