As our first grade travels around the world visiting different countries to learn how they celebrate the winter holidays, we have stopped in Sweden this week to learn about St. Lucia. She is the oldest daughter in the house and serves sweet buns and hot drinks on the morning of December 13th. That is the longest day of darkness in Sweden. Here is our St. Lucia serving crumb cake to the students as they all make their own crown of evergreen and candles.
We have been learning how to read and write informational books. In reading workshop, the students have been learning how to make keyword maps and mark important and interesting facts to help them teach their partner about their book. The students are enjoying being the "teacher" when it is their turn in partner time. They use sticky notes to mark their facts to find them more easily when sharing.
First grade has officially begun their travels this week. We are flying around the world to visit countries and learn about their winter holidays. The students have their suitcases already full of items from 3 countries- Israel, America and Germany. As the students are visiting the countries, we are talking about what holiday is celebrated, how it is celebrated and the traditions that passed down. We connect many of these winter holidays through the traditions of lights, food and family. The students had a blast learning about Hanukkah earlier this week. They learned how to play the dreidel game with Mrs. Kulmann's class. They even had gelt (chocolate coins) after.
The students have been learning about tens and ones. They are exploring what a 2-digit number really means. The students faced a challenge where they had to organize their 43 pieces of popcorn(cubes) in a way that made it easier to count for others. The results were amazing! They used various tools that we have already explored, and were able to show their thinking on paper. After a brief discussion midway through, the students gave each other new ideas on how to further make their work even FASTER for others to count and went off to change, fix or finish their thinking.
We have completed our first science unit on the patterns of the sun and moon. Students have enjoyed learning through various activities, videos and books. As a final celebration of our learning, the scientists in room 17 have created sun dials. Although today was not a sunny day, the students experimented with flashlights to notice how the light (Sun) will make a shadow on the sundial. On Monday, hopefully a sunny day, we will head outside to test it out for real.
Our stability balls are here! The students are so excited for this new tool in our classroom. We have spent this week learning about them. We have talked about rules and how to take care of them, what they are here for, how to get work done on them and that they are a privilege. This week we took turns practicing a few minutes at a time using them around the room for reading and writing workshop. It is a slow process to get them all inflated and the students needed time to adjust to them in the room before they all had one. Students will be signing promises/ contracts next week that they will continue to use them properly and take care of them. By the end of next week, all students should have one. Look for notes coming home about them, as well as permission slips to be signed.
Last week, our school had a wonderfully creative and inspiring cultural arts show. It was called Cardboard Explosion. In the show, our presenter or story teller used cardboard boxes and pieces to create characters and settings to stories that the audience created part by part. The students were captivated by it. Even our very own Mrs. Kulmann from 1st grade got to be a part of the show as the Cardboard Monster Baby. If you suddenly see your child grabbing at all the cardboard boxes coming in during holiday delivers, do not be surprised. It was so much fun!
Our class attended the Veteran's day assembly to pay honor to those Veterans that belong to our school community. Among them, were many Veterans that belonged to students in our classroom. During the assembly, the students listened to a book read aloud by the 4th graders that paid honor to the Veteran's that return home and become our neighborhood heroes, It was a beautiful assembly. In our classroom we had learned about the 5 branches of the United States Armed Forces and what each branch does. We talked about who a Veteran is and why we celebrate this day.
From our class we would like to say THANK YOU to all Veterans for serving our country.
Tomorrow morning is our second Family Read beginning at 9am.
If your child is having breakfast with their Veteran, they can join family read at any time if they wish.
At 9:30, we will be joining the school int he cafe for the Veteran's Day assembly. All are welcome to join.