Monday, March 20, 2017

STEM- Cantilever Bridge

The cantilever bridge has piers under it that extend into the water, or ground. It is lower than a suspension or stayed cable. It also has a shorter span from side to side. It is not as strong as an arched bridge.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kahn Academy- Physics- Force

Room 4 received a set of 6 iPads from our technology grant last spring. We use our devices for reading, researching, and practicing math concepts. First graders use the Kahn Academy app to read and research key concepts of structures. I love this time of year! My 6-7 year olds are not just practicing building structures, they are experimenting with, and asking bigger questions about how and why these structures stay up!

An actual bridge is selected. The design, a simple beam bridge is examined. How will force (weight added ) hold up the structure? 

Here, the lesson illustrates force being applied to a model bridge. TOO MUCH force, the bridge collapses!

Friday, March 17, 2017

STEM- Arch Bridge

Another very simple, but strong structure is the arch bridge. It can carry a heavy load, but it is not a good bridge over a long span. Long ago this type of bridge was common when a bridge needed to cover land. It was used by the Romans to carry water long distances. Aqueducts contained multiple arches. The arch was also used inside cathedrals and churches to hold up extremely high and heavy ceilings. Room 4 enjoyed trying to see how much force, or load our arch could hold up!

STEM- Simple Beam- Covered Bridge

A very common bridge is called a simple beam bridge. It is used to connect shorter distances. A long time ago these small bridges became covered in snow for an entire winter, and caused the road to become impassable. The solution? Builders covered them! You will find these old bridges in the country, or on back roads that are not often traveled.

STEM- Suspension Bridge

A suspension bridge is built to span across a very wide area. It has to have two towers to support the steel cables that run from one end to the other. It is not as stable as a cable-stayed bridge. A suspension bridge may move or "sway" in heavy winds.

STEM- Draw Bridge

Room 4 is having the best time learning all about man made structures! This week we completed 5 bridges! Our class worked in small teams. Each team built a different type of bridge. The first team built a draw-bridge. It was designed to house a motor that opens and shuts the roadway to allow boat traffic through.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Structure: A Stem Science Project

Room 4 is exploring structures. We have looked at manmade and natural structures. Today we explored with different materials, and attempted to build a bridge. We are going to begin looking at the "parts" of structures, noticing how they give an object strength.

Monday, February 27, 2017

100 Days in First Grade !

This week first graders are celebrating 100 days in school. We wrote about our favorite day in first grade. Tomorrow we will begin our second 100 days journals! WOW! We are real writers now!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Real Writers Tell All About...

First graders read their 3rd informational book to their 4th grade reading buddies. The writing process begins by selecting a subject to write about, telling it across your fingers (5 big ideas), and writing the facts in a way that interests your audience. The next step is writing a Table of Contents that locates the big ideas. Lastly, first graders create a cover to make their book look fancy, like real books do. Ms. Gray and I are very pleased with the work done this week. Our 4th graders could not believe how detailed the stories were. Each student from room 16 filled out a small feedback checklist to give their buddy positive comments. Great things are happening in room 4!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Real writers use checklists to make sure they are doing their very best work. To help first graders become better authors we are reading/writing buddies with Mrs. Stolk's 4th grade. Every 2 weeks we read our information story to our 4th grade buddy. They support our work by helping us fill out our checklist. Fourth graders are learning as much as room 4 writers!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Writing Teaching Books

First graders wrote Narrative stories the first trimester. Their stories reflected their personal experiences with friends, family, pets, etc. Now a month into our second trimester writers are learning how to write a book that teaches all about a subject. We have written all about chipmunks, octopus, and this week we completed our third book, "All About Giraffes". Each book has a teaching point that increases student knowledge.

Readers Are Word Detectives!

First grade readers learn vocabulary words to increase word knowledge. They tackle 6-8 high frequency words every week, as well as words with short and long vowel sounds. We are approaching the half-way marker in first grade, and are now adding digraphs, 2 or more letters that make 1 sound. Skill sheets like this are completed by "partners". Pairs of students reread a story and locate words with these sounds.  They enjoy reading and hunting for as many words as possible!

Smokey the Bear Visits!

First graders were visited by the U.S. Forest Service, and the State of Oregon Parks Service. They presented a video, and talk about forest fire safety. The talk included what to do if they find matches or lighters.

First graders practiced the 3 things you must do to put out a campfire-
1. pour a bucket of water on the fire
2. STIR the ashes with a shovel
3. Check for heat with the back of your hand
until the fire is cold AND OUT!