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We were very lucky to be able to use the Write About This app on our classroom iPads this year. There are so many ways I can think to utilize this app, but the most recent project was connecting to text.
A few weeks ago, our souvenir bit book was Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. I love this story and I find the students are always able to make connections to it as well. We got into many great discussions about grandparents and some of the special memories we have with them. I had the students use the app to share a memory. Here are some of the final results.
I wanted to make sure I finished this blog post for the school year because it was such an exciting project. In keeping with our Wonder Wednesday/Genius Hour time, I wanted to start moving toward projects the students could work on and be inspired by. The app Pixel Press Floors was shared with me by another 1st grade teacher. His students were working on creating their own video games during Genius Hour time! I shared the idea with the students and (as you can imagine) they were very excited.
In order to create a video game, the students needed to work together with a partner and use a lot of problem solving. During our first session, I let them explore. We really did play video games:-) The goal was for them to see the end result and understand how the game flowed.
— Mrs. Descamps Class (@Descamps_grade1) May 14, 2014
For the second session they once again got together with their partner and they were given a template of a basic game printed directly from Pixel Press. This showed the layout of the different floors their video character would get through. Utilizing a key, they drew in ladders, monkey bars, portals, pits, fireballs and much more.
— Mrs. Descamps Class (@Descamps_grade1) May 23, 2014
For the third session, they worked on design. They could change the avatar, pick background, portals, etc. Once they were happy with how the game looked, they had to play it. This is where the problem solving came into play. The students quickly realized the portals, ladders, and monkey bars were cool features, but they needed a beginning and an end. Things had to be connected in order for their avatar to navigate the game. It was definitely a challenge and it was awesome to hear the students work together and seek help from their peers. By the third session, we had one group who was ready to publish their game. By publishing it puts the game into the “arcade” so any other Pixel Press user can play it. The newly published game was demonstrated to the class and I can’t even begin to describe the pride the other students had with just this one completion! It was a great day in Room 502:-)
— Mrs. Descamps Class (@Descamps_grade1) May 30, 2014
I look forward to moving towards more project based Genius Hours next year. It’s amazing how it transformed our classroom this year.
After spending a lot of time talking about some of our favorite times in 1st grade, we decided to make a video to share with the kindergarteners entering 1st grade next year. The students in the video volunteered to share their wisdom:-)
We hope you enjoy it!
I’ve been compiling some fun summer learning ideas to share with you. I hope you’re able to take advantage of some of them for your children.
Wonderopolis.org had been my favorite addition to our classroom this year. We check in for our Daily Wonder each morning and have used the site to inspire and guide us on Wonder Wednesdays. They are hosting a Camp Wonderopolis this summer and I am very excited about it! I have already signed my 4 year old up for some Wonder learning. Here is the link if you would like to join us.
Mrs. Gray found a resource with links to a lot of summer learning. Click on the link below to access a list of Free Summer Reading Programs.
**Online accounts will still be available over the summer. I would love to see the students reading and answering questions on RAZ Kids and practicing math on IXL and Dreambox. The accounts will carry over to their teacher for next year. If you need log-in information, please let me know. **
I know there is lots to do outside over the summer, but there will always be rainy days. I came across this free program to get kids bowling. I have many friends who will be taking advantage of this during the summer months.
Also, we use GoNoodle in the classroom, but you could always set up a parent account to get some dancing steps in! There can never be too many brain breaks:-)
I will add more ideas as I come across them.
Happy Summer Learning!
This is the last souvenir bit of the year!
This week’s book is A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. The students will be bringing home their souvenir bits today. Please click on the link below if you would like to submit online. If you choose to submit the homework via blog, send back the homework sheet and write “blog” on it so I know it was completed. Please make sure the post is submitted by the time school starts on Friday.
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Weekly Newsletter1314 Jun2
We have our first interactive project hanging in our hallway. Feel free to check it out if you are in the building. You just need a QR code reader app (we like Qrafter in the classroom). The students did a small writing and the QR code is a link to a video of them reading. We’ve been talking a lot about the FISH Philosophy so we decided to share!
This week’s book is Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola. The students will be bringing home their souvenir bits today. Please click on the link below if you would like to submit online. If you choose to submit the homework via blog, send back the homework sheet and write “blog” on it so I know it was completed. Please make sure the post is submitted by the time school starts on Friday.
Please click here for form.
It was such a great experience to witness the butterfly life cycle in our classroom! Here are some pictures from the past few weeks.
They were so tiny when they arrived as caterpillars. We needed magnifying glasses to see them up close!
They ate and ate and ate and they got really fat!
Next we noticed them turning into a J-shape and they started moving into the next phase. They enclosed themselves into their beautiful green chrysalis’. There was a gold line on each of the chrysalis’. After about 10 days we noticed the chrysalis’ were no longer green. One had become black and we could see the butterflies wings inside.
Within a few hours our 1st butterfly emerged!
The other 2 came out over the weekend.
We finally released them on Thursday, but not before we Skyped with our friends in Texas and shared everything we learned. We were able to teach them about the butterfly life cycle!
**Side note- As we went to release the butterflies (as you can see in the final picture) 2 of the butterflies were “connected”. The students thought it was was funny they decided to wrestle. No explanation was made, but I think the life cycle will continue.
**2nd Side Note- Without my knowledge, the students named the butterflies. Apparently they were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Michael Jackson!