Distance Learning in KG and 1st Grade
It is always important to build a sense of community and focus on emotional well-being, but it has become more important with online learning. In K/1st we are doing this by having morning meetings, learning about the ten IB Learner Profile Attributes, and encouraging mindfulness and reflection. We start each day with a morning meeting during which students get a chance to greet each other by name. Starting our mornings this way strengthens our connections and relationships and encourages a positive, welcoming start to the day. We’ve also focused on one attribute of the IB Learner Profile each day; reading a connected book, having discussions, and reflecting on what it means and what are examples and non-examples. We have used Class Dojo to watch videos and discuss ways to be mindful including breathing, movements, and coloring. At the end of each day, we have a reflection meeting. We think about the day and talk about the best parts; this helps us end on a positive note.
Our central idea for our unit of inquiry is, “Our rights and responsibilities impact the way we interact with others in different situations.” We started by creating essential agreements for our class. We have discussed what our responsibilities are at home and at school. We also used our “study buddies” to discuss our responsibilities to our friends. Moving forward, we will start talking about rights and responsibilities that come with having rights.
In math, we started learning about tally marks. Every day we count the day of school with tally marks. Some students have even started using tally marks with different objects. We then made graphs using tally marks. Next, we learned how to make and read pictographs and bar graphs. One fun way we made a bar graph was to play rock, paper, scissors and graph if rock, paper, or scissors won. We are now starting to learn about shapes with pattern blocks.
In literacy, we focused on reading books connected to the IB Learner Profile Attributes. The children retold, summarized, created character maps, and made personal connections with the stories. Last week we started writer’s workshop. We learned that it is important to think about what story you want to tell before you start drawing or writing. In kindergarten and first grade, inventive spelling is an important part of learning to write. “Inventive spelling refers to the practice of children using incorrect and unusual spellings for words. The spelled word often will contain the letters of the sounds a child hears when he says a word” (Very Well Family). This process is important for taking the stress out of writing. It also encourages children to problem-solve while writing. And finally, it shows the spelling patterns the children know and are using.