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, April 27, 2014
Last Thursday we visited Dallas Heritage Village. The students were able to see how people lived in the past. They viewed an old school, hotel, house, bank, and a blacksmith. They visited gardens and observed animals such as chickens, sheep, and donkeys. It was rewarding to see how excited they were about history! Thank you to PTA for making this trip financially possible and to the parents who took a day from work to help us chaperone.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
In Social Studies we have been learning about needs and wants, goods and services, and the importance of doing a job well. In one lesson we talked about assembly lines. We discussed that if one person does not do their job, and do it well, then it affects the other people doing jobs. To make this concept real to the students, we created art in an assembly line. One group of students were responsible for laying out the mini canvases in rows. Another group of students was responsible for adding strips of painters tape all over the canvases. Another group was responsible for connecting the strips of tape with other pieces of tape. Then the students were divided into groups. The groups were each given a color. They were responsible for their color and had to go to each canvas and fill in a blank space. After all of the canvases were painted, we waited for them to dry. While we waited for them to dry, we discussed the roles of producers and consumers. In this part of the lesson, they were the producers. Once the paint dried, we pulled off the tape. At this point, the students then became the consumers. They were able to "shop" and decide which of the paintings they wanted to keep. I loved this lesson because it incorporated so many concepts but was also cross-curricular and fun. Their final products turned out fantastic!
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Our class has been using Edmodo in the computer lab to help learn more technology skills. We have also been using it to practice our content subjects in fun ways. For example, when we were studying space, we used the Earth and Space app to practice putting the planets in order. To review telling time, we used the Time Teacher app. The students have also used Edmodo as a place to take quizzes, polls, and answer questions. The students answered what types of non-fiction subjects they would like to research, where they would like to go on a field trip, and more. Parents, I've sent home login password cards previously along with the permission slip. If you need another set of cards, let me know. There are several resources in our class folder in Edmodo that your child can use to learn at home.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the students wrote at least one "dream" or hope they have for the future. After writing, they illustrated their work. Using Audacity software, the students then recorded their "dream" which I mixed together. To listen to their speech, use your smart phone or Ipad to scan the QR code below. I made the QR code using QR Stuff.