Science Social Studies Health
At the beginning of the year and until our Christmas break, the children learn all about organisms. They learn the difference between living and non-living things and what living things need in their environment.
The children plant seeds and observed the difference among the four varieties grown. They draw pictures and write sentences describing what they see.
Our next group of lessons talk about woodland plants: moss, and a pine seedlings. They will learn and understand the differences between plants that grow in soil and ones that grow in water. Our water plants are called: elodea and cabomba.
The next activity is to have the class set up a terrarium using the woodland plants, which will be filled with insects: pill bugs and bess beetles. They then learn all about these creatures and have fun observing them and recording their observations.
Last, we do the same for our Aquarium: setting it up, filling it with guppies and snails and through observations and discussion, learn more.
When the children return from the holiday break, they dive into the world of penguins! They begin by making a penguin folder in Art class and then each week they will fill this folder with facts, activities and experiments done in the classroom. Vocabulary terms will include, rookery, crèche, brood pouch, southern hemisphere and many more. We end this unit with a whole class Jeopardy game!
Balance and Motion is our final unit in science. The kit arrives about the end of February and continues until June. The children get to answer such questions as: What is a point of balance? How can something remain balanced? What are counter weights and how are they used effectively? Through experiments and lots of fun, students make mobiles, balance a pencil on the edge of a popsicle stick, find out how spinning effects colors, and much more. By this time of the year, the children are now good writers and will be using a science journal for all entries.
In first grade, our children truly begin to learn what being a scientist is all about. Our wish and commitment is that they will continue to have the curious, questioning mind to propel their thinking forward to make good hypothesis with quality experiments. Who knows? - Maybe we'll see some of our students working in the areas of science some day!
Our social studies lessons are integrated in the language arts portion of our year. At the beginning of the year, we set up classroom rules, learn about the school rules and try to understand rewards and consequences. We work in cooperative groups and have helpers throughout the day for various jobs such as: leaders of the day, putting up chairs up, bringing the pencils to back table for sharpening, erasing the chalk board, etc. The children then learn about how our government has leaders also. We also talk about how we all have families and each one is unique and how important each member in a family is to one another. We talk about chores, jobs and errands. By this time the children are activity engaged in classroom jobs and sending in dry goods and cans for the community food bank. Families can also send in any good deeds that the children do at home. These donations and deeds are recorded and the children create a "good deeds" folder as part of their participation in the Alan Shawn Feinstein Junior Scholars program.
Our lessons continue with mapping, reading a map key and creating maps. They will learn the differences between a city and a town or suburb. Later we take a look at community helpers such as firefighters, police officers and postal workers. During November as we talk about the Pilgrims, we include information about moving from one place to a new one and take a look back in time how things were in years past.
During December their are many countries that celebrate differently than we do; we'll take a look at celebrations around the world and a variety of flags. The children will create their own flag and then write about a pretend country.
The children will learn about our wonderful earth and the variety of climate, weather and topography. They will also learn about what resources it has to offer.
Why do people work? This question will be answered in unit 3 where they will take a peek at goods and services and needs and wants. They will also do activities to buy things, save money or trade something they have for something they want.
Not only will the children learn about timelines during our math classes, but in social studies they will look at how things have changed in history such as communication and transportation.
Our last unit has the students looking at famous people in our history as well as some of our countries symbols and what they stand for.
Mrs. Mellor teaches about safety issues. The children learn about playground, fire, bike, stranger, seatbelt and personal safety. They work on pages to create a booklet all about these issues. We stress clean desks and hands in the classroom and use hand washing foam and sanitizing hand gel. Such things as spitting, chewing on pencils or other items such as necklaces are discouraged.