Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Problem Solving

In grade 1 today, we worked on some problem solving.  Although we've solved a few problems together, this was a special activity for learning how to be problem solvers.  First, we listened to this funny song that explains some problem solving steps to follow.  We reviewed what we learned and outlined the steps our interactive whiteboard.  Then, we also added some problem solving strategies that we could plan to use. 

Problem Solving

What do I know?

use math like adding
use counters
draw a picture
guess and check



Next, we tried solving a problem about apples together as a class.  Some of us guessed answers and we checked them together.  Someone drew a picture for us.  Another person took real apples and put them into a shopping bag to find an answer.  We came up with 3 different correct solutions, which we decided was okay since problems can have different solutions as long as they make sense with what we know about the problem. 

Finally, it was time to try some problem solving on our own.  I read the problem with students and they made their own plans to solve it.  Some students drew pictures, some knew an addition fact that could help them and some used counters.   After we had all solved the problem, we met at the carpet to share the different answers we found.  Here's the problem we solved and all of the different answers we found:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our class is...

Inspired by this idea shared by Chris Gerry on the Partners in Learning Network Hot Topics blog, I encouraged my students to create a "wall" with me.  We started with the sentence "Our class is ____________" and we all contributed our ideas to fill the blank.  I helped students with spelling and vocabulary  (ie: how can we say "good at art" in a shorter way).

I'd already posted the beautiful rainbow collage art that students made collaboratively, but there was lots of room for them to add ideas around the collage. As students finished writing their words, they brought them out to me in the hallway and we put them up together. 

I'm looking forward to seeing our board "grow" and change as we continue to add ideas!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

On Friday, our class read "Thanks for Thanksgiving" then we did some shared writing together.  We talked about how to write a list and wrote this list together: 

 On Friday afternoon, we crafted these adorable turkeys!  We used foam balls painted brown for the head and body ( I cut the balls in half for the body part).  We used a popsicle stick painted brown for the neck and colored popsicle sticks stuck into the foam for feathers.  The beak is made from yellow pipe cleaner and I helped students add their eyes with hot glue.  Each one was unique: here are a few samples:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Project Based Learning: Brainstorming

Each year, our class engages in project based learning.  In our classroom, this means that students choose a project which is important to them and we work together to learn, share and accomplish our project goals.  We work with our friends in Mrs. Caldwell's Kindergarten class, so that we have a big team to tackle our projects. 

We held a big brainstorming session with the Kindergartens a couple of weeks ago.  We thought of  projects we'd like to do, then we narrowed down our ideas by voting.  The two most popular ideas when we voted were helping farmers and helping cats.  Students thought that farmers deserved something special since they work so hard to grow food and look after animals, so I will be helping them develop their project idea.  Some previous projects focused on animals, so students also thought it would be a good idea to help cats.  We've decided that we need to find some more information about helping cats, so Mrs. Caldwell is working on a trip for her class to the vet clinic and we are in charge of doing some research.

I am really looking forward to helping the Grade 1s and Kindergartens with their projects this year.  Our previous projects have led to some amazing adventures and my students have learned SO MUCH while working on their projects!  As a teacher, it's a great way to bring together different subject areas and give students the chance to learn about something they are interested in.   I hope you (parents, community members, blog followers, fellow educators and fellow students) will support us on our learning journey this year!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Can you solve this problem?


We are learning about making 10.  Some ways we tried solving this problem were: counting on, counting the empty squares, filling the squares with counters, counting back. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Number of the Day: 7

We write ways to make a number for math. We used patterns, ten frames, the number word, adding, subtraction and tallies.  Some of us thought of VERY tricky ways to make 7! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rainbow Collage: Collaborative Art

I found this cool collaborative art project idea at www.artprojectsforkids.org
I shared the idea with my class and they were really excited to try it.  The grade 1s worked together really well to make this beautiful rainbow.  I was really proud of the teamwork we did.  Our rainbow is absolutely beautiful!  I can't wait to hang it up on display in our school!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Terry Fox Walk

Friday, October 4th was our school's annual Terry Fox Walk.  We learned about Terry Fox, made posters, gathered pledges and participated in the walk. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Number of the Day

In Grade 1 Math, we are learning about numbers.  We are learning to show numbers in different ways.  Today, we did a number of the day activity.  We showed different ways to represent 8 in our math journals and we recorded ideas on our SMARTboard.  Here's what our ideas looked like:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Project Based Learning: Our Project Launch

My latest guest blog post has been posted to the Partners in Learning Network.  It explains how we launched our project based learning this year and gives teachers ideas for starting project based learning in their own classrooms.

To start talking about learning projects for this year,  my Grade 1 students Skyped Mrs. Caldwell's Kindergarten class in Oak Lake and we talked a bit about choosing projects that would help us learn and help make a difference for people, animals or the earth.  Students that have done projects with Mrs. Caldwell and I previously were guest speakers for the call and they explained some of the projects they have done.  Older students explained highlights of their polar bear adoption, work with animal rescue, Recycle for Good garage sale, litterless lunch competitions, lemonade stand to save Oregon spotted frogs and reusable bag reminder campaign.  It was really exciting to have students share all of the great projects they've done in the past!

We've got some really exciting ideas for this year's special learning project - I am really excited to help the Grade 1s get started!! Stay tuned for more updates on our project!

Humans & Foxes

We looked at a book and we found things that are different and the same about fox bodies and human bodies.  We used a Venn Diagram to show what we found out.