Next door one of the parents has a connection with the Columbus Zoo and they brought in PENGUINS!!!!! We were lucky enough to have them come over to our room and say hi!! They were African penguins named Trout and Halibut :)
We watched them waddle down the hallway which the kids loved!!!
They also said that during the winter Zoo admission is half off :) So if your kiddos want to visit the zoo that's good news!
This week we started talking about what is an opinion: something we care strongly about, something we like or don't like or the way we feel about something and why. This is such a huge concept at this age, so I have enlisted the help of some great books to help guide us through persuasive writing. We have been talking about likes vs. dislikes and played a few games to help us with that. I'm starting to press them as to why? Why do you like or don't like that? Explain to me? We are going to dig into this talking about a layered cake or cookie:
I am going to state my opinion (top cookie/icing)
I'm going to support my opinion with facts/information or feelings. (cream/cake)
I'm going to restate my opinion (bottom cookie/icing)
Writing persuasive letters will be our next step! Stay tuned! :)
Today we got all bundled up and went outside to try to simulate the arctic tundra :) and how Emperor Penguins stay warm. It was sunny (not windy) so we did our best! Each child got to experience what it's like to be in the inner circle and the outer circle. They made observations and we discussed why they do that and how it helps them survive in those arctic temperatures! We only had time for the oil feathers experiment today but will do the blubber one tomorrow! (I will add pictures to the blog!) Each kiddo had Vasoline on two of their fingers and one hand without. They then took each hand and dunked it in the cold water! We discussed how the oil protects their feathers from freezing (they observed the difference in how wet their hands were and temperature). Then during "clean" up (I use that term loosely here because it was definitely a mess cleaning up ha ha!) but they talked about how the Vasoline didn't wash off easily! They made the connection to our earlier experiment with oil and water! We made the blubber glove (Crisco and 2 zip loc bags) and will do that tomorrow! They are excited!
We have been working on the sound and writing of "final e". We worked on:
-what our vowels? (A E I O U)
-what sound they make
-how that final e changes the vowel sound so we hear it's name!
They have had a lot of fun with this (i.e. lik and like-how misunderstood someone might be if we spelled it that way or read it that way! :)) We have 5 little monkeys that are helping us create and list some final e words! They have been hunting through books, their worksheets and around the school. We will continue to work on this with some word study activities, reading and writing activities and some fun games!
Today we continued our talk about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We read A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. which talked about his life as a child, peaceful protests, Rosa Parks, his "I have a dream speech" and the passing of the Civil Rights Law. We also talked about his death. This is a huge concept for children of this age to grasp. We talked a lot about treating people kindly and fighting hate with love as Dr. King stated often. We talked how we should always treat others the way we want to be treated, no matter color of skin, boy/girl, and things we can do vs. what others can do. I tried to bring some personal stories into it so they could relate (my knee, glasses etc). They were great listeners with great questions. They may have some follow up tonight, so I just wanted to let you know what we discussed.
We will finish our Dr. King portraits with our own "I have a dream…" at the bottom. They will finish that statement with what they would like to see happen. I will share those with you as we finish. I am looking forward to their thoughts!
Mac Burnett is coming to visit us soon! We are digging into all his books to become familiar with them and look at all the great things he does as a writer! They are going to chart daily what they liked about the book, ask questions/infer and tons of other reading skills (depending on where the lesson takes us)! :)
He is a great writer!!! Hilarious, thoughtful and unexpected! It really gets the kids thinking. They came up with tons of great questions and reactions/response to the books we read today: Dig A Hole and Count the Monkeys. I highly suggest looking these up and sharing some great reading with your kiddos!
I know that Ms. Clark has some of the books for sale, so if you are interested in purchasing them and having him sign it, email her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have seen the link go home from his Ted Talk but I included it below. Worth watching!
After some practice work and a read aloud with a focus on punctuation, I called up each student and asked them to point to the correct punctuation that would end each sentence. You will see that grade on Progress Book today. They did very well. Question marks are still a bit confusing but we will continue to work on this. They are doing a better job of applying this knowledge into their own writing! It will take some time and practice but I'm hoping to move into opinion writing next week!
If they journal or write at home, encourage them to use punctuation! And capital letters to start their sentences :)
I just wanted to share how we solve math in different ways! You can see in the first picture that I gave them a problem: I have 4 bags and 10 in each bag. How many do I have in all? (excuse the handwriting-I was writing upside down)! I had 5 students come up and share out how they solved the problem. We had almost 5 different strategies! It was cool for the students to see the different ways they can approach a problem, as well as validate their own thinking!
Today we read a National Geographic Kids: Tigers. We learned that Tigers can leap up to 30 ft!! So, we decided to measure that out with our bodies! We had about 8 kids laying down. Then we talked about how 1 ruler=1 foot, so how many rulers would be need to measure? (they immediately shouted 30!) and then I showed them a yard stick and said there are 3 feet in each yard stick, how many yard sticks do we need? And they figured it out skip counting by 3's! A surprise mini lesson within a language arts lesson!
You might be wondering why you are seeing less work mats! Well it's because Miss Law either cut them up or recycled them in lieu of other problems! :) We are working on solving algebraic thinking and 10's and 1's problems. I am giving as little "set up" support as possible to see how they approach solving it. Some days, I will cut up the problems (see above) and take away the strategy given to see their thinking. The other day they were given four problems and asked to solve it. At share time, we saw how many different ways there were to get to the same answer! We saw pictures, numbers, drawings with lines all over it, multiplication, number sentences and skip counting! It was cool to see how they talked about their solutions with each other, or how they found a similarity/difference from one another.
On Monday, we learned some super cool facts about Penguins. Penguins have many layers of soft feathers that trap heat to keep them warm. The top layer is oily to help keep the water out, so we did an experiment with oil and water to show that water and oil don't mix. They asked if different colored water would change it and so we put food coloring in to see if that changed our results. We also put a bean in water and a bean in oil and water to be able to feel the difference of the oil protection. We also soaked a bean covered in oil and without and felt the difference and how the oil protects the shell of the bean, much like a penguins body.
We also learned that penguins have a really cool filter in their mouth where they can drink the ocean/salt water and filter out to the salt to have fresh, clean drinking water! I tried to explain it like a coffee maker, and so we got filters and sand and filtered the water through the sand to help visualize what the penguins mouth can do!!!