Friday, February 26, 2016

Learning So Much Every Week!

Hello Families,

This was a busy week, but a fun one!  So much to share, since we had a party and that is always fun to document.  I hope you can stay through it all, and I hope it's not too much.  I always feel it's hard to NOT share something with you!  Thanks for sharing these moments with your child!

Yay!  That was a nice party.  Thank you to all of you families who brought in food at the last minute and also who joined to help and make it memorable.

We are investigating Simple Machines, and this week we found out that the lever and incline plane are really the only two that all others are based upon.  Here are some videos we watched.  These are very old, and a bit silly, but stimulate great discussion.  (See the reflection page on one!) Sometimes we watch them without sound, just to discuss what is happening with the machines.  Here they are to watch together at home. I hope this stimulates great interest and fun at home.

***If your child was not here this week, please take some time to watch these with them!


Lever- no sound (this has some less PC languaging...)

Screw & Wheel


Here are some homework ideas with this:
~Find simple machines around your house- inclines, levers, pulleys, screw, wheel...
~Create your own machine using simple machines...

Plant Research:
We are also beginning to investigate plants and how they grow and what they need, in tandem with what they are doing in Nature Studies.  This week, as we often do with new inquiry, we looked first at what the students already know.  The kids journaled about it.  We also made a brainstorm and tried to organize the information on a word web.  It was interesting to think about what information needs to be connected or overlaps with various parts of plants.  We look forward to seeing what we can add to our knowledge base, now that we see what they already know!


We took a moment to think about some division with the 100th day!  I laid out 100 shells from Mexico that I have collected over the years.  I said I want to give these to the friends, so they had to figure out how many each student would get, if there are 20 kids in the class.  We used Unifix cubes to help us figure this out.  First we counted by 10's to get 100 cubes (ten 10 sticks).  Next students made suggestions.   We counted out 20 gems to represent each student so that we could dole out the "shells".

 We checked the first suggestion- each student getting 10, but soon realized that there wouldn't be enough shells for that!

The next suggestion was that each student could get 3...

But we realized that this would leave us having lots of shells left, not going home with friends- a big remainder!

 The next suggestion was that each student would get 5, and this worked out!  100 /20 = 5!

This week we continued to practice measurement, but with parts of our own bodies.  The group had to work together with partners in order to keep the measuring tool in place, and often, to be able to read the outcome!  They are also practicing writing their numbers correctly and making sure their work is organized and readable for others.

Number Line:
 We practiced the use of a number line for subtraction equations (and really any equation!).  We also played a little game where one person was the parent (giving the equation) and the other was the child who would then solve the equation using a number line and then holler back with the answer!
I already heard from some friends that they played this simple game at home with you!

Language Arts:
Here is a glimpse into our Songs and Poems moment each day.  The students are finding teams in words and pointing out the spellings for so many words!  Most of the class is brave to be the expert and show something, without reminders to participate now!  It is really important for children this age to see themselves as having something to contribute to their peers' learning!

Social Studies:
This week we went to Israel.  This is the final country mentioned in Love Train (one of our songs this month).  I had information gathered from last year's group, from grandparents of a child who live there, so we looked at the images and information they had sent.  One of the big interests is that the Dead Sea is the lowest lake on the planet and also the saltiest lake!  Many of the kids were boggled by that big number: 1,200- the depth!

I wonder what you will discover while looking up photos, landscapes, weather, animals and monuments from this country?

Journal Topics:
Inclines and levers research
What do you know about plants?
Israel research

Next week is an exciting one!  Looking forward for you joining us Tuesday morning early to help out and to greet the school with positive messages!  It is amazing that your children are so caring and loving that they wanted to create these acts of kindness for the school!  Lovely!

Have a beautiful weekend!  Love, Jennifer

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