Monday, June 17, 2013
The students completed First Grade Memory booklets to share some of their favorite things about the year. Included in the booklet were two autograph pages. All of first grade joined together in our common area to have an autograph session. As they autographed one another's pages, we emphasized asking questions when you need something rather than just staring or telling someone to do something.
The students created a Father's Day gift before we released for the summer. They completed a questionnaire and then drew a picture of their dad to go along with it. Several teachers have asked me recently how I get my students to draw detailed and proportionate pictures. So, here is my basic answer: model, model, model. I am not an artist myself but I model everything for my students. For this particular lesson, I had them fold the paper in half, top to bottom. I instructed them to draw a dot about three fingers down from the top. I then had them draw a dot in the middle of the fold. They then drew the curves of the face from each dot, top to bottom. Then for the shoulders, they drew a curve from the dot on the fold to each corner of the paper. This gave them a foundation for their portrait and the rest was completely up to them.
We had quite the adventure making ice cream during the last week of school. Using a recipe from Pinterest, the students combined Half and Half cream, vanilla, and sugar in a plastic baggy. They then added the baggy to a larger baggy filled with ice and rock salt. They then shook the bags continually until the cream mixture hardened. The kids loved it and they said it tasted great. And, thankfully, our awesome custodian didn't get the least bit upset when we had water and ice everywhere from the leaking bags. It is all about the experience anyway, right?
To have a little fun and clean off their desks, we played in shaving cream during the last week of school. The students practiced writing their word wall words, solve addition and subtraction problems, and drew pictures in the shaving cream.
On the last day of school, one of the things we did was to discuss the students' future goals. Those goals included going to college and their dream jobs. So, we took these pictures (Pinterest inspired) to showcase their dream jobs.
During the last week of school the students created collaborative art projects to take home as a keepsake from first grade. Each student had a photocopy of a tree trunk. They then added their thumbprints in paint to one another's trees.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
To showcase their reading skills, we held an end-of-year Readers' Theater Performance. Each first grade class learned their own Readers' Theater from the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series. All of the classes then joined together for a reading of Jack and Jill. For the final Readers' Theater, parents were asked to join in.
We had our End-of-Year Picnic last Thursday. The students had about two hours to play soccer, basketball, draw with chalk, run, play chase, jump rope, and fly kites. They then ate their lunch outside.
I'm always looking for new ways to motivate the students to stay on task and to have positive behavior. Recently I discovered an online version of the old game Simon that works with our Promethean Board. The students love playing this for a few minutes each day as a reward for completing work on time, etc. I love it because it helps them build their focus - both visual and auditory.
To review area, the students designed their own dream bedroom. They first listed on a Circle Map furniture, toys, and other miscellaneous items they would love to have in their bedroom. They then drew those items, represented as squares and rectangles, on grid paper. After labeling the items, they measured the area, in squares, of each item and wrote sentences about their measurements. They then compared their items to one another according to their area.
Using the software Kidspiration on our Promethean Board, we had a quick review of how to create a bar-type graph. We reviewed that first you need to ask a question. Then, you need to have some choices and record those choices on a table. Once you have choices, you can take a survey and mark your results with tally marks. The results can then be put into a bar-type graph. Kidspiration had premade templates with a question and table so the students used those to practice. They then created their own table on paper with at least four choices of dream vacations. They then surveyed ten classmates and created a corresponding bar-type graph on grid paper.
In science we have been learning how animals are dependent on their environment and the specials characteristics they have to make them suitable for that habitat. We looked at pictures and discussed the tundra, ocean, desert, grasslands, and rainforest. We then charted what physical features each habitat had. We followed that up by listing animals that live in each environment and what features they had to help them survive there. The students then chose four of the habitats to write about. They also drew one animal that could be found in each.
We recently read The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming to further learn how to make connections to a story. After reading and discussing some of the events that happened, the students wrote one sentence to describe their connection to the story on an outline of a person. They then colored the person to look like them.