Monday, February 27, 2017

Sweet Stuff on Valentine's Day!!

Using candy hearts, we had a 💗LY time learning how to incorporate dialogue into our writing.   

We used this book as an example, showing how to say a lot with just a few words. 

We 💗ED using quotation marks and correct end of sentence punctuation. 

Our stories were quite clever.

We enjoyed sharing the 💗. 

We also did some Love-Bot writing. 
What would you 💗 to have your Love-Bot do for you?

We put a baking soda/red glitter concoction into a 💗shape,

added some vinegar,

and ffffffffsssssssss


💗 and excitement was in the air as we opened up our VALENTINE gifts and cards

We 💗ed our hot, sweet, homemade poptarts!

What a 💗ly, sweet Valentine's day we had! 
Thank you, room parents, for making it happen and all the parents who helped. 
We couldn't do it without you!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Charley Harper Math Adventure: Integrating Art, Geometry and Science

Sometimes a book sparks an idea. Mrs. Maitlen saw this book and thought, "We could do that!" And so we did.

We looked online at the artwork of Charley Harper and discovered that his "minimal realism" style is almost opposite of John James Audubon's very detailed realistic style that we had studied earlier. 

Mr. Harper once said, "When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don't see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures."

First of all, we decorated the classroom windows with Charley Harper decals. 

"exciting shapes"

"color combinations"

We then played around with different shapes and made our own "interesting pictures."



Time to make our own works of art using geometric shapes. "Endless possibilities"



Art is so inspiring.
Geometry is all around us.
The study of animals in science is so interesting. 

Put them all together and voila - exponential learning!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Open Ended, Hands-On, and Multi-Level Math Adventures

The Navigators and the Gemstones have math at the same time of the day so that the first and second grade classes can switch around and do math at the level that each student needs. Between the two classes we have students ranging from first to fifth grade level depending on the skill being taught! 

It's a win-win situation for everyone, teachers included! I tell the second graders when I accidentally call them Navigators, "Once a Navigator, always a Navigator. You'll always be near and dear to my heart." :)

On Fridays we often all get together for open-ended Math Adventures and, because of the freedom given to discover, these naturally become multi-leveled. It's always so fun to see how seriously the students take these "real world" situations. 

Here is one recent adventure:

Two Hundred Ways to Make a Dollar
(See the Gemstones blog for more description and more pictures.)

Instead of telling the students how to do it, we allow them to choose their own method. 

Often times, we will stop mid-class and share what we are discovering. It's okay to "copy" other people's ideas especially if their ideas will help us!

Always an adventure at Seabury School!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Help Our Planet!

The first grade Navigators at Seabury School, a school for gifted students, made this stop motion animation to ask our community for plastic lids to be used in  our upcoming auction project. In the process, we learned about storyboarding, filming with an IPad, the problems that come with too much plastic, collaboration, and hard work. We also have become more passionate about the conservation of our world's natural resources and how each person can made a difference. We are excited to reuse plastic lids by making a beautiful mural/work of art to be auctioned off at our annual auction. We're hoping to make lots of money (millions of dollars thanks to our parents arriving in a helicopter!) for our wonderful Seabury School plus help our planet in the process.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Reviews on the Seattle Children's Film Festival Written by the Navigators

"What can we learn from the animals we love? Jump into these short animated films and find yourself transformed into deer, crocodiles, and herons, oh my! Harmonize with pigs, dance with wolves, bake with octopi and watch TV with a crocodile. Along the way, you'll learn how to be a true friend and embrace your adventures!" ~from the  Seattle Children's Film Festival website

The Navigators and the Gemstones headed up to the Rainier Arts Center and watched 14 short films called "Creature Teachers." It was perfect for integrating the arts into our study of animals, for honing our paragraph writing skills and for becoming inspired for our own  upcoming stop motion film festival.

Here are our reviews written with a topic sentence, at least three details, and a final sentence that wraps the paragraph up "with a bow."

I went to the film festival. My favorite was Piccolo Concerto. First the piccolo was not really good. Then he heard music and joined for a little bit. And then he joined back into his old band. He learned more from his old band. I loved all fourteen fun festival films. 

I went to the theater and I saw 14 movies. I like all of them. So let's jump to it! I like the animation. It looks clean. The Owl and the Lemming was cute. The Sled looked cool. It was fun. 

Today I went to the Seattle Children's Film Festival. My favorite film was Octopus. Why? Because there was an octopus and he had eight tentacles. One tentacle wanted to make a chocolate cake. The others wanted to make a piece of pie. Secretly the chocolate got into the mixing bowl. It was funny because the octopus was mad. I want to go again. 

We went to the Seattle Children's Film Festival. My favorite film was Octopus. All of his arms except one wanted to make a peach cake. But one wanted to make a chocolate cake. And he finally put it in the octopus's mouth. It was good. 

I went to the film festival. I loved the wolf film. It was cool because the wolf was doing the Nutcracker. I loved it because the wolf film was funny especially when the duck was wearing a floaty. The film had great animation. I liked the wolf film.

Today we went to the Seattle Children's Film Festival. My favorite one was Crocodile. The crocodile couldn't get the pretzel in his mouth. He tried all kinds of crazy stuff. Then he helped his friend eat. I really want to watch it again. 

Today I went to the Seattle Film Festival. My favorite film was Sled. It was about a squirrel. I liked the funny parts. I really liked it when he went fast and fell on his face. It was funny when the birds rode the sled. I really like The Sled. 

Today I went to the Seattle Film Festival. I saw 14 short films. My favorite one was the Hey Deer film. The deer whenever he went to sleep a shake happened. He kept having to clean up his books, cups, and chairs. He was inside a snow globe. It was fun. My second favorite was The Owl and the Lemming because the lemming kept tricking the owl. It was funny because the dad owl said, "do not play with your food." The owl and the lemming had a jumping contest. The owl won but the owl was in front of the lemming's hole so when the owl jumped the lemming ran under the owl and got back into his hole. I liked it. My 3rd favorite was the crocodile one. The crocodile was trying to get the pretzel in his mouth. His friend could not do it, too. They shared their pretzels and were able to eat. It was fun.  

A Sampling of First Grade Integrated Art

Ancient Aztec Suns--Study of Explorers/Indigenous People

James Rizzi Boats--Study of Explorers/Navigation

Compass Roses with a Flare--Study of Explorers/Navigation/Maps

Antique Maps--Study of Explorers/Navigation/Maps/Folklore

Pages for Our Animal Flip Book--Study of Animals/Taxonomy

Our Flip Book!

A ze-liz-adillo

An armo-ish-ony

A seal-ird-izard

Animal Collages--Study of Animals/Environment


Punny Birds--Study of Animals/Fun

A bee-eater!

An umbrella bird!

Ray Troll Animals in Water--Study of Animals/Fish

Watercolored Spawning Salmon--Study of Animals/Life Cycles/Migrations

Watercolored Birds--Study of Animals/Flight/James Audubon