Friday, April 15, 2016

Place value, Switzerland, birds and sewing!

Hello families!

This week was busy and fun.  Our field trip was pretty neat!  Check out the other post I did to share the photos from that.  Here are a few topics to share with you!

Language Arts:

The students are noticing more and more words with double letters in them.  We have also been practicing being able to define words for peers, without the use of that word.  This has been tricky, because sometime students can use the word properly, and can explain when you might use the word, but they still need to say the word.  The goal is to expand our vocabularies to the point that we can explain phenomena and the definitions of the words we use, by using other words to explain it.

Journal topics: 
Questions to prepare for the Free Flight Field Trip
Journaling about what we learned on the trip

The students are always stretching their ability to sound out words, and also ask for the correct spelling of words that might be more tricky.  I write words on the board that the students request during journaling.  These were two lists this week.  There are many that are helpful words to know and practice.  The students also are keeping a list of words they are collecting in the back of their journals, to use when they may be stumped on it's correct spellings.  This week we wrote the question words back there, so that they will always be there to reference!

Social Studies:
Switzerland!  The alps are mentioned in one of our songs and poems, so we "went" to Switzerland this week.  We used many websites to learn a few facts from each.  The kids were really interested in the unique animals that live in the alps and in the alphorn video.  Here they are, if you want to check them out in more depth with your child...

About Switzerland:

About the Alps

Wildlife of the Alps

A video of the sound of the alphorn

Our prep for our field trip involved a lot of research.  I imagine many students will want to learn more about their favourite birds from the trip, too.  On Tuesday our discussion led to one bird that wasn't on the trip, but can be found in San Diego- the Kingfisher.

Here are a few videos we watched, of their fishing abilities, and an article about local Kingfishers...


We continue to find flexibly in understanding place value.  This week we did an activity in these steps:  I asked students to volunteer to say the number order for a certain two or three digit number.  I wrote down their answer, which sometimes was edited, once they saw it (example 41 and 14).  Next I asked students to volunteer to say where in the ones, tens and hundreds place those numbers need to go.  Finally we checked the work by illustrating what that number in that place means- example if there is a 1 in the hundreds place, it means there is a huge 100s bundle inside of that number.  This helped the students see for sure if that was the correct placement.  Many times we had to look at the difference between two numbers that are made up using the same two numbers, but in opposing placements (as the 14 and 41 are).    The small groups worked together so that friends could help each other make connections for explaining bigger numbers!  Here are photos of our boards throughout...

I introduced simple stitching on paper as another form of creativity, which also has a lot of math in it!  The thread begins as one long piece, but ends up as many small parts, and on two sides of their papers...  The students were excited to count how many stitches they had on each side of their paper, and then put those numbers together for a larger equation!

Well, there is always more to share, but I hope this gives you ideas of what the students are working on and also how you can play games around these concepts at home!

Have a great weekend, Jennifer

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