The return to school from the Holidays has been a whirlwind of fun and GROWTH. I always tell the kids that there's just "something" about the month of January. They are convinced it's magical and that all of a sudden, they've just grown up overnight! It sounds so silly but it is SO TRUE. A new year often brings huge changes socially and academically for First Graders. I'm sure you've noticed some more fluent reading, writing samples with better handwriting and mechanics and even strong scores on math assessments. It's that January MAGIC!
Here's what's been going on this month:
Unit of Study: Personal Identity
Our Personal Identity unit is still going strong! This week, we focused on comparing life now to life long ago. We started with talking about schools "then and now". The kids were shocked to learn that schools used to be in one room buildings with LOTS of different age groups. Raylie even asked "How did all of the kids get what they needed?!" So insightful! It was a great conversation about how lucky we are to have the school that we do and that we get to have not one but TWO teachers in our room. We then moved on to comparing houses. We saw pictures of old stoves, refrigerators run on ice blocks alone and even outhouses! This was pretty shocking to the class but they finally decided that if you couldn't flush, the bathroom just HAD to be outside. :) Our next stop was comparing communication and transportation. We learned about Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone. You should have seen their faces when we looked at a picture of a pay phone. Someone was convinced their grandparents had one of those in their houses! HA! We also watched a neat video about how transportation has evolved over time. The kids were impressed that skiing and canoes were actually some of the earliest forms of transportation. Finally, we compared toys and games from then and now. One of the big take aways was that old toys were often homemade. Additionally, marbles weren't just something we use in a marble run but were actually part of their own game long ago! In a few weeks, we will be beginning our next unit: Nature's Patterns and got to experience a fun kick off activity when the Planetarium visited our school. We got to learn about how the moon goes through phases and how to spot constellations in the sky. This definitely piqued our interest for our next unit!