Ms. Megan's Grade 1 Class (November 2018)
Learning about Tall, Short and Long
During math lessons we have been learning about comparative words. One week we focused on the words; tall, short, and long. Students began learning the words by seeing pictures. There were pictures of tall, short, and long objects. Tall students and short students come to the front of class to help demonstrate the difference. The students lined up from tall to short. The students then got a chance to draw different pictures to help them further understand each word. They had to draw short and tall animals, short and tall houses, long and short caterpillars, and long and short snakes.
Later in the week to review, and see if the students understood each word, we had two different competitions. Students love to compete and it is a great way to make learning fun by competing with each other. In the first competition each table was given some blocks. They had three minutes to build a tower as tall as they could. There was a lot of excitement and team work was needed to be the winner. There ended up being some tall towers and it was a close competition.
In the second competition the students again had blocks and had one minute to see who could build the longest train of blocks. They worked hard and moved quickly to defeat each other. This competition was much closer and was a hard one to judge. In the end the students understood each word and had a fun time learning!
Ms. Tiffoni's Grade 1 Class (December 2018)
Teaching phonics doesn’t have to just be listening and repeating sounds for students. There are plenty of games to play with phonics and activities to help the students build on the letter sounds, words they already know, and new words they learn. When we do phonics in class, we make the letter sound fit totally into everything we do. We start with a Power Point presentation showing the letter then we practice the sound of the letter. Then we look at pictures of words that start with that letter. If any of the words are actions or signals, we practice those while saying the word.
Next, we look at pictures and choose the picture that starts with a word of the letter we are learning. Students can go up and point to the picture and say the word. It is great practice for the whole class and can help some review while others learn a new term. After we have practiced the letter sounds and reviewed some words for the letter of the day, we practice writing. First, we practice writing the letter in the air with a song. We go to our tables and practice forming the letters correctly on paper. Once everyone has practiced writing the letter correctly, we can write full sentences using words that start with the letter of the day.
The students really like to practice words for the letter we are learning through physical actions. Giving them the chance to learn in different ways helps them to associate the letter names, sounds, words, and sentences in their daily lives.
Ms. Jan's Grade 1 Class (November 2018)
The Writing Process: “Things I Like to Do with My Family”
In September, we began learning the English writing process by writing phrases such as “a pencil” or “the library”. Then we learned how to write a good sentence. The children are learning Inventive Spelling. They use the Phonics skills they know to complete a sentence and to respond to the stories they hear. Example, The tgr is woking. (Inventive Spelling) The tiger is walking. (Correct Spelling)
Beginning in November, students have started writing their own sentences using writing prompts such as: I like __. I can __. I want __. I have __. For the topic, what activities the children like to do at home, they were asked to write 3 sentences about the topic. Examples, I like to play with my brother. I like to run with my mom. I like to eat pizza with my family.
Before the writing activity, we discussed many ideas the children could write about. We also practiced sounding out some of the words they wanted to use. When the students did their assignment they could look at the writing prompt, but to complete each sentence they had to sound out the words they didn’t know how to spell. Some students needed help with sounding out, but that’s OK. The students are also learning how to help each other. The children enjoyed doing their best writing about what they like to do at home with their family.
Mr. Suzanne's Grade 1 Class (November 2018)
Shapes All Around Us!
We have been busy learning all about the shapes that make up the world around us. We have learned about all of the 2-D shapes now and so this week we read stories about shapes and watched a couple educational videos about shapes in the world. However, what the students enjoyed the most was finding shapes around the classroom. We looked for shapes all over our classroom. We found out the windows, student tables and the doors were all rectangles. We also discovered the student cubbies were squares.
As a class, we decided that there were more rectangles than any other shape in our classroom. However, that made it fun whenever the students would find other shapes. To complete our learning about shapes each student was given a set of basic shapes a pencil and paper. They were then told that they needed to trace the basic shapes and turn it into an everyday object. Some students drew cars, houses and even some abstract pictures. The class really enjoyed building with the blocks and creating the new shapes. The students also are getting very good at recognizing what shapes objects are made from. Learning about shapes is a fun activity in Grade 1!
Mr. G's Grade 1 Class (November 2018)
More Than, Less Than, Equals to or the Same As
We are learning about comparatives. This week we focused on more than, less than, equals to or the same as. The first thing we learned was to say the words correctly and identify the symbols the represent. The students took turns holding up signs to complete the problem on the PowerPoint.
While the students were seated at their tables a few were called to create numbers using their bodies. The students had a good time and were laughing a lot during this activity. It took us a few tries as many of the numbers were backwards and we had to fix them. Once the students formed the numbers we asked two students to form the correct sign to complete the problem. We practiced saying the problems out loud at our tables.
Lastly, we read a story about two alligators Greta and Lesta. Greta loves to eat all the food when it’s the most on the left side and Lesta likes to eat all the food when it’s the most on the right side. In the story the alligators go around the swamp letting each other eat the food that they want. The students learned a lot, at the same time they had lots of fun!
Mr. G's Grade 1 Class (April 2018)
Learning with Jeopardy
One of our favorite ways to review in our class is to play Jeopardy. The students are divided into five teams and compete against each other to get the most points. We use blocks on the tables to keep track of the points. We are reviewing themes, math, sight words, and word families learned so far this semester.
