The Stars of First Grade!

Twinkle twinkle little star, ask my first graders what stars are! (They’ll be able to tell you!) 🙂

We’ve been spending this science unit learning all about stars. Specifically, constellations. I posted earlier about a fun constellation game you can play to find them in the sky. The kids loved playing it in class!

We also made constellation flash cards. On one side were the stars and on the other side was the picture of the constellation (Or at least it should have been that way…. upon the kids cutting them out, I realized I’d copied them wrong and different pictures were with different constellations. Oops. Problem was quickly solved when the students had to “find” it’s match on a different card- always think on your toes!) 😉

After, I passed out white boards and the students practiced drawing the constellations from the cards.

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

I was seriously so impressed with how they did. The kids are SO INTO constellations, and it just goes to show- when kids are interested, they are engaged!

(P.S. They’ve been drawing constellations all the time now. Everywhere. All the time. Like on their math papers, in art class, on their desks, in their journals. It’s really cool to see them like something so much!)

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Constellation Drawing

Mostly I took the time to do this practice so the kids would be prepared for the next day’s activity.

So the next day, I told the students we would be using what we already knew about constellations and creating/drawing our very own! The kids were so excited!

I passed out blank drawing paper and told them they could only use 10 stars in their constellations. I did this for two reasons: 1. I didn’t want the kids to just “draw” and then put tons of dots all over it and say it was a constellation. and 2. I only had enough star stickers for each kids to use 10. 🙂

They got to work drawing, erasing, and re-drawing their very own, original constellations.

 

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

They also got to pick a name for their constellation. This was good practice to talk about how titles get capital letters- always sneaking in some extra learning 😉

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

This was such great practice on higher level thinking. The kids really had to understand what a constellation is and how it isn’t an exact picture. Then, they had to plan out a new shape/person/animal/object of their own using what they already knew about constellations. Applying their knowledge in new ways like this promotes creativity, originality, problem-solving skills, and is just plain fun!

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

Creating constellations

The following day, the kids got their sketches back (I’d helped some of them with their spelling in the titles), and I modeled how to use their drawing to draw it larger on a black sheet of paper.

Then, I showed the kids how to put a silver star sticker on each “point” they had drawn. Finally, I told them to connect the stars using a white crayon. As soon as I was done talking, they were off!

Adding stickers!

Adding stickers!

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

Adding stickers

The projects were almost complete! The last day of the project, the students had to write about what they created. This fits in with the Common Core writing standard 1.W.2 (I can write explanatory texts). Meaning, the students could write about what they had made, what it looked like, what shape it was, etc.

After stapling those to the bottoms, the projects were done! Here’s a look at them hanging up in the hall…

Our objectives

Our objectives

The Penguin

The Penguin

One student made a penguin. Take a look at her writing, cracks me up!

The penguin

The penguin

The Girl

The Girl

The writing with The Girl

The writing with The Girl

Other constellations included….

The Pretty Girl in the World

The Pretty Girl in the World

The Puppy

The Puppy

The Cat

The Cat

The Monster

The Monster

The Crayon

The Crayon

And all together…

Hanging up!

Hanging up!

I loved this unit and I know my kids did too! They are so into constellations and finding out more about them. There are some good videos on YouTube and BrainPop for teachers looking for more to show their students.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maria’s Magic Hat: Our Reader’s Theater Play

 

I wanted to pop in to share the link to our class reader’s theater play. The kids were so excited to film this last week and I spent the weekend putting it together. I showed them the video today and they loved seeing themselves and their friends on the screen.

 

It’s called Maria’s Magic Hat and it’s about a birthday girl, Maria, who gets a magic hat from a store owner, Mr. George. When she puts the hat on, she turns invisible! But, she quickly learns being invisible isn’t as great as she thought. 

 

Since it’s too big of a file to upload, I uploaded it to YouTube. Check it out in the link below!

 

 

Maria’s Magic Hat- Reader’s Theater Play

I’m going to be doing these types of plays with different guided reading groups throughout the year. This was the first group to do it, but throughout the year, other students will get the chance to be the main characters and read the lines.

 

All the kiddos worked together to create the backgrounds and “costumes”. It was a really fun, group project and I think it turned out wonderfully!

Just Fit Winners, Comparing Numbers, and Stars!

Whew! Can you tell from the title of this blog post how busy we are? Each day is jam packed with so much, but at the same time, we’re learning tons and having fun!

To start, check out this picture:

Champions!

Champions!

WE ARE THE JUST MOVE CHAMPIONS THIS MONTH!!

What does that mean? For starters, it means we are very excited (see the picture above). 🙂

Secondly, it means that for the month of October, we did the most moving (exercise) in our classroom than any other class in our school. (We keep track of all of our moving for the month and compete against all of the classes in the school)

Third, it means we get to keep the “Traveling Trophy” in our room all month. Can you spy the trophy in the middle of the picture? The kids are so excited we won this month! We do A LOT of moving in our room because:

1. It’s great exercise and keeps us healthy! and

2. We NEED to do a lot of moving in first grade. It helps get out our jiggles and wiggles and keeps us focused!

Place Value Sliders and Comparing Numbers

We’ve working hard on the Common Core math standard 1.NBT.2 (Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones)

We’re also working on standard 1.NBT.3 (Compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <)

To combine these ideas together, the students started by making a tens and ones “slider”, where they could move the numbers to make different 2 digit numbers (For interested teachers- I found them at this blog: Numbers Sliders and just cut off the hundreds box, since we’re only dealing with tens and ones)

Slider

Slider

Slider

Slider

As you can see, the kids can adjust each number line, in the tens place and the ones place, and create different amounts.

