It’s ALREADY Thursday?!?

imagesWell . . . it seems like it was JUST Thursday last week and here we are again, another Thursday in first grade!  Eek – these days go by way too quickly with these lovely first graders.  Last Friday, we read a dinosaur book by Mo Willems and our conversation after the reading launched into a conversation that had no turning back!  After witnessing the interest and excitement surrounding dinosaurs, I KNEW we had to begin doing some dinosaur learning in our room over the next couple of weeks!  In addition to the dinosaur theme you will notice in the post below, you will also see that we did some coding as well.  Did you know that your first grader is learning to code?  Awesome stuff continues to happen at Robinson and its great to be a part of it with these first graders.  Thanks for visiting our blog this week – enjoy reading!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Exploring Dinosaurs
  • Dinosaur Math Investigation
  • Researching Dinosaurs
  • Coding – Scratch Jr.
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • img_6868Your class had the opportunity to meet another author this week via Skype named Lola Schaefer.  Tell me about some of the books she has written, her book CLOSET, which book has been your favorite and what you learned about writing
    a story from your conversation with her.
  • img_6843Your class has been discussing what it means to KNOW things and how we can SHOW and PROVE what we know as thinkers, specifically in math. Tell me about these conversations and how it helps you as a learner.

Exploring Dinosaurs: As mentioned above, we discovered that there is a HUGE interest in learning more about dinosaurs and we are having a great time reading and researching!  After an innocent read aloud last week,  who knew that a large part of our learning time would begin morphing into dinosaur learning?  Check out notes from our original conversation below and what each first grader decided to learn further about during our dinosaur study.

This is the book that launched our conversation about dinosaurs!
This is the book that launched our conversation about dinosaurs!
This was the chart we created during our impromptu conversation about dinosaurs after reading, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct.
This was the chart we created during our impromptu conversation about dinosaurs after reading, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.
After a some time of reading and exploring of dinosaurs, each first grader chose which topic he or she wanted to learn more about.
After a some time of reading and exploring of dinosaurs, each first grader chose which topic he or she wanted to learn more about.

Dinosaur Math Investigation: We looked at a dinosaur photo this week and had an amazing conversation about what we noticed and wondered about the photo.  The conversation ended in a wondering which led to a math investigation.  Each kiddo was to investigate: How many plates are on the closer dinosaur?  How can you prove your thinking?  Since the kids created the question from their observations, they were so engaged and interested to find ways to prove their thinking because everyone believed he or she knew the answer!  Look at the original photo that we looked at below and some of the math thinking from our brilliant mathematicians.  It was such a fun investigation to do together!

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These are rubric descriptors we connected to our math investigation about dinosaurs.
These are rubric descriptors we connected to our math investigation about dinosaurs.

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We noticed and discovered this photo to begin our math investigation.
We noticed and discovered this photo to begin our math investigation.
Jack worked to figure out how many plates were on the dinosaur and how to prove his thinking to us.
Jack worked to figure out how many plates were on the dinosaur and how to prove his thinking to us.
This mathematician decided to add onto the picture by drawing the plates that cannot be seen. Such smart thinking!
This mathematician decided to add onto the picture by drawing the plates that cannot be seen. Such smart thinking!
Look at these hard working mathematicians working on our dinosaur investigation!
Look at these hard working mathematicians working on our dinosaur investigation!
This mathematician decided that he could use his doubles to work through the investigation.
This mathematician decided that he could use his doubles to work through the investigation.
This math thinker was showing how to prove her thinking about the plates by drawing a diagram of the front of back of the dinosaur.
This math thinker was showing how to prove her thinking about the plates by drawing a diagram of the front of back of the dinosaur.
Mathematicians Harlow, Abby and Edie worked together to work through our investigation.
Mathematicians Harlow, Abby and Edie worked together to work through our investigation.

Dinosaur Research: We officially began our dinosaur research by using books.  After doing much work reading about dinosaurs in books and recording our thinking on paper or electronically, children put their thinking onto a classroom Padlet.  To see our thinking, click here.  Next, we began using two internet sites, specifically dedicated to kids learning about dinosaurs!  Check out some of our researchers below!

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This is the rubric descriptor we use as a guide for our research.
These are rubric descriptors we are using to guide our research.
This was the job that each first grader had today as they officially dove into their dinosaur research.
This was the job that each first grader had today as they officially dove into their dinosaur research.
This is the guide our scientists used to record their learning as they researched.
This is the guide our scientists used to record their learning as they researched.
Here are some of the responses from our classroom Padlet.
Here are some of the responses from our classroom Padlet.

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Connor and Duncan found a page showing a skeleton of the plates on a Stegosaurus which connected perfectly with our math investigation!
Connor and Duncan found a page showing a skeleton of the plates on a Stegosaurus which connected perfectly with our math investigation!

Coding – Scratch Jr.: On our half-day this past Monday, I had the privilege to work with all of the first grader to discuss and try coding!  We began by talking about how computers and iPads know what to do and then began learning about a way we were going to try and code by using Scratch Jr.  We started by watching this short video and then each first grader gave it a try on their own iPads!  I must say that I was VERY impressed with the skills of these first grade coders and as the week has gone on, they have learned more and more!    We will continue exploring the world of coding into the coming weeks and months.  Be sure to ask your first grader about coding!

This is how we began our conversation about coding.
This is how we began our conversation about coding.

A Smile for You!  Thanks for reading through this LONG post.  I hope you were interested and enjoyed your time!  One last photo for you will undoubtedly make you smile.  You will get to see one of our scientists and a proud find as he researched dinosaurs.  Check it out, smile, and have a wonderful weekend!

Zach found an awesome dinosaur footprint while he was researching! Look at how exited he was to share it with us!
Zach found an awesome dinosaur footprint while he was researching! Look at how excited he was to share it with us!
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