First graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the Earth and the sun in science (SOL1.6), and they have been learning how to write complete sentences in English (SOL1.13d), so today they wrote Earth & Sun stories with Storymaker. Storymaker gives students a fun way to write and illustrate stories on the computer. First we illustrated the picture. Students used the paint bucket to fill in the background with black. Then we discussed the relative sizes of the sun, Earth, and moon, and they painted them as realistically as possible. Some students even included the moon’s craters! Next we worked on the writing part. I instructed the students to write facts about the Earth, sun, and moon in complete sentences. They used phonetic spelling (SOL1.12c) for words they didn’t know, and they used capitals and periods (SOL1.13e). Finally we saved our stories and published them to Google classroom. I put them all on a Google doc so you can read them here.
Category: 1st Grade
First graders at Holladay Elementary are learning about winter in science (SOL1.7) and compound words in Language Arts (SOL1.6g), so today students in Ms. Schemmel’s class wrote and illustrated sentences with winter compound words. We used ABCYa! Storymaker, which is a great site for writing in the lower grades. First we brainstormed a list of winter compound words: snowman, earmuffs, overcoat, wintertime, snowball, gingerbread, fireplace, snowflake, iceberg, frostbite, evergreen, peppermint, sweatshirt, turtleneck, pullover, snowplow, etc. Next students typed a sentence or two about winter using some of the compound words we discussed. I explained how to start each sentence with a capital using Shift, put a space between each word with the space bar, and end each sentence with a period. It’s also important to explain to first graders that when they get to the end of the line, it will automatically go to the next line if they just keep typing. When they finished their sentences, they used the painting tools to paint a winter picture. I showed them how to use the paint bucket to fill in the sky and the spray can to make snowflakes. When they were finished, we saved them, and I uploaded them to CoMemories. You can see them all here.
First graders at Davis Elementary have been reviewing needs and wants (SOL1.8), so today students in Ms. Gerrard’s class created needs and wants slideshows using a webtool called Qwikslides. Qwikslides has many great features: there’s no login, it’s fairly easy to use, and the finished slideshows work great on the iPads and laptops. First the students deleted the default text and typed their names. Then they went to the next line and typed “Needs.” They opened a new tab and used Google image search to find pictures of needs (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc). The students copied the links to the photos and pasted them into Qwikslides. Next they wrote “Wants,” and repeated the process to add pictures of wants. Finally, they customized the fonts and colors of the slideshow. We posted the links to our slideshows on Google classroom, but you can see them all here.
First graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about patterns in math (SOL1.17) and how to find one more or one less than a given number (SOL1.2). So today students in Ms. Schemmel’s class reviewed these skills with Pixie. This was their first lesson with Pixie, so we started by learning how to make a text box and type their names. Next I showed them how to use the stickers to create a pattern. Since they were learning about animals in Science (SOL1.5), we make patterns with the animal stickers. Then I showed them how to use the paint brush tool to draw their own animal. This time we made copies of the animal (by selecting it and using the copy and paste buttons). The students added a text box and wrote a sentence stating how many animals there were. Some students even included words like “hibernating” and “migrating” (SOL1.7a). Then they wrote a question for their classmates: “What is one more?” or “What is one less?” We exported their pictures at JPG files and uploaded them to Comemories so they could solve each others’ problems. You can see them all here.
First graders at Davis Elementary have been studying past and present (SOL1.1), so today students in Ms. Long’s class created past/present comics using StoryboardThat. First we helped them log into Google classroom where I posted the link. Then I showed them how to search for a background from the past and a background from the present. Next we added a person from the past and a person from the present to the correct background. We discussed the differences in clothing, buildings, and technology. I showed the students how they could customize the colors of the characters. Finally we added speech bubbles (called textables) and wrote complete sentences with the characters telling whether they were from the past or the present. I helped them take screenshots of their finished comics, and we posted them to Google classroom. You can take a look at some students samples here.
