Monday, February 10, 2014

winter games and medal graphing

I am LOVING everything about the Winter Olympics this year.  I mean, they're not the Summer Games, by any means (love gymnastics...), but it is still so exciting!  I am also a huge fan of the learning opportunities they are presenting for our classroom.

We started today by introducing our class medal count.  I used predictions from the Wall Street Journal to guide my choices for countries to keep track of--I wanted countries with many, many medals.  We have a giant poster out in the hallway so we can keep the rest of the school informed!

So yes--we're keeping track of Norway, Germany, the United States, Canada, Russia and... Australia.  Yes.  Australia.  The whole school is studying Australia next month for the All School Unit--so the kindergarten teacher and I thought it would be good to tie this in with that, too.

One of my first graders thought keeping track of Australia was odd.  After I introduced each country and we had found them on the map, one of my friends raised his hand.

"Mrs. B, I noticed that all of the countries we are keeping track of are in the Northern hemisphere, except Australia.  It is in the Southern hemisphere.  Why?"

Love teachable moments--we briefly discussed the differences in climate and the reversed seasons in Australia.  The whole class is rooting for Australia to get some medals now and are super excited for March!

Before we went out to the hallway, we read this (freebie!) interactive reader from Erin Palleschi of Once Upon a Classroom to help us learn about the Olympics.  My first graders loved this reader, and we will be keeping it at school for the rest of the Olympics to read a few more times.

I also have plans of using figure skating scores to help us talk about greater than and less than (and breaking out our Number Eating Alligator) and doing some of our own versions of different events.  What are you  doing in your classroom to get into the Olympic spirit?

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