Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Extreme Weather

Florida hasn't been feeling much like the sunshine state lately!  We've been "suffering" through near freezing  temperatures for the past week!  I know... I know... I don't have much room to complain. There are many places buried under several feet of snow across the country!  I actually had to defrost my windshield yesterday before I left for work!  (insert surprised face here) I haven't had to do that since I left New Hampshire back in 2004!  (eww almost 10 years ago)  Yikes!  Anyways... in lieu of these frigid temps... I thought I'd post about our learning on extreme weather.  A few weeks ago, we were studying the ai and ay (long A) phonics pattern and our weekly story from the Treasures series was titled "Stormy Weather".  My kids absolutely LOVED it!  Although weather is not "technically" a first grade standard... Melissa and I decided to roll with it anyway .  It's hard to pass up an opportunity to extend our students' thinking beyond what the curriculum says... especially when they are so eager to learn!!! SOOOO... we came up with this fun project we called "Extreme Weather Organizers".  I wish y'all could have been in our rooms to witness our firsties participating in this activity... they were (drum roll please...) cooperatively learning, researching, sharing ideas, taking on leadership roles, creatively thinking... and most importantly ACTIVELY ENGAGED!!! It was A-MAZ-ING!!! It was one of those moments when, as a teacher, I could actually stop, look around and think WOW!  I should mention that before we started we set the ground rules by stating what cooperative learning looks like, how we should talk to our partners, and what working together looks like and sound like.  So here's a glimpse at what we did... 

We paired our kids up according to how we thought they'd work together best!  They were asked to buddy read "Stormy Weather" with their partner and decide (together) what information they wanted to share in their poster. 

Once they had decided how they were going to design their poster they got straight to work.  I had the organizers previously made on chart paper.  Nothing fancy, I literally wrote them with marker!  It took me less than 5 minutes.  They were asked to write a "Did you know..." question about each storm mentioned in our story (hurricane, tornado, hailstorm, and blizzard).  The "did you know" fact had to reflect a new learning, something they didn't know before reading the story.  We modeled these sentence on the SmartBoard before we let them do it independently. 

Here's an example of what the original template looked like ...

 Here's an example of what the groups created... (their pictures were obviously drawings, not clipart haha)

We had the kids share their work with the class when everyone was finished.  Overall, we were very pleased with how this project turned out!  It was a great summarizer for our weekly reading on weather!  Stay warm fugal followers!!!


  1. I love getting a peek in your classrooms..and seeing someone I recognize. ;) You two are definitelya big part of our great First Grade Team!

  2. Great idea for a fun weather lesson! I'm your newest follower!
    Science for Kids Blog

  3. That is super cute! 2nd grade does severe weather so this would be a great to pass on to them!


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