It is the first week of October and I can finally say that we are getting into a groove. It always takes so long to get first graders to the point when you can really get down to business. This year has been especially tough. Anyhow, we are well on our way in math and I have finally gotten started in earnest with my shared reading and science.
This week was our Meet the Teacher/Open House night. I always love meeting the families of my students and catching up with the parents of students I have taught in the past. That is one benefit of staying in a school for some time; you often teach every member of a family. This year I have 5 families that I already know very well and 15 more to get to know. Again this year I set up a scavenger hunt to direct parents and kids when they visited, so they did not wander aimlessly around. The kids were so excited and took their parents to check out everything on the list and more. I loved that they were so excited to show their families around.
A little Art and Math was spotted too. We had fun creating these Mondrian Leaves
Math this week has been all about patterns. The kids had lots of opportunities to create patterns with various materials in the classroom as well as spot patterns in our environment. We went on a pattern walk around our school to spot patterns. I was blessed on that day to have two additional adults with me so the kids went out in search of patterns in small groups. They were so engaged with their clipboards, walking quietly and then running to the spot where they or someone else spotted a pattern. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone with me. However, as luck would have it, a student arrived late and did his pattern walk around the classroom and I was able to capture some of his exciting finds. A lot of great learning came out of a simple and fun activity.
Next week we will finally get to use the patterning centres that I created. The kids have seen them but we have not yet used them. I know they will love them. You can check them out by clicking here:
This week in our shared reading and writing we are reading Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Tub. I love Mrs. Wishy Washy. The text is so simple and appropriate for this time of the year but the kids still enjoy and connect to the stories about her and her animals. We had fun making our own Wishy Washy stories, unscrambling sentences from the story and retelling the story. I am able to differentiate to for those students who are ready for more. They read the sentences and placed them in order rather than sequencing the pictures. They were thrilled at the challenge.
I have to share with you a little secret – I am really not so sure about the inquiry approach we are now being asked use. I’m a planner and am having a hard time wrapping my head around letting the students drive the direction and focus SO… I refrained from planning my science unit and instead asked the question on Friday – What is a living thing and how do we know it is living? Wow, what an amazing conversation we had. The kids were all over this, with so many opinions and ideas, but most revolved around the human body and how we are living. So…. We are focusing on that aspect of living things and will first be learning about the body and our organs. It was not the direction I was thinking of going first but I have let the kids “drive the bus” and we will see where this takes us.