Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day

On Tuesday afternoon, our class shared at our school-wide assembly about Memorial Day. We shared some of the important words of The Pledge of Allegiance and what they mean so that we can all understand it better. Students decorated the words with crayons and read a simple definition of the words in front of our school audience. Everyone was impressed with our hard work!

The UMS celebration was among those featured on our district's blog, the CSD Spotlight, and the link to the article can be found here
I Pledge Allegiance
Our presentation was based on this book.
Mr. Antonicci took this panoramic photo of everyone holding the words we highlighted during our presentation about the Pledge. You can click on this photo to see a larger image. It's tricky to get these long panoramas exactly true to scale, but you get the idea! :-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chick Hatch Celebration

Thank you to everyone who was able to send something in and/or attend our Chick Hatch Celebration on Friday afternoon last week. Despite the very rainy and chilly day, we had a great party in the classroom. Students were able to share their All About Chicks books and then rotate through three stations: a chick puppet art project, a chick observation and "petting" station, and the ever-popular special snack (thank you again!!!). Here are a few photos from the celebration:

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Life Cycle "Quadramas"

I hope your child's life cycle "quadrama" made it home safely on Friday! Each quadrant represents a phase of the chicken life cycle: egg, chick hatching, chick, and chicken. Students did an amazing job with this project, and I think the results speak for themselves! Here are just a few examples...

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Chick Portraits

I took everyone's photo while they held the chicks on Thursday last week. I think they turned out great, and your child will receive a print of this photograph as part of their end-of-the-year gift from me. :-)

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Four Winds Day

A big thank you to the wonderful Four Winds volunteers of UMS for a great "Four Winds Day" last Thursday. It was a rainy day, so we had to go with indoor activities. Despite the change in venue (indoors versus outdoors), students had a great time and learned a lot about the interesting world of bees! 

During one "station," children were able to study bees with magnifying glasses. 
Despite the serious expression, seeing actual honeycombs was fascinating! What amazing architects and builders bees are!
Mrs. Sorenson, the bee in high heels. :-) It was fun being the human equivalent of a bumblebee, since I think the students learned a lot from it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Arrival of the chicks

Breaking News: It is possible that children will not be permitted to hold the chicks due to concerns regarding Salmonella. While this decision has not been confirmed, please be aware that this is a possibility and may change a portion of our celebration on Friday. However, the celebration will still go on! Please refer to this article for more information.

Chick Hatch Update:
As I posted yesterday, Monday was our surprise hatch day, and we were fortunate enough to be there when several of the eggs hatched! In case you haven't heard, we had a decent, not great hatch. As I told the children, we did everything we were supposed to do and if the eggs didn't hatch and/or the chicks weren't healthy, we need to realize we did our best! We placed 13 eggs in the incubator and 7 hatched. Six of those seem to be healthy chicks, and one was not healthy and did not live. Considering that a hatch rate of 50% is considered normal, we did pretty well. Our neighbors across the hall in Mrs. Kelly's class had a 100% hatch rate, so they kindly allowed us to adopt three of their chicks, so we now have 9 in our brooding tank.

The next two photos show students watching chicks hatch via our live iPad feed--the iPad was placed on the incubator window and the action was "mirrored" to our interactive whiteboard for us all to watch.

I love the looks on the students' faces in this picture!
Egg Watch duty became Chick Watch duty. So much fun to see how chicks behave!
Students are working hard on their All About Chicks books!
We will share these books on Friday.
Our guests of honor. :-)
We are working on a cool science/art project to share on Friday as well. This is a sneak peek of one phase of the project. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Have you heard the news?!

When I arrived at school today, a chick had already hatched! Since we have never had any "early birds" in my classroom, this came as quite a shock to me! As I'm sure you've heard from your first grader, 3 more hatched after that first one, for a total of four hatched by the time I left school late this afternoon. It made for a very exciting day!

I'm taking many photos, which I will show at the Chick Hatch Celebration on Friday (and I will post that slideshow on the blog after the celebration for those who cannot attend). Students were able to see live video of chicks hatching today, as I can mirror what's on my iPad to our Apple TV, which projects onto the interactive whiteboard. That's technology at work! It beats crowding around a small incubator with lots of pushing and shoving to see the action any day!

The video below was taken after students had watched two hatch already, and we were observing this more as scientists. They were extremely excited, but not quite as loud and boisterous as after the previous hatches! :-) We spent eight minutes watching the "live feed" from the iPad video recording app pointing into the incubator, until finally the magic happened. Here's a snippet of the hatch video that we recorded as we watched the action happening in "real time." (I'll post some photos tomorrow of the set-up, just in case this doesn't make sense to you...or just ask your first grader!)

Students took turns being on "egg/chick watch" duty today! It was a coveted position. :-)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chick Hatch Celebration

Next Friday, May 24th is our chick hatch celebration! We are hoping for a great hatch next week. At our celebration, students will share some of the chick life cycle work we've done, and we'll go outside to hold the chicks and observe them as we sit in a circle on the grass and make a human fence. We'll finish back in the classroom with a special snack (after washing our hands thoroughly!) 
I've created a Sign-Up Genius form, which you can find HERE. Please sign-up to send something in if you are able. Thank you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

T-Shirt Decorating!

A note was sent home today asking for every child to bring in a white t-shirt (clean with no words, pictures, etc.) to decorate for Field Day. We will decorate these t-shirts at school the week of June 3rd. Please have your child's t-shirt labeled with his/her name on the inside (on the collar or tag) and send it in by Friday, May 31st, 2013. I have not yet determined how we're going to decorate this year's shirts (it's different each year), so if you have any creative ideas, let me know!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing moms and grandmothers of these fantastic first graders! I hope that your special gift arrived in one piece. The children took great pride in creating the perfect photo frame for you! Thank you for all you do, and I hope you had a lovely day today! (Oh, and did you like the fill-in-the-blank cards?! Their answers made me smile.) :-)

(Somehow this one was left out of the group photo was sitting away from the others when I went to arrange them on the table). :-)
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