Everyday is sweet in first grade, but today was just a little extra special! This morning we visited the Aspen Elementary School Magical Garden. We dug up potatoes, picked beans, and got our hands and our knees nice and dirty. All gardens are magical places, but this one is especially magical because starting next week we'll be eating the fruits of our labor in the cafeteria. So cool!
If you're not dirty, you're not having fun!
This book has some pretty great messages too! We thought the author was trying to teach us:
Everyone is an artist!
Art is everywhere!
No more can't, just CAN!
The power of NOT YET, with a willingness to TRY!
Today we talked more about picking a JUST RIGHT book. It's harder than it sounds. First of all, there are a few ways to pick books. We pick books we are INTERESTED in. We pick books that we UNDERSTAND. And we pick books that we CAN READ (both the words and the pictures). Sometimes it's hard to pick a just right book though when our friends are all picking different books...so, here's how we talk about it to make it seem a little more equitable.
It seems silly with clothing, but it's the same idea with books.
Here we are each enjoying our just right selection of books and poetry. We love reading!
Today we went for a hike, and saw a few people on a bike.
We walked four miles, and had thousands for smiles!
We didn't see a bear, but we didn't care.
We played in the mud, with our very best buds.
We jumped up and down, and ran all around.
It was the best day of school, cause we're are really cool.
Each week we learn four new vocabulary words. Right now, we're focusing on synonyms. Instead of using the same boring words over and over, it's much more interesting to switch it up. Whenever we learn new words we always make a pose or motion to go along with them to help us remember. Check out our first four words. You might hear them popping up at home.
As we start to add detail to our writing we also learn that the pictures are important. Sometimes, pictures can help us plan the ideas for our stories. Other times, the pictures can add details and feelings that are hard to put into words. First graders are the most amazing artists.
Today we started first grade for real! We jumped into our Writer's Workshop this morning and Eureka Math this afternoon. One of the best parts of math is fluency practice. We often do sprints. These are quick one minute math sheets to check the state of our mental math with different skills. We always do two sprints in a row to try and do more problems the second time around. It was really fun, but also really hard to put our pencils down when the timer rang! Look for these sprints coming home with lots of other work in Friday Folders this week.
But of course real first grade is lots of fun and full of surprises too! Once a month we are lucky enough to get a visit from a former first grade teacher and very talented story teller, Aya. She shared three stories with us today. They left us laughing and thinking that they had some pretty important morals...like sharing, caring, and not being selfish. Stories are the best!
She also had three amazing knock, knock jokes. We had to hear them a few times to get it, but once they clicked we couldn't stop giggling. You might hear them at home tonight...
Today we had our first visit from Mr. G and it did not disappoint. We learned about what shapes makes a strong bridge and we got to work together with our classmates to figure it out.
Problem: Do different shapes make bridges stronger?
Procedure: Place two cups six inches apart. Get a piece of poster board and place it across the top of the two cups. Then place one eraser at a time on the middle of the poster board until it falls down. Try this again with the poster board forming an arch between the cups. Then do the same thing with the cups eight inches apart.
Materials: (all things you have at home...hint, hint)
2 cups erasers poster board ruler
a. The six inch arch can hold the most erasers. 0 friends thought this would be true.
b. The straight poster board holds the most erasers. 8 friends thought this would be true.
c. The eight inch arch holds the most erasers. 2 friends thought this would be true.
d. They all hold exactly the same amount of erasers. 4 friends thought this would be true.
Conclusion: The six inch arch can hold the most weight! We were proven wrong, but we learned a lot! One group's six inch arch held nine erasers and could have kept going. Here's why...2,000 years ago some really smart people changed the straight bridge into an arch shape in order to distribute weight better. A straight line has to hold weight all in one place. An arch sends weight back down the sides to the ground so the bridge is much stronger. We can't wait to go examine the Tiehack Bridge next week on our Buttermilk Hike (details coming soon)!
...and that sounded like a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" year in first grade!
So, we re-evaluated and made a list of the things we WANT in first grade.
And it felt much better! Kinda like this:
(for the Gratitude Project)
Amazon Gift Cards
(for classroom and art supplies)