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Measuring Using Nonstandard Tools

We’ve all experienced estimating the length of an object using another smaller object or our hand span. Though we have our standard tools to measure length, using nonstandard tools (or smaller objects, hand span, our foot, what have you…) is a very practical skill we could use in the absence of our rulers, meter sticks, etc.

The students enjoyed this lesson very well. It was like indoor play when we had our stations in using nonstandard tools to measure various objects, including themselves!

During our lesson, we discussed what kinds of objects can be used to measure the lengths of objects. We also emphasized on how the objects should be placed so that we can find the closest estimate possible.

The activity Stations is a good strategy for the students to be able to try as many kinds of nonstandard tools in a given time. They uses paper clips, pins, popsicle sticks and cubes.

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Research Writing

Such a big task for a grade 1 student, we can say. Personally, I wrote my first research paper when I was already in high school/ upper level. However, this generation of students have access to information within reach in a flash.

Technology, cliche as it may seem, really hasten our learning— gathering information-wise. As an educator, we use these changes to challenge our students more.

My students did research-writing in grade 1. It was a lot of guidance on my part but seeing their outputs and how much knowledge they have gained about their topics and in skills are worth it.

The topic was as simple as “My Favorite Animal.” We tackled the different parts of the research one at a time.

Fist, they did a simple general research about their chosen animal. I used this template to build the ground/backbone of their research.

The students then used different kinds of media to find out more about their chosen animals. They read books about it. They read articles online and, of course, they got help from their parents.

It might sound too daunting a task but reading and writing about what you read is an integral skill we all need in life.

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Using Science Tools

Since first quarter, I watched as my class grow more and more in love with Science. I know they look forward to the topics we discuss but I know MAINLY because of the experiments we do in class.

That is why I design my lessons, heavy-prep as it may seem, with a mini experiment to hook them in. We move to a brief discussion to unlock concepts. Then we do our main experiment to experience the concepts discussed.

The students really look forward to the materials or tools we will use to make the experiments. When they experience it first hand, all the more the knowledge stays with them.

And the next day, they are more excited to learn more in Science.

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Learning Numbers to 120

Counting numbers is a fundamental knowledge learned in the primary level. Repetition of numbers and constant exposure to the 100 chart (even up to 120) help a lot. The key, however, is to let the students be “familiar” with the numbers in a way that the numbers can be visualized and not remain as abstract numerals in their minds.

Manipulatives, counters, rods and cubes are the link between this abstract and visual knowledge.

Students can learn numbers first as actual objects that they can feel and manipulate. This activity was done when the students were taught about writing numbers as tens and ones.

First, introduce the number 10 as 10 loose cubes. Then, you can show them 10 ones as 1 ten using a long solid rod (this will later help them model the numbers using quick draw, that is drawing a long straight line to represent 1 ten).

It helps the students count bigger numbers faster in tens instead of starting with 1 whenever a set of objects is presented to them. Later on, this knowledge will be used to reconstruct numbers or break them apart when they start adding and subtracting numbers that will require them to regroup.

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Using Scientific Methods and Resource Persons

In class, it is a typical scenario that the teacher would be the resource person especially in a self-contained class. While it is a wondrous challenge to research on topics and strategies to teach in class, at times, using a resource person is a fun and effective approach we can use to learn in the classroom.

It is very fortunate that our head of schools as such passion for Life Sciences. As such, he was able to guide the students on how to do experiments using the Scientific Method smoothly.

The query is: Does the sun warm land or water faster? The students, upon learning that we will conduct an experiment, got all riled up already. Some even shared their own hypotheses.

They got more engaged when they set up the experiment first hand using the tools and materials presented to them.

There was an emphasis on the variable presented in the experiment. Since this is their first experiment, it is very important that they understand the importance of being accurate in their materials and measurements. As a challenge, the experiment conducted wasn’t limited to soil and water only. It was slightly extended to pure water, dry soil, soil with medium moisture and wet soil.

They had to wait at least at the end of the day to know the result.

Which do you think warmed faster?

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Sundials

One of our Science lessons this quarter is about Day and Night. In the course of our discussion, we talked about how the sun is important to all living things. One of the points raised is that the sun is also used to tell time.

The students were exposed to the earlier tools used to tell time using the sun: the sundial. They were asked to decorate their own sundials.

Then, we had a trip to the school grounds. A quick check on what the time is was done before they placed their sundials under the sun. It was amazing how fascinated the students were when they saw their sundial showed the same time the school clock had.

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The Main Idea

One topic in ELA that most younger students find challenging is the main idea. Here is how we tackled it this year and it went surprisingly smooth and successful.

We started off with an Informational Text entitled “What is a Pal?” The students were very much engaged in discussing and exchanging ideas about something very familiar to them. We then dug deeper and discussed the concepts of TOPIC, MAIN IDEA and DETAILS.

Using a graphic organizer and sentences drawn from the text itself, the students were asked to choose which is the most important idea in the text.
It was trial and error but we were able to draw out the correct answer. With prompt and guidance, the students were able to pick out the most important idea and distinguish it from the smaller ideas which were the details.

Of course, the students were engaged into writing to further extend the knowledge. By drawing out from their own experience, they wrote and drew about how they themselves were a pal.

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Welcome 1-DM 2017-18

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new school year!

My name is Dana Erika Muyrong and I am going to be your child’s Homeroom Teacher in Grade 1. I graduated from Ateneo De Manila University with a degree in Fine Arts majoring in Creative Writing. I also took my Master’s units in Basic Elementary Education in the same university. I have been in this profession for 12 years now.

I believe that every child learns differently. With this in mind, I do my best to ensure that each learning experience would cater to the different learning styles of each student. Differentiation and student-led activities will be the main focus inside the Grade 1-DM classroom.

Furthermore, I also believe that the success of learning is made possible through collaboration between the school and the home. Please feel free to get in touch via your child’s assignment notebook, email (dmuyrong@cismanila.org), or set an appointment with Ms. Kitin Conchu at (632) 798-0011 Local 103 or 116.

I look forward to this wonderful journey with you and your child.

Sincerely,

MS. DANA ERIKA C. MUYRONG
Grade 1 – DM Homeroom Teacher

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Yes, there is no typo in the title you saw. I had a similar reaction when I saw the curriculum for Social Studies for grade 1 students. However, as time went by, I realized that children as young as they should already have basic financial literacy.

As per Google, Financial Literacy means “the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.”

In CISM, my grade 1 students were very fortunate to have a parent volunteer to share with them the value of money and the benefits of saving and investing it.

Thank you to Mrs. Robrina Go-Barrera for sharing with our class her expertise and advice on sharing money.

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Last April 27, 2017, the grade 1 students led the monthly assembly for Early Years and Elementary Levels. The main focus of the assembly is the IB Learner Profile INQUIRER.

It was a meaningful presentation of how students, teacher and parents alike are encouraged to never cease from asking questions. From the description in the IB Learner Profile, INQUIRERS,

“We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.”

In line with this, Earth day was celebrated 22nd of April. The assembly anchored this theme in the presentation by asking a great question: What can you do for Mother Earth?”

The grade 1 students extended what they learned from Science and did a more extravagant shadow play showing what human are doing to Mother Earth. The message dramatically crossed the audience.