Class Blog

1st grade--in the books!

posted 9 Jun 2017, 13:09 by Sara Windschitl

What a great year! I'm so proud of every student in our class. Each child made amazing progress in their own area this year and we had a lot of fun along the way! 

Here are our final ASL science journals for our Insects & Plants unit:

We did a little clean-up at Como Park as a community service project
We opened our time capsules from the fall. We all grew 1-2 inches and many of our favorite things have changed!

We made father's day gifts (dads--don't look!)
Asha made one for Chris Thiers, a teacher retiring from MDS who has been teaching deaf students for 43 years! 
Sidewalk painting 
Our traditional last day of school field day--before and after!
A HUGE thank you to Calena for working as a deaf-blind intervener in our class this year! Best of luck to her as she starts as a student at Gallaudet University this fall! She will be missed greatly at MDS!

Look at these almost-2nd-graders! So proud of them!
Have a great summer everyone! 

Don't forget ESY begins July 24th! 

Children's Theater field trip--Frog and Toad

posted 31 May 2017, 12:37 by Sara Windschitl

We had so much fun on our field trip today! It was a beautiful day, so we spent as much of it outside (other than watching the play, of course) as we could!

The sets and props were awesome!
We also learned that the daughter of the late Arnold Lobel (the author of the Frog and Toad books) designed the entire play!
Ask your child why the orchestra pit has webbing over it!
While we couldn't take pictures or videos during the play, this snippet has pictures of all the Frog and Toad scenes that we saw in the play today. Have your child pause the video on each picture and tell you what happened in that scene! 

After lunch we went to a park to run off all the energy we had bottled up from sitting so long! 
Thank you parents for paying for your child to see this play! It was such a great connection to what we've been reading lately and the kids loved it!

Butterfly transformation

posted 23 May 2017, 13:13 by Sara Windschitl

How lucky are we? We happened to catch one of our butterflies emerging from its chrysalis on Monday!
It's a little hard to see through the mesh of our butterfly habitat, but here's a better video of what it usually looks like.
In math we've been having fun with geometry! Here we are sorting shapes by attributes using Venn diagrams. Some of us even took the triple Venn challenge!
We also had fun playing "guess the mystery shape" games.
What three-dimensional shape can stack, has 6 faces, none of which are shaped like a rectangle? Do you know?!

We also constructed solid shapes using magnatiles.

In other news, we are counting down the days left in the school year. There are only 12 days left!

Last week Jace went on a field trip with other Deaf-Blind MDS students to Can Can Wonderland to play mini golf and tball!
Check out Hazel leading the Cheetah song at morning announcements last week!

Ask your child what they did in ASL with chips and salsa!

Frog and Toad!

posted 17 May 2017, 12:56 by Sara Windschitl

In English Language Arts class, we recently began reading a short story taken from the "Frog and Toad" series. We identified LOTS of tricky English phrases that needed extra attention when translating them into ASL! Ask your child how we decided to sign these phrases!
Today the students recorded themselves signing the story. I was so impressed with some of their translations. They all asked if I would put some of their videos on the class website--they were so proud!    
How lucky is it that "A Year with Frog and Toad is playing at the Minneapolis Children's Theater right now?! You better believe we grabbed tickets for the ASL interpreted show on May 31st! Please return your child's permission form and $11 fee ASAP. Click on the picture below to see the trailer!
We have only 15 days of school left! We will have our annual school-wide picnic the last day--please join us! (and be sure to RSVP)


Pecos Bill

posted 9 May 2017, 13:55 by Sara Windschitl   [ updated 9 May 2017, 14:20 ]

Check out the American tall tale we recently viewed in ASL language arts! Ask your child to tell you the story!

Here are the new ASL vocabulary words we worked on that go with the story:
This is us playing ASL vocabulary charades--a class favorite!

In a recent math unit on time, I presented the students with this challenge, and list of materials they were allowed to use:

Here's what they came up with! They even decided who would be the hour and minute hands based on height. =)

In Math we started a geometry unit on two-dimensional shapes. Ask your child this question (and look for their ASL mouth morphemes--"oo" for the skinny 2D shapes and puffy cheeks for the 3D shapes!

We've also had a lot of fun going on shape hunts and using the Explain Everything app to capture images.

Another fun activity--composing pictures using shapes!

In Science, we addition to our growing collection of insects we are observing as they change. Can you guess what it is?

Wondering why Sophia is so grossed out? Her insect pooped in her hand. =)

In plant news, our brassica plants are flourishing. Here we are acting like bees, pollinating the flowers.

Here is what's been happening in our specials classes the last month!

