In First Grade this week we started a new project. The Teal Pumpkin Project. I had never heard anything about Teal Pumpkins before, until Kristina spoke to me about it and to be totally honest this was something I had never thought about or considered. With Halloween approaching and Kristina making a lovely display in the hallway it seemed apt to start our own project in the classroom.
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option.
Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all! - Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).
We first talked about what food allergies are, and the different ways our bodies can react to food we are allergic to. We found that 1 in 13 children have a food allergy and that there are 8 most common food allergies.
With this information and learning that the Teal Pumpkin is about raising awareness of food allergies and promoting the inclusion of all trick or treaters during Halloween, we decided, that since some of our friends in school have food allergies and not everyone will know about the Teal Pumpkin we should shoulder the responsibility of informing the school about the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Our first step? Designing and creating posters to display around school to start generating interest and awareness and I have already seen students from other classes asking first grade about the posters and teal pumpkins.
The next steps in our project are to speak and present to other classes in the school, increasing awareness and giving them more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project and to introduce our design a Teal Pumpkin competition.
For more information on The Teal Pumpkin Project please see: www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project
This week was a busy and exciting week with our first parent lunch and our first field trip.
We have been learning about sentence structure this last week, using picture cards to create ideas and stories, then putting words to those pictures to make sentences. We had been exploring the who, what and where of our stories but with parents coming into our classroom it was a good opportunity to show off what we had learned and expand those sentences by adding in when the stories happened and why our characters were performing an action.
The children really enjoyed having their parents or family members come into the class to show them what they could do and everyone made a great sentence story. Also kudos to the parents for joining and working with us on the carpet and giving those knees a workout!
A big thank you for everyone who attended and brought items for the lunch, they were great sandwiches. Special thanks to Kristina for organising the lunch and decorating the classroom. The children are really enjoying the decorations.
We had our first field trip to the Library this week. First the children received their very own library card they can use to check out 3 books at a time. We then had a special behind the scenes look at the machines and robots used to sort returned books, which was very interesting and exciting. Each book has a special microchip in it that the computer reads, to identify where the book needs to be sent to. After our picnic lunch, we had free time to explore the library before choosing our 3 books we were interested in and wanted and check them out. We plan to make this a recurring trip where the children learn to use the library as a resource and tool, where we can go to find books for research, on a project we are doing or for books to read for enjoyment. We have approximately 3 weeks with our current books before we need to return them and choose new ones!
Back in the class each child poured over their own and each others chosen books and are very excited to return to the library and read more in the future!
In the first grade math is a mixture of hands on activities, exploring tangible materials and playfulness combined with critical thinking and mathematical reasoning and developing formal methods. There is an expectation as a class for hard work and collaboration. Solving problems together and helping each other overcome challenges. Paving the way for kids to collectively learn and grow together, by doing.
In first grade and throughout the Lower School at PNA, we use Bridges in Mathematics curriculum for math instruction. The Bridges math curriculum "focuses on developing students’ deep understandings of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills, and ability to solve complex and novel problems." -Math Learning Cente
This week we have been using and learning the importance of place value and the expanded form of numbers. We have been exploring the value of what each number is actually worth and the amount it represents. So when we come across a number we can understand what it means and how to use it. For example a 3-digit number like 341 is 300+40+1.
"Bridges blends direct instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration. It taps into the intelligence and strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich as it is mathematically powerful." - Math Learning Centre.
Ms. Tuomi has over five years experience in ASD, where she taught first and fifth grade classrooms. An avid skier, Ms. Tuomi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Alaska Pacific University’s Bachelor of Arts in K-8 Education.