Friday, November 20, 2015

Two Types of Whales

This week we learned about two types of whales! But before that, we did a science experiment!

Many animals that live in cold places like Antarctica and the Southern Ocean have blubber to keep warm. A few first graders tell about our blubber experiment below:

The kids asked me SO many great questions this week when I first introduced the blue whale and orca whale, and they continued to ask questions as we learned more and more. This led to... MORE learning! We are now whale experts! 

Every evening this week, I found myself searching online for more whale facts. The kids had so many questions... I knew I'd need to be prepared! :)

Here are just a few of their questions:

"How long is a baby blue whale?"
"What are the lines on the blue whale's throat for?"
"Since blue whales are way bigger, I wonder if they eat orca whales..."
"Is all plankton microscopic? I think I've seen plankton before." (We had to change our signal word definition thanks to Cooper! Jellyfish and krill are plankton, even though you can see them. They float with the ocean currents!)
"Why do whales need blowholes?"

I loved watching the first graders ask questions all week long, but what I loved just as much was hearing them speculate, trying to answer their classmates' questions! These kids are such critical thinkers! I can't wait to talk about finding answers to our questions, and about all of the places in the world that they can find those answers.

We didn't just talk about whales this week... We learned three new addition strategies, too! Ask your first grader about near doubles! Can you use the doubles fact 5+5=10 to help you solve the near doubles fact 5+6? Or ask how we make 10 to solve an addition problem, like 8+4. We also learned how to act out a math problem to solve.

As usual, we also read a few new books...

And Juan Carlos's mom was our mystery reader!

We also made turkeys with our third grade buddies! So fun!

Thanks for reading our post! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Addition strategies, Antarctica, and as always... more books

Another great week! These first graders are making connections, asking more and more questions, and showing off their learning in so many ways! So exciting to watch!

Read about our week below!

The only predator of the leopard seal is the orca whale. -Tanaya

We learned about the leopard seal. It eats krill. -Kendall

We made a poster of penguin facts with sticky notes. -Carol

We made a tear art leopard seal. -Allyson

We read new books. -Jared

Today we wrote about things that are scary. -Nya

We read Lost and Found. -Ryan

We read Some Things Are Scary. And we made a class book called If You Were a Penguin. -Anahi

We had no school on Veterans Day and we got to meet a veteran on Tuesday. -Cooper

We read the book Polar Opposites about a penguin and a polar bear. -Fabiana

We learned about doubles facts in math, like 1+1 or 2+2. -Indigo

We read a nonfiction book about leopard seals. -Parker

We learned the word blubber. Blubber is a layer of fat that keeps animals warm in the water. -Lorenzo

We learned what a prepositional phrase is. It means the part of a sentence that tells where or when. The illustrator of Some Things Are Scary has the same name as I do. -Jules

We stuck smart cards on the leopard seal chart and we read a book called Polar Opposites. -Alex

We thought of scary things during writing, like if glue got stuck in your hair. -Juan Carlos

We had to do two workshop jobs today because we had no school Wednesday. -Tianna

We read Sea Life. -Jade

We watched a video about a diver who sees leopard seals. -Isandro
(Isandro found this video at home while doing his own leopard seal research!)

We learned a new signal word, fierce. -Anshika

We made our own leopard seals with whiskers on their noses. -Damion

We learned a new signal word for math. Addends are numbers that you add. -Lea

We watched a leopard seal video with very scientific pictures. -Liam

Leopard seals eat squid and fish and penguins and other seals and krill and cephalopods. -Kyara

I couldn't go to school on Thursday because I was sick. -Deniz

We learned what a number line is. We use it to add. -Jaykob

Thanks for reading! Leave us a comment!
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Monday, November 9, 2015

We are thankful for our brains!

Today we are thankful for our brains that allow us to learn new things!

Doctors can give you a cast to heal a broken wrist. -Indigo

Orca whales are the biggest dolphins. -Kendall

A blue whale is the biggest whale in the world. -Jules

People are a type of animal. -Cooper

We use our eyes to see. -Ryan

Emperor penguin babies can't stay on the ice for too long or else they'll die. -Aaqil

Vegetables make you healthy. -Fabiana

Penguins are birds. -Tianna

Orca whales have two names: orca whale and killer whale. -Isandro

Polar bears don't live in Antarctica. -Jade

We use our brains to think. -Nya

The emperor penguin is about 4 feet tall. -Damion

Did you know that the ocean is 7 miles deep? -Tanaya

Did you know that rockhopper penguins can jump high? -Lorenzo

Did you know that penguins have spiny tongues? Another cool fact is hippos make their own sunscreen. -Anahi

Did you know that pandas are endangered? -Allyson

In Turkey, girls used to not be able to go to school but boys could. -Deniz

Penguins are good swimmers. -Jared

Dinosaurs lived 5 million years ago. -Anshika

Black bears eat fish. -Cedrus

Penguins have fusiform bodies to swim fast. -Juan Carlos

Did you know that stingrays have slimy bodies? -Alex

Did you know that orca whales can swim a long way?  -Liam

Did you know that when skunks get scared they spray musk? -Carol

Did you know that counting on means to put the big number in your head and keep counting? You can count on to solve an addition problem. -Parker

There are 17 types of penguins. -Jaykob

The bald eagle is a symbol of our country. We live in the top half of the Earth and it's called the Northern Hemisphere. -Jules

Leopard seals eat penguins. -Kyara

Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. -Lea

Thank you for reading our post! Aren't you glad to have a healthy brain? What do you do to help your brain grow? Do you have any knowledge that you want to share with us? Leave a comment!

*All comments must be approved by Miss Kloczko.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Antarctic Antics!

Brrrr! We are studying Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth!

Here's what the kids had to say about our week...

We shared our background knowledge about Antarctica and its animals, and we asked new questions (at school on Monday AND at home for a digital challenge). 

We made a world map, focusing on the two polar habitats.

We learned about the emperor penguin, the largest type of penguin!

We went on a field trip to the IMAX theater downtown to see Born to Be Wild 3D. You can read a blog post all about it here.

We started a new chapter in math. We'll be learning different strategies to help us with addition. This week, we learned about counting on to add. It's easy to solve an addition problem by counting on, even if one of the numbers is really big! (We even figured out what year it will be 2 years from now using the counting on strategy.) Ask your first grader to teach you how!

We sit with new teams now and we learned new chants!

We learned about self-control with Cookie Monster, and now we can earn team points for showing self-control.

We started the Countdown to Thanksgiving! So far, we drew pictures of our favorite foods to show that we are grateful for food, and we exercised for 15 extra minutes on Thursday to show that we're thankful for our healthy bodies!

We read letters from our third grade pen pals in Gibbstown, New Jersey! Then, we wrote letters to send back to them!

We learned new signal words... Ask your first grader what social, pelagic, count on, ice floe, or fusiform means!

We made macaroni penguins for Fun Friday!

And of course, we read some fun new books! 

How was your week? Did this post teach you anything new? Thanks for reading!