Slider

Slider

Slider

Slider

To start, I called out different numbers. The kids adjusted their sliders to create that number. After a while, I had a student call out a number and everyone made it.

Slider

Slider

Then, we changed up the game so the students could practice comparing numbers using the symbols <, >, and =.

First, the kiddos paired up. I showed them how to each make a number on their own sliders (and not show their partners- no peeking!) 🙂

Next, they put down their sliders and looked at the two numbers. They had to compare the numbers and use the symbol cards, <, >, or = to compare the two numbers that were made.

Slider

Making numbers

Comparing numbers

Comparing numbers

The kids repeated this process again and again!

Comparing

Comparing

Comparing

Comparing

The kids really enjoyed this! It gave them a chance to practice place value and also comparing numbers. They thought it was really fun and kept saying they “won” if their number was bigger! 🙂

Comparing

Comparing

Stars

Stars

Stars

We’re still learning about space in science, and right now we’re focusing on stars. We’ve been reading lots of great books, watching fun video clips, and having great discussions about stars.

As a review project, we created a star project to review what were true facts about stars and what was false about stars. Together, we read the sentences and decided which ones were real facts.

The kids cut out the facts and glued them around a big star in the middle. Of course they had to color them in. They loved coloring the stars different colors and mixing the colors together so it looked “like gas”, or so they told me. 🙂

Stars

Stars

Stars

Stars

Stars

Stars

This activity can be found for FREE in my science support pack on TpT here: SCIENCE FREEBIE

Stars

Stars

Stars

Stars

I loved seeing the creativity and how each students looked uniquely their own.

Now we’ve moved on to constellations. Here is a game we’re going to play together in class tomorrow, trying to find the constellations in the night sky: Constellation Hunt

Play it at home and see what you child can find!

That’s it from us! Thanks for checking out what we’re doing in class! See ya around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Been Going On….

This post is really going to be a hodge – podge of what we’ve been doing lately in first grade. I swear, each week and each day just keep getting more and more busy! I haven’t been taking as many pictures of things we’ve been doing, but here are some quick recaps of what has been happening with us…

 

Science

We are still in our “space” unit, which the kids are loving by the way! Check out this awesome YouTube clip about the sun we watched: I’m Hot

The kids were lovin’ it 🙂

One day we also made a foldable to record some facts we’d learned about the sun.

The front...

The front…

Here in one student’s on the inside…

Flaps open!

Flaps open!

We brainstormed the facts together, so all the kids wrote down the same things. Then, they got to illustrate them on their own. I love seeing how each student’s pictures are similar, but also unique.

It's a star

It’s a star

it is bright

it is bright

It's made of hot gas

It’s made of hot gas

So far away!

So far away!

Now we’re focusing on stars. It’s a good transition, because since the sun is a star, the kids already know so much!

Figures of Speech

It was raining cats and dogs today! Really, it was! I’m not pulling your leg! (Like my use of those figures of speech there? Tricky huh?) 😉

Well, I’ve noticed that many of my students really have not heard or don’t understand  figures of speech. These are things we might not say all the time, but something I definitely noticed on my kids last MAP test. So, as a way to introduce them to these funny sayings, I’m trying something new…

Figure of speech

Figure of speech

I’m going to be posting a new figure of speech each Monday. We’ll quickly talk about what it means and then try to use it all week. I can tell it’s already working because today, as many students were trying to talk to me at once, a little boy said from his desk, “Hey, you guys all need to hold your horses!” How perfect is that!? I’m hoping this will help me introduce some and make my kids more aware of them in life.

Reading Strategy of the Month

We’ve finished our questioning strategy –I feel like we’ve been asking questions forever!– and now we’ve moved on to summarizing! We’re starting with fiction summarizing first, so I decided to start with introducing beginning, middle, and end.

Summarizing

Summarizing

Today we read a story we’ve read a few times before, Caps for Sale, and the kids really listened for what happened first, in the middle, and the last part of the story. The kids did great! We’re going to be practicing this for a few weeks, so at home, ask your child to retell a story by stating the beginning, middle, and end!

Reading Posters

I’ve put up a few new things I wanted to share. Starting with, some fiction and non-fiction reading posters!

Fiction

Fiction

I like having an anchor for when we talk about fiction stories and the parts of a fiction story. The illustrations help the kids see the different parts and give a visual cue on their meaning.

And the non-fiction posters…

Non-fiction

Non-fiction

I love having the text features posted! Not only does it help the kids, but it reminds me to spend more time on them. For example, I never remember to talk about the “heading”, but the posters will help cue me too!

Goals

For the grad class I’m in, I’ve had to do some observations in other people’s classrooms lately. While it’s been hard giving up my planning time, it’s really been great spending time with other amazing teachers. In one room, I loved how the teacher had all of their goals posted. In our class, we do talk about our goals, but I never had them posted in the room before. Now, that’s all changed…

Goals!

Goals!

I picked the 5 most important goals for us and posted them in the room, starting with the biggest- our reading goal! We want the first graders to leave us reading 60+ words per minute. I’m so glad I posted it, because it’s reminding me to talk about it every day now! The kids know that when we are doing DAILY 5 Read to Self, we are helping to reach our goal.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look into our room!

PARENTS: Don’t forget to look at your conference time! See you there!