Goodbye April . . . Hello May!

4-happy-birdsAs we say goodbye to April this weekend, we welcome May with smiles and wishes for warmer weather.  And . . . our rescheduled field trip! (Thank you again for being flexible with that!)  We have had fun learning this week by creating characters and adventures during our writing time, representing data during math, and using biomimicry (bio what?!?) during our science time to create inventions to solve problems.  Read more to see a few photos and learn more about what we’ve been doing this past week.

  • Conversation Starters
  • Writing – Realistic Fiction
  • Writing – Creating Characters
  • Writing – Creating Adventures/Problems
  • Math – Representing Data
  • Science – Biomimicry
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • UnknownYou visited our librarian, Mrs. Meihaus, again this week.  She shared the book that was the Caldecott winning book from last year, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.  Tell me what Beekle looked like and who he became friends with in the story.  What did you enjoy about this story?
  • Mrs. Clark shared ANOTHER Unthinkable with your class this week.  This one was about being grumpy!  Tell me about this Unthinkable and ways you can defeat him when he tries to get into you brain.  Have any of the Unthinkables gotten into your brain recently?  If so, how have you defeated them?

Writing – Realistic Fiction: This week, we began discovering, discussing and writing realistic fiction stories.  We talked about how realistic fiction stories seem like they are real and could really happen – but didn’t.  It is very hard as a first grade writer to imagine a character and story that does not include something that could NEVER happen, like magic, talking animals or flying people.  However, we have been working HARD to create realistic characters and adventures to turn into stories.  Look at the chart below to see what we are using as a guide for our writing.

This is the process we are following as we write realistic fiction stories during our writing time.
This is the process we are following as we write realistic fiction stories during our writing time.

Writing – Creating Characters:  As you just learned, we are working on realistic fiction stories in our first grade classroom.  In order to begin the process of writing our realistic fiction stories, we took time to create and get to know the characters we wanted to write about.  (My hope, as their writing teacher, was for students to get to know their characters so well they would want to write many books with their character in it.)  We imagined our character, drew a picture and wrote about him or her.  Check out the prompt we used to create our characters.  Then, meet some of our characters in the photos below!

We used this prompt to imagine and create characters for our realistic fiction stories.
We used this prompt to imagine and create characters for our realistic fiction stories.

Writing – Creating Adventures/ProblemsAfter creating characters, we needed to imagine an adventure or problem for our character.  We did this with manipulatives (tiles, cubes, blocks, etc.) and then told the story aloud by acting it out with our character.  It was AWESOME to both see and feel the excitement in our room as the stories were created.  As you can imagine, after creating our stories out of manipulatives and then telling them, it was SO EASY to write the words on paper since we already knew the story.  Click here, here, here or here to watch some of our authors tell their story.  Then, look below to see some of the adventures that were going to happen for our realistic fiction stories.

Math – Representing Data: As you know, we have been working with data over the past week.  This week, we dove into representing data and our first grade mathematicians did a superb job!  We talked about ways to represent data (look below) and practiced doing so with data we collected in our classroom (last week).  Check out our work below.

This is our rubric descriptor for representing data.
This is our rubric descriptor for representing data.
Here are some ways we practice representing data in first grade.
Here are some ways we practice representing data in first grade.

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Science – Biomimicry: As you know, we have done a lot of discovery with animals and plants over the past few weeks.  This week, we began discussing ways that scientists use patterns and strategies in both nature and with animals to create solutions to problems in our world.  This is called biomimicry.  If you’d like to learn more, check out the Biomimicry Institute by clicking here.   Our scientists had the challenge to use the engineering design cycle (see a photo of this below) to create a solution to a problem by using something they know about nature or animals.  Our creations are so great!  Many are still in-process, however, we will present these to one another next week and then they will come home for you to admire.  Check them out below!

We are using our engineering design cycle to explore biomimicry.
We are using our engineering design cycle to explore biomimicry.

A Smile for You!  This week’s photo is cute, but NOT a first grader!  What?  Is that allowed?!?  Sure it is . . . if I get to make the rules.  Honestly, I don’t remember if I have posted this picture before, so please bear with me if I have done so.  If not, I’d love for you to meet my dog, Rosie.  She looks quite sweet and innocent, but I assure you that she is not.  I hope she makes you smile like she does for me – most days!  Thanks for reading our blog this week.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Meet my dog, Rosie!
Meet my dog, Rosie!

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