After each question is answered the students wait to see what the award is. Two students come up together and get a chance to answer a question. The student who answers first gets to throw two balls at the bull’s eye and win points. The student who answers second gets to throw one ball. Sometimes the student only throwing one ball gets more points. The students can steal points from other tables.
This is the favorite part of the games for many students. Sometimes the students are asked to dance like a chicken. Many choose not to dance and lose four points. We all like to see the students who choose to dance and have fun. It’s sad when you lose half your points. Nobody likes the slide that makes you lose half your points. Overall playing Jeopardy is a great way to see what the students have learned.
Ms. Tiffoni's Grade 1 Class (April 2018)
Pictionary English Fun!
Pictionary is an exciting way to review our dialogue through questions and answers prompted by simple pictures drawn by the students. The items drawn can be from a recent unit or just a general review for the semester.
First, we discuss things we have learned by brainstorming ideas on an idea map. During the brainstorming the teacher will write the words on the board for them to see along with a quick picture to give ideas on how to draw the topics. Once we have brainstormed our topics, we practice the dialogue we will use to play the game. The illustrator will ask another student, “What can you see?” The chosen student will then answer, “I can see a (name the picture).” The dialogues will vary depending on the topics we need to review.
After we are familiar with our topic and dialogue, we go over the rules for the game. Sitting quietly on the carpet and raising their hands to speak are the most important rules. This ensures everyone is heard when they ask and answer questions. Each student has one chance to draw on the board and will be given thirty seconds to complete their illustration. When they are finished with the picture they can call on up to three students to guess the answer. The student who guesses the correct answer will be next to draw a picture from the given topics on our idea map. To begin the game, the teacher will draw the first picture as an example and calls on the first student with a correct answer.
When all of the students have had an opportunity to play, we conclude the activity with students raising their hands to recall some of the pictures they remember. This activity is a fun and engaging way to review and practice English while giving each student a chance to actively move through the classroom.
Ms. Jan's Grade 1 Class (April 2018)
Optical Illusions and Sight
Each day in our class we do many activities to teach English vocabulary. In second semester we are learning vocabulary about sight, things we can see, and optical illusions.
We recently did a project where each child made their own optical illusion. When we do art activities, the students are given instructions in English, as well as a demonstration. For example, when we made the optical illusion, the teacher created her own design first. The teacher also created a PowerPoint so the children could see how the optical illusion works.
The teacher explained that they had to stare at the picture for 20 seconds without blinking, and then look at a white space to see the after image. We tried looking at several pictures to try to see the after image. The children were excited to see that the colours of the after image were the opposite of the picture. The teacher then demonstrated how to create a picture design and then how to colour it using two complementary colours. The students had to colour it so that each section is a different colour. The teacher explained to the children that only certain colours could be used to create the optical illusion. The complementary colours are: red/green; yellow/purple; black/white; and blue/orange.
Then the children went to their tables to make their designs. After the children completed their optical illusion, the teacher asked the students to see if their optical illusion worked by staring at it and the then looking at a white paper. The children were very excited to see their optical illusion work and to share their pictures with their friends.
Mr. Ian's Grade 1 Class (April 2018)
Vocabulary Memory Game
We played a memory game with vocabulary flashcards. Before playing, the teacher went over each of the flashcards with the student. Along with naming the vocabulary word, the teacher modeled its color while modifying sentence structure to imply whether the vocabulary word was singular or plural. The students were expected to do the same when reciting the flashcards using complete sentences; for example: it’s a green cucumber; they are brown branches.
The game started with the teacher choosing one of the flashcards. The student who was playing had to remember which card was chosen and correctly recite the content of the card in a complete sentence. If successful, the student could throw the big red die and earn points for their tables. They earned a certain number of points corresponding to the number they rolled with each die throw, and points were tallied using blocks put on each table.
We added a flashcard for the next student to remember each time someone was successful, so the game became harder! Also, with each added flashcard came an extra die throw. We recorded the numbers rolled with each die throw using a simple equation written on the board. Each part of the equation was recited together as a class to calculate how many points the table had earned. In all, the students practiced colors, vocabulary, sentence structure, and math while having fun!
Ms. Homer's Grade 1 Class (April 2018)
What Do Seeds Need To Grow?
As a class we have been discussing the needs of a plant for the past week. We talked about how plants need soil, water, sunlight and air in order to grow. So, as an experiment, we decided that we would see if we could make our plants grow without sunlight or water. We used green bean seeds and plastic cups. In the photos you can see how small the seeds were when we started.
The students started by looking at the seeds and then we planted them into cups. We planted two cups identically. Both had the same soil, and amount of seeds. However we placed one cup into the cupboard and shut the door and we placed the other cup onto the window ledge. We then would put both cups under the overhead display for students to check every other day. It was fun to see the seeds start to grow.
As you can see from the pictures there weren’t any noticeable changes to the cup we put inside the cupboard. We also checked on the seeds that we planted and gave no water. There was no change visible. However the students noticed big changes with the cup which received sunlight and water. As seen in the last two pictures, we also had the students draw a plant diagram so we could hang them on the wall. Overall this was a fun activity the kids really learned a lot from and I hope you will all ask your child what a plant needs in order to grow.