Ms. Donohue's First Grade Class
Norwood Avenue Elementary School
Port Jefferson Station, New York

The Mitten

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 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 computer project:

Savannah: I liked that I got to change the color from orange to green.

Lilly:  like learning all about winter.

Jake: I like all of the different colors on my web. It was really fun!

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?


Susan Silverman - Kidspired Frosty Tales 2007