To extend our learning of the solar system, the first grade scientists traveled to the Discovery Museum to view the planetarium show The Little Star That Could. The class felt as though they traveled into outer space as the stars and planets surrounded them in the planetarium. The class recharged with snack and blasted off to the museum galleries to explore all of the exciting things at the Discovery Museum. Our trip was out of this world!
There is so much to see outside of our cozy little state of Connecticut! The first grade scientists have begun their month-long study of the Solar System and the class is traveling to outer space! We will discuss the big boss of the solar system, the sun, our home planet, Earth, rocket off to the moon to discuss moon phases. The tour doesn’t stop there, as we blast off to the inner and outer planets as well! The first grade scientists have completed their first project, developing a “Trip to the Moon” story using creative writing, mixed with true facts about the moon. First graders are also at the beginning stages of designing a Moon Phase Zoetrope with Mr. Ross-MacCormack in the Makerspace!
The beautiful blanket of snow that covered our field last week didn’t deter the Grade 1 class from its daily aerobic exercise. Donned with boots instead of sneakers, the students took to the field with extra excitement and determination. The laps melted away as these fit participants kept an even pace. This morning adventure ended with a cheer before returning to the gym for a basketball lesson focused on ball handling skills. Stay tuned for the next winter wonderland session as we eagerly await the next snowfall!
As a Mandarin teacher I am always amazed with my students’ enthusiasm for immersing themselves into culture differences while also appreciating their own culture. This year in class students did an experiment using the style of Chinese culture used to celebrate a traditional American holiday — Thanksgiving.
As the above photos have demonstrated, kindergarteners used the traditional Chinese fan to draw pictures and color the characters for Happy Thanksgiving. For the same purpose, grade 1 made their own Chinese lanterns. To my surprise during the school Thanksgiving feast, grade 1 students volunteered to bring their own lanterns to the feast to show their work to the community. With the beautiful drawing and character handwriting, grade 2 students made their holiday cards look quite unique and impressive.
Even with the traditional concept of expressing the gratitude with the heart shape, the character handwriting, craft materials and the drawing about the holiday revealed seamlessly the combination of American culture and Chinese culture in third and fourth grade student work. Grade 5 and 6 student work led the culmination of the combination of two cultures with their impressive handwriting and drawing on the small gourds.
This experiment turned out to be a quite pleasant experience for students to celebrate their traditional holiday. It has also boosted student interest and curiosity to explore more. Two weeks later, I received the request from most of my classes, “ Zhang Laoshi, can we do something for Christmas like we did for Thanksgiving? Please. Please.” Happily enough we all realized next December in class we will be busy with another holiday 圣诞节 (sheng dan jie, Christmas). Merry Christmas, everybody!
On a beautiful fall afternoon the first graders, along with the second grade class, traveled to Sport Hill Farm in Easton, on of our partners in our school-wide farm-to-fork dining program. The students are currently learning about health and nutrition in science class and were excited to see first hand where a lot of our food comes from. After a tour of the fields the first grade helped pick dried corn off the cob to pop for a special treat. We also got to visit with Patti’s Mama pig and her piglets and feed the chickens. Many thanks to Patti Pop and Mary Curran for making our morning at the farm so special!
First graders are working on a social studies unit on shelters. We have talked a lot about how where people live affects their shelter, and then recently about the effect of when people lived. To explore a first hand comparison between the houses we live in now and the shelters that people built in the past, the first grade stepped back in time by visiting the Ogden House right here in Fairfield. The class learned about the life of the Ogden family and all of the hard work the children were responsible for each day just to maintain the shelter. The first graders were able to learn about cooking, making clothing, and other various daily activities in the 1700’s. They explored the kitchen, family room, the two bedrooms and the garret, where the Ogdens dried the herbs from their garden and made comparisons to their own homes.