Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Digs

Mr. Kaegi's Corner has moved.  While 1st grade is still and will always be awesome, 2nd grade is where it's at nowadays.

Feel free to stick around and check out all the things we've done.

Or...

You can find the new Mr. Kaegi's Corner by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Audio Tour-tle

For over a month our class has been sea-turtling every nook and cranny of the classroom. Please enjoy The Chocolate Factory's audio tour of the experience.

Click the actual audio that pops up and NOT the red button.



And just in case you're keeping a Common Core tally at home;
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2 Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries) to locate key facts or information in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6 Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.9 Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.10 With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • CCSS.MATH-Content1.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems.
  • CCSS.MATH-Content1.OA.A.2 Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers.
  • CCSS.MATH-Content1.OA.C.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.  
  • CCSS.MATH-Content1.OA.D.8 Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MSI Love Field Trips



Speaking of chicks. We're getting some!  Well, at least hatching them...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Teachable Moment

During "Us Time" today, our sea turtle groups had to solve some pretty tough math brain busters.  As the groups finished up, I encouraged them to join other groups and help.  Eventually, and completely unintended, we wound up with the whole class trying to solve one math problem.  It was quite a sight.  And since we didn't have anything too pressing for the rest of the day, I let this one ride.  I was curious to see how it played out, so I literally just sat back and watched.  This totally irked the students.  They had no idea what to make of the proud, dad-like smirk on my face. 

Quite frankly, I was amazed by the way they worked together without any ill-will or arguing.  There were encouragements, manners, moments of nervousness, and of course, a few indirect complaints.  However, nearly every child made an effort to help in some capacity.

There was one issue though.  They couldn't solve the problem.  Ha!  Despite all of the aforementioned greatness, they simply couldn't get over the hump, and it wasn't until I encouraged (okay...made) the few who didn't initially help go and solve the problem.  The others took a much deserved break.  It simply got to be a classic "too many cooks in the kitchen" type of problem.

In the end, this exercise was much more valuable than anything else we had planned for the rest of the day.  It built trust, strengthened problem solving skills, and gave the kids a heavy dose of real-life frustration.  The final and solved problem now hangs proudly above our SMARTboard as a gentle reminder of what it takes to be a collective team. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Old Book, New Look


Today we started our next read aloud book, My Father's Dragon.  Using Twitter, we are reading it simultaneously with over a dozen other first grade classrooms across North America.  Each day the classrooms will be sharing predictions, thoughts, and other fun stuff like this, this, and this.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Power of Persuasion

After two weeks of debate and quite a process, the class has finally settled on The Journey of a Sea Turtle as the next unit of study.  Now let's take an in-depth look!
-----------------------------------

The Origin of Ideas

For our next themed unit we needed ideas.  But the ideas needed support (and money) in order to survive the persuasion process.  Taking a page out of the classic computer game, Oregon Trail, children were given three choices;

1. provide endless unit ideas, but don't get any money
2. provide one unit idea, and receive $25 for support of an idea of their liking
3. don't give any ideas, but receive $50 to support an idea of their liking.

From there, ideas were formed and created anonymously so that the students with the money to support would follow their interest and not their friends.  Onward we went.

 

Pros to this approach:
  • students had to make a difficult risk vs. reward choice
  • students accepted the ideas, whether they thought of them or not
Cons to this approach:
  • students were clearly more enamored with the idea of having more money than more say
  • although it was supposed to be anonymous, the students eventually figured out whose idea was whose


Persuasion Tactics

We took a break in the process and brainstormed all the ways the students could persuade others to come support their group.  After the tactics had been brainstormed, the class discussed which ones should be more expensive and why.  Here is what they came up with:

Talk with class ($5)
Bring stuff from home ($10)
Flyers, Giveaways, Letters ($13)
Billboards, Posters ($51)
Ad space on the Blog ($74)
Commercial ($100)

Some tactics worked, some didn't.  The kids realized that...er, maybe they didn't.  Some kept trying the same tactic over and over again, having no realization that it wasn't working.



Pros to this approach:
  • students brainstormed, created, and agreed upon the tactics to be used and the pricing of them
  • students were forced to budget and spend their group's money strategically
Cons to this approach:
  • once students saw who was in what group, they didn't care about being persuaded and just wanted to go with their friends
  • creating flyers and giveaways started to distract the students from the task at hand

Then There Were Two

For the majority of the process there were four strong groups: dogs, LEGOs, sea turtles, and stuffed animals.  Through the power of persuasion, the dogs and stuffed animals disbanded and left us with LEGOs vs. Sea Turtles.  In their final attempt to persuade the voting, the students sent letters to Mr. LeDeaux.  The outcome?  Get your snorkel gear...




Quick hits:
  • The kids were unbelievably cheap!  They didn't want to part their money in the slightest.  I had to beg all of them to spend, spend, spend!
  • Ironically, it was the "cheapest" form of persuasion (talking with the class) that created the most movement amongst groups
  • The kids were uncertain on a lot of things, but they quickly found out that bringing stuff from home was definitely NOT working.
  • Two weeks was way too long.  The next time we do this, we can condense a lot of this into only a few days.
  • The BEST part of all of this?  The idea of sea turtles started with ONE kid! 
-------------------------------
If you're wondering, this is how the majority of the days went while utilizing our new, subject-less schedule:
  • Teacher Time: whole group persuasive writing, clocks, and multi-step math problems were solved
  • Us Time: ideas for units formed, changed, and wavered while persuasion tactics were used to lure peers from one group to another
  • Me Time: independent (persuasion) writing, reading, and tiered math facts were accomplished

Friday, March 7, 2014

In Like a Lion, Out Like a (Mrs.) Lamb

It was just under two months ago that we started talking about weather.  What was it? What did we want to know?  We even created our own "wonders" to steer the ship.  And steer they did.

