Tuesday, 24 April 2012

People In My Town and Energy Investigators

People In My Town
The children have been learning all about our community and community helpers. They have enjoyed many fun activities, including creating a large community mural, participating in several community learning centre activities, as well as numerous visits from community workers. As a finale to our unit, the students presented a song to our Grade 5 reading buddies. I wish I could share pictures of the adorable costumes, moustaches and props, but I must be cautious for safety reasons and therefore will sadly be unable to post pics of individual students. However, I will give you the link to this adorable song, People In My Town. Have a listen and imagine my adorable little munchkins acting out the parts, dressed as the named community workers. Priceless!


Energy Investigators!
The students have been busy learning about Energy! In Ontario, Grade 1 students are expected to understand how energy is used in daily life, as well as describe uses of energy at home, at school, and in the community, and suggest ways that energy can be conserved.

As part of our culminating activities, Mr. Amos, our chief custodian, agreed to take our class on an Energy Tour of the school's boiler room! He shared with us the types of energy the school uses and how the energy is delivered throughout the building. It was exciting! The children made Energy Investigator Headbands prior to the tour, and were equipped with clipboards and paper to take notes!

Before we headed to the boiler room, Mr. Amos reviewed some safety rules with us. Very important!

Mr. Amos is busy here talking all about the boilers.

Energy Investigator hats!

Make-shift clipboards courtesy of Ms. Huot

 Tomorrow the children will experience a portion of the afternoon without power! We will be reading When Charlie McButton Lost Power!

Lots of fun learning will be happening over the next few days! I will keep you posted!

Nighty Night!
~ Amanda

Friday, 20 April 2012

Friday Fun!

Well, another week has quickly come to an end! I can't believe we are close to the end of April! The school year is just flying by!

Today my student teacher prepared several Math centres to assist students in solidifying their learning in money. They have been learning about money, more specifically the coin names and their values. In Grade 1, students are required to know coin names and their values, as well as different ways to make change up to 0.20 cents. 

This morning was fun! Here are some of the centres that the students were able to participate in.

Snack Shop - students were given a cup of coins. They used the coins to purchase items from the snack shop. 

They LOVED this!

Super cute Snack Shop!

In action!
I'm so glad I stole this from m own kids' toy collection!

This next centre is where students were required to show different ways of paying for the item in the middle of the tray. For example, if an item cost 0.15 cents, students were required to show as many ways of making 0.15 cents as possible, divided into each section of the tray.

Ms. Huot coaching a student!
How many ways can you show 0.12 cents?
 Coin Sort - an activity that encourages coin recognition, name and value.

Super cute activity where students divide up their chalk board into columns - penny, nickel, dime...
They roll the dice and that indicates the number of pennies they should place in the penny column. As they continue, students are required to cash in their pennies for nickels and when they are able to, cash in their nickels for dimes.... Fun!

Students in action.
The Smart Board is always on! Students here are engaged in an activity where they are supposed to move the coin amount into the centre of the board. Super fun!

 Fill the bank. This is another fun game that the students can play in groups of 2 or 3.

My student teacher has been amazing - the best I have ever had! Seriously! Talk about raising the bar! Her last day is on Thursday, and I am very sad to see her go. The kids have enjoyed her so much and we are all going to miss her. Thursday will be a very sad day for us, but a very exciting day for her - she will be done!

Ms. Huot is wrapping up her study on Energy and Money and I will start teaching full time again on Friday! That is, until another student teacher arrives on Monday. I am very excited to work with another student teacher over the next two weeks, but I am also really looking forward to having my class to myself mid-May! I have missed them! I'm sure you know, but.... I just LOVE teaching and my students! I hope you all love your job as much as I do!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

- Amanda

Monday, 16 April 2012

Point of View

This morning we read No David! by David Shannon AGAIN! But, this time we read it for a different purpose. As part of the Grade 1 Language/Reading Ontario curriculum, students are required to identify who is speaking in an oral text, as well as the point of view expressed by the speaker. In order to gain exposure and practice in this area, I felt it necessary to begin by using a familiar text. 

We talked about what point of view means, whose voice is heard in the text, whose voice is not heard, and how the story would be different if another character (David) was telling it. It was absolutely amazing to see and hear how well the students comprehended these concepts. I still can't believe their work after just one lesson!

I had students work in pairs to write out the story from David's perspective. What would he say if his voice was heard? What they came up with was awesome!

