Monthly Archives: March 2009


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Our class really enjoyed several types of butterfly art making.
We’ve been waiting the annual order of butterfly caterpillars that we order so that we can grow our butterflies.
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Isn’t this beautiful? I wish I could share why this one is especially touching.
Last year it was a success, so we’ll see this year. Our theme in Avenues (the language support program we are mandated to use in ELD every mandated morning) is “Wings and Things.”
Reminding me of last year and “wing it” when I was told to move rooms, the lasting effect is a severely herniated disk and an expansion apparently of the syrinx for straining with the weight, wing it becomes a life shift of pretty serious proportion….ah well, no one really looks at that.
Get what you need to grow butterflies here.
We’ve looked at the life cycle and read the wonderful book I Wish I were a Butterfly along with

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Giant hardcover edition by Eric Carle

My, Oh My--A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)
I Wish I Were a Butterfly by James Howe and Ed Young
The Butterfly Alphabet by Kjell B Sandved
I asked my kids… that’s wrong…I told my kids that butterflies are used often symbolically to represent various feelings, states, to create connections to change, growth concepts. Then I asked a simple question, “What do you think about when you see a butterfly?” This is what they answered, written here on an old tattered envelope I used.
“A butterfly is free to go.”
“A butterfly seems like the flowering coming over to say high.”
“I get afraid of them sometimes because I am afraid of bugs and they come to you.”
“When I see a butterfly I think it’s my grandmom.”
“A butterfly has patterns that are the same on two sides so I think about how we are repeating.”
” A butterfly, a butterfly can go and it flies around and it is pretty.”
” A butterfly could be a way to show you that change happens.”
” If I see a butterfly I think I have a lucky day.”
“Some people don’t know but you can wish on butterflies.”
” I like to think that a butterfly will come and touch down on my nose.”
“One time my mom had a butterfly land on her shirt. It was so cool.”
“Butterflies are for peace.”
‘The butterfly is a beautiful sign.”
Pretty cool I thought.
As I reach toward poetry.


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Filed under 1st grade, Art, Class Daily News, Joy, Project

Hats For Sale

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One of the things the 1st graders in room 5 at Hathaway in Oxnard have been doing is reading, writing and drawing hats.

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Inspired by Caps for Sale

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and the Cat In The Hat ,

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as well as using a fantastic Reading Rainbow that introduces a shop called “Hats To Where” then watching LeVar put on a cap and be transported ( racetrack as a jockey, miniature train station,to a hockey rink)  they made several different kinds of works.

The first was a terrific bunch of stacked hats:

Ironically I was asked during this time to teach teachers in a presentation on arts integration. And further prompted to do “self portraits” with the teachers so thinking that was too much decided to opt for a portrait “in hat.” There are ways we modify in the arts and in our work with children to gain skill, support learning. I was attempting to support success.

So there are the teacher’s works, following the kids,( unfortunately in the clunky word press just posting pictures now is a major pain,  wish I had built this in blogger.)

Kid’s tried hat pictures too, but so far I’m not sure these are ones that I like well enough, may try again before we do some writing.

There is a world of language in hats for 1st graders to think about, especially in their second language work.

If you want the basic lesson plan go here....Hats !

I have a friend that once wrote about a lucky cap. Or hinted at the story he actually never shared.  I have a lucky hat as well. And my students are all on St. Patty’s Day, or during the week, writing about a hat that was lucky. We’ve been brainstorming.

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Filed under 1st grade, Art, center activities, Class Daily News, Funny things, Joy

Local Treasure

In our area, about 15 miles from my school is a museum, a research center called the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.It houses a major collection of a collector that donated it to them.

Yesterday I got to visit. One day  I hope to take my class or a group from my school. This week the director is visiting my husband’s district where he’s a Superintendent trying to set up a bird study, or at least understand better what is involved in a goal like that.

I was present for a talk on raptors. It was fascinating given by Peter H. Bloom.

I took a lot of pictures I want to share with my students so I’m setting them up here for sharing.

It’s very hard to load this on our equipment, but I always hope that something changes and they get us something newer, or that I’m given that opportunity. (as some others were given by our technology czar, in the inequity replication)

Boy what a place this is, interesting.

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Filed under 1st grade, Class Daily News, Science

Catching Up (EST)

It’s been a long while since I posted.

My bad.

Let’s try to catch up………..with a post or four about the things we have been doing in 1st grade.

How about our Shadows and project on following the movement of our EARTH!

That’s pretty cool stuff.

We are in a project carried over from last year called Exploring Space and Time. Wat we did to initiate this project was go outside on a lovely February day, Groundhog Day to be precise and use shadows in a little different way than anyone might expect.

We drew ourselves in chalk, outlining each other, and when stepping back into places a bit later a magnificent thing happened, the shadows had moved! this totally and completely astounded the children. What had happened. They thought and thought. The continued to think perhaps they had made an error, they sat and watched it move further until one said, “We are moving, the earth is moving!” I loved that as the teacher, watching them pose questions , observe and then work to figure it out.

So here is the day talking in pictures. It’s here for families and children to access and to be seen on our projector at school. But it’s a marvelous way of recording the day. An observation of the learning.

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Filed under 1st grade, Class Daily News, Joy, Observation