Getting back into the groove of school always takes time after an extended break. However, students arrived this week eager to engage, see their friends, play, and get back to the business of learning. We delved into a variety of topics this week from types of energy, board games, and learning and about being inclusive and kind.
Students loved having the opportunity to engage in board games this week. They particularly enjoyed learning to play Chutes n' ladders, which, according to esme.com, "was developed long before the learning game explosion, but it’s still one of the most science-backed games for building number sense in children. Number sense is an important building block that helps children make sense of what numbers mean and how they relate to each other." Students had to learn to take turns, practice patience, and use their number sense. We also played a guessing game in which children had to guess numbers using correct math vocabulary such as greater than, less than, tens and ones place, etc. Using games to reinforce number sense is always a great way to keep students minds and hands busy, all the while learning big stuff!
Speaking of keeping hands busy (but more importantly productive!), student's were tasked with taking what they were learning about in science and social studies and create tangible objects that reinforced the lessons. Students created straw pan flutes to study how air vibrating makes sounds, and they made beautiful paper tissue "stained glass" while exploring transparent, translucent, and opaque objects.
First grade also explored more about the topic of kindness. This month we will be learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and about his message of service, choosing kindness, and being inclusive. We have been reading books about kindness and discussing how we can choose kindness in our own lives. In order to help spread joy and kindness, students made warm fuzzies to hand to a special person. Warm fuzzies are merely yarn pom-poms; however, they are only to be given with the message of kindness or joy. They are meant to help the receiver feel loved or appreciated whenever they see or touch it. The ultimate goal is that the warm fuzzie eventually gets passed on to another person, and another, creating a ripple effect of kindness and joy.
Again, coming back after a long break has it's own readjustment period but it has been oh, so sweet and oh, so busy being back in the classroom. Seeing your children's smiling faces and their joy in playing and learning reminds me once again while we all choose to be here.
I love the outdoors, reading, art, gardening, and sharing my love of learning!