Team Experiment {Build Something That Floats}

If you remember, we’ve been learning about the scientific process by finding things that sink and things that float.

On Monday, the kids split into teams and they were given a challenge: Use your knowledge about materials that float and materials that sink to build an object that will float when put in water.

The kids were instantly excited!

First, I showed the kiddlets the rubric. Using rubrics is new for them and so we talked about how a rubric shows you how to do your best job. For this project, I would be checking to see if they are working like a team, trying their best, finishing their experiment, and using the correct vocabulary words.

Then, the teams met together to talk about what they could build. One team at a time came over to the table where I had a variety of materials: popsicle sticks, straws, paper, paper towel rolls, recyclable materials, and tape. TEACHER TIP: Last year, I had the kids come over to get a piece of tape from me when they needed it- a.k.a. there was a huge line of kids waiting for tape the whole time. This year, I got smart and had 6 rolls of tape ready for the 6 teams. I was a little nervous how this would go {I pictured HUGE pieces being ripped off and tape balls being thrown around} but I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely they used them!

The building began!

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Also learning from last year, I made sure to tell the kids that the building needs to happen first. Last year, a lot of my kiddos spent too much time “decorating” the sticks or the paper and didn’t get around to actually putting it all together. This year, I made sure that the kids knew to build first and if they had time, they could use markers to color. This worked out MUCH better!

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

The next day, the kids got their objects again and started recording some of the information on their worksheets. The first thing they had to do was write down all the members names in their group. Then, they had to record all of the materials they used. And finally, they had to draw a picture of their object.

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

 

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Building Something that Floats

Then it was time….. drum roll please…….drrrrrrmmmmm……

FOR THE EXPERIMENT!

I filled a large clear bin with water and set it on the bookcase. The students sat on the carpet and one team’s object was tested at a time.

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

I don’t think I even need to say how excited they were during this. Their faces say it all 🙂

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

Does it float?

And all of the teams were successful! Every object they built floated! It was a great time and showed that the students knew what to use to make things float.

I love starting off the science year with this unit. It’s an engaging and fun way to learn about experiments and how to work like a team. We’re not quite done with this unit yet, so keep checking back for other fun activities!

Thanks for joining us on our adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T.C.N.T.S. {Too Cute Not To Share}

I just made up a new acronym.

Yes, yes I did 🙂

And I’m not sorry about it at all!

I’ve decided to start sharing some of the adorable ideas/pictures/thing-a-ma-bob’s that happen around here that don’t really elicit a full post, but are really, too cute not to share!

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Everyday after lunch, we read a chapter from a book. Right now, it’s The Wizard of Oz. We picked this book because it is on the Common Core exemplar read aloud text list for first graders. At first, we adults thought- “This seems a little too much for first graders” and now, on my third year using this book, I couldn’t pick a better first book to use.

It’s a great combination of imagination and realism that the kids can connect to. The characters are silly, the monsters are scary, and it’s a thrilling adventure that keeps the kid’s attention.

Adorbs!

Adorbs!

Last year at some point, I was at Hallmark with my mom and sisters. We saw this collection there- called Itty Bitty’s- that come in all different Disney characters. When I saw the Wizard of Oz ones, I knew I had to have them!

Now each afternoon, we bring out these friends as we read our chapter. Initially, I brought them out one at a time, when they were introduced in the book. Now, we use them to help us summarize what’s happening, what each character wants, and what we think will happen. Bottom line- the kids love them.

This brings us the the T.C.N.T.S part of this post…

Picture

Picture

This morning, one of my little friends came into the room and handed my this picture. She told me she drew the characters from the Wizard of Oz for me.

Agh! My heart is melting! {Wicked witch reference anyone} 😉

Everything is so adorable about this picture. I love it so much and needed to share it because…. well… it’s just too cute not to.  🙂

Have a lovely rest of your day!

 

Meet Our New Class Pet {Hedgehog}

Sniff…. sniff…. scratch….scratch….scratch….

