Saturday, December 6, 2014

Worms, Rain, Soil and Google Hangouts.... in 1st Grade! (Part 1)

Don't you just love it when something doesn't go according to plan? Well today the plan was set, but things sure did change on us quickly! However, the end results were still AWESOME and the kids were in awe of their discoveries! Let's rewind a bit so that I set the stage...

A few weeks ago one of my 1st Grade teachers connected with a 1st Grade teacher that I used to work with at a different campus. I was always hoping their paths would cross because they have very similar classroom management styles. During their conversation they had talked about possibly one day collaborating on a project together. Well soon enough, the emails start coming talking about analyzing soil samples across campuses. Sure enough, their 1st Grade teacher mails us a sample of their soil along with a letter requesting some soil from our campus. Once we have swapped soil samples then we plan on hosting a Google Hangout On Air with a total of 4 classes simultaneously so that we can discuss how the soil samples were different on each campus. Today was the day that we broke ground (see what I did there??) on the project.  Students were told by the teacher that they had to find various items such as soil, rocks, grass and mystery items such as worms, buried trash or bugs.
Once they found the items, they would use pic collage to identify it and create a graphic organizer out of it.  Once we told the students what was expected of them, students went outside to dig for soil. However, only having one shovel we let students take turns using it which turned out to be a long process. We ended up helping students dig a little deeper into the ground since it was kind of tough for them.

Our first big scoop resulted in a piece of trash that was buried under ground, so this was collected as an artifact. On our next scoop, we found a really large worm. Students were beyond excited in this find! Once we found the first worm, we dug a few more holes before it started to rain. Once it started raining, we had went inside and worked in a large common area to analyze what we found as well as to start our Pic Collage project. Students rotated stations to see what each sample had to offer. They had a blast taking pictures of various things! Our next step is to get our sample to those schools for analyzing. We are supposed to do the Google On Air Hangout next week, so be on the look out for "Part 2" later next week!

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