Friday, September 26, 2014

What? September is almost over?

Hello families!

I hope you are getting into the rhythm of school.  I know it took me a bit to adjust to my new routines- I still feel I could get better at this!

First Day of Fall research-
Our sap research has lead to more interest in trees in general. Since the first day of fall was this week, we took some time to research on the internet about why and how leaves change colours.  Malakai, Clare and Bayley also brought in more examples of sap, amber and different leaves.  This has brought new interest and intrigue to all we are learning in this area.  I put up some of the students' recent work, so take a moment to check it out next week!

Songs and Poems Share-
It is the end of the month already and many friends felt brave and excited to try to recite a poem from the songs and poems we learned this month.  This showed friends feeling confident in front of the group, their growing memories and their ability to share mood and cadence with their recitation.  I wonder if any of your children recited a poem for you at home!

A Glimpse Into Some Of Our Math Talks:
This week's question:
How many more dots do we need to make ten?  
How do you know?  
Explain your thinking process.

Our first Experiment!
This week Marina, Abigail's mum, volunteered to plan and organize the class experiment.  ( We have upcoming experiments planned by Aaron and Myriah!)   By now, you have probably gotten the experiment home.  You can decide to keep it in the solution to continue growing, or pull it out!

We used steps from the scientific process as our journal entries. The students had a discussion about their predictions before we found out what the science was behind the experiment.(Crystalization and Sedimentation)  I was really excited to hear friends explaining their reasoning behind their predictions.  Most of them were utilizing experiences in life (how a sponge reacts to water, the bubbles in fizzy water) as phenomena that they were citing for the reason behind their prediction.  I plan to write a page on this soon!

Here is the info about the experiment, as well as some of the students' predicitons and findings.
Notes from the class discussion:

Day 2- Examining the Results!

1st Grade Spelling Words-
There were many important or high frequency words that came up this week, so my challenge for the students was to pick at two or three of the starred words.  Here are a few versions of the lists we generated in our writing this week!

What strategies have been working for your child?  What times in the day/week do you do this?  Do you do it at home, at the park, in the car...where?

Story Starter And Adding Details to A Story:
This week we used a simple story starter and filled in the blanks with suggestions that changed the story quite a lot.  What would you fill the blanks in with?  How might your family finish the story?  If you do this at home, please bring it in to share with the class!

Random Math problem for homework:
Please draw and write how you arrived at your answer!
Lisa has to bake 180 cookies tonight for her friend's birthday party.  
These cookies will become party favours and four cookies will go in a bag.  
If each guest is getting four cookies and Lisa baked 180, 
how many people will be attending the party?

If your child used objects (rocks, gems, paperclips) to group their findings, 
please send photos of how they worked it out!

This Week's Journal Topics:
The Color change of Fall Leaves
Experiment predictions
Experiment results
Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa research
(Ask your child to show you their journal before or after school!)

It can be so quite and focused at journaling time, lately!  Very neat for the kids to see themselves in this light!

Some of This Week's Open Choice Interests:
Drawing new moments of action, along with tips for others to draw this
Using cuisenair rods for equations and to represent quantities
Ten Friends (finding the numbers that work together to make 10)
Investigating how cameras and their equipment work
Words inside of Words
Game proposals
Stories- how to orient and plan the book's layout
Fall colours/ why leaves change colours research
How to use the dictionary and an atlas- table of contents and index

Honoring and Learning From Mistakes
Today we ended our week by sharing mistakes we recently made.  We do this to help the students see that mistakes are not things we need to hide or feel embarrassed by, but are things we hope to examine, honor and learn from.  Especially at this time of year, it is important for children to see that we are all making mistakes constantly and that this is okay and expected.  If you get a chance to find a moment to share your own mistakes this week, your family can help extend the learning at home.

What was one of your mistakes this week?  
Did you learn anything from it?  
Did it inform any new plans you made?

Well, on the note of honoring ourselves and not being too hard on ourselves for being human, I will say good bye.  Have a great weekend!  Love, Jennifer