Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Money Games

This week in math we started a new unit of focus on money. Although we will still be doing some worksheets during this study, many of our activities will be based on role playing and manipulative games. We learned two new games today to practice recognizing coins and exchanging values of coins.
In the sock game two students play together and take turns reaching into a sock to pull out a coin. The other student is challenged to find the same coin just by touch. It sounds like a very simple game, but the kids really love playing it. In the process they internalize the names of the coins quickly.

The second game is called Race for a Dollar. Students take turns rolling a die and getting coins on each turn. For example if a 4 is rolled, then the student takes 4 pennies and places them on his game board. In each turn more coins are added to the board, and students trade in pennies for nickels and dimes, then quarters, and eventually a dollar. Whoever makes the dollar first wins the game. This game helps students learn about money combinations and equivalencies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frog Pond Game

We have begun playing a new menu math game today to encourage logical thinking. The Frog Pond Game is an adaptation of a Chinese logic game. It encourages students to think creatively, look for patterns related to the number ten, and refine strategies based on change. The game consists of a game board and 10 plastic frogs that are placed on the lilly pads. The two students take turns picking up either one or two frogs on their turn. It is their choice of how many to select. The goal is to be the person who picks up the last 1 or 2 frogs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Butterfly Release

Today we said good-bye to our butterflies. We had 9 caterpillars spin chrysalises, and we waited patiently for them to emerge in the butterfly pavillion. Five of the butterflies were released today, but unfortunately not all of them survived. The students were very excited to crawl inside the tent with the insects. They loved seeing them up close.

We are finalizing our insect book this week and I hope to have it shipped and bound over Fall Break. I for one am glad to finally be done with all the little critters in our classroom. Thank you for your support, and for graciously sending in bugs for the last few weeks. I know the children have enjoyed this project and learned so much.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today First Grade had another Fun Friday rotation and we learned about pumpkins. Did you know that the largest pumpkin ever recorded weighed as much as a small car?

Students practiced estimating and graphing today, as well as subtraction word problems. We learned about the life cycle of pumpkins too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eric Carle Painting

We had so much fun being messy and creating our Eric Carle paper. We will soon be starting our book about insects using this paper. Students finger painted, marble rolled, made collages, spatter painted, and used brushes to paint their designs. Look at some of our work.

Thank you to Mrs. Rich who was our parent volunteer who helped out, and to Mrs. Simmons the art teacher who loaned us her room for the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We finally had our walk-a-thon on Tuesday. Fortunately the weather turned out beautiful, and we were able to enjoy the activities. The students were very excited to see their parents and guests. The walk-a-thon is the biggest fundraiser for the school and the PFO uses the money to provide teachers materials and field trips. Thank you for all your support!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Insect Project

We have been working hard on our insect project and learning about lots of different kinds of critters. Today the students used the paint program on the computer to draw different insects. We also took time in the afternoon to do some research and conduct surveys. They asked the other classes questions about animals that are commonly mistaken for insects like worms, spiders, etc. The they used a new program on the computer to create graphs showing their results.


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