Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Science: Musical Instruments

In science we learned about how sounds can be created by vibrations. We began by exploring the instruments.

After exploring we tried different ways to stop the sound. After a bit students realized that the movement of the instrument was what mattered. Their thinking was fabulous!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Readers' Theater

Before the snowstorm we were working on a couple of readers' theaters. A readers' theater is something like a play. Students read aloud their parts using good expression. We practiced reading fluently and as the character would sound.

The snowfall put a snag in our plans and we had to return to our readers' theaters after a long break.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Editing Earphones

Rereading our own work to make sure it makes sense and to fix any mistakes we might notice is a real challenge for first graders. Often students will bring me their work and as they read it to me they will immediately want to change things. In order to help them take responsibility for their writing we have begun using editing earphones. They can read their writing in whispers into the earphones and hear it clearly. They have also been using the earphones to help themselves hear the sounds in words they are trying to spell.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Math Centers

For the past few weeks we've been working on the concept of 10s and 1s in numbers. We've had five different centers working to support this concept (and others).

One center uses the instruments we've studied in science (another coming post). The students have counted by 2s, 5s, and 10s as they played the instruments.

Another center involved creating numbers with 10s and 1s blocks.

In another center students used playing cards. They turned over two cards each and created a two-digit number. The student with the larger number gets to keep the cards.

We have one center that involves exploring with a math manipulative. Recently we have been using unifix cubes. The students have created towers, made patterns, and pictures.

Our last center is on the computers. The students have been able to use either a site with ten frames or a concentration game with numbers up to 10.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Dream Gardens

After working so hard on our garden we have been really excited about the possibilities. At our last visit with our buddies their teacher showed us bunches of pictures of different gardens. Then we worked together to create pictures of what we would like for our garden to become. The pictures were amazing! Now we have to figure out how to make it happen.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Science Venn Diagrams

As the seasons have moved from fall to winter we have talked a lot about what we noticed. We used pictures and words to create Venn diagrams of fall and winter. (You can click on the pictures to see slightly larger versions.) I was very impressed with the students' thoughtfulness and observations.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Researching New Books

After the fabulous success of our plant books we were energized to write more! I brought bunches of books back from the library to get ideas. We spent a few days learning to research and find information in order to write books in our own words. I was really impressed with how hard everyone worked looking at the pictures and reading the text to find information.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Plant Books

We wrote a class book about fruits and vegetables that come from plants (the video of it will follow soon). Then each student wrote their own book about plants (their videos will follow soon as well). All of these books are now in the school library where anyone can read them! It is really exciting!

Mrs. K's class was our first audience. We shared our books with them when we placed them in the library. It was great to have others enjoy our books.