We had a great day today sharing our love of books and characters. Thanks to everyone who participated in dressing like your favorite character. We had a nice visit with our Third Grade Bear Cub Buddies too!
Have a safe, happy and relaxing Spring Break!
Today we continued to research eagles as part of our shared writing experience. We received an e-mail from the moderators of the Eagle Cam in response to questions I sent them from our class last week before the eaglets hatched. We got
a lot of new information that we will be putting in our book.
Here is what we found out from Patty at AEF Live Nest Cams:
When the Bald Eagles dig at the nest, it is called "aerating". They are pulling dry fluff up to top, which keeps nest bowl dry and soft. You will also see them pull fluff closer to their bodies. That might be to keep all drafts from getting under them.
The nest bowl is quite deep and holds the eggs - well it now holds the eaglets. The bottom of the nest bowl is nice, soft grasses and mosses, brought in by the parents. The parents don't put their full weight on the eggs or eaglets. Their wings are held up on the side of the nest bowl, so only partial weight is on eggs/eaglets. As the eaglets grow, you will see them crawling out from under the parent to begin exploring!
This nest is only 2 years old, so it is rather small compared to other nests. Each year the parents add on to the nest before the next season begins. We call this "nestorating". They will bring in more soft fluff, build up the nest rails, etc. Between season 1 and season 2 at this nest, they built it up 3 more feet.
As the season progresses, the nest bowl will disappear and be flattened out - some call it a "landing pad" or "trampoline" as the eaglets begin flapping their wings, hovering and jumping up and down on the nest as they learn to balance, perch on any small twigs in the nest, and practice "wingercizing".
We have been taking a couple Eagle Watching Breaks throughout the day to see what is happening with these two celebrity babies. I hope you find time to check in on the eaglets over Spring Break too!
We had very important visitors this morning come to visit our classroom. Next year's kindergarten students were invited to come spend the morning visiting the school and the kindergarten classrooms. I was so proud of the way our students welcomed the incoming kindergarten students to our classroom. They were very excited to show them what we do in kindergarten.
We are learning so much about eagles, and it fits perfectly with our curriculum. We are doing research as a class about eagles using a note collecting tool that makes it easy for young writers to take notes on what they have learned. This report we are doing as shared writing, so we are all involved in doing the research with online and print resources.
Some of the children said they could not find the Eagle Cam, so here is the link again. Once again, just to caution you about the content, this camera is live and the operators I don't think would intervene if anything were to happen to the eagles that is part of nature. We have seen the eagles enjoying a fish dinner several times now, and the kids seem to accept it as part of nature. One child commented about one of the eagles eating something covered in blood, and another child answered; "that's nature for you." Here's the website:
As much as we are enjoying the two new eaglets and their parents, we took some time and looked at another bird. We compared the pelican with the eagle. Ask me to tell you what differences and similarities I noticed.
Don't forget, if you and your child want to, Wednesday we will be dressing up as favorite book characters. Please bring a book your character is in to share with the class.
Today your child is bringing a bookmark home that is complimentary admission to a Frederick Keys game. All you and your child have to do to redeem the bookmark is follow the directions on the white sheet that is also in your child's folder. Basically the kids just read three books and the parent signs it. But read the flyer for more information about when the game is and directions to the stadium. The children were very concerned that you do not know where the stadium is and wanted me to give you directions!
Have a nice evening!
Today we started writing about what we like about kindergarten. We chose one thing to write and illustrate. This will be displayed in the hallway when we have our incoming kindergarteners drop in to visit Monday morning. The children are excited about welcoming next year's students and will be showing them what we do in a typical kindergarten morning.
We watched some videos from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood today to see how things are made. We saw how bouncing balls and toothpaste are made. The children love seeing how things are made, and these videos from Mr. Rogers move a little slower than the How It's Made show we also like to watch when we get packed up to wait for dismissal.
We also learned about eagles today. Some of the children were wondering if they had ears. Ask me to tell you where the eagle's ears are. We watched a couple videos to see how eagles use their strong talons to catch fish. And of course, we watched the Eaglecam to see if the eaglets have hatched yet. Last night around 7:30, it was announced there was a pip in progress. The pipping is the chick, or baby eaglet, using it's egg tooth to scratch around the inside of the egg until it gets all the way out of the egg. This could take 24 hours. This afternoon, we saw one of the eagles get up off the eggs, and we THOUGHT we saw a large area with the shell gone but still a paper-like sheet with a few holes in it. We continued to watch, and saw the eagles, Mr. President and The First Lady, change places. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to see the eaglet.
Have a nice evening!
We read a fun poem about blowing bubbles with bubblegum. I didn't run it off, but here it is:
This bubble I'm blowing,
this bubble is growing---
this bubble of ginormous size.
It's as big as a plate.
You can watch it inflate.
This bubble will win me a prize!
This bubble I'm blowing,
this bubble keeps growing---
this bubble does not want to stop.
It's as big as a planet.
Can't get bigger---can it?
This bubble will never go...
We were word birds today and used context clues to help us understand two tricky words. Ask me to tell you about the words ginormous and inflate.
We also worked with thinking of more words with /ub/ in them. Ask me to tell you some words with /ub/.
We began reading a book Ms. Wang suggested to me last year called "What's Your Favorite Animal" by Eric Carle. This book is actually a collection of short stories and poems by popular authors and illustrators. Eric Carle wrote about a cat, Tom LIchtenheld wrote a poem about a giraffe, Mo Willems wrote and drew about an Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink, and Peter Sis wrote a beautiful story about a family tradition that involves his favorite animal, the blue carp. We had a wonderful time exploring the meaning behind some of the words, and enjoying the humor of the pictures and stories. We will continue reading stories from this book the rest of the week.
