So you’re a 1st grade teacher and trying to pick the best VC program for this year? Here are what I consider to be your best choices.
Of all the possibilities we’ve correlated to the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for 1st grade, I’d say choose one of these providers:
- The Center for Puppetry Arts has excellent programs. They are designed well for young students’ attention spans because the students work on making a puppet, glue a little, then learn something while it’s drying, then glue a little more. By the time the program is done, they have a puppet! I highly recommend these programs!
- The Columbus Zoo is excellent at tailoring their programs to your students’ level. These are also very good programs, but you’d be schedule ASAP! The fall schedule is full and the rest of the year is filling up very quickly!
- Consider also the Lake County Waste Management District for their environment programs. The presenter is an incredible storyteller and connects very well with the students. Plus they are free!
- If your students are “designing a system that encourages growing of particular plants or animals” MI.SCI.III.5.3, consider sharing your “system” or worm farm or other experiments with another class. Last spring we did a worm-farm sharing project that was highly successful!
- If your students are studying weather, you may want to connect to a class in a different area and share local weather/climate conditions.
- Of course, don’t forget the possibility of participating in Read Across America in March 2006. That would be free.
- You could also, at any other time of the year, do a reading project with another class. One idea is to share a pattern book, such as Chica-Chica-Boom-Boom or Do You See What I See? One TX teacher who took my online class, Planning Interactive Curriculum Connections, partnered up with another class in NY. Each class took a turn at reading the book to each other, then they read the book aloud together. What a fun simple idea! You could extend it and have each class write their own book following the same pattern, and share that with each other via VC as well.
- There are several good content provider programs based on children’s literature as well.