PE with Kelley Cole

We are doing a very revised version of the President's Fitness Challenge. Students are jogging a half mile, doing sit-ups and push-ups, practicing their speed and agility, and showing off their flexibility.
In health class, students have been trying a variety of foods! They tried pineapple, avocados, red, yellow and green apples, and kiwi.

ASL Class with Jena Bury
The students are learning to sign locative classifiers. They signed the location of a hidden toy for others to find. They did a great job! Also, they worked on signing the noun before the classifier. They are improving in remembering the noun before the classifier. They viewed an ASL video, “Jack and the Beanstalk” then they summarized the story using role shifting to show dialogues/characters.

with Lisa Johnson
This month the students finished a unit on Pablo Picasso. They painted birds in the style of Cubism, using tints of green and blue. Currently, they are learning about primary colors and how to use them to make secondary colors.

Be sure to check out the important dates on the sidebar of this webpage! 

The coolest thing we have ever seen!

posted 26 Apr 2017, 11:29 by Sara Windschitl   [ updated 26 Apr 2017, 11:30 ]

We actually caught one of our mealworms in the middle of their transformation from pupa to beetle today!! It was SO COOL!

Bugs and plants!

posted 20 Apr 2017, 14:22 by Sara Windschitl

Last week, some high school students came to read aloud to us. It was a crazy coincidence that all their books were about insects!

Speaking of insects, look at these brave kids cleaning the molts (discarded mealworm skin) out of the mealworm habitat! Yuck!
Today we introduced some new bugs, but we are not sure what they are yet. Right now they are just tiny yellow eggs! We made habitats for them with food, water and air--3 things we know all living things need. We will observe them over the next month and see how they change!
We also planted some seeds last week, and were surprised to see they had already sprouted by Monday!

In Math class we started a unit on measurement. We've been practicing estimating and using nonstandard units of measurement (cubes, paperclips, etc). We read "Inch by Inch" by Leo Leoni, and then used our bodies like an inch worm to measure various distances in the school!

Asha's new favorite book--she highly recommends it!


posted 11 Apr 2017, 13:26 by Sara Windschitl

The week before spring break was spirit week, and 1st grade had 100% participation! Here is a photo of us on pajama day (our favorite)!
We are also super excited about the new entertainment outside our boring window... a new birdhouse and bird feeder! Thanks to AJ and his dad for building and putting this up for us! 
We also had a special visit from the University of Minnesota athletic department recently. A student athlete from each sport came, and so did Goldy the Gopher! 
Zoe the swimmer was the girls' favorite--they all want to be a collegiate swimmer just like her!
We have an exciting new science unit--INSECTS! We welcomed our first classroom insects yesterday--mealworms. We have spent lots of time observing their characteristics and their behavior. 
We recently did a dramatic interpretation of "Drakestail," a story we viewed in ASL and also read in English in a recent language arts unit. The students insisted we do the play 5 times so everyone had a chance to play every role! I was so impressed with their work. They took total creative control from start to finish, including making a list of characters and props needed, coming up with creative costumes and props using items we had on hand in the classroom, and setting up various scenes. I was cast in the permanent role of soldier (a very small role they were willing to relinquish), but other than that, they took the reigns!
Ask your child to tell you the story!

Spirit Week!

posted 27 Mar 2017, 11:15 by Sara Windschitl

It's spirit week at MDS! Please help your child remember what to wear/do each day. Tomorrow is BACKWARDS DAY!
Last week in health class with Kelley, the students tasted and rated different color apples.

Kristi Townshend, our long-time school psychologist is leaving us! She has her sights set on warmer winters and took a new position at Texas School for the Deaf. She will be missed! First grade made her this farewell video.

And in case you haven't seen it, here is the new MDS promotional video that was revealed at the Gala on March 12th!

Sorting vocabulary words by first letter and last chunk!
In math, we have been working on data collection and analysis. Our first project was to create a survey with 3 choices using the Notebook program in the computer lab. They even searched for their own images online! Then we surveyed the 3rd-5th graders and recorded our results using tallies. The students did a GREAT job!
We are now working on answering questions in ASL about our tally charts using the Explain Everything app on the iPads.
Don't forget that next week is SPRING BREAK! No School April 3-7!

Image result for spring break april 3-7

The Leprechaun Strikes Again!

posted 17 Mar 2017, 11:44 by Sara Windschitl

Sara's classroom gets hit every year! The naughty leprechaun got in last night and wreaked havoc!

The clean up was brutal. 

He even messed with the staff picture bulletin board, the bathroom, and Susan's office!
Together, we wrote a letter to the leprechaun and posted it on the front doors of the school as a warning. We included a picture for emphasis. 

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