The process, like March, was initially messy, but one thing was clear.  Our class was enamored with storms.  So once it was established that the sun is in charge of all things storms, we set off to learn about tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches, thunderstorms, solar storms, and tsunamis.

Through countless hours of exciting, hands-on investigation, the process, like March, became more uplifting and fun.  Before we knew it, we finally had arrived at the answers to all of our original wonders.  But better yet, we had miraculously managed to answer all of our other curiosities along the way.  We simply couldn't believe we had answered so much.


As a formality, we each made a book of all of our findings.  Here's an example.

The kids took ownership and dictated what was learned.  But what about me?  I'm the teacher!  Didn't I get a say?  I wanted to have some influence on all of the fun too.  So just like the kids made me learn all this stuff about weather, I made them pretend to be storm chasers.  And as you'll see, we went out like a (Mrs.) lamb.



-----------------------------------------------

And just in case you're keeping a Common Core tally at home;
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6 Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.10 With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

THUNDERSNOW!

Our weather investigations this week took us to THUNDERstorms and SNOW avalanches.  So it was fitting that a few days ago we were graced by the incredible event that is thundersnow.  I'm not sure if there's anything cooler than thundersnow.

Seriously.  Is there?

Anyway, here we are on Tuesday using our knowledge and know-how to create mini avalanches.
After further review and extended discussion, we came to the conclusion that we did in fact create mini powder avalanches, much like one that would start at the tip of a mountain.


Thursday was convenient to say the least.  Rare February thunderstorms rolled through our area, making the discussion about storms applicable and real.  We also enjoyed the following video...because who didn't want their parents when that late night storm shook the house?


You can click here and here for two of our other favorites.

Next up; tsunamis, whirlpools, and the beautiful Aurora Borealis...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

100 Ways to 100

The kids had the room at their disposal. The only constraint was that anything they made had to have exactly 100.

Tablet users click here for 100 projects gallery.

Students interacting...
Quick hits;
  • It wasn't looking like they were going to get there.  I tried to lower the project count to 50, but they weren't having ANY of that.
  • At about midway through the process they started to figure out that not every project needed to be super elaborate.  Productivity in means to the ultimate goal of 100 certainly increased at this point.
  • The money exchanging and rearranging was discovered late in the game.  This definitely surged our total number forward.
And just in case you're keeping a Common Core tally at home;
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numberals and represent a number of objects with a written numberal.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2a 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.2c The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.C.5 Given a two-digit number, mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number, without having to count.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.C.6 Subtract multiples of 10 in the range of 10-90 from multiples of 10 in the range 10-90, using concrete models of drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.2 Compose two-dimensional shapes or three-dimensional shapes to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.

Friday, February 7, 2014

We're Ready, Are You?

After a raffle and some trading, we all adopted the top 20 non-USA medal winners from the 2010 Winter Games.
You can check out our non-American "patriotism" here;

Here's a peek at how it's been going down in the classroom...
And of course, the obligatory parade!
And just in case you're keeping a Common Core tally at home;
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g. first word, capitalization, end punctuation).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1b Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems solving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.2 Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.1.MD.C.4 Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less in one category than in another.
  • CCSS.Social.Studies.1.B.3 Oh wait.  We've been through this before!  There are no standards for social studies.
  • CCSS.Art.2.M Oh yeah!  No art standards either!
------Bonus------

Thursday, January 30, 2014

You Say Tornaydo, I Say Tornawdo

Tornadoes caused quite a stir (get it?!) this past week.  The investigation stage prompted us to think of ways to create tornadoes in our own classroom.  I told the students I was bringing two experiments to the classroom, but I encouraged them to come up with other experiments that they wanted to try.  Here they are; 
Trapping heat, blowing cold- the kids thought that if they could trap the warm air from the vent and mix it with the fan, then they could form a funnel.  Sadly, this was not the case. 
Bubbles in a funnel- the kids thought that it would be cool to try and blow bubbles into a funnel while the fan blew through it.  The bubbles, they predicted, would swirl around like a tornado.  Not so much. 
Cups and a fan- the students thought that if we trapped cold and warm air in separate cups we could mix them together and create a tornado.  While they found this to be unsuccessful, they did hold on to the fact that we didn't know for sure because the cups weren't see through.  Smart kids.

Watching these experiments unfold was beyond cool.  Given all they had learned about tornadoes, you could see the students applying what they learned to make a tornado.  It also provoked critical thinking skills, especially when the experiments didn't work.  They kept coming up to me and saying "Mr. Kaegi, it's not working!" And I countered back with, "I never said it would!" And then a look of realization came over them as if to say, "Huh. Okay then."

Here are some other fantastic quotes overheard from the experiments;
  • "We can’t make a tornado because we need to be able to TRAP the warm air."
  • "That was an F4."  "No, no. That was an F3." (tornado rankings)
  • "I think that it’s not working because the hot air is leaking out the holes and it’s not being trapped." 
  • "I wish the cups were see through so we could be sure." 

See the fun for yourself (apologies on some of the audio)

Monday, January 13, 2014

No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

Weather inquiry has begun in The Chocolate Factory and we have no idea where we are headed.  We just know it's going to be good and we're going to learn a lot on our way.  In fact, we just completed the first step of the inquiry process; ASK.
Students were encouraged to review what they already knew about weather and, more importantly, ask questions about what they didn't.

 In fact, we had so many great questions on our Weather Wonder Wall that it caught the eye of another teacher!
These questions of intrigue will now serve as our guide as we set out to answer the all-encompassing question, "What is weather?"

Weather Wonders from tkaegi@op97.org on Vimeo.

Check back soon to see how our investigation stage is shapes up.

To infinity and beyond!