Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Last week in first grade, we began our Antarctica and the Polar Habitat unit!

First, we talked about what we already know and what we want to learn.

We learned some new chants with tons of new vocabulary! 
We learned about the Orca Whale, a toothed whale! (This week we will be learning about the Blue Whale, a baleen whale!)

We have an awesome box of Antarctica/Polar Habitat books to choose from during reading times! Thank you families for letting us borrow your books! 

Not once, but TWICE this week, I was called over and asked "Miss Kloczko, is this a rookery of penguins?" The second time, I was so excited, I took a picture!

We heard a story called Sea Life about a puffin! We use the pictures of the characters to help us retell the story. We will use this story to practice remembering smaller details later this week!

During Writer's Workshop this week, we learned about using sequence when writing a narrative. We watched this clip from Finding Nemo and then we retold the story, starting our sentences with words like "first," "next," and "finally." We also made predictions about what we thought would happen next.

One question that was asked on Monday, when we discussed what we want to learn about Antarctica and the Polar Habitat, was "How do the animals survive the cold temperatures?" On Wednesday, we did an experiment and found out the answer! Many animals in Antarctica and the Polar Habitat, such as whales, walruses, and penguins have blubber, which helps them stay warm!


The next day, for writing, we wrote about the experiment, using the same sequence words! 

We also did some Orca Whale art this week! 

Just for fun... say one of these signal words to your first grader and see what they can tell you! 
  • persuade
  • hemisphere
  • external
  • spyhopping
  • conclude
Last, but not least, IT'S FAMILY BLOGGING MONTH! Here's what some of our first graders had to share this week...

      "I liked the Nemo video, because it was super funny when Dory acted like a whale and was like, 'Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!'" -Sophia

       "I have learned that in Antarctica, they have six months with light and six months with darkness. Also, I have learned that Macaroni Penguins live in Antarctica.
        My teacher always inspires us to read. Since I've been in first grade, my reading is getting better. For example, I've been reading lots of chapter books like The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. By reading, I notice that my writing is getting better. Thank you Miss Kloczko for being an awesome teacher. And that's my blog." -Mariana

     "I enjoy reading books about what we are learning about.  We learned about whales and their blubber keeps them warm from the cold water." -Peyton

Leave a comment on our blog! 
  • First graders, what was your favorite thing we did at school this week? What is the coolest thing you learned? What do you hope to learn this week?
  • Family and friends, what do YOU know about Antarctica? Maybe you have a question that one of our first graders can answer!


  1. Looks like a lot of fun! What do the kids think about blubber? Does it seem fun to be warm all the time, or would it get annoying? Do they notice any similarities to people in places where it's cold, like Alaskan natives?

    1. Sophia in first grade thinks "it would get annoying, because you would never feel what it's like to be cold!" Tony thinks "it would be boring to be warm all the time, and you would feel like you're inside the sun when you are in warm places! And when you are sleeping you would get too hot!"

  2. Wow, what a wonderful week in first grade!

    I didn't know that a group of penguins is called a rookery! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Dear Miss Kloczko's Class,
    You are learning so much! I know that Antarctica is actually desert because it gets very little rain! That blubber experiment looks fun!
    Mrs. Kloczko

  4. I want to learn what polar bears and penguins eat.

    1. Ashlyn,
      Do you have a polar bear award? You might be able to find out what polar bears eat there! We are going to learn about penguins next week, but there are a whole bunch of books in our classroom that might be able to tell you what they eat.

      Miss Kloczko

  5. Jenifer P. (Ashlyn's Mom)January 21, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    What a great blubber experiment! It looks like you are having a lot of fun learning about the arctic! I am also learning about whales right along with you! I did not know that some whales have teeth and some have baleen plates. Cool!

  6. A rookery? What a great word! My vocabulary just grew. I love that you are learning from all types of texts, including video clips from Finding Nemo, "swim away!"

  7. The best thing that we learned was the blue whales are super big.