Friday, October 31, 2008

Leaf Man

Today we read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. We have been talking a lot about seasons and the changes that occur. We collected leaves outside and made out own pictures using nature's products. On Monday we will be doing some writing to go along with our creations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Conner Prairie

On Wednesday we visited Conner Prairie and compared life long ago to life today. Students were also instructed to pay special attention to the flags as part of our flag project.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Week Ahead

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a fantastic Fall Break. This week will be a busy one in first grade.

  • ~We are starting a new unit in math, continuing and expanding our knowledge of money and time.
  • ~Students are enjoying their project time as they learn more about flags. Today they were so excited and wrapped up in their work that they were upset they had to stop and go to specials. Some examples of items they are working on are a timeline, fact books, flag picture books, mosaic creations, etc.
  • ~In reading workshop we are doing more with our reading groups and many students are enjoying taking quizzes on the computer.
  • ~Students are working on writing longer books in writing workshop, and practicing their editing and revising skills.
  • ~For social studies we are focusing on how things have changed from long ago and how they have stayed the same. This week we are also taking a look at the upcoming election.
  • ~In science we are also looking at how the outside world is changing and are studying the leaves this week.
  • ~We are continuing to work sudoku puzzles as part of our current thinking skill focus.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sudoku Puzzles

Today in first grade we worked on sudoku puzzles. We did a couple together, and as they learned new strategies and formulated the logic in their minds, students were able to solve more pieces of them. A few children had done them before, but to most this was a new experience. There are still a couple puzzles that are in their packet that they can show you at home.

It is important to do puzzles like this in our STRETCH class. This is one way we are different than the neighborhood classes, because we do purposely teach thinking skills. Students practice using logic and making judgements based on certain givens. We talk out the problems and I emphasize that there is more than one way to solve the puzzles. Students are encouraged to explain their logic and method of reasoning.

Here are some links to basic beginner puzzles.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Flag Project

We have begun working on a new project about flags. Students have helped to create a web about what they know about flags so far, and we are adding to it daily. They have also come up with many questions. We have answered a few so far such as: Who made the first flag? Why do people burn flags? How has the flag changed over time? What do the stars and stripes stand for? We have several groups investigating different areas of study: history, U.S. flag, making flags, flag etiquette, and symbols, shapes, & colors.

The students have enjoyed making many different kinds of flags. Two groups are working together to create a timeline showing the different flags over time in the United States. Other children are making their own flags using their imagination.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Writing Workshop

Students have been working on writing longer stories this week and putting them into booklets. We have also be practicing editing and revising our writing to make it better.

Monday, October 13, 2008


On Friday Mary Castle participated in their annual Walk-a-Thon to raise money that goes directly to the school and teachers. It is the main fundraiser for the PFO. Friday turned out to be a great day for the event, and our class was fortunate to have many parents and guests attend and walk with us.

For more pictures, please check out the slideshow in the upper left corner of the blog.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Clowes Hall

First grade visited Clowes Hall on Friday and watched a puppet show about three of Leo Lionni books, Swimmy, Inch by Inch, and Frederick. Please click on the link below for Memaid Theater's link and promotion photos and videos.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Air Force

As part of our Walk-a-Thon this year, we have been assigned a branch of the armed services. First grade has been studying the Air Force. Yesterday Mr. Reeves came and talked to us about what he did in the Air Force. We learned about their flag. Today another member of the military came and spoke to us about the different jobs you can do and about the Thunderbirds.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Clay Beads

As part of our FOSS kit we made clay beads and medallions to wear. Students learned how earth materials can be used in everyday life. We also reviewd the properties of rocks and clay that day.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cadet Teacher

We have a cadet teacher named Alicia, who will be coming a couple of times per week to help out in the classroom in the afternoons. She is a senior at Lawrence North this year, and one of her classes requires that she perform some type of community service. I have known Alicia for many years. I actually taught with her mother my first year teaching over at Brook Park Elementary School. She taught the other first grade STRETCH class there for Mrs. Gravely's maternity leave. Alicia's father is also a teacher in the science deprtment at LN.

Alicia likes to play volleyball and sing in the choir. She is excited to work with the children this year.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Problem Solving

In centers this week, students are writing their own story problems using manipulatives. They are creating a story about some mice that get caught in a trap (or in some cases escape from it) Students then solve the problem and draw a picture to match it.

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