Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Big Bad Teacher

Weeks ago the class read several versions of The Three Little Pigs. After reading them, noting the setting, characters, main events, complication, and resolution, the class wrote their own version. They decided on The 17 Little ExploreOrrs and the Big Bad Teacher. I was so impressed with the creativity and cooperation involved in this writing.

Finally, weeks later we took this story and created the movie. The students planned the pictures and recorded the narration. This is their movie in every way.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vowel Sounds

As spellers one of the hardest things for first graders is to hear the vowel sounds in words. To address that we spent a couple of weeks listening to vowel sounds in words. We began with 'a' and listened to find short 'a' and long 'a' sounds. We continued with 'e', 'i', 'o', and 'u'.

After listening carefully to the vowels in words and sorting lots of words, we went back to each letter to see what we noticed. One important thing that came up was that every word has vowels.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our Own Maps

Also recently I wrote about our exploration of maps. The students did such a fabulous job of identifying various parts of maps that I knew we had to take it a step further. So, we headed down to the gym to draw our own maps. Students included all the important things in the gym and a map key or legend to explain it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Worm Wonderings Revisited

Not long ago I wrote about all of our questions about worms. As we had so many questions we needed to do some research. We checked out a variety of encyclopedias and began searching. (I also scanned the encyclopedia articles so that we could all look at them together on the smartboard.)

The students were able to find the answers to many of our questions. Of course, our research led them to many more questions!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


We spent some time recently studying shapes, using our patterns of thinking. We looked at examples of shapes that are symmetrical or not symmetrical and shapes that are congruent or not congruent. Then we sorted other shapes and analyzed what we could learn about symmetry and congruence.

Finally, just for fun, we created a ladybug that is fully symmetrical (the two sides are mirror images of each other).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Knuffle Bunny Videos

As with our field trip to Hidden Oaks, I've now got the video from our Knuffle Bunny field trip. The excitement began on the bus as we neared Washington, D.C. and were able to see the Washington Monument and other fabulous sights. We were even able to see the Kennedy Center as we crossed the bridge.

We entered the Kennedy Center in the Hall of States. Every one of our 50 states has a flag hanging there.

In the theater we had front row seats (but also quite a bit of time to wait). So, we read Knuffle Bunny a Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too a Case of Mistaken Identity. After reading I asked students about their favorite part of the books.

Back at school we took our lunches outside and had a picnic. The day was absolutely beautiful. After lunch I asked students again about their favorite part, but this time their favorite part of our day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our trip to Hidden Oaks was several weeks ago, but I had some technical difficulties getting the videos from the cameras to my computer. Now that the problem is solved you can see more about our great trip. We began in the classroom where we learned about a lot of different animals. In the above video we saw a butterfly.

We learned a song at the end of our time in the classroom. It is about frogs, toads, and salamanders.

After the classroom time we took a nature walk. During the walk I turned the camera job over to the students. At the start we were shown a Native American structure that had collapsed in the snows this winter. The students noticed a caterpillar on the structure and were fascinated.

Then we moved on and talked about ladybugs. After learning a bit about ladybugs each child was given one to set free.

After the ladybugs we moved a couple of logs aside to see all the tiny critters living underneath.

(I thought I had some video from the seed planting part as well but I am currently unable to find it. If I solve this mystery I'll post what I can find.)