What could that sound be?

What?

What?

What’s in that cage?

Hedgehog!

Hedgehog!

It’s a hedgehog!

Meet our new class pet- an adorable, friendly little lady!

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

Every year, I love picking out a new class pet. Last year it was Cuddles, the raccoon. This year, I didn’t really know what animal I wanted. Then early this year during a staff PD meeting, while I was carefully listening while I was looking at Pinterest (oh course on a break!) I came across a posting about an adorable hedgehog project. I showed it to my fellow first grade teacher and told her, “This is it- I’m going to get a hedgehog for the pet!” After a quick search on Amazon, I found the most adorable little furry friend!

Hedgehog

Hedgehog

I also got the cage and the toy chewy balls on Amazon. I think the cage was about $10 and the balls about $3. Not too shabby!

I told the kids about this special friend last Friday. I told them I’d gotten a special friend that we could all take care of this year and keep as our pet. Here are some of their faces as we passed this special friend around…

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

Our new pet!

The kids LOVED her! First we had to talk about what kind of animal this was (one student actually got it!) and then I read them a book I’d gotten about hedgehogs so we could learn a little bit more about our new friend!

After that, it was time to vote…. was our new pet a girl or a boy? Which, obviously, is something that is always decided on by a vote, right? 🙂

Well, the class decided this was a girl!

Then, it was time to vote on names….

Names

Names

Some interesting choices, including Little Junior and Kitty. I actually was pulling for peanut- how cute!- but the class decided the name was DAISY!

Name

Name

With 7 votes, this was the winning name! Although, I’m sure if you add up the amount of votes for each name, it will be WAY over the amount of kids in our room. We didn’t quite understand the idea of only voting once 😉

Regardless, I showed them the journal for our class pet and explained that each Friday, someone would be taking home Daisy. They should take care of her, play with her, and keep her clean and safe. They should use the journal to write about what they did with Daisy over the weekend. On Monday, they bring Daisy back and share with the class what they did with her.

Journal

Journal

Here’s a sneak peek at what I did with Daisy over the weekend…

Journal

Journal

Sadly I was sick today and couldn’t show this to my kiddlets, but I (fingers crossed) can’t wait to show my little ones tomorrow. (By the way, aren’t you suppose to build a better immune system as you teach longer? But five years in and I’ve already been taken down by germs by day 15! Ah!)

Anyways, the kids are so excited about our new pet and I can’t wait for them to start taking her home and hearing all of the fun things they do with her.

Thanks for checking in on our adventure. Be sure to check back for more fun ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sink or Float {Partner Experiments}

 

Too cute!

Too cute!

Ok… I had to start with this picture. Last weekend, my nephew and niece met for the first time. How cute!? I love the way he’s looking at her like, “I’m not sure about this” 😉

Really, he was so cute with her, giving her hugs and kisses. I love those two kiddos so much! XO

Sink or Float

We’ve been learning all about sink and float during science time. I love starting with this unit because it introduces a lot of essential science vocabulary in a fun way. We learn words like “hypothesis”, “predict”, “experiment”, “observe” and “results”. Plus, who doesn’t like splashing around a little? 🙂

I know my kiddlets do!

We’ve spent a lot of time doing the process together. We pick an object, make predictions on if the object will sink or float, and then test the object to record the results.

Last week, the students got together with their learning partners and got to pick 3 objects of their own to test.

(To facilitate this, I put a bunch of objects on a table. I called partners over one at a time and told them they had to work like a team to pick 3 objects to test. Most of the groups did a really good job picking the objects out they wanted to test)

The partners went back to their seats and made predictions together. By the way, they used the partner worksheets that can be found HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE! on my TpT store!

The next day (or in all honesty, a few days later- it’s been crazy around here!) the students got to test their objects.

