Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sci Fri- Oil and Water

Hello Everyone,
Friday brought another opportunity to do a quick, inexpensive and fun science observation.  It seems like we've been doing a lot with water, so I thought I'd bring another element into the mix, literally! I wanted to see if the kids could observe and maybe explain what they were seeing if we tried to mix water and oil.  I gave each table group a clear bottle.  One kiddo from each group added about two table spoons of plain water to the bottle.  We then added a drop of food coloring. Each group wanted a different color. The water in each bottle turned a beautiful color and made the water more visible. The kids though this would be the end of the experiment!  But not yet!  We then added about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  The kids were amazed that the oil sat on top of the water!  Next?  Shake, shake, shake!!  The kids had fun shaking the bottle, and again were amazed that the two liquids stayed mixed for such a short time.  After a few minutes we started seeing the separation again!  We talked a lot about the density of the two liquids, how water was heavier than oil, and how the particles in each wanted to stay together instead of mixing. Very simple and I think clear observation of science at work! 
Just plain Water

Adding food coloring

Adding vegetable oil. 
Can you see the layers?




It doesn't stay mixed for long!

Can you see the separation??

Writing observations in our Science Journal

Colorful Science!

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek into our wonder-filled world!!  First graders are the best!!
Stop by again soon!
Have a joyful tomorrow!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sneaky E Has Struck Again!!

Hello Everyone!! Well, it's happened again! Sneaky E has struck our classroom!  That sneaky letter has been busy all day pinching short vowels and making them shout their names!  I have never seen such a comotion!!  :)
We started our day with a story about Sneaky E  and making some cute little puppets, complete with masks and mustaches! Original idea came from Ms. Gable's 2nd  Grade blog! Thanks, Ms. Gable! The kids did a great job practicing their favorite CVCe (consonant, vowel, consonant, e) words all over the puppet! We worked on several activities where Sneaky E was very helpful in changing short vowel words to long vowel words. Great Job, Sneaky!! 
Then, on the spur of the moment, we decided to break up into groups, and put on some little mini skits showing what Sneaky E does to unsuspecting short vowel words!!  Each group decided on the word, who would do each part and how they would show the process. We ended up filming all of the skits! We plan on showing the skits to the other first grade classes!!  I will try to upload them here as soon as I can figure it out! :)
Enjoy the pics for now!

I love our Sneaky E mustaches!!!  Thanks for a great day, VIK'S!!! 

Thanks for taking a peek into our wonder-filled day!!
Stop by again!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Hello Everyone!
Just had to post one more quick thing tonight.  Here's a pic of our anchor chart for "Mathemeticians..." We have been working so very hard on so many math concepts, and the kids are getting very good at problem solving and seeing past just the addition and subtraction fact memorization that, for some, is a huge part of first grade math.  We spend a lot of time talking about math and explaining how we got our answers.  For so many of my kids, solving tricky problems and finding the patterns in math is their favorite thing to do!!!  I love it when I see kids working on math at home and knowing answers to questions they know I'm going to ask the next day.  As in many first grade classrooms, we have a "number of the day."  It coincides with how many days we have been in school.The kids know that every day they are going to have to show me as many different ways as they can to get that number. That is easy to prepare for the night before!!  We just had our 90th day of school. Take it from there, kids!!!
Looking forward to a great week!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A My Name is Alice

Hello Everyone! First of all, thanks for your patience as I am just learning how to blog and share.  I think I'm on the right track, but if you have any suggestions, please don't hesitate to holler at me! :)

 Just a quick post about alliteration.  We enjoyed that wonderful classic book "A, My Name is Alice" by Jane Bayer and illustrated by one of my favs, Steven Kellogg. We did some quick brainstorming about how we could make that important literacy connection by putting our name in the pattern and style of the author. Alliteration was an objective I needed to cover this week and this fit the bill!!!  Each kiddo had to come up with something he/she loved that began with the same letter as his/her first name.  They created a quick self portrait and an alliterative sentence to go with it!  The kids loved having fun with words like this and we cemented the concept of alliteration!!   I always love how the kids pics turn out to look like them!!! :) enjoy!
See you soon!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Hello Everyone!  What do scientists do?  In first grade we work hard on taking on the role of Scientist!  First graders are naturally curious about the world around them.  What a great age to develop those scientific minds!  Each kiddo in the class has a science notebook where they collect any and all recording sheets from all of our experiments.  Every week we add to the chart which reminds them what scientists do. Some of the things included on the chart, are Scientists...examine, discover, hypothesize, predict, make conclusions, read, share, organize, ask questions, research, and many other things. Scientists also have fun!  I hope to instill a love for science in my kids!!
Thanks for taking a peek into our Wonderful World!

