Over the last few weeks, we have been conducting an Author's Study of the beloved Mo Willems. Mr. Willems has written some of the most well-known children's book series: The Pigeon Books, The Knuffle Bunny Series and the Elephant and Piggy Series. We started our study by reading the 6 books in the Pigeon Series. The kids LOVED that crazy pigeon and did their best to not let him drive the bus! They were so intrigued by the PATTERNS Mo used throughout this series such as including speech bubbles on each page, including a comic strip page(s) and even including a page where the pigeon gets VERY angry! We took this love a step further when the children created their very own pigeon books! What title did your child choose?
We then moved on to the Knuffle Bunny series which consisted of three stories about a young girl named Trixie and her beloved pal "Knuffle Bunny". Just like in the pigeon series, the kids caught onto Mo's use of patterns when he always included a page where Trixie "realized something" (often that she misplaced her bunny!). Thanks to your support in sending in socks, yarn and buttons, we were then able to conclude our author's study by creating our very own KNUFFLE BUNNIES! Aren't they adorable?
After moving on from Mo Willems, we began discussing Adjectives or words that describe nouns. The children learned that these descriptive words often come from using our 5 senses! We played a mystery game when I hid 10 secret objects inside of 10 different bags. We broke up into teams and each pair looked into their own bag and came up with a list of adjectives to describe their mystery item. Each team then shared their descriptions and the class tried to guess what their secret item was! It was easy to guess those items with a lot of adjectives and more difficult to guess when there weren't many describing words used! For example, one team used the words yellow, scratchy, "holey", wet and squishy to describe their mystery items: A SPONGE!
We wrapped up adjectives by creating pictures of ourselves. The kiddos drew their bodies and then placed adjectives around them! Did your child describe themselves as beautiful, smart, funny, silly or crazy? Come by our room and find out :)
Writing: Opinion Writing
We wrapped up our opinion writing unit by choosing our favorite places in Beaufort! We saw topics like Riverview, the Fire Station, Pigeon Point Park and even Golden Corral. The students created a web with as many reasons as they could come up with as to why their favorite place was the best spot in town! We used our prior knowledge of opinion writing to create an introduction and a conclusion! We assembled our paragraphs into a class book so that our entire group could read about all of the great places to visit in Beaufort!
It's been a BUSY month in FIRST GRADE! We have zoomed through our solar system while studying everything we've seen, written amazing opinion pieces about our FAVORITE places and our FAVORITE planets, learned how to balance addition equations when there are MISSING ADDENDS and even studied the beloved author Mo Willems. Phew! Read below for some more details on all of our amazing adventures!
Unit of Study: Nature's Patterns
One of the coolest stops on our trip through the Solar System has been on our very own PLANET EARTH! We spent several days learning about Earth's features and composition. The students learned that Earth was composed of soil, rock and water. To dig a little deeper, we conducted our own water experiment to represent what types of water existed on our planet. We used a 2 liter bottle to represent all of Earth's water. We filled it almost completely to the top with "salt water" to represent that 97% of Earth's water is salt water. We then added a little more water to the top of the bottle to represent the 1% of fresh water that exists on Earth. Finally, we added a bit of "ice" at the top to represent that only 2% of Earth's fresh water exists in frozen ice caps! The students were fascinated with the idea that 97% of our own water isn't even drinkable!
We also dug deeper into Earth's composition to further study ROCKS! You may have noticed your child bringing bags/containers of rocks back and forth from home to school. The children are so interested in finding (and saving!) any new rocks they find outside! We discussed rocks and minerals and even sorted many rocks by their properties. The kids learned words like luster and texture when describing different types of rocks. We took this exciting topic a step further and invited DIAMOND DEL to visit our First Graders! The Gem Mining Mobile visited Riverview and the kids couldn't have been more thrilled! As they entered the mine, they each got to pan for their own variety of rocks! They found sandstone, garnet, crystal and even "moon rocks"! Check out the smiling faces of Mrs. Linacre's class as they became rock miners for the day!
As we moved passed Earth, we landed on our very own MOON. We started with discussions about the moon's surface. They learned about the dark spots on the Moon called "seas" or Maria. The children then got to create their own craters on the moon by dropping marbles into plates of sand, flour and cocoa. They had a BLAST experimenting with dropping their "asteroids" from different heights! They have also learned about the 8 phases of the moon, the terms waxing and waning AND how the phases repeat in a CYCLE every 28 days. The kids are really starting to connect their learning to our First Grade Big Idea of PATTERNS AND CYCLES.
We wrapped up our Space Unit by visiting the remaining planets in our Solar System and adding facts about each one into our non-fiction space books! We also wrote our very own post cards as if we were visiting our FAVORITE PLANET!
Math: Addition Unit
We have really been using our problem solving strategies to finish out the last few concepts in our Addition Unit! Since we have been working hard on adding "addends" together to find the answer, or "sum", we thought we'd make it a little more complicated and make one of those addends disappear! What do we do if an equation looks like this: 4+_=6? We used manipulatives to make the sum first. We laid out 6 blocks and then separated away the KNOWN addend (4). How many blocks were left? TWO! The missing addend is two! We also used our counting on strategy by putting 4 in our brains and counting on until we got to 6! What strategy does your child like the best?
We took this difficult concept a step further when we tried balancing addition equations. 4+1=2+_? We brought out an actual scale and talked about what it meant to be "balanced". Once we concluded that balanced meant the same on each side, we were able to begin making the two sides of the equation equal. We always have to start with what we know. We know that the left side of the equation has both addends so we have to start there. Since we know that 4+1=5, we know that the left side of the equation equals 5. Now we have to make the right side equals 5! We already have 2 as an addend so we used our knowledge of missing addends to find what we must add to 2 to make 5. THREE! Our equations are balanced because 4+1=5 and 2+3=5 too!
We wrapped up our addition unit by solving words problems! We used part-part-whole boxes as our math tool to solve these addition stories. So where do we start? We have to identify WHAT WE KNOW and WHAT WE NEED TO FIND OUT. We practiced underlining the "facts" and circling the question so we could make sure that we knew what our mission was in solving these problems. For example: If Arianna has 4 kittens and Vincent brings 2 kittens over to play, how many kittens are there all together? We started by underlining "Arianna has 4 kittens and Vincent brings 2 kittens over to play" and circling "how many kittens are there all together?" We then imputed the information into our part part whole boxes to find the sum!