Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh Wait, I'm Here To Teach?

With all the fun activities that have been going on down here in Rio, it's easy to forget that I'm here to teach. These past few weeks in first grade have been full of hands-on activities that the students have responded to quite well.

For my unit, I am covering the human body. So each week we are learning about some aspect of the human body. The first week we made these flowers that show the growth of the students. On the first petal they wrote about something that was different about them when they were babies. Things such as "I was fat", "I didn't have teeth", "I wore diapers". On the second petal, they wrote about something that they can do now such as "I can color", "I can get dressed", "I can play Beyblades". Whatever they can do right now. In the top of the flower they wrote about something that they cannot do yet, but will be able to do when they get older. The students really loved this activity and didn't seem to realize that they were learning.

Flowers about how we've grown and changed.
Last week we learned about the teeth and how important it is to brush your teeth and keep them clean. We did an experiment-- which the students LOVED! We set up the experiment on Wednesday as a whole class and then on Thursday we worked in small groups to finish up the experiment.

An egg that had been sitting in Coca-Cola overnight.
We took five hard-boiled eggs and soaked them in Coca-Cola overnight. We set up the experiment in the morning and the students were asking me all Wednesday if they could check the eggs. They were so into this! Thursday morning they could hardly sit through homework they were SO excited to check the eggs.

The eggs once they had been brushed.
After soaking the eggs in Coca-Cola overnight, the egg shells were dyed brown. We talked about how the egg represents the tooth and how the Coca-Cola represents the sweets that are okay for us to eat sometimes, but not all of the time. Each student took turns brushing the eggs and watching the eggs turn white again. Once the eggs were brushed, we examined the shells to see how there were still some brown spots left on the shells that we couldn't brush off no matter how hard we tried. This was a good representation for the students of how important it is to brush their teeth every day.

And a close-up.
I hadn't planned on using the hygenie time that occurs after lunch as an assessment for this lesson, but it kind of ended up being that way. While the students were brushing their teeth many of them were telling me about how they were brushing their teeth properly and how they didn't want their teeth to turn brown like the egg.

A little unsure as to why I can't rotate these.
In Social Studies we talked about the seven different continents and learned different facts about each one. Unfortunately, I had to do this lesson in two parts as the first day I tried to teach in the afternoon the Tuesday after the shooting at Chardon. I was mentally exhausted and the students have a really short attention span at the end of the day; two strikes against us. Luckily, Ms. Souza stepped in and helped with the students.
Note the girl holding the Brazilian flag.
On the first day, we covered South America, North America, and Europe. The students then went to their desks and had to try to draw their favorite continent and recall some of the pictures (either of native animals or famous landmarks) I had showed them about that continent and draw those as well. Some of the students rushed through their work, but others actually put a lot of time into them.

Best drawing of the Mexican flag I've ever seen.
The students really never cease to amaze me. Sometimes I really feel like the students are not paying attention to anything that I am saying, but then spout of these awesome answers that totally blow me away. Apparently these first graders are really good at multi-tasking.

England in a nutshell.
Case in point, this little buddy. When talking about Europe, I showed a picture of Big Ben. This kid went to his desk and drew out this whole drawing. Big Ben "cling", a map of London, the queen with the guards, and the Buckingham Palace. Seriously, blew me out of the water. 

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe it's been 7 weeks ! You look so happy! But I still can't wait to see you!!!