Ms. Alison has changed grade levels and blogs! She can now be found teaching Kindergarten 1 and posting at her new blog "Learning with K1AC...". See you there!
School's out for summer, but wherever you are in the world you're surely still thinking and learning! Our friend Mrs. Frazier in Ohio has had another great idea and once again has kindly invited Grade 1AC to participate. Throughout the holiday, you can visit Mrs. Frazier's Grade 1 class blog for a "Weekly Wonder". Feel free to leave your answers, ideas, and wonders of your own. Have fun!
I know I'll be busy catching up on some reading this summer and I hope you will be too! To help you guide your reading choices, Mrs. Burden, our literacy specialist, has gathered a list of titles she recommends checking out.
Click here to go to her blog post all about summer reading and visit the links to get some recommendations.
You can also open this file, where Mrs. Burden has made a list of some favourite books for our age level:
Thanks Mrs. Burden! Happy reading to everyone!
In our last week of school, we did a lot of reflecting on our year in Grade 1. On of the activities was an individual portfolio reflection. Here are some of our thoughts after viewing our work:
This week we visited the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park to celebrate our wonderful year together. As we walked through the park to get to our picnic spot, the students were able to make many great connections to our 'Where we are in place and time unit'. They observed and commented on how all sorts of different people were using and the park, and in different ways! We saw people jogging, doing yoga and stretches, walking their dogs, playing on playgrounds, working to clean the ponds, doing team activities as school groups, and even filming a movie!
We finally met our parents at the picnic spot after a very long (and accidental!) walk. We were so happy to share this exciting morning with them. We played on the adventure playground, ate delicious food, reflected on our year, and share holiday plans and stories. It was a beautiful way to celebrate our great year. We hope you had fun!!
Have you ever read the book The Little House? It's an absolutely beautiful story about the changes that a house and community go through from day to night, season to season, and eventually over years and years of time.
We used the CHANGE and CAUSATION concept keys to unlock our thinking and discuss some of the changes we observed in the story and what may have been the reasons for them:
We also learned how to show change over time by making a timeline:
We enjoyed this activity so much that we then created our own individual timelines about our community using our imaginations about what it may have been like in the past and might be like in the future. We used these individual timelines as ideas for story writing.
We'd been working so hard on making group decisions in our class community structure, that it was time to take a rest and just let our own ideas flow. We collaborated with Mr. Gallagher in the IT lab to represent these ideas by making a neighbourhood on Kidspiration. We used our notes from class about which features and places of communities we thought were important to inspire some ideas.
After we finished these neighbourhoods we used them to play a partner game back in class called "I'm Lost!". In this game, one person chooses two places on the map of their partner and asks how to get from here to there. We wrote our questions and answers using pencil and paper and some people recorded their conversations using Fotobabble. Here are some examples:
As we were building our community, some people started to use shape names and vocabulary to describe the pieces and structures they were talking about. This lead us to a discussion about the FORM of 2D and 3D shapes:
I then asked the students to spend some time studying the shapes in our community and record some of their observations in answer to the question "What shapes do you notice in our community?". We used the I Used to Think/Now I Think visible thinking routine to record our initial thoughts. We then
We knew that Grade 3 had been learning about 3D shapes earlier in the semester, so we also tweeted our friends in 3SS some questions to see if they could teach us anything new. We noticed that they were really knowledgeable about shape names and features...especially complicated ones like hexagonal prisms!!
One of our learning centres also asked us to record our ideas about the FORM of 3D shapes. We did this using one of our favourite web tools called "Popplet". We made comparisons to real-world objects and described the features of the shapes using words like 'sides' and 'corners'.
We also had an opportunity to record our perspectives on the shapes in our community using the ipad. We photographed the structures and made notes about their shapes and features using the app Skitch.
After about an hour in these learning centres we returned to our thinking routine to see if we'd learned anything new. We completed the "Now I think" section of our work page, as also noted some Aha Moments and Seeds of Thought.
The next day we shared our learning with our Grade 4 buddies. They were very impressed with how knowledgeable we were!
For three weeks now we've been building a community right in the middle of our classroom! We've have made decisions as a group and made additions and changes to the structure as our thinking has evolved. One of our favourite additions was mini versions of ourselves! The community we have now represents our combined thoughts as a class and over time about what places and features are important in a community and how they fit together. We've loved using our community as an inspiration for story writing and maths work. We hope you like it!