Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of First Grade

Welcome to the first day of Maggie's First Grade year!
I found these great "on my first day of first grade ..." worksheets at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6zC45cAimWuMzcyMmFhMmMtNTYxZC00MTg1LTk1MjMtNWJjNmQ5ODA5OTA5/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1 and I thought they would be perfect for us to have for this year's grade binder!  Here are Maggie's completed sheets.
And for her journal entry (which we'll be doing twice, weekly), she said she was most looking forward to reading books in first grade.  (The picture is of her, with a book open in front of her, and a stack of them, waiting to be read.)  That's my girl!  :)
Writing out the days of the week in her Calendar Notebook.  (Some of you may remember all the seasonal tablecloths I put out for us to do our work on.  This one, with the sunflowers, is in honor of my late Aunt Wendy.  Sunflowers were her favorite flower.  She was a great teacher and I want to remember her on our first day.)
 Filling out today's weather on her monthly weather grid.
In science this week, we'll be reviewing the seasons.  Of the books we read, these were the best ... The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons (LOVE her!) ...
... Changing Seasons by Bobbie Kalman ...
... Season to Season by Anita Ganeri ...
... The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons (we'll be reading this again before we go to pick apples this year) ...
... and A Busy Year by Leo Lionni.  She enjoyed every one of these books!
After our reading, we went on to tackle a few projects on the four seasons.  First, I used this Evan-Moor: Making Books with Pockets: January book (I LOVE these, and their History Pockets!) to start a seasons book that we will add to all week.
Here is Maggie, working on her book cover.
This is the cover for our four seasons book.  We will add more pages to it each day of this week, as we tackle one season at a time.
Then, I got this great idea for a seasonal art project at  http://theartofteachingut.blogspot.com/2012/03/seasons-tree.html, featuring a "Seasons Tree."  What you will need to make your own is a large, 18-inch piece of white construction paper, a black marker, crayons, tissue paper in pink, light green, orange, yellow, dark green, and red (you can also use brown), cotton balls, and glue.  First, divide your 18-inch piece of paper into four equal, vertical sections (each should be 4.5 inches wide) with your marker.  Then, draw a large tree, that stretches from one end of the paper to the other, like I did below.  Finally, label each of your sections with the seasons, with Winter in the far left, and graduating all the way to the right, in order.
To start, color your tree's trunk and branches.
 Next, color the ground, being sure to match the ground with the season labeled in that column.  (We left Winter white, colored Spring a light green, Summer, a deep green, and Fall, we colored yellow.)
 Then, it was time to add the fun stuff!  Here, Maggie is adding "snow" (stretched cotton balls) to the branches in the Winter column.
 For Spring, we added little crumpled balls of light green (new leaves) and pink (blossoms) tissue paper.
 Summer got some dark green tissue paper (mature leaves).
And Fall got touches of red, yellow, and orange.
 Here is our "Seasons Tree," in all its glory!  It turned out great!
(After we took the above picture, she informed me that we should have put some "snow" on the ground, too, in Winter, so feel free to make that addition to yours!  :)
And the next four seasons craft I found was at http://www.redtedart.com/2011/10/26/kids-crafts-4-seasons-autumn/, using a 12-inch square piece of black cardstock, 6-inch squares of white cardstock, paints, brown paper (for your tree trunks), glue, a black marker, and bubble wrap.  (To prep the craft, I went ahead and cut the pieces the night before.)
First, we painted our white squares to look like the same landscape in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.  (Here, Mags is painting the Spring scene, with light green grass.)
Once all our backgrounds were painted, we let them dry.
 Then, we glued on our trees, making sure they were in roughly the same spot on each piece, so each scene would look like the same tree in different seasons.
 (We let the glue dry before moving on.)
Then, once they were again dry, it was time for some real fun -- painting with bubble wrap!  I cut four small circles of bubble wrap to fit over the trees' branches, which we then painted in seasonal colors (Summer got deep green, Winter got white, Fall got orange, yellow, and red, and Spring got spring green and pink).  (Be sure to paint the bubbled side!)  Then, we pressed those onto the appropriate backgrounds.  Here, Maggie is adding to the Fall scene.
How cute are these trees?!
Once the trees' branches were done, we added embellishments to our picture using our fingers, dipped in paint, and a black marker (cardinals to our Winter scene, Fall leaves to our Fall scene, sunflowers and butterflies to our Summer scene, and grazing sheep to our Spring scene).  Once our seasonal scenes were complete, we glued them to our black cardstock.  Adorable! 
Maggie's Masterpiece!  CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!
In Geography, soon, we will be studying landforms.  We will introduce those after this week, when we do a study on the poles and cold regions.  This is a great resource that we use often, the Usborne: Children's Picture Atlas.  This has great maps of both polar regions, which I snapped a picture of, below.
 We also read from another Usborne book, Beginners: Antarctica, where we learned about glaciers, the ice shelf, and icebergs.  (These are the coolest books!)
Here, Mags is showing me an iceberg on her "Geography Terms" poster.  (We will be using this over the next several weeks.)
It was a wonderful first day!  We both had fun!  See you again tomorrow!

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