Monday, February 29, 2016

Reason #342 to become a first grade teacher

Have you ever heard of the dik dik? As of last week, neither had I!

But thanks to Indigo, our first grade dik dik expert, I have now!

We are currently studying Africa. Everyone knows about Africa's most famous: the lion, giraffe, the elephant... But last week, Indigo told me that she had learned about the dik dik.

"The what?" I asked her.

"The dik dik! It lives in Africa," she told me.

"Hmm..." I was still puzzled (but interested!) so I looked it up and found that the dik dik did, in fact, exist.

Indigo had recently visited the San Francisco Science Academy Museum, and she couldn't wait to tell me about it when she returned. (I actually got an email from Indigo and her mom the weekend they visited.)

I suggested that Indigo write a blog post for the class to read, but instead, the next morning she marched up to me ready, "I want to teach the class about the dik dik, Miss Kloczko."

"Today?" I asked her.

"Yes, I have some notes in my backpack... external features, diet, habitat, all that. My dad helped me. Can I do a poster like you do?" This girl knows the way to my heart, I'm telling you.

Because Friday was a minimum day with not much time to spare, I told her that on Monday, she could teach the class. She could show me her notes at recess Monday morning, we'd do a little planning together, and after recess before writer's workshop, she would be in charge.

Giggling with excitement, Indigo shared her notes with me, and with the help of Allyson, she traced a picture of the dik dik onto a big piece of chart paper using the projector. "This is how you draw the pictures?!" they asked me. My secret is out...

I'm still smiling. This is why I became a teacher. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016


This post is long overdue! We have been so busy studying Africa, place value, and of course, learning some new signal words. :) Check it out!

We are preparing for second grade and working on independence! 
Such a sweet Valentine's Day with these little ones!
Nothing makes this first grade teacher happier than an email inbox full of shared google docs to print out! So proud! And take a look at the padlet we've been working on for homework!

And finally, a little giraffe inquiry... Do you know how many spots a giraffe has? Or how much water a giraffe drinks each day? Or why it has ossicones? Help us with our research and leave us a comment below!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Student Blogger: Fabiana

My favorite European animal is the hedgehog. It's cool because it has over 5000 spines. I love the hedgehog because it rolls into a ball and when it sees its predator, its spines pop up. I do not like it because it eats snails. I would eat meat instead. European people eat snails.

Did you like Fabiana's post? Leave her a comment!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Student Blogger: Jules

January 31st is my birthday! But the bad news is that I haven't picked where my party is going to be. I've been thinking if I am going to have my party at my house. I'm inviting my
friends to my party. My mom gave me options... Bowling, wait! Bowling, that's it! I'm going bowling for my party. That's it.

Thanks for reading! Did you like Jules's post? Leave him a comment below!

The Boat Challenge, Flexible Seating, and Farewell Europe!

What a fun week! On Monday, the kids participated in "The Boat Challenge!" With a partner, they were asked to build a boat that could sail from Europe to New York and carry cargo. The kids had a ton of fun and worked so well together! Thank you to Anahi's mom for all of the great photos!

This week we also tried out some new seating options! Our classroom now has exercise balls, a few stools, a wobble chair, and three floor cushions for sitting at a low table. I've given the kids some freedom in choosing where they work during reading and writing time, and I've been amazed at the results. Some kids work best sitting on the floor on cushions or on the carpet, some like to lay on their tummies, some stick to working in a chair or stool at their regular tables, and some like the exercise balls because it allows them to wiggle a little and helps them to focus! We are looking into trying out some more seating options, so please let me know if you are interested donating to our classroom! :)
Who says you can only work in a chair at a desk? Indigo made a list of places to work!

We also talked a little bit about Groundhog Day on Monday, and we wrote opinion pieces about whether we wanted the groundhog to see his shadow! Their writing was too cute! Looks like Spring is coming early! :)

This week was our last week studying Europe! We played Woodland Jeopardy on Friday (I also threw a review category in there, the bald eagle from North America). The kids learned so much about the animals of Europe and I was super impressed at all they remembered about the bald eagle from our FIRST unit this year. Wow!

Get ready for the African savanna, zoologists!