Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ocean Research Video

I'm a little late in posting this but I hope you enjoy! After doing research over an ocean animal in the library, the students created their own movie using Pixie 2. They typed at least one fact they learned about their animal and then recorded themselves reading it. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beluga Whales: Shared Writing

As a part of our Social Studies lessons, the students researched the Beluga Whale. Each first grade class researched a different type of whale. By doing this, each class becomes an "expert" on one type of whale and can share with the other classes what they learned. We began our Beluga Whale research by reading several non-fiction books about them. As I read the paragraphs to the students, we would stop to think about the main idea of the paragraph. We then wrote the main idea of each paragraph on a Circle Map. The students then used the information we collected on the Circle Map to do a shared writing research paper. In shared writing, sometimes called Interactive Writing, the students work together to come up with the sentences and then take turns writing them down on the chart paper. Each student has the opportunity to write and receives assistance from their classmates on what words come next and how to spell the words correctly. The students modeled their shared writing after their individual research papers by writing what the Beluga looks like, eats, and where it lives. They also wrote in other facts that they found interesting.

Parts of a Plant: Kelp Forest

As a part of our ocean unit, the students studied ocean plants. The main plant that we focused on was the Kelp Plant. The students created Tree Maps to determine the parts of the plant, how animals and people use Kelp, and what can be made from the plant. They then created a diagram of the parts of the plant and discussed each specific part's job.

Pattern Fish

To review repeating and additive patterns, we read Pattern Fish by Trudy Harris. The students then created their own pattern fish. We focused on extending and labeling the patterns.

Pattern Block Fish

The students had to come up with two different plans, or ways, to fill in a fish picture using pattern blocks. They had to use critical thinking to come up with all the different ways it can be completed. After making their plans, the students chose one plan to glue down using paper pattern blocks. They then counted how many of each shape they used and wrote the total number of pattern blocks used. It is neat to see all of the different ways that the students came up with to complete the pattern block fish!

Ocean Addition and Subtraction

The students used fish clipart to model and solve addition and subtraction word problems. Each student had a different problem to solve and shared their number sentences with their table groups.

Oceans in a Bottle

As a part of our study of the ocean, the students created their own "ocean in a bottle." The purpose of the science experiment is to teach the children that oil and water do not mix. It is also a great representation of the zones of the ocean. The students first poured sand into the bottom of their bottle. They then poured in a cup of vegetable oil. After pouring in the oil, they filled the bottle with water. They immediately noticed that the oil rose to the top and would not mix with the water. After adding a few drops of blue food coloring, the students sealed their bottles and turned it to the side to make waves. We discussed how the weight of the oils pushes down on the water. Because the food coloring does not mix well with the oil, it stays a lighter shade and the water stays darker. This led us into a discussion of why it is darker in the deeper parts of the ocean and lighter closer to the surface. They used great inferencing skills to determine that the surface is lighter because it is closer to the sun.

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Ocean Animal Research

The students went to the library in small groups to research with our librarian, Mrs. Jepsen. Each group had a different ocean animal to research. After researching and taking notes, the students turned their notes into sentences using sentence stems which they then used to write a research paper. The students made ocean report covers for their research papers. They also created a scuba diver face to go with their scuba diver which holds and displays their great writing.

Dory Story: An Ocean Food Chain

As an integrated language arts and science lesson, we read Dory Story by Jerry Pallota. Dory Story is about the adventure of a little boy who gets lost at sea in his dory. On his adventure, he learns all about the ocean's food chain. After reading, the students retold the adventures of the little boy by writing the food chain from the story on a Flow Map. They then illustrated their favorite part of the story. If you get a chance, ask your students how the story ended....they were quite surprised!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Math About Me!

My teammate, Mrs. Linnabary, created a great lesson to get the students thinking about how they use numbers, both big and small, in their everyday lives. They created a poster all about themselves using only numbers. They wrote their house number, their birthday in number form, their age and ways to add it, their favorite number, and how many people are in their family.

You're Invited: Open House

Open House will be tomorrow night from 6:30PM to 8:00PM. It will be a great opportunity for you to see what your child has been learning throughout the year and get a personalized tour from your child of their classroom environment. The students have been working especially hard over the last several weeks on ocean research and would love to share with you what they have learned and created. We hope to see you there! If you are not able to come, don't worry - I will be posting several blog posts in the next day or so with the student work.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Macaroni Graphing

After practicing our three types of graphs (real object, picture, and bar graphs) with apples, the students created their own graphs using macaroni. They then answered questions about their graphs.

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Apple Graphing

Last week we were learning about three types of graphs: real object graphs, picture graphs, and bar graphs. The students worked together to create the three types of graphs about their favorite type of apples. They then answered questions based on the graphs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lucky Lily

We read a short story "Lucky Lily" this week about a rat who was lucky to escape a cat, find cheese in a window sill, and then be able to watch the moon and stars. After reading, the students made connections by writing about a time that they felt lucky.

One Giant Leap: A Story of Neil Armstrong

As a part of our study of day and night and space, we read "One Giant Leap: A Story of Neil Armstrong." After reading the biography, we watched the video of his actual landing on the moon through TeacherTube. The students were amazed to see this part of our country's history. The students then made connections to what they read and watched by writing if they would or would not want to go to the moon.


As a part of our study of night and day, the students studied stars and the moon. After learning and brainstorming about stars, the students viewed real life examples of constellations via the internet and then created their own with star stickers.

How Much Is It Worth?

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