Same as Lesson
Part of the math core for first grade is to understand that the the equal sign means the same. After working on same as for a few weeks Mrs. Wright and myself had our classes work in groups to make and take pictures of a math problem. We took the pictures and put them into a slide show with a empty slide for the other class to fill in. We then traded slides and each group was assigned a problem that the other class created. They had to make a math problem that was equal to or the same as but could not use the same math problem the other class created. Above you will find the final project. Below is the lesson plan and the rubric used by the students.
The students enjoyed trying to make problems that could trick the other class. The students from both classes were finding each other and trying to figure out who's problem they answered. They were able to go outside their comfort zone of friends to meet and talk to students in the other class. They also enjoyed not only writing the problem but showing it using objects from around the class. When it came to matching the other classes math problem some of the groups relied on the objects more than the numbers. They counted how many objects were in the picture and then counted out that many of their objects. They then made a new problem rearranging the objects and counting. In the future I would like to redo the lesson but use only numbers to see if their understanding has increased past just counting objects.
Student and Parent Community
I work at a school with a different community set up. We have three different schools in one building. We have our traditional classes, the gifted classes and the French Immersion classes. Due to the different programs at our school we have families from all over the valley. Most of the students and parents know no one else at the school entering first grade. To help the parents keep up to date on what is happening both in our classroom and at the school I have started using Bloomz. Bloomz is a closed app or a web site that the parents can sign up for to receive quick messages and information from the teacher. Parents and teacher are also able text privately through the program without using phone numbers. As the teacher I have to accept a person into the group in order for them to receive updates and messages. This allows both the teacher and parents to share photo's of students with the other members of the group safely. I have been able to add photo's of school activities, field trips, and art projects without worrying that they will land in the wrong hands. Parents also are able to message each other either privately or through the message page for all to see.
I also have a class web site that I try to update a few times a month. The web site also has upcoming events and messages listed. The class website as links to student friendly sites in multiple academic areas. I have added digital copies of the homework parents can print and other documents they may need.
Above you will find a power point with screen shots and explanations of how I use both bloomz and the class website.
I have had a class website for many years. Some years my parents use it a lot other years it barely get's looked at. This is the first year that I have used Bloomz. I have found that with Bloomz I have a lot more parent interaction. I have really liked it because it is meant to be quick. I don't have to write a formal letter and more parents are getting the updates and messages. Parents have communicated with me a lot more this year as well. First graders don't get most their papers home. Bloomz has been a way to reach most my parents without the message getting lost on the way home. Next year I will stress that bloomz will be the main way I communicate so hopefully I can get all my parents to sign up.
Marche (or Market)
Being part of the French immersion program has been a wonderful experience. For the last four year my French teaching partner and I have collaborated over everything going on in both our classes. This year she wanted to bring the French market in to our class rooms. Together we worked on getting both play and real food for the market. She also made stands for each area to give it a true French feel. The students had to start at the bank to get money before they could head off to shop. The students took turns being the store keepers and the shoppers. When talking to each other they we to speech french since it was a french market. The students were happy to help me communicate with the store keepers and the banker so I to could go shopping.
The above link is to a google album with pictures for the marche.
This was a great activity for the students to work together and practice their french skills. All students were involved and had the opportunity to roll play all parts of the market. It was also a great opportunity for the french teacher and myself to collaborate and bring both classes together. Both the french teacher and myself agreed that next year we will work on getting more real food for the students to buy. Being able to buy and eat a real croissant was the highlight for all the students.