Dec. 27
We have been working on our ramps and pathways physics unit. This page isn't updated very often since I am teaching 12 different classes and approximately 28% of the students in our school. Early in each unit, a note is sent home to let parents know what we are working on.

Oct. 14
We are working on inferencing. We are creating an alphabet book and looking forward to sharing our book with the other first grade classes.


Aug. 3

I am looking forward to great year with my 1st graders in Insights. This class will start after all the first grade students have been assessed on their reading skills and after the 1st grade teachers have time to get to know their students' academic strengths. It may be several weeks into the school year. In our first unit we will be learning about rolling things.

We will be exploring how changing the height of a ramp and the weight of various wooden vehicles will affect the momentum of toy cars. We will be working on our communication skills, testing ideas, and drawing conclusion based on evidence gathered in testing.
We follow the engineering design experience where we set goals, build knowledge, design, build, test, and revise. Then we present our work and discuss what was terrific in each design.


May
We have started our Reader's Theater. Once we are have determined who is playing which part in the reader's theater, notes will be sent home. The students are allowed to use their script in our performances. Our shows will occur at 8:45 in the morning. Each performance will last approximately 15 minutes. Then the performers and their family members can come to my classroom for a short time and take some CAST photos.

The performances are May 22 and May 25 if your favorite first grader is in Mrs. Reed's or Mrs. Munck's class.
The performances are May 23 and May 26 if your favorite first grader is in Mrs. Mink's or Ms Buckley's class.


April 13
We are finished with sounds and vibrations. Our next topic is performing our reader's theater. We will practice our words, create our props. The students can develop their costume. We will have 2 performances in the school lunchroom in May. Notes will be sent home closer to the performance dates.


March
We are on to sounds and vibrations as our next unit.


Feb.
We are finishing up our unit using pentominoes to work on our geospatial skills. We are getting better at solving puzzles that someone else created. Next, it is on to creating our own.


Jan.

If you are looking for enjoyable learning experiences for your child, the Putnam Museum offers a wonderful series of programs for students this age. It is called Putnam Explorer, Jr. If you go to their website, select the education tab. Then go to resources for parents.




Nov. 7
In our next unit we will be reading The Very Important Book. We will be making our own very important story and typing it on the computers. We may even get to import some pictures to go with our story. We will also create a class book about ourselves and what is special about each of us.


Oct. 15
We had fun running our cars out in the hallway. Check with your first grader to see how much further the cars went.


Sept. 24
We are off to a great start with our Rolling Things unit.

We will be exploring how changing the height of a ramp and the weight of various wooden vehicles will affect the momentum of toy cars. We will be working on our communication skills, testing ideas, and drawing conclusion based on evidence gathered in testing.
We follow the engineering design experience where we set goals, build knowledge, design, build, test, and revise. Then we present our work and discuss what was terrific in each design.

I have 2 groups of 1st grade Insights classes. Each group meets with me twice a week. We have 2 different groups so I can work with smaller groups of students. There are 17 students involved at this point.






May 23, 2016

I am so proud and pleased with the performers at the Reader's Theater. The actors and actresses did a great job of speaking with expression in front of an audience. Mrs. Mink's and Mrs. Munck's students will receive their cast photo on Tuesday. Mrs. Reed and Ms Buckley's class will get their photo on Thursday. It was fun to learn with these students.



May 1, 2016
Our readers’ theater performance dates have been set. The shows are May 16 and May 19 for the performers from Mrs. Reed’s and Ms Buckley’s rooms. The students from Mrs. Munck’s, Mrs. Pitt’s, and Mrs. Mink’s rooms will present on May 17 and May 20. The performances start at 8:45 in the elementary school lunchroom and will last until 9:00. Then family members who are interested can come to my room with the performers and take cast photos.

Since this is a reader’s theater, the students can use their script to read the words during the performances.

They can wear costumes. Costumes need to be comfortable. Your child will be performing in front of many people which is challenge enough when one is at this age. You may want to have your performer wear his/her costume to school and bring clothes to change into after our performance is done for the day.

Costume ideas:
Narrators- can wear any nice school clothes
Mouse Deer, Cousin Mouse Deer, and Friend Mouse Deer - can wear clothes with brown in them
Cobra - can wear clothes which are green, brown, tan, or black.
Tiger and Cheetah - can wear clothes which are , black, orange, brown, yellow or tan.
Crocodile - can wear clothes which are brown, black or green.

It's adorable if you and your child would like to create ears or additional items as part of a costume.
March 24, 2016
Here are some great websites where the students use tangrams.

http://www.abcya.com/tangrams.htm


http://www.mathplayground.com/tangrams.html


http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/tanagram-game/

http://www.tangramgames.co.uk



Feb 2, 2016

Dear Parents of
We are starting our advanced first grade programming unit. Many of my first graders have worked with the bee-bots before and have done some programming. In this unit we are working on more advanced programming skills. Logical sequential skills are being further developed as are problem solving skills.
The bee-bots we are using are new. There are 6 of them. They were purchased with a grant I was awarded from the Toshiba American Foundation.


Nov. 28
We will spend a couple of days on a math website called Sumdog. Notes were sent home detailing each participants' log in information. I encourage the students to work on that site out of school also. It will help them improve the boys and girls improve math skills. The website gives the students more difficult problems as the students increase their accuracy.

After finishing with beebots, we worked on our writing and typing skills. I read a book about important things. The students created their own story about what was important to them and why it was important. Then they typed their story and illustrated it. The stories went home. I was pleased with the students' work.




beebots.jpg

These are the Beebots which the students can program. You can see the buttons which the students use to make the robots go forward, backward, and/or sideways. There are mats the bees can drive on. So the students might decide to program the bebot to drive to a specific square. Then the student would program the robot by pushing the buttons and we can see where the robot ends up. It is a fun way to further develop logic and reasoning skills.
This set of beebots was borrowed from another agency.



Oct.20
We are through with our Rolling Things unit and on to learning basic programming skills using BeeBots.



Oct. 2


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We have testing to see which vehicle travels farther:

a wooden truck, a wooden family car, and a wooden convertible. We tested each type of vehicle on each ramp height. The students recorded what they found and we compared our results. We are being careful workers and writers just like engineers have to be. The materials were purchased with a grant from IowaSTEM.

August 24, 2015

We will be starting our Insights classes in September. We assess the students' reading skills so we can determine which students need the additional challenge that first grade Insights provides.


I will have a T/F class composed of students from Mrs. Mink and Mrs. Munck's room and a M/Th class composed of students from Ms Buckley's room and Mrs. Reed's room. By splitting the grade into 2 groups the classes are kept small. In first grade, students enter and exit the program more frequently than in other grades because reading is such an evolving skill in this grade.
























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Penguins- to see different kinds of penguins, go to http://www.penguins.cl/penguins-region.htm

http://www.ehow.com/search.html?s=penguins&skin=mom&t=all

http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/penguins/facts.htm

http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sandiego/AnimalVision/ViewAnimals/Penguins