Thursday, March 28, 2013

First Grade ROCKS!

Quite literally...we just wrapped up our unit on Rocks! Haha. Have I ever mentioned how much I love teaching about rocks? Seriously though, I'm not kidding. I love teaching my rocks unit every.single.year. It never gets old...I know what you're thinking... "Really?!?!" I thought the saaaame thing when I saw it on my list of units that I was told to teach my first year. But, let me tell are fun!

Unit Opener: A Rock Exploration!
Where do the rocks come from? Well, lugging 20 some odd rocks around requires a lot of strength, although this summer my biceps & triceps probably will wish I'd carried around more rocks this winter haha ...anyways, students bring rocks from home. This creates variety, which is the spice of life!

What are we doing? Well, we investigate rocks through a streak test, magnet, test, sink/float opportunity, and of course by using a magnifying glass...everyone's favorite!

Some rocks streak, some don't. Other rocks sink, a few may float... we get excited about rocks and how different they are from the beginning!

This one made me laugh. All good teachers know how healthy laughing is. :)

Did you know there are 3 main types of rocks??? Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic! We spend a day learning/reading about each type of Rock and watching a little Bye Nye too! This generation can't grow up without Bill Nye! At the end of our Rocks unit, we "make" and eat each type of rock using the simple ingredients below...

Igneous rocks are made when lava cools & hardens, I use melting chocolate and we dip in pretzels. Mmmmm...then, we can observe the cooling of the "lava."

Sedimentary rocks are made from layers of things like fossils & sediments being pressed together and hardening over time...we use spray cheese and saltines to make the "layers" or our sedimentary rock. (I've also done this with fluff and graham crackers....way more messy, you've been forewarned).

Metamorphic rocks (most diff to understand) are formed due to tons of heat and pressure pushing down on rocks over time. What do we do in first grade? Well we put orange slices, swedish fish, etc. in between wax paper and we smash it. The orange slices were hard to smush this year, so I let this sweetie stand on her chair. The result: one completely morphed "rock"

Bet you never thought you could, make, eat, and enjoy rocks!

Happy SPRING BREAK! Mine just began today and kinda started with a root canal....ew, long story. But maybe in the future, I'll hold off on eating so many "rocks." 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Currently & Wonderful Writing

Alright, it's that time of the month. I'm linking up with Farley again! Here's my March Currently.

To sum it up: Full House comes on Nick at Night almost every night around 9pm I've noticed. Conveniently, my Wednesday night schedule after 9 is WIDE open! :) How could you ever turn down Jesse Katsopoulis? You CAN'T! I had a great time at my adult ballet class tonight. I've been skipping the past few weeks due to illness, etc. But, I'm glad I decided not to be a couch potato. If you're looking for a way to de-stress or de-tox try a beginner adult ballet class. Seriously! 

Ever wear too cute shoes to school? Yup, that was me today. Not bright! So I NEED to get a shower, but I'm hoping for a 2 hour delay (however, the Philly weather crew has been way off the mark this year so....ehhhh). My first name is Ashley so A's are hard BUT I... 
Like: asparagus (hated it as a child, now it's my thing, easily a fav veggie)
Love: ambition (especially young ambition-you gotta want it)
Hate: animosity ('nuff said)

So below, you'll find pics of one of my latest Pinterest inspired creations. My Writing Goals chart! WAHOO! I adapted the version I found on Pinterest so that the goals fit the needs of my learners at this point in the year. And, I'm pretty much having 1:1 Writing conferences weekly. So that's when we review our Work on Writing (center work), weekly writing piece, and discuss/change/select new goals. Make sense? Well, I'm LOVIN' it! :)

Enjoy the close-up!