Late Winter Dispatch from 1B:

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We wrapped up our Italy studies last week with a grand ‘Tour of Italy’ in the MPR.  In the morning we presented our projects to our classmates and in the afternoon we welcomed our families.  We had a great turnout, enjoyed some Italian food and sweets, and got to see and hear about all of the fantastic projects the first graders put together.  Next, we’re going to explore India.

In Science, we completed our Science Fair project, ‘Finding North’ about the science of magnetic compasses and reflected on what worked, what didn’t, and what we would do differently if we tried our experiment again.  Reflection is a key component to making learning meaningful and our first grade class is getting better all the time at this type of analysis.  We’ve started our next unit on Force and Motion and will be doing some experiments testing  our hypotheses on these subjects in the coming weeks.

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In Math, we’re learning about the attributes of objects and differentiating between 2D and 3D shapes in addition to constructing and practicing our fact families.  In English/Language Arts, we are picking up speed in all of our reading groups as students build on our spelling and word work to increase their automatic recognition of many sight (or ‘trick’) words and become more adept at quickly sounding out other words.  During our Italy studies, we read many ‘Strega Nona’ books by Tomie dePaola and then created our own stories making use of the fun characters we got to know (like Big Anthony and Bambalona) and then put them into new situations.

Finally, we said farewell to Jonah last week as he and his family are off to a new adventure in Chicago.  We’ll miss him and we wish him all the best at his new school.  Jonah made a short animation of a battle at the Roman Coliseum he built out of Legos for our Tour of Italy and you can see it here,

Until next time, Ciao! from First Grade 1B.