For the final pages of the story, each child received as many post-its as they needed to write what David would be saying. They had a lot to say! Check out the thinking and learning going on here! Wow!

This is the rubric that I will be using, while studying point of view, to assess my students.

After re-writing the story from David's point of view, we brainstormed a list of interview questions for David. Here is our list.

I then gave students the opportunity to sit in the HOT SEAT! I chose different students to become David. They wore this crazy hat/headband and had the chance to answer the interview questions as David! They did such a fabulous job! The laughter in the room was priceless! I LOVE this age. These kids are fabulous!

Since we didn't have enough time to give everyone a chance to be in the HOT SEAT, I cut out speech bubbles and sent children off to work in pairs again. They all got a chance to be David and answered questions from his perspective. They LOVED this!

This afternoon, the children had a chance to create their own communities. This is the checklist they were all given. They were provided with a model of what was expected, and then they were required to create their own using materials provided. They enjoyed this.

Such great artists!

Our reading buddies came for a visit today! Instead of reading in pairs, we decided to give the grade ones a chance to work with their grade five buddies on an important task. As part of our community unit, students are required to make models and read maps of familiar areas, as well as use appropriate vocabulary to communicate and describe locations of places and objects. Pictured below, Ms. Huot is giving all of the students instructions on how to create simple, effective directions to a "secret location" in the school. The children then were given the chance to find Ms. Huot's secret location, and then write their own. Once each reading buddy group wrote out their directions, another group had to go and find their secret location in the school! Fun!!!

Our next session with our reading buddies will involve them mapping out their route on a floor plan of our school.

I just love grade 1! It is the most amazing, rewarding grade I have ever taught. I am cherishing all these special moments and am so glad that I am able to share these memories with all of you! Thanks for reading.

On another note, my son's front tooth is finally growing in! He was very excited to see a little bit of white peeking out of his gums! He's almost 7 (in two weeks) and he has an adult front tooth! That's crazy!

Good Night!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Tying up loose ends!

As promised in my last post, I have a few pics I'd like to share.

Friday was a BUSY day! Take a peek at all our great learning! First up! David Goes to School by David Shannon. I mentioned that I would take a pic of the chart that I created for inferring with this book. Well, here is a sample. Each child had a different pic from the book, and they had to complete the chart independently. The T-chart said
I think... I infer                I know this because (evidence and schema) ....

Here is the rubric I used to assess the students in their inferring abilities.

Check out these adorable David faces! 

My sample
Hallway display
Hallway display. Love the David border!
We have been working on The Local Community, as part of our Social Studies curriculum. The unit is coming to an end so we decided to give students the opportunity to solidify their learning through play at a variety of learning centres. The first activity below is of the students mapping their bedrooms. They were asked to map out, on graph paper, a bird's eye view of their bedroom. Parents were so supportive and assisted their child with this task at home. The students brought in their work and used this to create a model of their bedrooms, using plasticine. Fun! Take a peek at the great work!


Thanks so much to Farm Boy for providing us with the styrofoam trays! 

Here are a few of the other centres that the students participated in. They enjoyed this learning period so much!

Students designed their own community by placing the items provided (roads, vehicles, people, buildings, etc) in appropriate places. 

Town Mouse and Country Mouse

Where in the community? (board game)

Finally, as a fun finale to our unit on fractions, students followed a recipe and created their very own personal pizzas! We provided the students with one whole wheat english muffins, tomato sauce and cheese. Students were invited to bring in additional toppings for themselves if they wanted something extra!

Before we ate our pizzas, we discussed ways that we could slice the pizza in order to feed two, three or four people. It was decided that the pizza would be too small to feed three or four, but you could definitely share it with one other person by cutting it down the centre - in half! Nice!

They were actually quite delicious! I ate 2!
Friday was a super day! Food always makes things a bit more exciting!

On another note, students, parents and teachers from the area were invited to participate in a local radio station contest. They were asked to send in a pic of the class dressed up in Ottawa Senators gear. Well, Mme. Bowler entered the contest with her Grade 4 homeroom students. Here is what their backdrop for the picture looked like!

Now, imagine 20+ students and 2 teachers dressed in Sens gear, faces painted black and red, chanting "Go Sens Go!"

Of course they won!!!! Yay!

FABULOUS! Congrats Grade 4!
Finally, I decided to give a fishtail braid another whirl today. Thanks to Lauren Conrad's youtube tutorial, I was successful! It's so much fun trying new things, and finally being able to do it! Super easy!

