For art we started a new unit on sculptures. First we looked at different types sculpture such as abstract, kinetic, relief, and earth art like the Spiral Jetty. We also talked about the different materials sculptors use: stone, metal…even light! On Friday we experimented with creating 3D art with Nuudles, which are essentially biodegradable packing peanuts that stick together when wet.

Then on Tuesday we began a multi-day sculpture project. First we talked about artists’ styles and looked at sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. We came up with ways to describe the artist’s style and talked about his use of bronze. Then we started to make our own bronze sculptures — except ours will be faux bronze 🙂 Armed with pipe cleaners and masking tape, the learners made the basic form of their sculpture. Then we covered our forms with plaster gauze. On Friday we will paint them black and cover them with a bronze-colored rub to give the illusion of a bronze sculpture.

In math we explored area with an activity in which learners are given two cut-out shapes and have to estimate which will be bigger, then see how many cubes fill each shape and see how many more one shape holds than the other. First graders learned a new place value game called Toss It. Using popsicle sticks with either 10 dots or 1 dot, learners toss a handful of sticks on the table then figure out how many dots by grouping the tens and ones. It is a nice visualization of the tens and ones of two-digit numbers.

During Language Arts time, first graders learned a new letter in their phonics program…W. Once we had mastered W’s at the end and beginning of words we explored the W blends of SW and TW. We’ve also been reviewing the short vowel sounds, focusing on O and A. They also were proud to show me all they have learned with Colleen about punctuation, by correcting a letter I wrote them purposely filled with grammatical errors. We’ve also continued with Guided Reading. Our post-book discussions  have included such varied topics as the importance of following along and pointing to each word as you read, how to break up a word into two parts with compound words and the differences between they’re/their/there.

Here’s a gallery with some photos of the sculpture unit and the game Toss It.