Testing

Testing

I gathered extra bins I had around the room and filled them about 1/4 full with water. (In further honesty, I was NERVOUS about this. Kids having their own water bins!? What!? But it turned out allllll good, as Pete the Cat would say) 🙂

Testing

Testing

Testing

Testing

The kids used their prediction papers from the previous day and recorded the results of what happened in their experiment.

Testing

Testing

Testing

Testing

Overall, this was a very successful experiment! The kids did a great job testing their objects and you can tell just how much fun they had!

We will continue exploring sink/float this week and we have many more fun activities to try our and experiments to test!

Thanks for joining in on our adventure and be sure to check back to see what else we’re doing!

 

 

 

Daily 5 Dish {Read to Someone Intro}

Where do I sleep?

Where do I sleep?

GOOOOOOOOOOOD Morning! It’s gray and rainy outside, but it’s bright and sunny in first grade 8)

I had to smile at the above picture and needed to share it. Since I’ve been AIMSWEB testing my firsties to see their reading fluency levels, another teacher took my class for a period and did this adorable activity with them. They thought of where they think I sleep and drew pictures to match. A lot of answers were interesting- including the playground on the swings- but what I thought was so cute was that so many of them drew my dogs! Of course I share with them the silly things my puppies do and so many of my kiddos ran up to me and said, “See? I drew your dogs too!” 🙂 That makes my heart smile.

Daily 5-Read to Someone

Daily 5 update time! And go:

Read to Self- 13 minutes!

Work on Writing- 7 minutes!

Read to Someone- 3 minutes!

Hey it was just our first time yesterday 🙂

Just like all the parts of Daily 5, it’s intro’ed with the question- “Why do we need to read to someone else?” They know the drill- “TO BECOME BETTER WRITERS READERS!” (I always have someone say writers/readers at not the right time) 🙂

Then, the kids come up with the expectations for this time (for themselves and the teacher), correct and incorrect modeling happens, and then they are off to practice!

The first day is a 3 minute practice.

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Before you let them go, you also remind them how they can read to their partner. At this point, we are still learning how to read. You remind the kiddlets that they can read any words they know OR read the pictures they see! It’s really amazing to see them realize this- that they can READ by talking about the pictures.

The bell ringing signals clean up and we reflect on how we did.

Then, we complete the whole process one more time!

3 more minutes practice!

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

{Teacher break down report: On the first day of this practice, I pick the kids partners for the day. I also help them find a good place to sit. As we continue practicing, they’ll be allowed to do this for themselves}

 

Read to Someone

Read to Someone

Another aspect you practice is how they should be sitting during this time- EEKK {elbow to elbow, knee to knee, book in the middle so you both can see!}

It was a great kick-off to this new part of Daily 5. The kids are doing so great and each day we’re building our minds, our stamina, and our learning. I can’t say it enough- I love Daily 5 and how it helps a classroom run smoothly.

Thanks for checking in on our adventure…. I’m off to an adventure of my own…. a staff meeting 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Movin’ Through Math {Unit 1: Counting to 120}

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, there are some adorable things happening around here…

 

BK!

BK!

Meet my adorable new niece- Charlotte! She’s too cute and already the center of attention 🙂 We’re all so happy for my sister and brother-in-law and couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the family!

Counting

In less adorable (but still fun) news, we’re already 11 days into school and right in the midst of our first math unit. It’s called “Counting and Data” and covers 1.NBT.1 (Count to 120) and 1. MD.4 (Organize, represent, and analyze data). Right now, we’re breaking up our weeks by practicing numbers 1-30, 30-60, 60-90, and 90-120.

One of the first things we did was basic practice with small numbers. Each student got a dice. They rolled the dice and picked that many counters out of their math bin.

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling game

Rolling game

There’s lots of things I love about this.

To start, it’s a great way to practice using our math bins. I keep small bins, like the one in the picture, full of different math manipulatives. That way, the math tools are ready to use! (How much time is wasted as you walk around, table to table, passing out different math tools? Agh- too much!) Math bins was the answer to this problem! Now, everything is ready to go at any point.

