April 20, 2012

A Bug's Life

As I mentioned in my last post, this week in first grade was all about bugs. Which was actually appropriate because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, bugged me this week. 

Does anybody else feel like the kids can sniff summer coming? I haven't mentioned to my kids that we only have 24 days left of school, but somehow... they know it's the end of the year. And, they're taking full advantage of my exhaustion. But, luckily, I adore them. So I can deal for 24 more days.... I think. They were actually really good today! So, maybe all my yelling  pleading has paid off?

Anyways... bugs.

I showed these in my last post, but we started the week off with an insect anchor chart.

We also talked about the butterfly life cycle.

(And, let me just go ahead and stop right here to make a disclaimer. You aren't going to see anything super creative or exciting in the remainder of this post. I had big intentions to do the butterfly life cycle with pasta this year. But, ya'll? I've done it literally every year since I started teaching and I just couldn't bring myself to do it again. How's that for a bad attitude? My kids didn't miss it, though. I'm 100% confident that putting some pasta on a paper plate wouldn't have helped them understand the cycle any better than just drawing it. And, I'm out of wall space anyway.)

So, yeah. We just drew the butterfly life cycle. They'll probably revoke my teaching blog privileges.

Then, I gave them a piece of paper and told them they needed to write about the butterfly life cycle. I pretty much always have them do some pre-writing when we write. I can count the number of times I've handed them a piece of paper and just let them write all on their own on one hand. But, sometimes, I think it's really good for them. I want to see what they can do on their own. I want to see if they can apply all the things we've worked on. And, honestly, I just wanted to see if they had retained the information and I wasn't too worried about the writing. So, here is some of their 100% independent writing...

Ahem. So, we've been working on topic sentences. I always tell them that the topic sentence should introduce what the paragraph is about. But, we usually come up with one together. I think the topic sentence above is HILARIOUS! Blunt, yes? Literal, yes? But, ya'll? He introduced the topic. What more can I ask, ya know?

Pretty exciting stuff, huh?
 I know you're sitting at the edge of your seat right now.

The second half of the week, we worked on insect research projects. One of our CC standards is to work on shared research projects. And, although it was great for the kids, I think it was even better for me. You see, I'm what you could call a control freak. But, I've been trying REALLY hard to just relax. The kids need opportunities to create things and work things out themselves. Who cares if the final product is cute, right? It's all about what they learn...

So, I just gave my kids a piece of computer paper and a book about an insect. And, I helped them divide the paper into 4 equal parts and we talked about the 4 things they had to figure out about their insect: where it lives, what it eats, what it looks like and a unique fact. They were in groups of 3 or 4.

They did such a good job of finding the information from their non-fiction books!

The next day, I gave each team a huge piece of white paper and these are the projects they created:


Praying Mantis

Hopefully, you have x-ray vision. Otherwise, you won't be able to read that. And, this was AFTER their control freak teacher made them re-write it because it was too small. (I said I was trying... I never said I was perfect.)




We had a tiring great week learning about insects.

Well, friends... that's all I've got. I'm off to enjoy the rest of my super-exciting Friday night. Which has so far consisted of blogging, listening to my brother's game on the internet and watching episodes of Parenthood on iTunes. Don't be jealous.


Mrs. Anderson said...

Yes, my kids know summer is close at hand. I haven't told them of course...they just know. I like all of your bug activities. The kids did a great job!! Thanks for sharing!