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Mining for Gems in First Grade! photo

Mining for Gems in First Grade!

First graders have been studying rocks as a part of their Earth Materials unit in Science. On Thursday, April 10, students got to enjoy mining for gems! Huck’s Mines visited our school for an in house field trip and students were allowed to pan for all kinds of rocks. Students had the opportunity of finding a variety of treasures, dipping their dirt tray down into the water, and allowing the water to wash the dirt away revealing the surprises underneath! Students were allowed to keep the rocks they found. Teachers were also given a large rock crystal to keep and show for their classroom.

Students then returned to the classroom where they identified their rocks using an identification chart, compared their findings with their peers, and researched their favorite rock. Some of the more common rocks they found were different types of quartz and crystals varying in color including purple, blue, black, green, pink and clear. Some rocks also contained silver and gold sparkling flakes! Students were amazed to see these unique rocks which are very different compared to what they have found in their back yards! This “hands on” experience has been an excellent way for students to extend their knowledge building on what they are learning in the classroom while enjoying an exciting, fun filled afternoon of exploration and discovery!

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Global Focused Literacy Center photo

Global Focused Literacy Center

This year kindergarten has added a new center to our independent literacy center rotation. We have been working on it for a few months now and it now is routine in each classroom. Starla Williams introduced the idea to us. We use the global topics we have studied the previous week in Social Studies to have the students create a product.

The products created can range from a coloring sheet with a map or flag and sentence writing to building a model of a home found in South America. South America is our continent of study this year and most of their products have been centered around the countries found there. The students have loved being able to use what they already have learned in Social Studies and bring it over into their literacy work. They are always required to write a sentence or two about their product and the classroom teacher reviews and grades their work each week.

The global center now offers students a way to incorporate some craft that we felt was missing in our centers, and combine it with a literary element of labeling and writing. The students really enjoy this center; Ms. Ikerd would say it is the favorite among most of her students.

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