You can read here, you can read there, you can read a great book anywhere! First graders celebrated Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and kicked off National Reading Month with some very special reading time. They enjoyed reading in many different ways and many different places. We will be focusing on improving our reading skills and, as always, working to create a love for reading and learning!
In first grade we were able to fit some STEM thinking into our everyday curriculum. After reading in our science text book, students were given time to immediately put what they had just read to work. We didn’t start out with any specific challenge other than to take the tools given and apply what we had learned. Students were able to extend our lesson past the text and inspire other new learning avenues.
The whole school was given the challenge of writing acts or words of kindness on index cards and building them into a tower. I thought that one pack of 100 index cards would be plenty and present the first graders with another challenge of coming up with 100 kind words and actions. Boy was I wrong! The students blew me away with all of their great examples of kindness. I couldn’t believe how quickly they were able to fill 100 cards so, then we set out to meet the next part of our challenge: THE TOWER. After 7 failed attempts and a slight lean, our growth mindset was in full swing and we finally built our kindness tower. These 100 examples help to remind us that there is always a way for our faith to shine when we extend kindness to those around us.
We are so excited to be 100 days smarter! The first graders explored so many different ways of looking at 100. Students were able to see what 100 dollars and 100 pennies looked like and where would 100 steps take us. They took on challenges like fitting 100 drops of water on a single penny, doing 100 exercises, stacking 100 cubes, and much, much more. We finished our day by reflecting on the idea that if we could gain this much knowledge in 100 days, then what amazing knowledge could our elders have that they may be willing to share with us!
In order for the first graders to make their very best Groundhog Day prediction we decided to investigate what would cause the groundhog to see or not see his shadow. We learned all about light and shadow, opaque, translucent, and transparent objects and other factors that might influence our prediction. First graders found that depending on where the sun and where the groundhog’s hole was the shadow being cast could be effected. Students also gathered knowledge on how the weather that special day could also effect the outcome. After a series of test the first graders were ready with all of their new found knowledge to make their individual predictions. We can’t wait to see if we are right!
Catholic Schools Week is here! It will kick off with 11:00am Mass led by SJS students. All students are encouraged to attend in their school uniforms! Following Mass will be our open house, student craft fair (student vendors wear their shirts), and student art show. We have a ton going on all week so please be sure to check the fliers that were sent home in the Wednesday folder. We will also be celebrating our hundredth day with a fun filled agenda on January 31st. Lastly, the first graders will have their first opportunity to lead Mass on February 1st! Parents are welcome to join us. Watch for more information on this to come home Monday, January 28. If you find that these fast paced weeks have taken your house by storm (as life sometimes does) and need another copy of any of this information please let me know and I would be happy to send one home with your student. We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to! Let the celebrations begin!
It’s been a chilly week but first graders stayed warm with 3 days packed full of learning. We closed out our second unit in Reading, finished another topic in Math, and strengthened our faith in the completion of chapter 10 in Religion. On top of all of that, we spent our Flex Friday morning learning more about the church and what it looks like to serve and take part in Mass. The first graders are preparing to lead Mass next week on February 1st and are very excited! In the afternoon, we visited the kindergarten class for a very special presentation of their research project on the forest. The kindergarten class impressed the first graders by sharing some amazing facts about the forest and the animals that live there. We finished our day with a STEM challenge. The fierce wind and cold have impacted us all, including our fictional friend the Abominable Snowman. Students were told that the winter winds had knocked down his home and were challenged to build him a new one with only craft sticks, straws, Dixie cups,cotton balls, glue, and tape. So many unique ideas took shape and students remembered to put their growth mindset to work even when shelters collapsed. It may have been a very short week but we sure did fill it with learning!
First Graders are back in action with our newest PBL on Food Insecurities. After many awesome ideas, we have decided to work towards a goal. We started by researching and learning all about gardens and what grows in them. First graders then turned their attention to Heart Healthy fruits and vegetables that would supply users with much needed nutrition. Throughout our week in Reading and Language Arts we have been studying maps. To help put their new knowledge to work they were given the task of designing a garden map that would supply anyone who may not be able to purchase healthy foods. They came up with some great ideas that were totally impressive. Last, the first graders have also studied weathering and erosion in Science so, I challenged them to create something for a garden that would help with these issues and/or keep out unwanted animal visitors. Ideas such as, a greenhouse with a roof that could be opened and closed, planters with a rim that would retain soil and water while making it much harder for critters to eat the produce, and a planter with a protective barrier that would allow sunlight and water but repel anything harmful to the plant, all took shape. This was a very successful Flex day filled with STEM learning and exploration. Yep, we’re back in action and on a roll. Look out world!
December is all wrapped up and we filled every minute with tons of activities and learning. First graders read the book Mooseltoe and were told that they were having a holiday disaster of their own. The party was about to begin when they realized they had forgotten a Christmas tree. They were then challenged to create a tree out of the supplies given that had to include at least 5 ornaments and a star on top. They engineered some amazing trees with their growth mindset.
Students also made a collaborative art project, celebrated St.Nicolas Day, and learned about the joy of giving to others. We wrote letters to Santa himself and YES!!! he wrote us back. On our special Christmas pajama day we were able to read each and every one and the smiles were brighter than ever. We also spent time experimenting with new STEM kits that I purchased for the students to think creatively and continue their love of building, learning, and growing. What fantastic learning adventures will the new year bring us? Only time will tell!
Remember to embrace the opportunity to join forces on our second “Giving Tuesday” campaign. You can visit https://wegivecatholic.org and make a donation to our school family anytime during the hours of 12AM-11:59PM on November 27th. All donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Help us reach our fundraising goals this “Giving Tuesday.” Thank you in advance for your generosity!