Category Archives: Social Studies Updates

Social Studies Update

This week during Social Studies, we celebrated CONSTITUTION DAY!!!  Constitution Day is a time for us to reflect on the signing of the constitution which occurred on September 17, 1787 and be thankful for rules, rights and responsibilities we are given as United States citizens.  In our classroom, we reviewed our first grade rules and discussed how the Constitution is a list of rules for all the people in our country.  We read a book about the Constitution and learned about some of the founding fathers who created the constitution.  We then made and signed our own classroom constitution!!!  It is now posted in our classroom to remind us to be a good friend and follow our first grade rules.

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This week we also discussed what it means to be a good citizen.  Each day we added another attribute to our “Good Citizen” chart.  Here is what we learned:

A Good Citizen

1. FOLLOWS RULES.  We discussed reasons that we have rules such as rules help us learn, rules keep us safe, rules help make things fair, etc.

2. RESPECTS AUTHORITYWe brainstormed a list of people who have power with authority (principal, teachers, bus drivers, moms, dads, etc.) and how they enforce rules. When we listen and respond to those in authority we are being respectful.

3. IS FAIR. We discussed what fairness looks like at school, and learned that fair isn’t always equal – it’s getting what you need in order to be successful.

4. IS RESPONSIBLE.  We learned about ways we can be responsible at school such as making sure that you have all of your tools ready (without being asked).  We are planning to begin classroom jobs next week to practice being responsible.

5. HONORS THE USA.  One way we can do this is to respect and remember symbols of the United States that represent our freedom such as the American Flag, White House, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, and Bald Eagle.

If you notice your “first grade citizen” displaying any of the attributes above be sure to commend him/her on a job well done!
Mrs. Stadt :)

Mind Up Update

This week during our Mind Up! lessons we discussed how important it is for us to be mindful learners.  When we are mindful of others, we are aware of our surroundings and others around us.  We now know that being mindful means thinking before we act.  We talked about what mindful and unmindful behavior looks like for us:

Unmindful: Leaving your shoes in the middle of the living room

Mindful: Putting your shoes where they belong, out of the way

We also talked about mindful behavior at school and how everyone at school has to be mindful of everyone here, even teachers, custodians, and the principal.  You can help them remember to be mindful of others when you see them using unmindful behavior, remind them to,use your prefrontal cortex, please!” :)

Mrs. Stadt :)

Mind Up!

posterThis past week, you may have hear your child talking about our MIND UP time during the day.  Mind Up is a curriculum that helps teach students about their brains and how their brains work in order to help them be more proactive in how they approach learning and social interactions.

So far, we have learned some key areas of the brain.  You may have heard your first grader talking about these three key parts of the brain: Prefrontal Cortex, Amygdala, and Hippocampus.  The prefrontal cortex is what we call our WISE LEADER, it is where our smart thinking happens (math, reading, etc.).  Our Hippocampus is where our memories are stored, we called is our MEMORY SAVER.  And the amygdala is the part of our brain the helps us stay safe when we are in danger, we call it our SECURITY GUARD.

We can’t wait to learn more!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

In Social Studies before spring break week we continued practicing our address! There are 3 lines that help make up our address:

First and Last Name

House Number and Street

City, State, and Zip Code

We also introduced relative directions on a map by talking about regions.  We talked about the different regions of our school (early ele., 2-3 wing, 4-5 wing, specials, and office) and where our room is relative to those regions.

Our next lesson was discussing objects that were man-made or nature-made.  We took a walk around the playground and talked about what was nature-made or if an object was man-made. We talked about different kinds of landforms:  river, lake, ocean, plain, mountain, and forest.  We know that each of these things are nature made.

We read the book, “The Little House” and talked about how the land around us can change.  The students were shocked to see the transformation from a little house in the country to an entire city being built up around it.  We introduced the word “adapt” to the students– getting used to something new, this led us into our last lesson about adapting to different situations.  We discussed the birds and squirrels living in the trees in our backyards.  Then the students were told that those trees were being cut down!  We talked about what would happen to the birds and the squirrels that lived there.  The students came up with the ideas that they would have to move- and they couldn’t stay in that yard anymore.  We call that “adapting” or changing.

We talked about how we have four different seasons and we do different things to adapt during each of them.

