Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Go Fish! (The UMS Musical) Part 2

Thank you, EVERYONE, for being at the musical tonight. We had 100% participation, which is just fantastic. Thank you. I'm ready to call it a night, but I wanted to share some of the pictures I took at the show, onstage and off. Way to go, UMS students!

Posted by Picasa

Go Fish! (The UMS Musical) Part I

Students did a LOT of work to get ready for our musical. It's amazing what kids this age can do, and Ms. Mutz does a WONDERFUL job getting it all organized. Earlier today, students went to CHS for a rehearsal. When we returned, we watched some video clips I took on the iPad (I projected them to the big screen via Apple TV--this is such an amazing tool in our classroom!). Several students thought of ways they could make our musical even better after seeing the clips from the rehearsal. I think they succeeded!
At the dress rehearsal...

Back in the classroom watching clips from the rehearsal...

Tonight, before the show...everyone looked GREAT!!!
Posted by Picasa

Guidance Update

I don't think I've introduced Mrs. McCleary's intern, Miss Rocca. She is an intern from UVM who is at UMS on Tuesdays and Fridays and at MBS the other days of the week. She is doing a wonderful job in her role, and she taught the Guidance lesson on Tuesday this week. The focus of our recent Guidance lessons is bullying, and this week's lesson focused on what it means to be a bystander when bullying is happening. Students had lots of insight to offer in the discussion, and most students realized that watching bullying happen without reporting it to an adult is almost as harmful as being the bully. It's important to stand up to bullies and to do our part in reporting when we think bullying is happening.

Posted by Picasa

Fluency and the iPad

We now have TWO iPads in our classroom and exciting things are happening, with many more exciting iPad activities to come after our upcoming vacation. I've been experimenting with various ways to enhance student learning with the iPad. One thing that it is wonderful for is monitoring reading fluency. This week, two reading groups were able to use an app called Educreations to paste photos of book pages and then record their reading. What a neat way to monitor how we sound in reading! 

Posted by Picasa

Writing Partners

There are many things I love about this class, but I was able to add another reason today--they work VERY well together in partnerships! Today I was able to observe some excellent work happening in our writing partnerships. Students are working on revising one of their "Small Moment" stories--a story about something that has happened to them. I gave them a lot of freedom in their partner work today--read your stories to one another, ask each other questions, and make suggestions. Wow! It was neat to hear the writing conversations going on and to see revisions being made as a result. You will have an opportunity to see recent writing samples at your child's conference on March 6th. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Magnets and the scientific method

Check out what we did with our iPad today!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Valentines Day Party

Our party was short and simple, but I think everyone enjoyed it. We did Valentine-themed activities almost all day, so a simple party was just the way to end the day. Students passed out their Valentines and had a delicious mostly red and pink snack. I decorated the tables to make it feel more festive. I hope everyone had a great time! Thank you to all who contributed items for the party. Your generosity is very much appreciated!
Posted by Picasa

Valentine Math

Themed-based math activities are always popular in 1st grade, and the two shown below were no exception! Students enjoyed a spin on the usual Name Collection boxes in our 1st grade Everyday Math program--"Be Mine Boxes." Students drew a number of foam hearts, wrote that number in the middle heart, and then wrote four ways to represent that number (we call them other "names" for the number). I am impressed with everyone's hard work and thinking!

Our second Valentine math activity was a lesson in probability. More on that in the captions below...

Conversation Heart Probability...

First, students made a prediction: Which color candy heart did they think they would pull out of the bag the most often? (They did not look in the bag first.)

Students then took candy hearts out of the bag one at a time and recorded the color with a tally mark on their recording sheets.

After a few minutes of drawing hearts out of the bag and tallying their colors, I stopped the class and had them record which color was pulled out of the bag most often. Each table had a color that was the most common. So, I posed the question, "Why do you think each table had a color that was pulled out of the bag more often than any other?" Students still hadn't looked in the bags. This was a stumper! Many figured it was just luck/coincidence.

I then prompted students to work with their table mates to take the hearts out of the bag and sort them. What did they notice then? THEN the lightbulbs of discovery started to glow--"Oh, now it's obvious why one color was more popular!" and "NOW I get it!" and "It all makes sense now!" 

Each table group discovered that there was a lot more hearts of one certain color in each bag. Therefore, if there were many more orange hearts in the bag, it was most likely that students would pull an orange heart out more often than any other color.

It was so neat to see/hear students make the mathematical discovery of probability. I was so proud of how they listened to one another and worked as a team. 

Some table groups did not have as clear a "winner" as far as which color was represented more than any other, but all groups did get to see how the probability of pulling certain colors out of the bag was much less than others (for example, in the photo above, there was a low probability of pulling an orange candy heart from the bag). It was great! (Can you tell I'm excited about this lesson?!)

This isn't math (see below), but children decorated bags at the end of the day Monday in preparation for our party yesterday. They also made cards today. I hope it all made it home safely!

Posted by Picasa