Welcome Back to First Grade!

animated-dancing-image-0381Can you tell I’m excited that we are back to school?!?  Look at the dancing “thing”  on the right and that’s pretty much how I feel! 🙂  Even though it has been a short week, we have had fun getting back into the swing of things and reuniting with one another as a learning community.  We have been working on finishing our dinosaur research – so we can teach kindergartners what we learned – while reading some amazing new books and doing some building based on a book.  Read on to learn more about what we have been up to lately.  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Dinosaur Work
  • Family Fun & Games
  • Making Sailboats
  • Creating to GO PLACES
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • unknownYour class visited the Robinson Library this week and learned about an author/illustrator coming to Robinson at the end of January named Don Tate.  Tell me what you learned about Mr. Tate and about one of the books your class read, Ron’s Big Mission.  What did you learn from this book?  How did it make you feel and why?
  • You worked on addition this week by playing card games during your math time.  Teach me how to play some games in order to become stronger at adding.

Dinosaur Work: Our “official” dinosaur work is coming to a close this week but I am sure we will continue to learn and explore new things about dinosaurs over the coming weeks and months.  Our first grade paleontologists have worked HARD on their research by collaborating in groups and choosing HOW to present and teach their information to others.  Check out our choice sheet below that guided our first graders for their presentations.  Ask your first grader which paleontologist choices he or she chose.  In addition, look at a few of the kiddos below as they worked on their projects – they did an AMAZING job!

Each research group chose how they wanted to teach others about their learning.
Each research group chose how they wanted to teach others about their learning.
Check out this Lego structure to teach about dinosaurs.
Check out this Lego structure to teach about dinosaurs.
Look at this dinosaur structure created from blocks.
Look at this dinosaur structure created from blocks.
We made a dinosaur cake, too!
We made a dinosaur cake, too!  This photo is before we decorated it!  Check out our twitter feed at @im4students to see a photo of the finished product.
Dai'jon worked hard to edit his dinosaur book with his editing coloring sheet.
Dai’jon worked hard to edit his dinosaur book with his editing coloring sheet.
These paleontologists worked to create a dinosaur puzzle.
These paleontologists worked to create a dinosaur puzzle.
Here is another dinosaur creation from blocks - this time it's a statue!
Here is another dinosaur creation from blocks – this time it’s a statue!
Zach worked on his dinosaur book with his editing coloring sheet.
Zach worked on his dinosaur book with his editing coloring sheet.
Look at this poster that one group made to teach about dinosaurs.
Look at this poster that one group made to teach about dinosaurs.
This group was using a coding app to teach about dinosaurs.
This group was using a coding app to teach about dinosaurs.

Family Fun & Games: On our last day of school before Winter Break, we had a GREAT time.  After an all-school sing along in the gymnasium, we headed back to our room and spent some time playing games with one another – and many of our families!  It was such a beautiful sight to see  first graders bounce from game to game playing with their families, as well as joining other families!  It really was a wonderful opportunity to see that our learning is a joint effort and we ALL work together to help each first grader succeed both inside and outside of school.

Making Sailboats: We had a recent visit from a REAL sailor – who happens to be my brother Jeff – and had the opportunity to learn about sailboats.  After a short lesson from Jeff each first grader had the task of building a sailboat with a keel, mast and rudder and having a chance to “sail” it across our “ocean” via fan. 🙂  Check out some of our sailing efforts by clicking here or clicking here.  It was such a fun project and hopefully your first grader is able to teach you a few things he or she has learned about sailboats.

Each first grader tested a sailboat in our "ocean" with a fan blowing their boat.
Each first grader tested a sailboat in our “ocean” with a fan blowing their boat.

unknown-1Creating to GO PLACES: We began our week back from Winter Break with a read aloud of an AMAZING book written by an author we are very familiar with, Peter Reynolds.  However, this book was written by both Peter Reynolds and his twin brother, Paul Reynolds.  We had so much fun reading and discussing Going Places and then we decided to embark on a project of creating our own things to help us go places.  In the story, the mail character, Rafael, is given a “going places” kit and has the task to create something to help him win a race.  Through his teamwork with a friend, they make the best object and they win the race!  We were so inspired from the story that we wanted to give it a try to make our own things and let me tell you – it was AMAZING!  Each first grader began with their own “going places” kit – like Rafael in the story – and worked and worked until he or she finished making their idea.  It was so much fun to watch the kids while they worked because they are such amazing thinkers!  We even had some incredibly deep conversations after our creations were built about the differences among each of our finished products, despite the truth that we all started with the same materials.  We noticed that we are all different, even though we have the same insides.  Check out some of our work below.

We started with a tub filled with 23 "Going Places" kits, just like in the book!
We started with a tub filled with 23 “Going Places” kits, just like in the book!
Look at the AMAZING creations our first graders made after reading the book, Going Places.
Look at the AMAZING creations our first graders made after reading the book, Going Places.

A Smile for You!  Thanks for reading this week!  It was tough to be away from these kiddos for two weeks over break but we are having a great time together again!  To leave you with a smile this week, I have a photo of how I found our bookshelf one day after school.  It just made me smile and realizing how much I love teaching first graders because there is always something unexpected – it’s so much fun!  I hope this photo makes you smile too.  Have a fantastic weekend with your family.

Look at what I found one day after school . . . our dinosaurs had apparently been planning an attack and almost got Fredbird! :)
Look at what I found one day after school . . . our dinosaurs had apparently been planning an attack and almost got the bobblehead! 🙂
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One thought on “Welcome Back to First Grade!

  1. Wow! Congratulations on the successful sailing and I loved the many different designs that you all created inspired by “Going Places.”
    Did you know that when I was your age, my favorite thing was dinosaur? I used to keep a map of where dinosaur bones had been found so I could travel there someday : ) I didn’t even know the word, paleontologist, but you guys do!

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