This coming week will be the last for the 2008-2009 school year at Metz. What a wonderful experience it has been for me to be able to share what has been going on in my classroom all year. I believe that all teachers, new and experienced, have things to learn from each other. It is in this exchange of ideas that we become better educators for our own students and colleagues.
If you have never had the pleasure of opening up your classroom to a student teacher, I highly recommend that you consider doing so. I just finished my tenth year in the same first grade classroom and I had never had a student teacher until last year. I had considered opening my classroom doors to a college student many times before but I worried that I wasn't good enough, I didn't know if what I had to share would be helpful to someone, if I could give up control of my students, if I could dole out constructive criticism without feeling like a jerk, if I could relax and still be my goofy self with someone in the room? I still wonder if I would have ever made the choice to ask for a student teacher- so lucky for me, I had my first one sort of end up in my doorway without even having to make that decision for myself.
Every year my class participates in the annual Metz Science Fair. Even though our school is very good about setting up classes for our parents to learn how to support their child during an at home science experiment, I rarely have a parent choose to work with their own child on an experiment at home. So each year, as a class, we brainstorm ideas that seem interesting to us to explore.
Reading ABC Books and creating our own have always been an enjoyable learning experience for me and my students. I have given you ideas about some in my previous blogs, but I wanted to share a few more with you today. Maybe you will make a few with your students before the year is over, or use some of these ideas when you start a new year in August or September. Each year I choose a few class books to save for myself, and the rest I give away to students. The ones I have chosen to keep I will treasure forever.
With Earth Day quickly approaching, I would like for you to take a minute to look at the Environmental Health Unit, I wrote as well as some of the ideas about plants and seeds I am posting here. There are also a ton of ideas that Scholastic put together for you in Caring For The Environment You will find many ideas that you can use in your own classroom to help celebrate the day we celebrate our Earth!
I have always had a bunny party, including a bunny brunch each of my ten years at Metz! It is such a fun little day and just one more way that teaching first graders keeps me young and full of magic!
One of the best things about teaching at Metz is the fact that all of my colleagues take such time and care to keep our hallways looking beautiful with student work. These displays allow everyone to have a glimpse on what is being taught in each room and are also excellent learning tools. I took some time last week to photograph many of these gorgeous displays to share with you. It is one thing to read an idea for a bulletin board in a magazine, but quite another to see a teacher's and her students handiwork! Enjoy!
Annually, the 1st grade at Metz hosts a visit from Fry's Farm to coincide with our science unit on animal groups. Each class gets uninterrupted time with several different furry, sweet mammals and fluffy comical ducks, chickens and geese. The kids absolutely adore this special event and it adds to real life understanding of animal groups we are learning about in our science unit. I will be sharing some of the work my students are working on in the unit later on, but I wanted to share some photos from this exciting visit and some of the connections we made.
Here is Part III of quick tech ideas that I have completed with my 1st graders over the past several years. Many of the PDF examples I am sharing with you were done in Kid Pix. We now have Pixie in our computer lab, so a few of the ideas will have come from that program. In many ways the two programs are very similar, so you should have no trouble adapting the ideas! Hopefully you will find something here that you can use with your own students or maybe these lessons will inspire an idea of your own!
Here is Part II of III of quick tech ideas that I have completed with my 1st graders over the past several years. Many of the PDF examples I am sharing with you were done in Kid Pix. We now have Pixie in our computer lab, so a few of the ideas will have come from that program. In many ways the two programs are very similar, so you should have no trouble adapting the ideas! Hopefully you will find something here that you can use with your own students or maybe these lessons will inspire an idea of your own!