Don’t Let The Pigeon!

 

Don't Let the Pigeon!

Don’t Let the Pigeon!

 

Hello first grade party people! I’m so glad that you decided to stop by today and see what we’ve been busy with in first grade. As the weather warms up and the school year winds down, we always have lots of  fun things to share. Here’s what’s been keeping us busy…

1

By Mo Willems

During our writing block, we follow the “Be A Writer” program. It’s a scripted series that typically focuses on one anchor book each week. The anchor book is read several times, teacher models, and students independently write. The theme of the writing week is based on some aspect of the book.

At this point in the year, we always finish this program, but haven’t yet finished school! So, we try to follow the same format using books of our choosing.

This week, we’ve been reading the Mo Willem’s books about the Pigeon. We’ve laughed and giggled about the Pigeon trying to drive a bus, stay up late, and eat a hotdog.

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

Then, the students created their own “don’t let the pigeon” stories. We told them to pick something the Pigeon wanted to ride or drive.

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

There were lots of great ideas. For example, that poor Pigeon wasn’t allowed to ride a unicorn, fly a plane, drive a monster truck, or even ride a monkey!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

What I really loved is how the kids used some of the phrases from the book. We talked a lot about why the author choose certain words and why some things were written IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! The kids incorporated that into their stories as well!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

We also studied the illustrations. Most of the year we’ve worked really hard on adding details to our pictures. This meant, drawing appropriate backgrounds and details to match our stories. But we looked closely at Mo Willems’ pictures. These were different. There was only the Pigeon in almost all the pictures. The details were different. For example, we needed details to show how the Pigeon was feeling or what he was thinking, rather than a background picture.

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

 

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

Don't Let The Pigeon!

Don’t Let The Pigeon!

We practiced together, but then they were off on their own! The books turned out unbelievably adorable! And the cutest part is that I’m finding little Pigeons on all their other work as the days go on 🙂 He’s just so much fun to draw!

Thanks for checking into our adventure! Be sure to stop by soon AND subscribe to this blog by email along the upper right hand side!

Light {Shadow Puppet Theater}

 

It's spring!

It’s spring!

It’s been a LOOOOOONG time since I’ve last posted. This time of the school year just gets INSANE! With testing, breaks, report cards, etc- it’s just been busy! But we’ve also been doing a lot of exciting things. For starters, how fun is the above photo! We saw a similar picture on Pinterest and decided to tackle the project as a first grade team! Each of us picked a color and we did a handprint garden. It was pretty simple, actually! And how cool did they all turn out? We love them hanging in the hallway and how they all look a little different.

Speaking of our first grade team, today was pajama day…. and can you tell we’re on the same page?

Twins!

Twins!

Two of us were pajama twins today! Great minds think alike 🙂 (this also reflects our shared loved of Target!)

But back to the topic of this post- LIGHT!

I’ve already made lots of posts about the NGSS standard of light waves. It’s a topic we cover each year and the kids really love it. It can seem overwhelming at first (you teach about light waves to first graders!?) but honestly- it’s a fun, engaging unit!

Light Pack

Light Pack

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my Light unit on TpT. It’s filled with everything you need to teach light to first graders.

Reflecting

Reflecting

One of the best things is watching kids discover how they can change the direction of light waves. Because of course, the first aspect we learn about is that light moves in straight lines. By using a mirror, we start to discover the meaning of “reflect” and how we can change lights direction.

Reflecting

Reflecting

Reflecting

Reflecting

It’s a fun process. Kids love a challenge, so have them point their flashlights a certain way and then have them use the mirror to get the light on something else. For example, have them all point their lights up towards the ceiling. Then, using the mirror and NOT moving the flashlight, have them reflect the light on the board. It’s really fun and the kids love challenging themselves in this way! Plus, it’s showing them how light moves and what reflect means.

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

This year, we also did something new at the end of our light unit. Because we’d learned about shadows and transparent objects, we put together all our knowledge to make a shadow puppet theater. To make it even more fun, we combined this idea with our last literacy unit- fables.

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

This idea came straight from the fabulous first grade teacher on our team, Ms. Rios! 🙂

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

We combined our classes and had pairs of students write their very own fable. Once they had a story, they used black construction paper and sticks to make shadow puppet characters. Finally, we constructed a “theater” using a box and white paper. When we shined a light from behind the box, the students presented their shadow fables!

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

Shadow Fables

I can’t even describe how amazing this was! Some of the morals they created included:

-Don’t disturb princes and princesses

-You shouldn’t eat children

-Real friends can’t be unfriended

….. just to name a few 🙂

 

Their stories were amazing, the morals were just perfect, and the shadow puppets added an awesome science connection and element to the whole thing. It was such a fun idea and the kids had a blast doing it! It was a great way to combine our two units, and end our light unit.

Thanks for checking into our adventure!