Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Children's Engineering: Long Ago and Today

      We just had our school wide Engineering Fair and it was a HUGE success!  My school is located in Albemarle County, Virginia which is home to the University of Virginia.  Several classrooms in my building were working with The University's Curry School of Education and the UVA School of  Engineering since the start of school last fall.  We were given printers and fabricators to use with software (Fablab and Community Construction) that was designed by people in the Engineering department at UVA.  I was one of the fortunate teachers that got to work with these talented people.  We worked on several different projects but our favorite is the comparison communities we made showing Long Ago and Today.  One of our state's Standards of Learning (SOL's) is comparing life from today with that of long ago. 
Before I even began to teach this concept I showed the kids pictures and read books about buildings.  We talked about the shapes that we saw in them.  Then we did a wonderful art project I found on 
that had to do with shapes and buildings. Here are some samples of the finished product.

 When I began to teach the SOL, I  started out by reading the book "A Street Through Time" and having the kids tell me as we went through each era what they saw that stayed the same and what was different.

We brainstormed all businesses and buildings that we see here in Charlottesville and then made a list.  We sorted them into different sections such as businesses that help us, ones that keep us safe, ones that are fun, etc.  This tied into our Economics Unit of Needs and Wants and Buyers and Sellers.

 We then designed our community and decided what "Earth" features we wanted in it.  We knew that all living things need water, so the kids said we would need to have either a lake or a river.  They ended up deciding that they wanted both.  They continued to design the community putting in a railroad, roads and bridges. 

Then we were ready to plan our community: where we wanted the buildings to go. We used squares of paper and the conversation the kids had doing this was awesome.  They really thought out where things should go and thought about the problems that may come from a placement.  It was really amazing to hear them at this young age problem solve together.

Now it was time to work with our friends from UVA.  They came in along with our Gifted Resource teacher and the kids worked on the computers making their buildings.  They used the Community Construction software and each child made 4 buildings.  2 businesses from today, 1 home from today and 1 home from long ago.  The kids got to pick the size of their buildings along with the siding that would go on it.  Again, they did a fantastic job thinking about what the building should look like.  I went online and found different kinds of roofs and sidings for them to choose from.

  From there we printed and fabricated the buildings.  The kids loved watching them come out of the machine (it's called a Silhouette) and seeing the buildings go from a 2D shape into a 3D shape. 

When all of the buildings were finished, we then went back to our community we mapped out and started to put the buildings down.   The comparison between the Community of Today with that of Long Ago came alive before their eyes. 

 It was a very fun way to learn about the differences.

Our Community of Today

  Our Long Ago Community

 Here are what some of the buildings looked like close up.

Look at the details in the sidings and the roofs, pretty cool!

Then we wrote about all we did to make these communities, the struggles and the triumphs we experienced.  We also wrote about the comparisons between the two communities, what would be the same and different from living Today and Long Ago.

   Our final step will be to go on a field trip to a Living History Museum called the Frontier Culture Museum located in Staunton, Virginia that has houses from Long Ago.  The cool part is my kids will be looking not only on how they looked, lived and dressed but also at the architecture of the buildings. 

                   I've attached the design brief that I wrote for this project.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Was a Request!!

Awhile back I had a request to make one of my hidden sight word finds using the alphabet. I made this one with the upper and lowercase letters hidden.  I know this is way too easy right now for first graders but in the fall when we go back it should be o.k.   I'm sitting here while we are having a terrible storm outside, thunder and lightening with large hail! It's actually kind of cool.  It's been so hot here in Central Virginia so hopefully this will cool things off and make it more seasonal outside.  Anyway, hope there are some out there that will enjoy this alphabet find.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dino Color By Numbers

Here's another one but the numbers have been changed a bit. I was thinking of the boys in the class when I made this one!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Color By Number

Here's a new idea I got from Anna Can Teach.  It's a color by number picture with a small twist.  The picture has numbers that tell the student what to color but the twist comes in here: the box on the bottom has each color number in a range (ex 41-49).  The student need to know where the number falls in a range to know what color to use.  It's a great challenge for the kids.  When we first started doing these, I gave the kids a 100's board to use but now they are able to complete these without that support.  Let me know what you think of these.  I love the feedback.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hen's on Nest-Doubles and Doubles +- 1

