Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Telling Time to the Half Hour

We are beginning to learn to tell time to the half hour. Please practice this skill with your first grader by logging onto a website that I have found both useful and fun.

Simply click on the yellow clock or look at this blog's sidebar under the heading CALLING ALL FIRST GRADERS. Below those words you will need to click on Time for Time. Once there, please follow these instructions:

1. You might want to ignore the "show digital" option for now.
2. Use either the + 1 minute or the - 1 minute button to line up a time to the hour such as 5:00.
3.  Advance the time by clicking on the + 1 button until the time moves forward by 30 minutes.
4. Help your child to read the time (and note the position of the clock hands) using the
following terms: 5 o'clock, half-past 5 o'clock, 6 o'clock, half-past 6 o'clock, and so on.
5.  I love the visual because it allows children to watch time move 1 minute at a time until it is half way around the clock.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Pilgrim Tradition

Tomorrow we will read "The Popcorn Book" by Tomie de Paola. Within the story, the children will learn of a Pilgrim tradition of putting five kernels of popcorn next to their plate on Thanksgiving Day. The Pilgrims put the corn next to their plates to remind them of how they sometimes had only five kernels of corn to eat before the Native Americans taught them how to hunt, fish, and grow corn. Every year the Pilgrims saved their five kernels to plant in the spring when the leaves on the trees were "as big as a mouse's ear". You could try this too.

Please look for a packet of five kernels of popcorn, as well as, excerpts of the book to come home in your child's blue folder on Tuesday. We hope you enjoy them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We've Been Busy During Our Science Period!

Please watch our latest musical slideshow!  You'll see pictures of the fun we've had working in the first strand of our Balance and Motion Science unit.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Technology is...

This year I am attempting to collect data of first graders' ever-evolving understandings of what technology is.  In September, I asked our students to tell me what they thought technology was by drawing and writing about it.  Later, we recorded their voices in a program called VoiceThread. 

I hope you enjoy their responses.  (You can speed up the slideshow by clicking on the right arrow below the VoiceThread screen.)

We used a FlipCam to video their responses to the same question in October.  For some crazy reason, I am unable to upload the tiny movie to my website.  As soon as I figure out a place to store the film, I will link it to this blog.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Science News From the Makers of Our FOSS Kits

Balance and Motion is the new unit we are studying in science.  We will be observing and comparing how objects balance, spin, and roll, and communicating orally and in writing the things we discover.  The processes of observing, communicating, and comparing are important thinking processes that your child will be using during our investigation of these interesting characteristics of objects and systems.

Your first grader may be interested in trying some things at home.  You might want to tie a string between two chairs and see how many paper cups, craft sticks, and other objects you can balance (use clothespins for counterweights).  You could make a big mobile by suspending a broomstick and hanging things from it, or make spinning tops out of Tinkertoys or other shafts and hubs.  Check your local toy store for tops and other spinners.  The possibilities are endless, and your child can be your guide.

We're looking forward to our new unit on balance and motion to provide lots of learning and lots of fun!