Ms. Melissa's Class

Our 1st Grade Memories

Ms. Melissa's Class

Science- Watching Clouds

September 29th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today we learned about clouds.  We figured out that there are 3 main types of clouds: cirrus, cumulus and stratus.   We even made our own clouds from cotton balls!  We also learned that clouds are made up of water drops and that the wind moves clouds in the sky.

Word Bank What We Learned
  • Clouds
  • Cirrus
  • Cumulus
  • Stratus
  • Cirrus clouds look like feathers or cobwebs.
  • Cumulus clouds are big and fluffy.
  • Stratus clouds stay low and cover the sky.


photo 2 photo 1

Questions to ask at home:

If there is no wind, what happens to the clouds?

If the wind is strong, what happens to the clouds?

What are clouds made of?

How are the 3 main types of clouds alike and different?


Enjoy the clouds this evening!


Zero the Hero!

September 26th, 2014 · No Comments · Celebrations

Today at the Celebration of Learning, the grade ones sang a song we’ve been singing since the 10th day of school! Here’s a video of our performance! :)

And Zero the Hero made his debut! :)
photo 1

photo 2


Science- Exploring Temperature

September 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today your scientists learned about temperature and their first meteorologist tool: thermometers.  We discovered that we can feel how hot or cold air is, even though we can’t see it.  After touching ice cold & hot water, students generated vocabulary words to describe both temperatures.

Word Bank What We Learned
  • Temperature
  • Thermometer
  • Celsius
  • Fahrenheit
  • Tool
  • Freezing
  • Cold
  • Cool
  • Warm
  •  Hot

We use a thermometer to measure temperature.


We use the temperature to decide what to wear and what to do outside.


photo 2

Annie creates a paper thermometer.

photo 1The students watch the temperature rise and fall in hot and cold water.

Wondering what would be some great follow-up conversations at home? 

  • How does the temperature change from evening to morning at your house?
  • What would it be like if we didn’t use air conditioners at school?
  • What would it be like if we didn’t use air conditioners at home?
  • What is the best temperature for playing outside?
  • What other (things) might a meteorologist measure?
  • What tools might a meteorologist use to measure those (things)?



Reading Buddies

September 24th, 2014 · No Comments · Literacy

Yesterday we started Reading Buddies! Every few weeks, we will get together with our 4th Grade Reading Buddies from Mrs. Sylvester’s class. The students enjoyed getting to know their new buddies and reading books from the classroom. We really look forward to the next time we see them.

Here are some photos from the afternoon!


Science- Balloon Launch

September 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today the scientists learned more about air pressure and compression by creating balloon rockets!

Enjoy your discussions…

Word Bank  What We Learned
  • Rocket
  • Inflate
  • Distance
  • Move
  • Travel
  • Propel


  • The rubber skin of the balloon compresses the air inside.


  • Pressure from the compressed air moves the balloon rocket.


Check out our video of the students launching balloons! We had a lot of fun and learned a lot about air, too!

Want to make your own balloon rocket at home, click here! 

We also had a discussion about how our balloon rockets were similar to spaceships! The students enjoyed watching this video of a NASA rocket launch!



Science- Air and Water Fountain

September 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today we made an air and water fountain to discover how air pressure can move water!   Students used syringes, bottles and water to confirm that air is matter and takes up space.  We made a mess and had a lot of fun!


Word Bank  What We Learned
  • Fountain
  • Air takes up space in a bottle and won’t let water in if the air can’t get out.
  • Air pressure can push on water and make it move.



Science: Pushing on Air

September 15th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today the scientists learned about what happens when they push air into a smaller space.  Students used syringes to investigate air.  They discovered that air can be compressed and that air under pressure can push objects around.

Word Bank  What We Learned
  • Syringe
  • Plunger
  • Barrel
  • Tubing
  • Compress
  • Pressure
  • System
  • You cannot push the plunger in all the way when air is trapped inside.
  • Plunging one syringe compresses the air, creating pressure and pushing the other one out.

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 Neal and Annie “air wrestle.”  The plunger pushes the air into the other syringe.


photo 3Jimmy and Akka try the “Pop Off.” Air compresses in the syringe, and the pressure pops the top off!


Parachute Drop

September 11th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Today we explored air resistance.  Students made parachutes from plastic, string, adhesive dots and paper clips.  We considered the questions, “What is a parachute?”  and “How does a parachute work?”   Students are coming home with their homemade parachutes.  Please ask them the questions and explore with the parachute at home!

Word Bank  What We Learned

  • Parachute
  • Air resistance


  • A parachute falls slowly because the air pushes against it.
  • Air resistance slows the parachute down

Ellen and Jiwon work to build their parachutes.

Adam and Bao Nhi create their parachutes.

Alex with his parachute.

Brooke and Mya drop their parachutes!

Check out our video of the parachute drop!


Science Experiments

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Science

Our first science unit on Air and Weather is underway.  The students have been busy exploring with different materials to see what they can discover about air.  Today we got a little wet when we learned air can be trapped inside a vial when it is submerged under the water! In just 2 experiments, we have learned a lot about air and a lot of new vocabulary words!

New Vocabulary What We Learned
  • air
  • matter
  • gas
  • invisible
  • vial
  • bubble
  • water
  • paper towel
  • submerge
  • Air can move things around.
  • You can feel air.
  • Air takes up space.
  • Air is matter.
  • Air can be trapped in a vial under water.
  • Air bubbles come out of the vial if it’s tipped sideways.
  • Air takes up space, so water can’t get in and get the towel wet.


Abby blows air into the balloon.

The students had a fun time making squeaking noises and letting the air out of the balloon quickly.

Jia-Chi discovers that air can make things move.

Eitaro notices that you can keep a paper towel dry when submerging the vial in the water.

Mya and Sung Ho explore with a bucket of water, a ball and a vial.

Neal explores.

Jimmy, Rainver and Annie enjoy exploring water and air.


Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Celebrations

On Monday afternoon there was a lot of excitement in the Atrium.  The students surrounded a drum set.  As we heard the loud pounds of the drums, we all watched the Dragon Dance!  Thank you to the PTA for sponsoring this event!



LionDANCE090914_14(Photos courtesy of Thiet Vu)