I continue to try and make time for these kindergarteners to play. Here are a couple pictures some of my friends are very proud of, and for good reason. Check out these awesome builders!
We took a look at the Eaglecam today to see what is happening with Mr. President and The First Lady. We saw the eagle get up and turn the eggs and re-position itself on the egg. We will check in over the next few days to see if one or both of the eggs hatches. I'll be sure to check the camera myself before turning it on for the kids since there is a chance the outcome may not be what we all hope for, but we know that in nature, sometimes natural consequences are not happy. The web address if you haven't already seen it is:
Have a nice evening!
Today we read a wonderful book called Pinduli, by Janell Cannon. This is the story about a little hyena who goes off to play on the savanna, but is teased by other animals about how she looks. Ask me to tell you who teased her and why. She tries to change the way she looks each time an animal teases her, and finally she is covered in gray dirt and has her ears down instead of high on her head. The other animals see her and think she is The Great Spirit. Each animal confesses that they teased a young hyena, and they all think that is why The Great Spirit has come. As the animals talk, it turns out that all of them had also been teased by others. We learned about being ourselves, and not changing because of what others think. But we also learned another lesson from this story. Ask me to tell you what I learned.
In math we played Race to Ten. We used two dice, one a standard die, and one with just 1, 2 and 3 on it. We rolled the die and practiced counting on. We worked with a partner to try and get four cats and dogs to ten in each column.
Have a nice evening!
Today we went to a special assembly to see the younger children in Odyssey of the Mind do the plays they will be doing this weekend at their competition. The children enjoyed the plays because they all included humor and song. We hope they do well this weekend at their competition.
Yesterday we watched a video with a song about animal external features. I hope you saw the song, and that your child sang it to you. We sorted animal picture cards and animals with our table group. We had to decide as a group how to sort the animals and work together to make one sort. We continued our discussion of animal parts today. We read a book called Creature Features by Steven Jenkins that showed 25 animals with unusual external features. Each animal talked about why they have the unusual external feature and how it helps them to survive. Ask me to tell you about some of the animals we learned about today!
We have begun to learn more about the external features of animals and how their features help them to survive. Yesterday we studied photographs of eyes and talked about what we noticed. We noticed the shape of the eyes were sometimes different, the area around the eye was different, the pupils were different shapes, the eyelids were different, and of course the colors were different. Here are the eyes we studied.
Today we studied noses. We looked at a chart that was organized by the shape of the nose and the animal family.
Ask me to tell you about what I noticed with the eyes and noses.
We also read a book called Before We Eat, From Farm to Table, by Pat Brisson. The story has a simple text, identifying the workers who help food get from the farm to our tables. Ask me to tell you what workers help get the food from farms to our tables.
In math, we worked with decomposing numbers in different ways. One group worked with making number bonds, using plates and counters to show different ways to make numbers. Another group played a strategy game where they placed twelve counters on a grid numbered 2-12. They could place the counters anywhere they wanted and with more than one on each spot. The players took turns rolling the dice and taking a counter off the sum they rolled. They will be playing the game again several times to develop a strategy and understanding of why some numbers are better to put their counters on than others. A third group played a bucket game. They played with a partner or two and took turns tossing 8 chips, one at a time, into the bucket. Some chips landed outside the bucket, some inside. They recorded what they tossed to show different ways to make 8.
Today we had a special assembly first thing in the morning provided by the Bell Mill PTA. We had the author Jackie Urbanovic visit and talk about her books and how she gets her ideas. Ms. Urbanovic has written books such as Duck Soup, Duck and Cover, Sitting Duck, as well as illustrated many other books. A huge thank-you to the PTA for bringing this experience to us!
When we got back from our assembly, we had a very important lesson with Mrs. Kanter. Please look for two papers about the lesson we had today. There is a letter from Mrs. Kanter about the lesson. Today, Mrs. Kanter talked with the children about a very serious topic. She talked with them about safe touches and unsafe or unwanted touches. The children shared what safe touches were, and then Mrs. Kanter talked about unsafe or unwanted touches. Ask me to tell you what some safe touches are. Unsafe or unwanted touches are when someone touches you inappropriately or it is unwanted. The children learned to tell someone in a loud voice, "Stop, I don't like that" when someone touches them in a way that is unsafe or unwanted. It's a difficult topic to discuss, but Mrs. Kanter shared enough information with the children to begin this conversation if it has not already happened at home. Please read the letter from Mrs. Kanter and follow-up with your child about this very important topic.
Now on to a lighter, fun topic. Today we began talking about producers and consumers. We began to talk about what a producer and consumer is, although we were quite rushed so we will continue talking about this throughout the week. I shared with the children that after Spring Break, we will be having a class bake sale for those who wish to participate to benefit Share Our Strength. You will be receiving more information about this soon, but it's really easy and a lot of fun. Families can participate by baking for the sale, selling at the sale, and/or helping to get donations for raffle prizes from our community.
I hope you have a nice evening and get outside to enjoy the warm weather!
Today in math we worked more with shapes. Some of the children played a strategy game with shapes. They rolled a die to see which shape they could use to cover hexagons, trapezoids and rhombuses on their game mat. Strategy games need to be played several times over time for students to develop a strategy and to understand why it is better to place some shapes in specific places as they roll the die.
Other students worked on naming solid shapes and talking about their attributes. We used math talk and used the words faces, edge and corner or vertex to describe our shapes. We looked at some different pyramids and different kinds of prisms. Then we traced the faces of the shapes to make pictures and designs.
We listened to another Dr. Seuss book today. We read The Sneetches and talked about excluding others as the Sneetches did in the book. Ask me to tell you about the lesson in The Sneetches.
Have a nice weekend!