As an added bonus, it’s a way to differentiate because some students find different ways to use the tools or learn better using different ones than other students. The table captains go to our math cabinet and gets a bin for their table to use.

Second, it’s a really good concrete place to start. Learning happens first when you have objects in front of you- concrete. Then, it can move to using numbers- this more abstract. For my firsties, it’s all about manipulatives, manipulatives, manipulatives!

If they can feel it, move it, count it- they’ll learn it!

Rolling game

Rolling game

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Another way we’ve been practicing our numbers is through number Bingo game. BINGO! Can you ever really say that without shouting it aloud! Or at least in your head? Maybe it’s just the fact that I spend my day with kiddlets who never miss a chance to shout out BINGO if they can 🙂

This has been one of the kiddos favorite ways to practice. I can’t tell you how excited they got!

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

Now I’m on the hunt for a numbers BINGO game that uses bigger numbers. This one was 1-20, which is a great game to play in the beginning of the unit, but they love it so much that I’d love to find one that uses bigger numbers!

Another way we’ve been practicing is using 10 frames, 20 frames, and even 40 frames to build numbers!

Again, using manipulatives to build numbers is a hands-on, concrete way to build knowledge. The frames, or boxes, are great ways for them to organize the counters and represent the numbers.

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Basically I would call out a number and have the kids build it. I walked around and checked accuracy and helped those who needed it. {We’re also working on what is “helping” a neighbor. The kids LOVE helping, but we’re trying to understand that helping doesn’t mean doing it for someone. Since we’re been practicing how to help, it’s really cute to hear their conversations and hear them helping. They are little mini-teachers and it’s adorable!} 🙂

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

We’re doing loads of other things {scoot games, number order, group counting rhymes and chants, identifying numbers on a chart, filling in blanks, rolling games, etc} but this was a good place to start the sharing!

Parents and families- remember to practice counting each night! The more you do it, the better your child will become!

Thanks for checking in on our adventure. We’re having a great time and off to a wonderful start 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary {How to Introduce New Words to Firsties}

 

Journal

Journal

In first grade, you see an amazing amount of growth from the beginning of the year to the end. The kids aRE like little sponges and constantly learning and growing every day.

One of the important things we teach is vocabulary words. Even though we are constantly learning new words during units, we specifically teach new words twice a week. We focus on “every day” words, words that the kids might hear in books or people around them that are probably new to them.

The majority of our students speak two languages- which is an AMAZING skill!- and because of this, we have found that focusing on every day vocabulary words helps build their second language.

We use the Evan Moor Word a Day program…

Vocab

Vocab

This is a great program and great words your kids will see and hear in so many stories. I find it crazy that the word we learn that day always seems to pop up in whatever stories we read that day- it’s great to see the kid’s faces light up when they recognize the new word! They also love using the new words all week. We had the word “odor” this week and it’s been a kiddlet favorite- “This wipe has an amazing odor!” 🙂

In my room, I introduce 2 vocabulary words a week (Monday-Wednesday-Friday I do grammar, Tuesday-Thursday I do vocabulary).

On this day, we were learning the word “dash”.

I introduce the word by writing it in a few sentences on the board (the program also gives example sentences)

After we read the sentence together, the kids pick out the special word they think we are learning. They almost always get it right, showing they know how to pick out interesting words!

Using our basic vocabulary sheet, we write the word of the day at the top of our paper.

Then, we discuss the word together. We talk about examples and what it means. Depending on the word, we play a thumbs up or thumbs down game with what the word means.

Vocab

Vocab

We always talk about things we can draw to represent the word. Then, the kids draw their own picture to represent the word.

Vocab

Vocab

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

I mean- agh! How AMAZING is that picture!? There is so much I love about it- look at the lines to show the lion is “dashing”, look at the expression of the deer! It’s so good!