Winter:  Wear a winter coat, Shovel the sidewalk, Turn up the heat, Wear hats and gloves

Summer:  Swim, eat popsicles, Use fans and air conditioning, Wear sunscreen

Spring:  Open windows, Plant flowers, Use umbrellas

Fall:  Wear sweaters, Rake the leaves, Go apple picking, Drink cider

Today we took an assessment to review all of the different things we learned about maps, addresses, and how to adapt.  Continue working on your home address with your child!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

We are learning about maps in Social Studies!  A lot of the kids had some great schema for maps.  They know… it is something that can help you if you get lost, something you use on a trip, something to help show you where you are, or to find a treasure!!  You may have seen a classroom map come home that was made from a “Bird’s Eye View.”  We talked about how when WE look at things, we see them one way- but when we look at a map, it looks different.  We pretended we were birds and could see right through the top of our classroom.  We discussed how things would look different from the top, we wouldn’t see the legs of chairs or tables, or the books on the shelves!  Since we are looking at the map from a different angle, we needed to make a key with our symbols so people would know what they were looking at!

We also read a book called, “Me On the Map” and learned about maps and globes.  We learned that there are symbols on maps and globes, too, to help us understand.  Where we see green, that is land, and where we see blue- we know that is water.  We know that each person has a special place on the map.  We then started studying our addresses!  We talked about all the different parts (name, street address, city, state, and zip code) and then gave the kids a chance to try writing it on their own.  We had three kiddos who knew their entire address already!!  We had those kids tell the class their address as I typed it into our Maps app and the kids got the biggest kick out of checking out where their friends lived and where their friends houses were in comparison to their friends and the school.  We’ll keep checking next week to see if any other classmates can remember all the parts of their addresses.

Practice your address at home…the trickiest parts are the numbers (house and zip code)!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

In Social Studies we have been continuing to learn about HISTORY.  This week we talked about how families have a past. We looked at family trees and talked about the history of our families. We also discussed schools of the past and compared to what a school day is like now.  The kids noticed a lot of differences in the book we read.  In the past, kids got to school by walking or by horses, girls wore dresses, not everyone had shoes on all the time, all different ages were in ONE room, and they didn’t have much on their playground.  The kids were encouraged to talk to grandparents to see what school was like when they were little – to see if there were any similarities.

We also talked about how we can celebrate events AND people from the past.  The kids came up with some great holidays, and we discussed how these are events that happened LONG ago, but because they are important to our country, we celebrate them every year.  :)  Just like each of them have a birthday every year, the 4th of July is the birthday of our country– so it’s something everyone in the US can celebrate together!

Tonight our special history homework page came home in your child’s blue folder.  Spend some time chatting with your child about how life was different when YOU were little.  Feel free to send this page back into school whenever it is convenient for you – no rush!!! :)  Have fun!!  The kids were so excited that their mom or dad had homework too!! :)

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

We are learning about history, and history is the study of the past.

There are four ways to learn about the past:



Written Records


The kids had a blast looking at pictures from my past, hearing stories about my past (from me), looking at written records from my birth and childhood, and checking out some artifacts from my past (VHS tape, hand made book, an old game boy etc).

Be on the look out for a special history homework page for you and your child to work on later this week! :)

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

At the beginning of February we took a little break from our end of the day workshop and studied economics for a few days!!!  We learned a lot of new vocabulary words and had fun exploring new concepts too!

The first things we learned were needs and wants.  A need is something we can’t live with out, and a want is something that makes life more fun.  We made a list of things that we want like toys, pets, electronics, etc…

The kids know that we have 5 needs:

foodwatershelterclothes, air

Our second lesson, we  talked about goods and services.  A good is something you can hold in your hand, and a service is something that someone else does for you.  First Graders brainstormed a list of services that we know about such as mailmen, waiters, policemen, teachers, and dentists…

For our third Economics lesson, we turned our room into a factory and talked about producers and consumers.  We learned that we are all consumers because we use, buy, and eat things and we learned how producers make things.  We all became producers in our classroom and made a product to show off to the class.

After we walked around and admired all of our products, I showed the kids a pile of suckers that I had (because Amelia and Evelyn love them!).  I told them that there were different flavors of suckers and that they would only be able to choose only one to take home. After they had chosen, I had the kids raise their hands if they weren’t able to get their first choice of a sucker.  I used this example to explain the idea of scarcity to the kids, we talked about how there isn’t always enough of something for everyone to have it.

