First grade students became authors and illustrators as they explored things they are just "OK" at and things that they are really good at. Based on The OK Book students created a page for their own class book that read "I am OK at _____________but I am really good at ______________. " First graders also enjoyed a read aloud of Miss Roopy is Loopy from the My Weird School book series by Dan Gutman and were introduced to the crazy antics of Chester the cat from Melanie Watts' books.
Our letter writing unit continued by reading more stories written in the form of letters including Dear Bear, The Jolly Postman and Other People's Letters and With Love, Little Read Hen. The names of all first grade students at BCS went into a bucket and each first grader drew the name of another first grader to write a letter to. They had learned what sorts of things to include in a friendly letter, such as a greeting, telling about yourself, asking the person some questions about themselves and a closing. The letters were put in envelopes, addressed, stamped and are ready to be mailed to the first graders.
This month the first grade students were finally able to complete their snowballs projects, share their clues about them and look at all of the great projects each class created. Once the snowballs project was complete, they were able to begin a unit on letter writing. It's always interesting to see that letter writing has become a lost art. The students were excited to write a letter to their classroom teacher in hopes of getting a response back. This unit was kicked off with the book The Day the Crayons Quit which is written as a series of letters to a boy named Duncan from each of his crayons.
First grade students finished up their author/illustrator study of Lois Ehlert. As a culminating project they created an illustration in Ehlert's collage style based on the book Snowballs. Each student wrote clues about their snowman to have their classmates guess which one was theirs and pictures of each snowman were put into a PowerPoint presentation for all first grade classes to see.
With holidays and snow days, January has gotten off to a slow start!
First graders have started an author/illustrator study on Lois Ehlert. They have read and looked at several of her books and had some terrific discussions about the different ways she illustrates them. From shapes to found objects to paper and colors, Ehlert has some truly unique styles. Students have noted that her books aren't always the best stories but they make you want to learn more or make something or explore things further. She always includes things that make you think or teach you something. They are looking forward to creating an illustration of their own in the style of collage that Lois Ehlert is so good at.
In early December the first graders had the opportunity to go to the book fair. We read the book Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don't!) and talked about how there are good books in the library for everyone...you just have to find something you like. We took a look at some holiday stories and did an activity with the book How Santa Got His Job that focused on sequencing.
First graders spent this month learning about how a book is like them because it has a birthday (copyright date), a spine, an address (spine label), a family (author, illustrator, editor, publisher) and much more. They are becoming familiar with the different parts of a book including the index and table of contents.
This month, first graders are becoming familiar with terminology such as
spine, spine label and call number and have been practicing alphabetical
order so they can more easily locate books by their favorite authors. They've also learned about the difference between fiction and non-fiction books and have begun to learn about some of the things that make non-fiction books different from fiction including things like an index, table of contents, glossary and more.
First graders started the year off with a review of library manners and how to check in/check out and care for their library books. They were introduced to the shelf elf "Skoob" in the book The Shelf Elf. Skoob is responsible for help keeping the library shelves neat and orderly and first graders are doing their best to help him out in order for him to earn The Golden Shelf Elf Award. They are using their shelf markers when choosing books, straightening up books when needed and really becoming responsible library users.
Also in September, students learned more about how the books are arranged in the fiction and picture book areas of the library. They learned quite a bit about alphabetical order and that fiction books are shelved in alphabetical order by the author's last name.