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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 101- Mrs. Delk, how do you know everything?

That was seriously a question that one of students asked me today.
My answer was, "I'm a teacher. I'm supposed to know everything."

The question came from this soldier here:
We had just watched a BrainPop video on the Underground Railroad to review what we learned about Harriet Tubman yesterday. One of the things mentioned was how escaping slaves would use the stars and constellations to help them with directions. I mentioned the Big Dipper, and how it was called the Drinking Gourd, and I sang a little of the song Follow the Drinking Gourd.

This soldier said, "Mrs. Delk, how do you know everything? You always have a song to sing when you teach."
I told her, "This is a real song. I didn't make it up!" And I decided to show my students that I wasn't just telling stories. 
I plugged in my laptop to the Promethean, got on to Google, and typed in Follow the Drinking Gourd. Up popped lots of links! {THIS} is the one we looked at. We listened to some of the different recordings and my students now have another song stuck in their heads. :)

Here is one version that I found on youtube. Enjoy!

My students wanted to share the link with their families at home, so we went to our blog and posted  link to what we found, during class! You can check it out {HERE}. When I got home, I did a little more digging and I found a video to add. Have fun!

My students are fascinated by the life of Harriet Tubman. They stayed focused on the BrainPop Jr. video we watched and they made some insightful comments when we talked about the difficulties that Tubman and other escaped slaves must have encountered. Since I know my students want to know more, I found this video from the Biography channel.

It's inspiring what one person can accomplish! I don't know if my students fully understand the impact that Harriet Tubman made on American History, but I know they understand the bravery it took.

For our writing prompt, we took our prompt from yesterday and tweaked it a little. Instead of being a conductor on the Underground Railroad, we pretended we were escaping slaves who had just learned the song Following the Drinking Gourd. Students were to write about a day in their life as they escaped to the North.

 We hide at day. We walked at night. I walk to the station. A station is a home for people. Some body is following me. 

 The police tried to get me! The police got me! I am in jail! Love mom! I love you!
(I love that he is writing  letter to his mom!)

 One day I was outside. I go to walk. Then I see some body. Then I take him to my house. Then I see another person. Then I take him at house. 

 I will follow the drinking gourd. I will sing the drinking gourd. I will give money. 
(We talked about how some abolitionists in the north supported escaped slaves by giving them money for their new life.)
 I will sing in the day. I will be safe. I am going to Canada. I will get punished. I will get caught. 
(It started so optimistic!)

I am getting chased by dogs. One bit me. I got to run. I am almost safe. My day was bad. 
(I focused on the picture because he really went into detail!)

** If you'd like to see how other students celebrate Black History month, and learn about the Underground Railroad, check out {THIS} blog post from SubHub.** 

In reading we read a story about the rain forest and watched  BrainPop about it. I math we talked about making estimations using the 100s grid. Basically, we learned bout rounding. We'll get more in-depth with it in future lessons. 

Here are literacy center pictures:

 Poetry/ Fluency, Buddy reading/ Graphic organizers

 Spelling texters/ Word wall, Word Work

Again, we had recess inside. *SIGH* I know my students want to go outside soon, but we can't until the County comes and cleans. (When it rains and we flood, the geese really make a mess of things.)

Our Daily Brain

Follow the Drinking Gourd

I am typing this post while my students are watching.

We just learned about the Underground Railroad and heard some of the song Follow the Drinking Gourd. If you would like to hear the songs at home, you can follow this link.

I also found this video on youtube and thought it was interesting. It's a little long, but it tells the story of the song.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 100- Kind of...

While my class is on day 100, the rest of the school is still in the 90's. I'm not really sure how it happened, but going back and counting every post would drive me insane. As it stands now, the whole of first grade is going to be celebrating the 100th day on Friday.

We teachers sent home a letter about the 100th day celebration, but just in case the kids forget to take it out of their backpacks, I'll tell you here...

Of Friday, each student will be responsible for bringing a Ziplock baggie full of 100 things. (think of Cheerios, M&Ms, beans, etc.) During school, we will turn in the things they brought into an art project! It's going to be awesome!

Now that that is out of the way, here's what we did today!

We watched this video (I found it on youtube) and talked about similes and antonyms. Originally, my students wanted me to find the 'real' video, but I think Elmo does it better!

My students were singing this song the rest of the day!

In math we looked at finding missing numbers on a 100s chart. Students were to think of different ways to figure out the missing numbers. Were they going to count by 1s only, or notice when counting by 10s would be easier?
Each of my students now have a 100s chart taped to their table to help them. Let's hope they last!

In social studies we are starting to study the changes that African Americans have made throughout history. We have already looked at George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr. (but I think we are going to review them during this unit) Today we looked at Harriet Tubman and her efforts on the Underground Railroad.

First we watched a BrainPop Jr video on Harriet Tubman, then we answered the questions after the video. After the video, I had my students do the writing prompt that BrainPop included.

