Hello, my name is Lauren Donohue and I teach first grade at Norwood
Avenue Elementary School in New York . I have three fairly new
computers in my classroom. We use the computers daily. My students
love when they get to go to the computer center. I usually allow
them to use Living Books and/or my favorite website
starfall.com. I really enjoyed
Kidspiration. I used the template Exploring With Senses for the
first time. It was a great extension to my science unit.
We have read many winter books and poems throughout the month of
January. Some of our favorite books include: I am Snow In the
Snow, Who's Been Her, The First Snow, The Hat,
Snow Bear, and The Mitten. I used the story The Mitten
by Jan Brett. Before reading this story, the class and I discussed
the different kinds of clothing people wear in the winter. We
observed and classified, gathered and recorded data, and interpreted
data. Each student was asked to bring in a mitten from home. They
grouped themselves according to the color and/or design of their
mitten. Each color/design had a specific place in the classroom
designated for their color/design.
After the students had sorted their mittens, we made a graph. We
discussed the graph: How many children had red mittens? How many
mittens had designs? What color had the most mittens? How many more
green mittens are there than red?
*We also graphed
how many mittens tall every student was in our class.
* We discussed the difference between mittens and gloves.
After reading several read alouds about winter, the students used
the program Kidspiration. We used the Explore With Senses
activity. My students loved it. The visuals helped the students to
remember what to put in each box. Before the class completed the web
on the computer, they did a rough draft in their journals. Winter I
would see __________. I would taste __________. I would feel
__________. I would hear __________. I would smell __________.
This made it easier for them to plug their answers into the boxes.
Once they were finished, each student made the webs on their own.
Most students gave their web a title. Other students wanted to
change the colors.
Here are some of the things my students had to say about this
Savannah: I liked that I got to change the color from orange to
Lilly: like learning all about winter.
Jake: I like all of the different colors on my web. It was really
Emily: love winter! I was glad that we read so many books. I also
loved using the computer.
Jace: I liked the picture of the ear on the web. I wrote that I like
to hear people sipping hot chocolate.
The following day, I reread The Mitten. Each student wrote
their own story about when they lost a mitten. If they never lost a
mitten, they made up a story. The class wrote their final copies on
a mitten. I displayed the mittens in the hallway using a clothes
line and clothes pins. After we finished our Winter Unit we had a
mitten snack. Each student received 2 pieces of pita bread and a
small box of animal crackers. They made the pita bread look like a
mitten, and then filled it with all of the animals. We also did some
math problems such as: put 9 tigers in the mitten. Now add 4
elephants. How many animals are in your mitten?