Monday, September 21, 2009

Insect Expert

Today Mrs. Wright from the Indy Parks department visited our classroom to talk to the students about insects. The children have been busy finding insects almost every day and some are bringing them to school to share. Today we learned about the different body parts of insects and sang a song to help us remember and identify them. We also went outside to look for insects and found many great specimens. Some of the critters the students found were: moths, butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, and a roly poly. We decided the roly poly wasn't really an insect because it had more than six legs. We also learned that all bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun Friday: Apples

Today was another Fun Friday in first grade. This time our focus was apples. We did many activites for math and patterns, We read books about apples and watched a Reading Rainbow video about apples and cooking. Students also got to enjoy an applesauce treat at the end of the day. Yum!

We also found a huge praying mantis during our spelling test today. We kept it in our classroom for the afternoon, but decided to let it go at the end of the day. I was worried it might have babies over the weekend, and I did not want to return to class on Monday to a room full of tiny insects. My father found one once when he was a small boy and put it in a showbox in his closet. My grandmother found the box a while later and hundreds of baby bugs flew out scaring her senseless!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today in class we did some yoga poses. The students really enjoyed doing the different exercises. Their favorite was the one that had them standing on one foot and reaching one hand to the ceiling. Some of us were very wobbly, but everyone had a lot of fun. We will be doing more of this once the weather turns colder and we are unable to go outside.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Doubles Painting

We have been learning about computation class the couple of weeks. One strategy that helps the students is using what they know about doubles to solve other problems. A double is a problem such as 5+5 or 8+8. We practiced our double facts by painting and making prints.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fun Friday: Bubbles

Today students learned about bubbles. All of the first graders gathered together this morning to hear a bubble story. Each teacher had a different activity in their classroom related to bubbles. In my classroom, the students did a measuring activity and used the results to complete a puzzle. They also were given a piece of bubble gum and we tested to see who could and could not blow a bubble, as well as who could blow the biggest bubble. Another room had the students blowing traditional soap bubbles which they then got to take home. They also blew bubbles in another station, but this time used a straw and a bowl of soap to create mountains of bubbles. The final teacher created bubble and frog puppets to connect to the story we read this morning. We sang songs and read poems about bubbles, graphed our favorite activity, and watched a bubble movie that helped us learn about surface tension and why bubbles are round. They really liked seeing the experiments with the people inside the bubbles.

It was a great day for all!


Today we started our FOSS kits and our new unit on insects. Each student received 3-4 mealworms to keep on their table area. We will be watching to see what changes occur over the next few months. (Don't tell them if you know what's going to happen.) We made lots of observations today and noticed our mealworms have segments, six legs, and either mouthparts or antennae. We learned that they need air, water, food, and space to live. Students will be documenting their observations in their science journals as we progress through this unit.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Germs Make Me Sick

We have been talking a lot in class about staying healthy. We frequently wash our hands during the day, and students are expected to use hand sanitizer each time they enter the room (morning, after recess, after specials, etc.) We have reviewed how to properly cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and how to avoid spreading germs. Today we watched a Reading Rainbow movie called "Germs Make Me Sick". The students were excited to see live germs and learned some valuable information from the film.

Please remember that if your child is sick, that they must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. As much as I want all the students to be here in class, I would rather they stay home and recuperate. I am hoping that with the recent headlines about flu season and H1N1, we will be able to remain healthy and it will not be the pandemic it is predicted to be.

I do not typically send home make-up work unless the child is absent for several days. Most of it can be made up in class, although much of what we do revolves around classroom discussions, games and activities that can't be done at home. If you are looking for ways to occupy your child while they are home, they can practice their reading, write a story about being sick, or practice their math facts. This depends on how they are feeling though, and is not to say I am encouraging you to make your child do homework.

I wish you all a safe and healthy year.

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