Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Me and My Family

Here are the books that we read to help us understand ourselves and our families.  Each book is followed by a writing prompt:

Do you know someone who speaks another language?  (If not, you'll have to imagine that you do.)  What tricks do you use to understand each other?  What is the hardest thing about speaking two different languages?  What is the best thing?  Do you speak two languages?  Which language is easier for you to communicate in?

Write about your name.  Where did it come from?  Does it mean something?  Do you have any nicknames?  Do people ever say your name wrong, or spell it wrong?  If you had the chance to pick your name, what would it be?

Tell about your grandparents.  What do you like to do when you are together?  Are there other people around when you spend time together?  What is your favorite thing about your grandparents?  Are you closer to one grandparent than another?  Do you have any special activities that you do with your grandparents?  Do all your grandparents know each other?

Tell about your hair.  What do you like or not like about it?  Do other people ever talk about your hair?  If you could choose your hair, what would it look like?  

Imagine that you have only one book to read.  What is the most interesting book you can think of, one that you would like to read over and over again?  What would you do to make reading interesting?  Would you write another book?  Would you and a friend work together on a book?  Would you ask someone to make a book for you?  Would you ask all of your friends to write books, too, so that you could share them?

Write a letter to someone who can't read yet.  Replace some of your words with pictures so the recipient can understand your letter better.  

 Have the adults in your family ever saved for something?  How did you help?  How long did it take and what did your family buy?  If you've never helped someone else save money, what have you saved for on your own?

What kinds of food do you eat with your family?  Is there a special meal that you like?  Can you describe how to make this meal?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Space Systems: Patterns and Cycles

Here are some of the books our first graders read during our space systems unit, which starts every January.  

In the Next Generation Science Standards, students learn that the sun rises and sets in a predictable pattern caused by the rotation of the earth around the sun.  We learn how the sun's light causes shadows.  We discover that the tilted axis of the earth and the earth's rotation create the seasons. Finally, we explore the phases of the moon, and learn why stars can't be seen during the day.  We learn a little about astronauts and astronomers, both real and fictional. It's a stellar ride!


The Sun, the Solar System, 
and Seasons


The Moon and Its Phases


Stars and Early Astronomers

Galileo Galilei, who discovered that the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around.

Maria Mitchell was the first American woman to become an astronomer.

Henrietta Leavitt devised a way to determine the brightness of stars, which in turn shows how far away from earth they are.


Space and Astronauts