Good Writers Anchor Chart

Hello Everyone!  Just a quick post about what I am looking for in my kids' writing at this time of the year. The target skills we have zoomed in on since the beginning of the year includes developing "readable" pieces, using upper and lowercase letters appropriately, spacing, adding details, reading back over our pieces, including a hook in the introduction, adding adjectives and adverbs, and many other skills.  I keep an anchor chart up as a reminder to the kids, and to keep an eye on during our writer's workshop time!  As we work on new target skills, we add them to our chart.

 While working on writing with your kids at home, you can refer to this chart!
Thanks for stopping!!  Have fun writing!

Adding Adverbs

Hello Everyone!  Thanks for stopping by to peek through our Window on Wonder!  I wanted to take a minute to share a lesson on adverbs.  We had a lot of fun the other day growing our sentences.  We worked on adding three different kinds of adverbs to a very simple sentence.  Working with a simple verb, we grew our sentence with a  "how," "when," and "where."  We did a ton of brainstorming and then the kids experimented with their own.  The next step is to notice adverbs in our reading and including them in our written expression. 
Click for adding adverbs printable

Thanks for taking a peek! Keep Adding those Adverbs!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Readers

Hello everyone!
We have been working very hard on what good readers do.  We decided to brainstorm and come up with an anchor chart which will help remind us on a daily basis!  Today we got to add "Good Readers Make Inferences" because we have become very aware of the need to do that with many of the books we read! Most of the time it happens before we even know it!  Sometimes the author makes us work hard on inferencing!!  Here's a picture of our chart! 

Good Readers!
Some of the other things we wanted on our chart were Good Readers...use pictures, make corrections, use schema, make predictions, set a purpose for reading, reread, talk about books, and retell stories. We have room for more that we will surely add later this year!!  Keep up the great work kids!!!

Stay tuned for a post about a special reader we had, some wonderful work we've done with writing, and some cute word work!!

Till then...thanks for taking a peek! Hope you are enjoying the view!!
Have a wonder-filled tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not the color of our skin... and Inferencing

Hello Everyone,
Thanks for taking a peek into the wonder-filled  world of first grade!  After a three day weekend, it was time to get back to learning together. A couple of my favorite things from today? Using apples to help kids understand diversity and equality!  We continued a discussion we started last week about how we are all unique and special, and that we are alike in that we have loving hearts and curious minds.  Today I decided to extend that idea by showing the kids different kinds of apples.  We compared the shapes, colors, and sizes, and decided that people are a little like apples.  All the apples looked different!  I then proceded to cut the apples in half cross-ways to show the kids that each apple, no matter the shape, size or color, has a star on the inside!  They were cheering as I made my way through each apple!  We then cheered that each of us is a star!!  Valuable lesson for all!!

You are a star!

Another of my favorite things from today was our lesson on Inferencing.  Good readers use inferencing while reading to gain comprehension.  We use clues from the text (pictures and words) along with our schema to make inferences.  It is a little like reading between the lines.  Today we read the story "No, David!" by David Shannon, always a favorite of first graders.  We made our way through the book stopping to get the clues to make our inferences.  The kids took notes on what inferences they made (because sometimes our inferences are different from our neighbors') and they stuck them to our poster.  We discussed all the different ideas and then the kids had to pick out the ones they wanted to record for their Reader's Response Journal.  We are great Reading Detectives!!

