I have been a First Grade teacher for eleven years. I absolutely LOVE teaching first grade! I am passionate about giving my students opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and exploring the world around them through guided inquiry. I created the blog to allow parents and families to get a glimpse into the daily happenings of our classroom and for other primary teachers to gain ideas to enhance their teaching. With 21st century tools, such as blogs, we can work together to give our students opportunities we never before imagined.
On Wed., Nov. 24th, we celebrated The First Thanksgiving with a feast. We made our own butter and enjoyed yummy food. Days leading up to the Feast were spent creating placemats and hats for our celebration. (Thanks Mrs. Chitwood and Mrs. Wisniewski for your help!) Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out and made food. It was a HUGE success!
Enjoy the slideshow!
Last week students created this Pixie about being a Pilgrim. I was out that day, but how wonderful is it when a guest teacher can lead an activity such as Pixie? For all those teachers out there, you know!
We studied the lives of Pilgrim children throughout the week using the books Sarah Morton's Day and Samuel Eaton's Day. In addtion, our shared reading was Pilgrim Children Had Many Chores.
Thanks to our Technology Director I learned a better way to present Pixie projects. Thanks Lynn!
We have been studying how life during the Pilgrim Times was much different than how we live today. This week we spent two days studying how the Wampanoag Indians used animals in everyday life. I designed this lesson when taking a class on Museum Resources at Miami University two years ago.
This guided inquiry lesson has students observe, question, and make predictions using their schema before diving into "research" materials. The class was divided up into several groups. Each group was given a bone, skull, or body covering to investigate. All items were borrowed from the Hefner Zoology Museum at Miami University. Thanks MU!
I wish you could have heard the "ooohs" and "eews" from the kids! After reviewing what scientists do, these little scientists jumped right in. They observed, then recorded their observations. The scientists also had to record questions before writing a prediciton.
These boys wondered when the animal died.
These girls predicted that their animal was a bear.
This student predicted that the Wampanoag put feathers in their hair.
This boy predicted that the Wampanoag used skunks to make a hat.
I just love their thinking!! Day one ended with a gallery walk to look at all the objects we were investigating.
They next day we reviewed what we had done and shared our questions and predictions. Then I read Tapenum's Day. We closely looked at the photographs and made connections to the book with the objects we were investigating. I also read parts of a smaller book on the Wampanoag.
We had a lot of fun with this lesson! Students developed an understanding of how the lives of the Pilgrims were different than the Wampanoag.
We ended our unit on Shapes with a study of Quilts. This was such a fun week-long study! We began by taking a gallery walk of the quilts brought into our classroom. Students observed patterns created with shapes we had studied all month long. We had quilts with rhombus patterns, square patterns and even hexagon patterns!
We then read books about quilts. Here are a few of our favorite quilt books:
Here is a list of more children's books about quilts:
Our next step was designing quilt squares. Each student designed six quilt squares then chose their favorite to create their quilt.
After choosing their favorite quilt design, students used the square as a guide to create an entire quilt. Each paper quilt was made of nine quilt squares.
What amazing patterns they created! It was so neat to see how other shapes were formed when all nine squares were completed.
We were inspired by The Kindness Quilt to create a Thanksgiving Quilt. Students wrote and drew what they were thankful for and we hung the pieces together to create our beautiful Thanksgiving Quilt.
Today our Investigation lesson focused on four sided shapes. Students learned the meaning of quad and definition of quadrilateral. Wow, was I impressed with their understanding and exploration! Check out this student's work with Power Polygons. She created a design using only quadrilaterals!