The first grade students have read a lot of realistic fiction this year and now they are learning how to write in the same genre. The children love to tell stories and pretending, and this unit invites them to do both. They have been challenged to create a character, have the character face a bit of trouble, and get the character out of trouble giving readers a satisfying ending. The students have stayed with the same character for multiple books resulting in each student being the author of a series! The children are working very hard to edit one book from their series to share at the upcoming writing celebration on May 19th.
The first-grade children explored attribute rules and games this week. Students first identified the shapes of their blocks; triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, or circle. These shapes can be organized further by identifying the size and color. A game that was played by all three classes is called The Attribute Train Game. This is a whole class activity with all children taking turns to build a line of blocks on the floor, by following attribute rules. The train begins with one block placed in the center of the playing area. Then each child chooses a block that is different in only one way- shape, size, or color from the first block. There was also an expectation of each child to explain their thinking. In this game, play continues until everyone has had a turn. Variations of the game to challenge thinking include; placing a block down that is the same in two ways, or placing a block down that doesn’t share an attribute with the one in play.
The first graders are learning a lot about story elements as they listen to Charlotte’s Web. The children are learning to differentiate between main and supporting characters. They have learned that even the supporting characters serve a very real purpose in moving the plot along. The characters’ personalities are discussed in terms of what the characters say, do, and how others react to them. They go back to the story to find evidence to support their theories about the characters. Story elements of setting, defining time and place have also been addressed. The children listen to learn the characters’ moods and sense when their feelings change. At the end of each chapter the children practice summarizing the main events of the chapter. In short, a lot of comprehension issues are being addressed as your children enjoy a wonderful story!
First grade students joined together to declare the arrival of spring! Blooming daffodils in the Outdoor Classroom inspired this mural. Children shared paint and space, working side by side in small groups on this collaborative effort, practicing valuable social skills while cooperating and conversing during their process. Science will be integrated into the mural as roots are added below the flower line, clouds put in the sky, and insects fly and crawl around. Surrounding this beautiful masterpiece are poems written about spring by the children.