Bannockburn Christian Academy - Austin Texas Private School

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Archive for the ‘First Grade’ Category

Learning Through Exploration

Throughout the year, our 1st grade students have had many opportunities to learn through exploration. Children love to explore their world around them and to make connections from what they are learning about, to the real world.

I was reminded of this, as we have been learning about Force and Motion last week and this week. First, students learned about how objects move, by force, which is the pushing or pulling of an object. Students were given a ball and challenged to explore different ways, with their partner, to move their ball and record it. Then they loved sharing their findings with their friends!

We then explored the force of gravity by building marble mazes and watching the marble travel from a higher position to a lower position. There were 3 different types of mazes to explore with. We then built our own ramps with blocks and tubes and experimented with what may happen when we change the incline of the ramp. They explored the question, “Do the cars travel faster or slower?”

Brady Donovan Marble Maze Mackenzie & Clayton Manolo and Daniel Maureen and Brownlee Pierson and Riley Riley & Pierson Marble Maze

The students also enjoyed exploring the force of magnetism. They tried out different kinds of magnets with different kinds of materials to see which items were magnetic. They also explored how same poles repel and opposite poles attract.

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We culminated our Force and Motion unit with an Egg Drop Experiment, where students and their parents created a safety box for an egg, so that it won’t crack when dropped from the top of the playground.

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Our 1st graders loved learning about Force and Motion, through hands-on exploration!

– Melissa Davis, First Grade Teacher

Exploring with Our Five Senses

This was a fantastic week in first grade! We finished our second week’s unit on Exploring with Our Five Senses with exploring the senses of smell, touch and hearing. For sense of smell, we analyzed a series of scented jars with fragrances such as cinnamon, vinegar, garlic, and vanilla. My first grade scholars had to guess and describe the smells.

Next we used a bag of “feely” items to help us explore our sense of touch. During this activity, students were able to feel a variety of items, describe these items, and finally, guess the identity of each item.

Last, we discussed our sense of hearing by examining different musical instruments such as a ukulele, egg shaker, and hand drum. Everyone was amazed at how the instrument’s vibrations produced sound waves we could actually hear!

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To build on our sense of hearing discussion, we incorporated a culminating STEM activity – STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. My students used creativity and problem solving skills to invent an instrument that uses vibration to produce sound.

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Each student was given a variety of recyclable materials such as bottles, boxes, plastic tubs, cans, and paper towel tubes. Students were given the opportunity to attach other unique items with string, tape, or rubber bands. At the end of our STEM activity, students gave their instrument a name and presented their creation to the class.

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As a teacher, I was so proud of their creativity with developing original instrument designs, along with their tenacity to solve problems by making changes and improvements.  One could easily see how proud they were of their creations as well!

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Melissa Davis, 1st Grade

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