Monday, January 23, 2012

Gong Hey Fat Choy

Happy Chinese New Year!
Today we celebrated Chinese New Year. Students were introduced to this holiday. Since we are studying schema, we began by activating our schema and shared what we already know about China. We used Sam and the Lucky Money  and Chinese New Year to guide us in our mini-study.

Students also enjoyed a slideshow of how this holiday is celebrated in China and  around the world. This is the year of the dragon. So in celebration of Chinese New Year, we created dragon puppets.
As you can see, we have a group of very creative students.
Wishing you a year of health, wealth, and happiness!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Well I wish we would have had more snow than ice, but it is still January. Who wants to bet we will have a snow day in March, when we are all ready for rainbows and warmer temps?  Anyway, this Polar Bear is enjoying a winter wonderland in his home in Toledo. Check this out!

Pocket Zoo is a $1.99 app, but they do have a free version, Free! I was so excited when I stumbled upon the app last week. You can click on any animal, see photos, hear the sound the animal makes, and check out LIVE web cams from around the world. How cool is that?!

So on Thursday we hooked the iPad up to the SMARTboard and clicked on the Polar Bear. There are two zoos hooked up for the Polar Bear. The Canadian Zoo had a lot of snow, so we figured we would not see a Polar Bear. I turned on the Toledo live cam. I told the students not to get too excited because I had yet to see the Polar Bear when I was exploring the app. So I began my lesson and all of the sudden the kids begin to shout..."there he is!" I think it was the highlight of our week. We took a screenshot so all of you could see him too. Here is a photo of the lesson.

I cannot wait to use this app when teaching Penguins next week. Can you tell I'm a little excited about this app?
Students are learning much about the polar bear. They were fascinated to learn that the skin of a polar bear is actually black. To help us remember this, students traced a polar bear on black construction paper and colored the polar bear with chalk. We will continue our study on Tuesday.

So earlier in the week, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. The students really enjoyed watching Martin's Big Words on Scholastic BookFlix. I must say, I was moved to tears myself. They played parts of MLK Jr.'s "I have a dream speech."
We also read a biography online about MLK Jr.

We began a new unit in Math.  All about measurement. We learned how to correctly measure the length of an object using nonstandard units.

I'm off to get ready for the exciting week ahead. Chinese New Year, Polar Bears, and Penguins...Oh, My!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Dance

Today we read Snow Dance by Lezlie Evans for our Rounding up the Rhymes book. Each student is going home tonight and doing a snow dance for a snow day. Well, all but one who said she loved school so much she did not want a snow day. (Melt my heart!)

Here is another photo that shows why I love this career. During Reading Workshop, students are to be working independently in their book boxes. I heard some "louder than usual" reading. I turned and saw this...

This is what it is all about!

Speaking Reading Workshop, this week we worked on retelling a familiar book. Students volunteered to model how good readers retell.

We finally finished up our short vowel work this week. We completed several activities, such as picture sorts and making words. Third quarter means long vowels!

In Math we worked on surveys and representations. Students learned how equations show the results of the survey.

Our little scientists continued their study of matter this week with a focus on snow. We had SO much fun making these Borax Crystals. Students created snowflakes out of pipe cleaner. Then we soaked the snowflakes in a mixture of hot water and borax. Students made predictions about what would happen. Some students said nothing, others said it would turn brown. Ask your student about the results. I will post photos soon...because of course I forgot to take some today :).
Here is a photo of the snowflakes soaking in the mixture.

We also watched a video on Snowflake Bentley and made adorable snowmen.

It was a fun week. We will complete a short study on Martin Luther King Jr. and then move onto Polar Animals.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Who Dey!

That was going to be my title when I planned on posting this yesterday. Even though the Bengals lost, we had fun on Friday, supporting out favorite team. I just LOVE this photo! Our Steelers fan was not too happy with all the Bengals fans. They are playing right now.  I think he might have that face when he arrives at school tomorrow morning...Maybe they'll make a comeback.

I couldn't resist taking this photo. The two students who support other teams than the Bengals are Literacy Station partners. The pocket chart station is right in front of my reading table. I just laughed when I saw them working together.
Now onto our week...
Here is our new behavior board. This was taken before we started on Tuesday. 
Our Attendance board for the month of January.

This week we worked on short u.

We also began our data analysis unit in Math.
We sorted buttons by different attributes. The top group sorted by color, middle group by number of holes, and bottom group by size.

We also played Guess My Rule.
His rule was "Big Shells."

Her rule was "Things you can sit on."

He stumped us. Can you guess?...Michigan Colors! HaHaHa!

Here is our January calendar.
We're counting to the 100th Day of school. Less than 20 school days!

Our theme this week is about Matter. We examined the characteristics of ice. Through our experiment students learned about solids and liquids. We also learned that liquids will change shape, but solids will not.

Finally, I will leave you with our New Year's Resolutions. This year we want to stop biting our nails, eat healthier food, and get stronger. Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Welcome 2012! I hope that all of you have enjoyed the holidays, break, and celebrating the new year. I have truly enjoyed every moment of the past two weeks with family and friends. But I cannot wait to see my 23 smiling students Tuesday; I have missed them!

December was such a special month in our room and I wanted to share a few photos that I have not posted and post photos of our holiday party. It looks like we did not do any Math this past month! I will have to make an effort to take more photos of our day to day happenings.

Polar Express Day! We had so much fun wearing our PJ's. Click here to read more details.

We learned about Celebrations Around the World...

Grinch Day was a HUGE hit with the kids. We made Grinches and wrote how we would make the Grinch grin...

We also participated in a very special Holiday Card Exchange. We made and sent 30 holiday cards to classes around North America. In return, we received 30 cards. We had the opportunity to Skype with a few of the classes.
Here are the cards we created. This student was very excited about the project!

The entire first grade participated. We displayed SOME of the cards in the hallway to show where we received cards. You can read more about the project (and see a better photo) on Mrs. Weiler's blog.

The students also LOVED making gifts for their parents! We hope the parents found them as special as we did. I took photos of the students in their PJ's on Polar Express Day. The students glued the photo onto holiday paper and we created a frame out of cinnamon sticks and ribbon.

Now for the Holiday Party. It was a HUGE success! A special thanks to the parent that organized the event and the parents that helped out at the party.

The students made a special frame out of logs.

They made snowman ornaments...

And tree ornaments...

They also played a game.

What fun!

December went by so quickly! It is hard to believe we did all of those special events! I'm looking forward to what is in store this month. We will be learning about matter through a unit on Snow, begin our Data Analysis math unit, and learn about personal narratives. Please check back soon.

Happy New Year!