Stop by again soon as we continue on our first grade journey!
Have a wonder-filled tomorrow!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reading and Writing anchor charts

Hello Everyone!
I thought I would share a couple of our classroom anchor charts.  These were created at the beginning of the year with the kids' help.  We started brainstorming all the different things we read during the day and came up with an amazing list!!  Sometimes I think we forget about the print all around us (environmental print).  Kids are often able to read words like "WalMart" and "Skittles" before they even know many of the sight words we work on daily!  We also made an anchor chart (through the same brainstorming process) about all the things we write during our day.  Again, we take for granted all the writing involved in our daily lives!  It's good to have this visual as a reminder of how important writing is!! Kids have more schema for reading and writing than we realize.  Helping kiddos make connections is so important!

What do we read?
What do we write?

I have so much more I want to share with you!!  Stay tuned!  Thanks for taking a peek into our Wonder-filled classroom! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brag Tags

Hello Everyone!  One more post for today! 
Did your kiddo come home telling you about his/her brag tags?  We had a wonderful awards assembly today where kids were awarded with brag tags to add to their chains.  These are sweet litle momentos of things your kiddo should be very proud of.
Our students earn brag tags for things like Perfect Attendance, Outstanding citizenship, Science Fair Participant, Setting Goals, Birthdays, Reflections Contest Entry, Summer Reading, etc.  The chains are kept here at school for kids to continue to add to, and will go home at the end of the year. Some kids save them from year to year.  I know some older kids who have thirty tags or more!!  So proud of my kids who earned tags today!!  Keep it up!
OH!  We also were tied for having the best attendance in first grade! YAY! And congratulations to Brie for getting our Kindmess and Compassion Award and to Jaydan for getting our Hard Work and Dedication Award!!!  Way to Go Everyone!!
Thanks for taking time out to peek into our Wonder-filled world!

Melting Ice Cube

Hello Everyone!  Our SCI FRI today was a quick, easy, inexpensive experience with ice.  After enjoying Jan Brett's books The Mitten and The Hat, I wanted to incorporate a mini science lesson using mittens.  I decided to find out where the kids were with simple scientific thinking.  I asked them to hypothesize whether they thought an ice cube would melt faster sitting on a mitten or held in your hand. We talked about how scientists use what they know to help them with each hypothesis. The class was split on their ideas. Many thought that because they keep our hands warm the mitten would also cause the ice cube to melt faster.  Ask your kiddo what he/she thought!  Even when we don't hypothesize correctly, we learn!  Incorrect ideas are sometimes even more valuable!
recording sheet
Which will it be? The hand or the mitten?


We may have some future scientists on our hands!
Thanks for taking a peek into our wonder-filled classroom!

Dr. Martin Luter King, Jr. Day

Hello Everyone!  One of my favorite things from today was talking about MLK.  We had a grand discussion about the impact Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had on the world. He is a big reason we are all able to go to school together.  We talked about and compared our skin tones and decided not one of us has the same color skin!  What is important is what is in our hearts!  I am constantly amazed at the honest and beautiful hearts of first graders!  This is why I come to school every day!  After our valuable discussion, we decided we wanted to show others what was important to us...That we can all reach for our dreams and it doesn't matter what color your skin is.  The kids and I traced our arms on what ever color paper we wanted. We glued them all together in a bouquet and added a heart shaped message. Love is packaged in all colors but we all love in the same color!! I hope the kids will go home and continue this conversation with families and friends!!  Thanks Parents, for sharing these amazing kids with me!!
We all love in the same color!
Thanks for taking a peek into our wonder-filled day! Have a colorful tomorrow!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Globes

Hello Everyone!  Do you know anyone who collects snowglobes?  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live inside a snowglobe?  We read a wonderful story today called "Snowglobe Family" by Jane O'Conner.  The author portrays a family living inside a snowglobe.  The family wishes someone would come and shake the snowglobe so they could have a blizzard and maybe have some snowhills so they could go sledding!  Sweet story!
We decided to make our own paper snowglobes and use what we know about adjectives to describe what we would put into a snowglobe.  After creating the paper part and finishing the writing, I laminated the work to make the projects look like "real" snowglobes!  The kids worked very hard on these and really came up with some interesting things to put in their snowglobes!!  Way to go VIK's!

A circle, a base, and some snow

New York

Snowman and trees

A girl building a snowman


I love how these turned out!  Come by and see them hung up in the classroom!