Hoping your weekend is fabulous so far! Mine is!

 ~ Amanda

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More Pizza Pizzaz!

Inferring... continued
This morning, the children were excited to get back into inferring! I gave each group of two another page from the story, No David! by David McPhail. The children were required to fill out a chart just as they did yesterday. After sharing all their inferences with the class, I read the book aloud to them. They just thought it was hysterical, especially the part when David is running down the street naked! They had so much to say about that pic! I am so impressed by their inferring abilities! Wow!

Because I think they are ready, the students will be inferring independently tomorrow. I am going to start by showing them the book, David Goes to School. Instead of David's mother saying, "No!", his teacher is the one speaking. To get ready, I minimized all of the pictures from the book and pasted each one of them onto large ledger-sized paper that has the same chart on it (I infer/I think... and I know this because...) Each student will receive their own page with a different picture from the text, and will be required to fill it out. I created an Inferring Rubric in order to assess their learning. I had hoped to upload it here, but have been unsuccessful. For the past hour, I have been trying to figure out how to attach a word and pdf file to this blog, but I can't seem to figure out how. So, I won't be able to show you the charts or rubric that I made... however, I promise to take pictures. If I can figure out how to attach them so that you can download and print or save for yourself, I will. Sorry! Bummer!

Math Scrapbooks and Pizza Fractions!
As mentioned in a previous post, my student teacher prepared Math scrapbooks for the students. This is a very simple concept and is working quite nicely. The students received a picture of the pizzas that they discussed yesterday with my student teacher. They were required to write the fraction for each pizza and then explain what they have learned so far about fractions. Some of them were stuck, but many of them were able to explain their thinking - or at least something about fractions that they didn't know before.

Once the students were finished with their scrapbook entries, they were given the opportunity to visit a Math centre. Since we have been working for the past month on mass, capacity, greater than and less than, as well as fraction concepts, these were the types of centres made available to the children. My absolute favourite is the first one below.

Pizza Math - my student teacher visited Gabriel's Pizzeria and they graciously donated six small boxes to our classroom! Thank you Gabriel's! My coop students prepared six different pizzas, with different toppings. They were created so beautifully! I am so thankful for all of the help! 

All of the pizzas were divided in either halves, quarters, thirds or eights! The children had a lovely worksheet, created by Ms. Huot, my student teacher, to keep them on-track. Instead of photocopying one for each child, we laminated five and used dry-erase markers so that they could be re-used. The instructions were to count the slices in each box, determine the fraction of slices that have pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and green peppers. They did a fabulous job!

Children filled this out while they visited this center.
They were required to show their completed copy when they finished.

What is the fraction of slices that has pepperoni? What is the fraction of slices that has olives?

Don't these look great?
 The sixth box gave children the opportunity to create their own pizza with toppings. When they finished creating their pizza masterpiece, they had to write the fraction of slices that had each of the toppings.
An opportunity for creativity. Students take ownership when they are involved in the "making."

Smart Board - Another centre that was available was the Smart Board. Thank goodness for Smart Exchange. We find lots of great gems on that site!

Mass - The next center was where the children could use a variety of materials to balance two different objects. They had to draw pictures of the objects they used and then write about their findings.
Students busy at work!

Mass worksheet

Capacity - The children had the opportunity to work with four different containers. They were required to predict how many scoops of beans it would take to fill each container and then test their predictions. When they finished writing down their findings, they had to compare the capacity of each of the containers and order them from greatest to least.
This was a bit messy, but the children enjoyed it!

Greater Than/Less Than - Finally, we had a greater than and less than centre. Here is a pic of just a portion of this centre. Not too exciting. The part missing is a much more exciting, with crocodiles and numbers! Maybe I will have a chance to post another time... didn't get a pic!
Greater than/Less than

Garbage Audit = GROSSE!
Our school was involved in a garbage/recycling audit yesterday! The grade 5 students collected and sorted through all of the garbage and recycling that was collected in the school. This was done to determine if we place items into the proper bins. Are we recycling effectively? Is the Boomerang lunch program working? Are we creating too much trash?

Today we had the opportunity to visit the gym where all of the garbage was sorted and on display. It was kind of disgusting, to be honest, but it was a good learning experience, and interesting to see what we are doing and what we aren't' doing right!

YUCK! Kudos to the students and staff who sorted. 

Until next time,