This week we continued studying characters in stories. We read Goldilocks and the Three Bears and looked at text evidence that told us about her and the bears. We identified key events and used them to retell the beginning, middle and end of the story.
We read a short story about a bear and a fox today. In the story, the fox was described as sneaky. We discussed the word sneaky, then I decided we should play a game of "True Confessions." You should have been here. Although I promised not to tell, I will just give you this little tidbit of information. About 75% of the confessions involved iPads, tablets, computers and your cell phones. You might want to change your passwords on those and on your office doors. These kids write things down when they don't remember. I expected stories of sneaking candy and donuts, and only one confession was about sneaking candy. It did involve scaling a refrigerator. There was also a late night visit to the kitchen for a few bites of some brownies. Honestly, I didn't even have to coax this out of them. They were happy little campers sharing their acts of sneakiness. We have only two children who are either not sneaky at all, who are shy, or possibly afraid I will spill the beans. I sure am glad they aren't sneaky at school!
As part of our Read the USA and in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, we read Totem Tale, A Tall sTory from Alaska by Deb Vanasse. This story is about animals on a totem pole that get released one night, but fight over who should be on top when they need to get back on the totem pole or be left in the land of in-between or never-was. This book is great because it has a story in a story! It tells the story of the totem pole and why the animals were placed on the totem pole in that order. Ask me to tell you the story of the totem pole.
We also worked with shades of meaning of words. The Totem Tale has rich language and used bold print to emphasize interesting verbs. We talked about what the word meant and thought of the words that could be used to say the same thing, although not as beautifully or interestingly.
In math, we have started studying shapes. We worked with vocabulary we will use as we talk about the shapes. Right now we are working with flat shapes. The children worked with pattern blocks to put together some designs using only a certain number of prescribed pattern blocks. They also worked with stencils to make pictures using only shapes. We also looked at artwork to find shapes in the paintings.
In our Picture Talks and discussions, we have been emphasizing asking questions. We have talked about the questions words and what they are asking. Sometimes children answer what they want to tell you and don't pay close enough attention to the questions words to find out what is being asked. This is something I am sure you notice from time to time as well! We watched a fun video they wanted me to share with you, so I will below. Enjoy!
In Social Studies we are studying geography. We studied our classroom globe and have started talking about maps. Landforms and bodies of water are also discussed in this unit. I will be introducing landforms and bodies of water in our Picture Talks. I hooked them today by showing them Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. First we studied the photograph. Initially it was thought to be a volcano, but as I listened in on the talking, the kids noticed there wasn't a mountain or lava. Another student suggested it was a geyser. (I was so impressed!) So we took a little "field trip" to Yellowstone, where there is snow right now! The National Parks have webcams that are interesting to look at, so we checked in on Old Faithful. It was still pretty early in the day, and foggy, so we didn't get a great look, but we watched a YouTube video to see it erupt. We also watched the Steamboat geyser. I'll put videos below in case you need a little field trip too! Here is the link to the Yellowstone webcams. https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm
We read another folktale, although a different version than the typical Three Little Pigs, and learned about the desert and the beautiful state of New Mexico. We read The Three Javelinas, by Susan Lowell. This story has the same plot, but because of the different setting than the typical Three Little Pigs, the details are different. Ask me to tell you what was different and what was the same.
Have a great weekend!