Friday, February 6, 2015

Busy January / Early February!

Wow has it been a busy month since I last posted!
I have a lot to cover in this blog: Martin Luther King Jr., Author visit, fun Science lesson, Groundhog Day,a fun Drexel Math lesson, measurement, and the 100th day of school!!!

For Martin Luther King, we watched Holiday Facts and Fun: Martin Luther King Day (on Discovery Education,) and Our Friend Martin. (I paused the movie a lot to explain things to the students and they asked some great questions!) We also read Martin's Big Words

We talked a lot about Dr. King's dreams.  The students then thought about their dreams.  This is what they created with their dreams:

Then the students did a writing craftivity about Martin Luther King, Jr.  As I do with 98% of the craftivities, the students wrote facts first, then they made their craft!

You can read about what I did last year for MLK by clicking here.


A former first grade student brought my teammate (her former teacher,) a book that her dad had written on healthy eating (vegetables.)  Well we area doing an ongoing nutrition unit this year and we thought this book went along great with what we're teaching!  We asked the author to come in and read the book with the kids and he did!

Here he is in action!

 His book is called Veggie Rhapsody and you can find it here.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I have a magnificent co-teacher and I'm so lucky to have him! Mr. Rivera is very passionate about Science! Once a week, he does a whole group Science lesson. The kids have been eating it up!!!

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Rivera did a lesson on force / motion and push / pull.  He gathered the students in the hall outside my room as there is a ramp there.  After a mini introductory lesson on the topic, he called a few kids at a time to the bottom of the ramp.  The students had to roll a ping pong ball up the ramp.  They talked about the force that was being applied to the ping pong ball and what brought the ping pong ball back down.  Here are some pictures from that.

The final part of this lesson was bringing out my rolling chair, having Mr. Rivera sit in that chair, and having the students try one at a time to push him up the first leg of the ramp.  I only have 1 pic from that because I was busy recording!
I can't even begin to tell you how much fun this was!!!!  The students had a blast and made lots of scientific discoveries and connections!  (Oh yeah, I also had fun because the times that students actually did get him to the top of that part of the ramp, I "carefully" pushed him back down the ramp!! (This of course came with a word of caution to not do this unless it's part of a Science lesson with adult supervision!)

The beginning of quarter 3 math has to do with measuring using non-standard units.  I thought it would be fun for the kids to make a penguin, and then measure that penguin using unifix cubes. This was so easy, so cute, and so much fun for the students!!!

For math, we also like to do a Drexel problem of the week.  (You should definitely check these out!)  Our wonderful staff development teacher came down to demonstrate how to do a Drexel problem.  First she read the problem a couple of times. She had the students read it with her.  Then she asked the students what information they could recall from the problem.  Then she asked students to come up and circle or underline important information we needed to help us solve the problem.

Students were split up into groups where they were given a bucket of materials that they could use to help them solve their problem.  Here are some pictures of them working together!

I was so impressed with their thinking!  Every group thought of a different way to answer the problem and everyone had the right answer.

Here's our SDT acting out the problem with 4 of my babies!

And of course, we brought students up to show their work!

This was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing another problem with my students!

I love Groundhog Day!  The Friday before Groundhog Day, we watched Holiday Facts and Fun: Groundhog Day on Discovery Edu.  We then discussed what a prediction is and I asked the students to predict what they thought the groundhog might predict!!!  I also asked the students what they wanted the groundhog to predict and we did this cute writing craftivity!

For the record, I am happy 99.9% of the time!  I haven't been happy about all of the indoor recess though!

Check out those evil eyes!!!!!

On Groundhog Day, we found out that Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter!  (Bring it! I want 2 more snow days!!!)  Anyway, we read Groundhog Day, by Gail Gibbons.  Fantastic book and great illustrations!  I really like the illustration of the groundhog's burrow - and all of the different chambers!  The students created their own groundhog home and wrote about what was in their home!  Check them out!

I seriously love their homes!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have been in school for 100 days!!! (OK, so today was day 101, but you know where I'm going with this!)

First of all, here's is my 100th day post from last year!

Second of all, I love my team!  We had the BEST time yesterday!  I started off blowing up 100 balloons.  (I used a balloon pump - no worries!!!!)  Thursday morning, my teammate Yenica and I put all of the balloons in the display case in our hallway!  Most of them stuck on the window on their own.  Very few needed a piece of tape:

My wonderful SDT made the beautiful sign!  Yenica and Vonzella hung up the streamers!

I hung up the decorations that I did last year. 
I don't know if you can see the 1 but it's there! I promise!

The students rotated throughout each classroom.  We all had a fun 100th day activity going on.
1.  Making a 100 cup structure! 
All smiles from my girls!

2.  100th day celebration photo booth! (So awesome!)  Here's my pic!
With all of the students, my teammates and I, and the office staff, we had 100, smiling, 100 days smarter photos!

3.  Students wrote their names in 100 squares.  (The activity was from First Grade Wow!)
4.  100 exercises!  I think Christie is still tired from that one!!! (6 classes of 100 exercises each!)
5.  Money activities!
6.  100th day poem / songs / book!

And of course, my amazing team and I had our photo taken outside the display case!

There were a LOT of photos taken for 100th day, but I can't post them all!  One of the ones I wanted to post was of ALL of the first graders in front of the display case!  It is the COOLEST picture ever!!!! :-)

Thank you if you stuck it out and read through this entire post!  I appreciate it! :-)

Here's to an awesome weekend!


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