News from the 1st Grade classroom

February 12, 2021


In recent weeks, students performed in front of their peers and a Zoom audience, they also used flashlights to demonstrate the effect of the sun’s light on shadows, and they learned more about space and its patterns through a virtual field trip with The Anchorage Museum. Now, they are putting all of their knowledge and skills, including reading, writing, technology, and partner collaboration, into practice to create a shadow puppet video that teaches the phases of the moon.

First, students put together their own flipbooks in which they organized the pages, or phases of the moon, in sequential order.  After this, they began researching. Students were provided differentiated texts about the moon and were able to explore Epic’s e-books for fun facts and information on each phase. They read, took notes, made observations, and discussed their findings with their partner before writing down what they wanted to say in their video. It was exciting to see how confident they were in researching the moon versus when they researched animal teeth in the Fall.

After researching and writing their scripts, students began making their moon cutouts, or shadow puppets. They used flashlights to make sure each of the eight phases was represented and had a shadow that matched what the moon looks like in the night sky.

​Next, students practiced using their shadow puppets and reading their lines for their video. Partners had to decide who would be recording, reading, and managing the puppets. It was exciting to see partners helping partners read lines, and problem-solving. In fact, some groups even offered to help others during filming (what an incredible act of kindness!).

When it was finally time to record, students used the app, Flipgrid. Many had not used it before, so it was exciting to introduce this new tool to them. Many are still in this stage of the project or nearing it. They are discovering that they don’t have to record everything at once, and are exploring some of the tools, like “cut” that allows students to edit out clips they don’t like. Just like proofreading their work, students are watching their clips and re-recording them to make sure that they are doing their best for the students they are going to be teaching with these videos.

Projects like this allow students to integrate a variety of skills to develop something they are proud of and that they know is going to make a difference for others. It will be exciting to see the results of their hard work come together and share their videos!


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