After we talked about scarcity, I ask the kids if there might have been a different flavor that they wanted. Several students raised their hands. This led into talking about making a choice.  We talked about how when you can’t have both, then you need to make a choice between the ones you like the best.  I gave the kids the example of how I go shopping and see so many things at the store that I want, but I don’t have enough money to buy it all.  So, we have to make choices!

Finally, I asked the kids what you could do if you ended up with a piece of candy that you didn’t want and they came up with the idea to trade.  So, I had the kids who ended up with candy that wasn’t their first choice come to the middle of our circle and see if they could trade with each other.  Some of them were able to and some were not.  We discussed how trading is a great solution, but how it only works if the other person wants what you have to trade.

Our Key terms so far in Economics have been wants, needs, goods, services, consumer,  producer, scarcity, choice, and trade.

We will continue with our end of the day workshop time this week and begin a new social studies unit about history at the end of the month!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Mind Up Update

During our mind up time these past few weeks, we have discussed mindful movement.  We started by finding our pulse and talking about being aware of the rate that our heart is beating.  After dancing around the classroom for a few minutes, we noticed that our heart rate was much faster than when we were resting on the floor.  We talked about how our heart pumps faster when we are exercising to get more oxygen to our body so that we have energy to keep going.  But, our heart rate speeds up when we are nervous, excited, or scared as well.  We talked about being aware of how quickly our heart is beating and learned a way to calm ourselves down if we notice our hearts beating faster than they need to.  We talked about sitting up straight to allow for easier blood flow throughout our bodies and taking deep breaths (or yawning) to slow your heart rate and help calm ourselves.

We also talked about our body movement and how we need to be mindful of how we are moving.  Often, first graders are on the move and bump in to people or furniture around them without realizing it.  To practice being mindful of our surroundings, we each put a stuffed animal on our head and walked around our room trying to keep it balanced on top.  The kids were very aware of where the furniture was, where their friends were, and what speed they were moving so that their book wouldn’t slip off.  Since having this discussion, we have talked about being mindful of our surroundings while we are moving around the room, especially around our mailboxes and math tubs where space is limited (no pushing/shoving).

The second idea we have been talking about is how attitude affects how well you can handle situations, especially solving problems.  We introduced the words: optimistic thinker and pessimistic thinker.  We talked about how optimistic thinkers think with happy thoughts and are more likely to solve problems successfully.  Pessimistic thinkers are often defensive and react with anger when problems arise. The kids spent a good deal of time role playing different problems and sharing how an optimistic thinker would react as opposed to a pessimistic thinker.

For example: If someone takes the seat that we want at lunch

Pessimistic Thinking: “That person is so mean, it’s not fair, I was going to sit there.”

OPTIMISTIC THINKING“I can find another friend to sit by, I can try to sit there tomorrow.”

We agreed that we need to start practicing optimistic attitudes so that we can handle problems better on our own. We are going to practice taking a few deep breaths when a problem arises and thinking of the problem from a different point of view.  When these situations arise at home, remind your first grader to use optimistic thinking…ask them, “how can we think about this situation optimistically?”

Mrs. Stadt :)

Social Studies Update

The past two weeks in Social Studies, we have been learning about Families. During this unit, we focused on learning about key concepts like rules, responsibilities, basic needs, wants, change and being alike/different. We started the unit learning All About Me! Throughout the year, each student will have a turn to share all about themselves in their first grade classroom. When it is their week, students will bring home a packet to fill out and bring back to school so they can share with all of their friends and have their favorite things posted on the All About Me board in our classroom.

Then we moved into discussing What is a Family? We talked about how families play together, work together, eat together, keep each other safe, take care of each other, and love each other which lead into Working together in a Family.  We also learned about How Families are alike and different. We read a book about different types of families and then made a Venn Diagram with a partner about how are families are alike and different too. We wrapped up the unit by discussing How is a School like a Family. We determined that schools are like families because we take care of ourselves and others, respect the rights of others and Authority, follow rules, and get along with others. We decided that our classroom was like our School Family!

Mrs. Stadt :)