Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spotlight on: Grade 1 Library Classes #resvt

This is a guest post from our teacher librarian, Beth Redford.

First graders are sharing fairy tales in their library classes and learning about the story elements many fairy tales have in common. They are especially enjoying their conversations about good and bad characters in these famous old stories. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the wild animals are bad and the people are good (Red Riding Hood) but sometimes the wild animals are good and the person is bad (Goldilocks)? Over the next few weeks we will be reading several of James Marshall's retellings of fairy tales.

All images from

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Literacy Block

Our literacy block is up and running very smoothly!!  The students have become so independent and know the expectations during this block.  They begin the week by planning out their own personal schedule for each day.  Our literacy block is divided into three sections and students can choose from the following literacy activities: read to self, work on writing, read to someone and listening center.  
Reading groups are planned and filled in for them but the rest of schedule is theirs to fill in.  There are some guidelines to follow, for example, they must do read to self every day.  

A reading group works on a written response in their reading journal.  


Earlier this week first graders sorted through a collection of shapes to find all of the triangles.  This can be tricky for students this age, because if the triangle isn't an equilateral triangle, or if it is "upside down", many students will not think that it is a real triangle.  On one side of their paper first graders glued the shapes that they thought were triangles, and on the other side they tried to write 3 different attributes that these triangles all share.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shape Posters

After working with pattern block shapes for the first part of our geometry unit, we have now begun working with a collection of 2D shapes.  Earlier this week we started learning about the word "attributes" as we described, compared and sorted a set of shape cards.  After sorting their shapes many different ways with a partner, students made a final permanent display of their favorite way that they sorted.  They could sort into 2, 3, or 4 groups and needed to be able to explain which attributes they sorted by.

Cooking with Pumpkins

A few days ago first graders were able to do some cooking in the classroom again.  Since we have been learning about pumpkins we made something "pumpkin" of course!  Crustless pumpkin pie!  It was a big hit and students brought the recipe home with them on Tuesday.  

Cougar Cub Inventor's Workshop

Richmond Elementary School, in conjunction with

Vermont State Science Fair and the Society of Women Engineers is proud to present our first:



Cost: 1$ per Student (to cover cost of disposable resources, scholarships available)

What is an Inventor’s Workshop?

This workshop is a family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, craft, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, science and technology.  Students will work with their families to create!  Activities will be facilitated by engineers and teachers, but tasks will be open ended and creative.  Families will have an opportunity to learn together as they experience the fun of making / building / constructing / designing and more! A variety of activities will be available to challenge students from Grades K – 8.

Activities planned for our workshop include:

Cardboard Challenge:  Create with cardboard! The possibilities are endless!

Building a fort with Bloxes!  Bloxes are life-sized cardboard building blocks. They're used as furniture, walls, and forts by Google, Twitter, Mozilla, and many more.  Now you can try building with this elusive construction material.

Making a keyboard with bananas!  MaKey MaKey Boards are electronic devices that convert many regular objects into keys on your computer to control programs like Scratch or videos games.  Objects that are conductive, even slightly, like fruit or people, can be used with the MaKey.  

Creating lighted artwork with throwies!  LED Throwies are LEDs connected to coin batteries to create artwork with light.  They can be added to greeting cards or origami, or used to create nightlights or glowing badges.

Squishy Circuits:  Make three dimensional artwork with lights and moving parts out of play dough!  

Creating interactive circuits with littleBits!  littleBits are electronic modules that snap together with magnets to make circuits.  Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, motors, etc), and modules snap together to make larger circuits. Just as LEGOs allows you to create complex structures with little blocks, littleBits are small, simple, blocks that make creating sophisticated electronic circuits a matter of snapping pieces together.

Building programmable robots and machines with LEGOs!  LEGO Wedo & Mindstorms are Legos, hardware and software that can be used to create custom programmable robots and machines. They include an intelligent brick computer that controls the system, a set of modular sensors and motors, and LEGO parts from the Technics line.

Creating abstract art with a digital microscope!  DinoXcope Art is artwork created using a digital microscope to photograph intentional arrangements of materials.  

Programming Arduinos!   Sparkfun Inventor's Kit with Arduino Uno & breadboards allow you to build simple circuits and control them using a programmable microcontroller.  Lilly Pad is a test board with lights and sound to which you can upload Arduino code.  The components on Lilly Pad can be sewn onto fabric using stainless steel thread to create wearable interactive clothing or objects.

Programming interactive games with Scratch!  Scratch is a visual programming language.  Use colorful interlocking building blocks of code like legos to build interactive games and programs.

Please contact Darcie Rankin, with questions. 

We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Releasing Our Butterflies

After watching our monarch butterflies all morning, and waiting for the day to warm up a bit, we finally released them!  We sang a special song to send them on their way to warmer places.  Good-bye friends!  See you next spring!!

We Have Butterflies!!!

They have finally emerged!!  Hopefully they will make their long journey ahead!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our visit to the Pumpkin Farm

First graders enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Whitcomb Farm this morning.  We learned many interesting facts about growing and harvesting pumpkins, and also were able to venture into the corn maze.  Thankfully, we all made our way back out!