Imaging you are a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Write a diary entry of your day.

I went outside at night. The police try to catch me. I was caught and punished at night escape. I went to a safe home.

We hide at day and then we went to the station at night. I was helping people. They were following me. If the man would have caught me I would have died. The man would of caught me they would of punished me. If the man did not caught me I would of stay safe.

I am safe at night. I am hide at day. I am walking. I am helper people. I am in a safe home.

 The mens are at home sleep. The mens are sleepy. I like my home. I hide from my mens. The men going home.

I was impressed with their insight! We created a word bank on the board before they began writing with words like night, station, walking, safe, etc. I can tell my students are going to learn a lot this week!

Here are pictures form literacy centers:

 Word work (building words)

 Poetry/ Comprehension (review compound words)

 Buddy reading/ Graphic Organizers

Spelling texters/ vocabulary

Even though it was an absolutely gorgeous day today, we had to have recess inside (again) because Hamilton County has not sent anyone to clean the playground yet from the flooding we had a week ago. My students were devastated! We want to play outside!!

Our Daily Brain

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Celebrity Story Saturday 21


Now that I have your attention, can you guess what the story is going to be about today? You guessed it! Underpants!!

We read this book in class when we studies adjectives and my students thought it was a hoot! To see that post you can click {HERE}.

Who better to read this out-of-this-world book, but an out-of-this-world teacher? Welcome to the Celebrity Club, Mrs. Vinnie!

Mrs. Vinnie is originally from India and received her first college degree from Punjab University. (That's not in Tennessee, by the way!) Then she moved here and got her secondary degree from Cleveland State University, which is in Cleveland, Ohio.

We at the Hills are blessed to have Mrs. Vinnie as one of our ESOL teachers. I don't have to see Mrs. Vinnie in action to know she's wonderful. My students come back from working with her showing off their new skills. My kids do reading and writing homework for her, and they love sharing what they are doing in class because they know that Mrs. Vinnie is going to be proud of their work.

Thanks for sharing your reading skills with us, Mrs. Vinnie!

Click {HERE} to hear the story or watch it below.

If you're a teacher and can't watch youtube videos at school, watch it below!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 99- Melts in your mouth...

Anyone remember that M&M commercial? They melt in your mouth, not in your hand! Well, as a science review, we did an impromptu experiment to see if there is truth in advertising.

We were working in our science workbook and playing a review game (for M&Ms) when I decided it would be fun to test out the vocabulary word melt with our tasty chocolate treat.

We knew we would need a heat source of some kind to begin the melting process, so we came up with 3 possible heat sources: a hand, a tongue, and a closed mouth. Before the experiment began, we predicted the outcome. We predicted which heat source would melt the candy the fastest.

Me- Which do you choose?
Student- The closed mouth.
Me- Really? Why?
Student- Because there is hot air in your mouth, so it will melt. 
Me- Well, why not just the tongue?
Student- Because if you don't close your mouth, the hot air will not get to it.

So, I chose 3 students out of my 'Random Child' bag to be my guinea pigs. Each student had to hold the candy for 1 minute.


Closed mouth

I know you'll be shocked to learn that the 'closed mouth' won. I didn't take a picture because it was gross. The one that didn't melt at all was 'hand'. My students decided that was because the cooler air in the room kept it from melting. So, two more students were chosen from the bag and we tried another experiment.

One child held the M&M in an open hand, and the other closed her hands over the candy. In theory, the warm air of the closed hand would cause the candy to melt faster than the open hand. After 1 minute, we found the results to be the same- nothing.

By now my students were all in uproar. They had to melt the candy! Next experiment- add friction and pressure. The rest of the class got to do this activity. First we all rubbed out hands together for 10 seconds.

Students- Mrs. Delk, my hand is hot!
Me- That's the point! We use friction to heat out hands and the heat will melt the candy!

After 10 seconds of rubbing, each student held an M&M in his/ her hands for 1 minute. Now we saw some results!

I realize that all we really accomplished was to melt off the color from the candy shell, but my students acted as though they had just won a million dollars. Success!

In other news, our math lesson today was on comparing numbers on a 100s chart. We have done this skill before and I assumed my students would remember >,<,=. I learned my lesson; never assume anything. We created a new chart to help us remember our symbols.

I got this idea from Ms. Beckett, who got it from Pinterest, I think. I thought it was totally cute!
However, even after practicing and repeating the skills, only one child received a 100% on their practice sheet.

Awesome job, Soldier!

At the end of the day, the school had a Cub Cash event- Game Day! Students with $50 Cub Cash and good behavior got to bring in a hand-held game or a board game. I had my blocks and games for them to use as well. I'm proud to say, I had 15 out of 17 students who were able to participate!

Have a great weekend! And don't forget to check back tomorrow for our next Celebrity Reader!

Our Daily Brain