Thursday, May 29, 2014
The students wrote papers about what their robots could do if they were real. They described what problem their robot would solve and how the buttons worked. I displayed their writing with a picture of them holding their robot.
While we were studying inventors, the students used PebbleGo to learn about Garrett Morgan and his many inventions. One of his main inventions that we discussed was the traffic light. We talked about how he saw a problem and came up with a way to solve it. Using a template of a traffic light, the students wrote at least three facts they learned about him.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
To conclude our unit on inventors, the students became inventors themselves. They were asked to bring in two boxes covered in foil. In class they planned and designed their robots and then glued them together with my help. The students were very creative and the robots turned out amazing! The kids are pretty cute, too!
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Friday first grade had a guest speaker to share information about her job in the promotions department of KISS FM radio. Ms. Guterriez, who has a brother in one of our first grade classes, talked to the students about the importance of reading and writing in her job, the reason radio stations do promotions (to persuade - great tie in to author's purpose), and how they use technology (great tie in to our lessons on inventions). Another great tie in was that Friday was also GenTX Day which promotes college readiness. According to their website, "This year’s GenTX Day is a call to action statewide to motivate students with a real-world college experience that inspires them to visualize a career goal and take the steps to achieve it." The guest speaker told the students that she will be graduating soon with a degree in broadcasting and was able to stress the importance of college. Thank you to our teammate, Ms. Moncibaiz, for setting this up for our students.
We visited the computer lab on Thursday so the students could research an inventor of their choice on their own. We use PebbleGo as our main online research tool. I love PebbleGo because the students can choose to have the information read to them and the words are highlighted as it is read which naturally leads them to read along. There are also historical videos imbedded within the biography section. After choosing an inventor to research, the students listened to each section and recorded at least two facts per section on their student-created Circle Maps. Next week they will use their Circle Maps to write a research paper independently. They will get to share their papers with their classmates and become the "expert" on their inventor.
In Social Studies the students are learning about various inventors and their contributions to society. The first inventor they are learning about is Thomas Alva Edison. To learn about him, the students researched him on PebbleGo, watched a short video about him on Discovery Education, and created timelines of his life. Using the information that they learned, they created a Bubble Map together which they then used to write a shared research paper. I typed their words to save time since this was a last minute, extra lesson but they told me exactly what to say - I think they enjoyed telling the teacher what to do! I printed their paper out on our poster machine. The students also brainstormed various modern day technologies we would not have without the invention of the light bulb. The students illustrated and labeled nine things that use a light bulb.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Here are some close-up pictures of the students with their robots. As you can see by the smiles on their faces, they are very proud of their inventions. Their robots turned out fantastic!
At the conclusion of our inventors unit, the students had the chance to be an inventor themselves. Using empty boxes covered in foil, the students created their own robots. They added numerous recycled items such as toilet paper tubes, bottles, lids, buttons, and pipe cleaners. They are currently on the revising and editing stages of writing about what their robot can do if he or she were real.
In the computer lab the students used PebbleGo to research various inventors of their choice. I love PebbleGo because not only can the students read the information themselves but they can have it read to them as well. There are also various pictures, videos, and timelines to help them comprehend the material. As the students learned about their chosen inventor, they recorded facts on a Circle Map. They then used those facts to help them write a research paper about their inventor.