Hello all, it seems like it's been awhile since I've posted.  It's really busy at school right now so I've been trying to get all of my school work done before I got to this fun stuff!  You know how that goes.  Anyway, here's a math game that the kids have to solve the chicken problem and find the nest that has the answer.  The addition and subtraction problems are doubles and doubles plus or minus one.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oh Happy Days Contractions

Here's another word find per request!  I was working on this one with the thought that it would be a contraction one when I got the request from Busy Bee. Great minds....... Anyway, here it is.  I usually have a second side to the recording sheet that has the kids write a sentence and draw a picture.  I didn't make one for this but you can always use one from the other finds.  If I get to it, I'll re-post it on this one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Sight Words Find- Fishtank

Here's another one.  These are the first 25 Dolch words. Some people asked for the easier words.  So, I hope this helps.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Real Words/Fake Words Find

     This time I made a mixed word find.  There are 12  "Real" words and 12 "Not Real" words (pseudo words) for the kids to find.  I made a recording sheet and the child has to decide if the word is real or not and record it in the correct column. The recording sheet is 2 pages but I didn't realize that I had messed up and the second sheet is actually on the third page.  So when you go to download, it looks like there is only one page because the second page is blank.  Sorry, I'll try to fix it tomorrow, but if I don't it just means that you are printing 3 pages, one of which will be blank.  I made this one in black and white but I have another one of the bugs that is in color.  I just have to decide what words to put on it.  If anyone has any requests, let me know.
      This week is my Spring Break and I have spent my time either 1) SHOPPING!!!!!! my favorite thing to do, 2) making these games, my next favorite thing to do, 3) Running , I like to do this but it's not my favorite thing to do and 4) cleaning- definitely NOT my favorite thing to do (so I'm not doing much of it).  I also got to go to Richmond Virginia to see the Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  It was amazing.  It was my second time and I'm going back again as soon as possible. If you are anywhere near Richmond before the middle of May maybe you can plan on going to it.  This is the only place on the east coast it will be shown.  Enough of this infomercial, but really, if you like art, it's pretty cool. (It's cool even if you don't like art).

Make a Sentence

Here's a twist on the fun "Make A Word" games I've seen.  It's Make A Sentence.  My kids love to do the make a word so I thought this would be a nice alternative to them.  It isn't pretty, but hopefully it will be fun.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fish Tank Fact families

My kids still need practice with this concept and I haven't seen any lately, so I made these to work in any season.  I thought they had it and stopped having them play with the ones I had from the Winter but when I went back to it whole group I realized that they really didn't know it. Sigh!  Just shows me that 1st graders need constant practice and repetition and not to stop when I think they've gotten it. Our SOL's (yup, that's what our state standards initials are!!!!) say that the kids need to know the addition and subtraction math facts through 10 and next year they change to 18!  So, more practice in fun ways. I know there have been a lot of these on different blogs, but I hope you can use these.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alien Pseudo Word find

My co-teacher "Anna Can Teach" from Pro teacher fame has been busy again and came up with this Pseudo Word Find and recording sheets to go with it.  Thanks Anna! and have fun in Seattle this week.  
I was blog stalking and I want to thank the many blogsters out there that have put up my blog as a favorite on their blog.  I've got to learn how to have favorites on the side of mine so I can do the same.  I love the blogs that are out there that have their creations free for others.  I've said it before that we are all in this together and I think posting my stuff for others is paying it forward.  I'm glad I can be a help to you all that enjoy what I and my co-workers make. I work with a group of very creative people and we all have the same mind set.  So, as soon as I figure out how to post favorites, my list will be fill with those of us that share the idea and philosophy that we are helping each other and "paying it forward".

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Twist On The Word Finds-Compound Words!

I decided that I've probably exhausted the sight word finds, so I was thinking" what else could I do?"  I came up with several idea's (more to come on that in later posts!).  The first idea is to find words and then make them into compound words.  I started out with 30 words but then decided that was too many so I made 26 words that will then make 12 compound words. Let me know what you think of this.  I love the feed back and it helps me know if this is a good idea or not. I'm on Spring Break, so I can't test it out on my kids.  Hope you like this idea!