It’s getting close to the end of the year, so many classes are recalling the good times they’ve had together. Today First graders at Holladay Elementary created memory walls using Padlet. Padlet is an online bulletin board where students can post notes, pictures, videos, and files. Teachers create accounts, but students don’t need to sign in or anything, so it’s very easy for them to use. We gave the students a link to their teacher’s boards, and all they had to do was double click on the board to create a new post. They typed their name at the top, then they typed a sentence or two about their favorite memory of first grade. Next they used the webcam to take a snapshot of themselves and added that to the note. With Padlet, posts appear on the board immediately, so students can see each other’s work, and even offer helpful suggestions. You can take a look at their memory walls here: Valvoda, French, and Schemmel.
First graders at Laburnum have been learning about spring (Science SOL1.7) and fractions (Math SOL1.3). So today students in Ms. Wingfield’s class made spring flower fraction graphs. First we helped them log into Google classroom where I gave them a Google spreadsheet template that you can copy here (File > Make a Copy). The students had a choice of four flower bouquets photos. They picked one and deleted the others. Then they counted the number of flowers for each color. They typed the color and the number into the correct columns on the spreadsheet and a graph was automatically generated. Below the graph, you can see the fractions of the group. Click the sample tab at the bottom of the template to see a finished product. You can also take a look at the student samples here.
First graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about the changes that happen in the weather, plants, animals, and people in the spring (SOL1.7), so today students in Ms. Long’s class created animated spring pictures using PowToon. First we discussed some of the changes that happen, and I showed them a few samples so they would get an idea of how a finished PowToon animation looks. Once they had their ideas, we helped them log into PowToon with their Google accounts and get started. First we changed the background and added text. I showed them how each element has it’s own timeline for when it appears and when it leaves. Next we looked through the various free clipart galleries and added some images that were spring related. The last step was to add a speech bubble and make one of the characters say a sentence about the spring. We copied the links to our finished PowToons and posted them to Google classroom so our classmates could watch our animations. You can see a few samples here.
First graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about fractions showing halves, thirds, and fourths (SOL1.3), so today students in Ms. Bower’s class reviewed their fractions while learning how to use Google Docs for the first time. It took a while to help sign everyone into their Google accounts and get into Google classroom, but once we were there, I had posted a blank template for them to open. They typed the word “Fractions” at the top, and I showed them how to change the font, size, and color of the text. Next I demonstrated how to create a simple 1×2 table using the Table dropdown in the menu. The students created their table, and I asked how we could use that to show 1/2. They replied that they could color in one section of the table. I showed them how to use the paint bucket tool to fill in a section any color they wanted. Then we typed “1/2” in the remaining section. We followed the same procedure for thirds by creating a 1×3 table, but I let them decide whether they wanted to show 1/3 or 2/3, and they filled in the appropriate sections. By this time some of them were familiar enough with the procedure to create their fourths fraction on their own. Since all the tables were the same length I asked them how many fourths would fill in the same amount as 1/2? They could easily see that 2/4 = 1/2. They decided whether to show 1/4, 2/4, or 3/4 and wrote the fraction. Finally we helped them post the links to their fractions on Google classroom, and they enjoyed looking at each others’ creations. You can take a look at some of them here.
First graders at Laburnum Elementary have been learning about compound words (SOL1.6g) in language arts, and they’ve been studying shapes (SOL1.13) in math. So today students in Ms. Schumacher’s class created their first Google documents using compound words about shapes. We helped them log into their Google accounts and into Google classroom where I posted a blank template as an assignment. I showed them how to choose a font, size, and color, as well as how to type capitals and periods. Next we brainstormed some compound words that were shapes (pancake, football, bookmark, sunflower, hamburger, blueberry, cheesecake, bathtub, corndog, breadstick, watermelon, notebook, blacktop, etc). I instructed them to type a complete sentence using a compound work and a second sentence identifying its shape. When they were finished with their sentences I showed them how to add an image using the Google image search. We posted the links to their documents on Google classroom so they could read at each others’ sentences. You can read a few samples here.