Happy day, friends! I just wanted to quickly stop by and share an amazing way we’ve started doing research this week, as well as some ideas for learning about penguins, polar bears, arctic, tundra, and all things cold.Please note, I do understand that penguins and polar bears reside on different continents…as do my kids. We’ve looked at the World Map, we’ve talked about the differences. I know. But with the 100th Day next week, then, MLK the following week – we’ve run out of ‘winter weeks’ to learn with. Therefore, penguin and polar bear week it is! 🙂
Laying Our Foundation
We started our week with a quick pre-assessment. Split into 5 groups, students visited each of the questions (set on a table) and wrote/illustrated their ideas about the true/false phrases below. At the end of the week, we revisited the assessment and corrected our thinking!
Integrating Our Learning
How Does Blubber Protect Animals?
Throughout the week, we were amazed at just how cold the North and South Poles can get. Living in Kentucky, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine what -76 degrees feels likes, and even more difficult to imagine living there. Over and over, I heard – how can animals live in such cold places?? Therefore, a blubber experiment was in order! To make the experiment manageable, a parent volunteer joined our class, so we could split into 2 groups. Thank goodness for volunteers!
We started the experiment by placing our hand in a bowl of ice water for 5 seconds (long enough for students to feel cold but not long enough to hear complaining). We then went back to our desks and wrote about about the first phase using a recording log from my Tundra Resource.
Penguin & Polar Bear Adaptation Research
Now, this experiment answered just one of our questions about all things cold and we had MANY!
So, we made our 1st venture into research. This is a Common Core skill for 1st graders, but one that it really hard to put into practice….I mean our kids are 7. Still, it needed to happen, so this week I channeled my kids’ curiosity. Knowing that my friends were not ready for prime-time research, we used QR Code research mats. Using 6 websites and videos I pre-read and pre-watched, I linked them on the below mat. Then, using iPads with a partner, students explored the resources I included and took notes about their learning. (SNAG THE FREE QR CODES HERE.)
You can grab ALL of these resources, ready-to-go here.
Well, friends, it was definitely an awesome week. You can snag these resources for your own classroom here on Teachers Pay Teachers in my Exploring the Tundra resource.The highlight was the research. My kids were so excited to explore and learn, and using the QR Code mats made it so simple. Have you used QR Code Mats before? What other tips do you have for research in the primary grades? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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Sheri Ryan says
Love the QR code mat. They still have the choice of where to get their information but it's from websites you know and can trust rather than a random google search.
Thanks for the great ideas 🙂
Of course, Sheri! Especially in 1st grade, they definitely aren't ready to discern a Google search, and I would be SO afraid to see what might come up. 😉
Thanks so much for the QR code mat! What a fabulous idea! My kids will love it!
First Grade STARS
This is a fabulous idea! Thank you so much for sharing- my kids love using QR codes.
Thanks so much, Carol! I'm so glad it will work for your friends. 🙂
Easy Teaching Tools says
You inspired me again! I was just blogging about Chatter Pix and was browsing your blog to link your post. These QR mats are amazing and are something I WILL start doing with my kiddos. Seems like 1st grade is also a perfect fit for you!
April Kreitzer Wolfe says
Thanks so much for creating this! I have been wanting to work on research but I didn't figure out the best way to handle it with my first graders. This is perfect!! I know the kids will be so excited to use their iPads and also to learn. Do you plan on making any other qr research mats?
Hi April! Thank you so much. I'm planning on doing a math for each month. It keeps us researching and gives us some hands-on technology practice. As we use them, I'll make sure to share!
I love the QR mat. We are researching sea animals I have made some ThingLinks to store videos, websites and information about sea animals so my students can access the info on their iPads. Here is a link to my sea turtle ThingLink. https://www.thinglink.com/scene/646187209774333952 Thanks for sharing your research ideas. I love researching with first graders, they are so curious!
Kate Luxon says
These are awesome! I can't wait to see what other research mats you make!
Thanks for the freebie! My students and I love using QR codes but I haven’t spent the time to create my own. I love using it to research.
Amy Allen says
Always a fan of your work. Thank you so much for sharing this for free. I am so excited to use it when we go back!
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