After, we write a sentence that tells about the word and the picture.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Vocabulary

It’s such a great part of our day and something the kids REALLY love. You’d be amazed how much they remember these words and pick them out of every story we hear or read. It’s a great way to practice our oral language skills and build our vocabulary.

For teachers, this page is included in my Vocabulary Journal Pack- FOUND HERE AT MY TPT STORE! – with many, many others.

Journal Page

Journal Page

 

 

There are multiple other versions of pages, and they scaffold to get harder and be more detailed. As we learn more grammar skills, we’ll start using the pages that include details about the parts of speech. Right now, the page we’re using is a great beginning of the year tool to get us used to learning words. Also, drawing a picture is so essential to learning and remembering the word’s meaning. When they draw, it helps transfer the word from our short term memory to long term. This means we’ll remember it better!

Check out the pack on TpT!

The pages can be put together to make a journal and includes pages labeled with letters at the top of put in ABC order. It’s a great way to organize your learning in class. Let me know what you think!

 

 

Continuing Daily 5 {Work on Writing}

I really can’t say it enough- Daily 5 is an essential part of our classroom and our routine. It’s a phenomenal way to build reading and literacy stamina, teach independence, and gives kids time each day to practice reading and writing.

We’re still practicing Read to Self each day and have built our reading stamina to 10 minutes! That’s right parents- your kiddlets are reading by themselves for 10 minutes already! 🙂

A few days ago we also started Work on Writing (As it says in the name, Daily 5 is made up of 5 parts and this is the second part we learn)

The first thing you do is ask the question, “Why do we need to do Work on Writing?”

Because we’ve practiced this question with Read to Self, they already know the drill- TO BECOME BETTER WRITERS!

Then, we make the I-Chart (independence chart). This is where the students come up with the rules for how they should look/sit/act/sound during Work on Writing time. And- their favorite part- rules for the teacher!

 

I-Chart

I-Chart

At this point, the kids know the expectations from Read to Self practice, and so many of the rules follow suit. I always love hearing what they think I should be doing during this time. Of course the first thing one kiddlet said was “You should be looking at papers because you’re a teacher”. 😉

Then, you do the same routine to build brain muscle memory- a student models the right way, the wrong way, and the right way again!

Right way

Right way

Here is a student modeling how to get his writing materials (notebook and pencil), find a place in the room to write, and start right away.

The other students watch and give thumbs up or down to see if they are doing it the right way. After giving the modeler a big round of applause, that student then demonstrates the WRONG way.

Wrong way

Wrong way

It’s always pretty funny to see what they do. Most kids make silly noises, walk around, or throw their materials. It’s funny to see them act wrong on purpose 🙂

After our giggles, the modeler always ends by showing the right way one more time.

Right

Right

Like I said in my last post, it’s so valuable that this is being done by a student and not the teacher. They are seeing exactly what they should be doing during this time and learning from each other. It’s really an amazing process. We do this 2-3 times.

Then, after repeating the rules they made one more time, they are off to practice!

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

The first day, we practice for only 3 minutes. Then, the bell signals clean up and the students put all materials away. We gather on the rug with our thumbs over our hearts to reflect.

Reflect

Reflect

We go over each rule and reflect on how we did using our thumbs. Then, the process is repeated! Again, 2-3 students model and again, we practice for 3 minutes!

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Note- how serious do all my kids look? They are so concentrated- it’s amazing!!!

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

Work on Writing

**It’s important to remember that if at any time I see a student doing the wrong thing (walking around, not writing, talking to someone else) I ring the bell to signal clean-up for everyone. You don’t want to have them practicing the wrong behaviors. If I see that, we clean-up, reflect/discuss, and start over***

Right now, we are Working on Writing for 5 minutes! It’s a beautiful thing. I love the process and love seeing them read and write a little more each day. We’re only 10 days into school and already doing so many amazing things!

Thanks for checking in with us. Please leave comments with questions or things your love!