Thank-you to everyone for helping to make our Character Day so much fun! The kids were so proud of their costumes, and they did a great job talking about why they chose the character. We had a great visit with our third grade buddies who also were dressed up as their favorite characters.
Today we also had a bus evacuation drill. The children did a great job listening to the bus driver. Today they practiced exiting the bus safely from the side and walking to the back of the bus to wait to be escorted to a safe spot.
Today we visited Maine in our Read Across America trip. We read One Morning in Maine, by Robert Mccloskey. We made text-to-self connections as we listened. Ask me to tell you if I made a text-to-self connection. The story also showed a different lifestyle with this family living on an island and taking a boat to go to the grocery store. We also talked about why they took milk bottles to the store, and I share a text-to-self connection about how we used to take milk bottles to the milk store or put them on the porch for the milkman. I am old, but it was a good connection because I remember the very sweet milkman who delivered our milk, butter and cottage cheese.
I hope everyone has a safe, happy Spring Break!
Today we had a fire drill. We were in the computer lab so we had to go out a different way and with the older kids. The kids did a great job walking quietly and staying together.
We visited Florida today and visited the Everglades. We learned about the vanishing animals and plants from this area due to humans changing the land. This book is beautifully illustrated by Wendell Minor and was written by Jean Craighead George.
We went to the computer lab and began practicing keyboarding by finding letters on the keyboard. We will continue to work on this, but I'll also put it in the homework over the next few weeks to give children the opportunity to become more familiar with the keyboard.
Enjoy the evening!
What a great day! Today we had a visit from Albert's mom, who is a scientist at NIH working in the Infectious Disease Unit on tuberculosis. She came in wearing her protective suit, which got the kinders' attention immediately! She shared a powerpoint with the children about tuberculosis and showed pictures of what she does. She took a sample of their finger to find the germs that are on their finger and will send us pictures to show what was on each of their fingers. She also had one child wash their hands to see the difference in her first finger sample and the second washed finger. She also brought with her lots of little scientific tools she uses in her job for the children, so they are coming home with a bag of goodies. I suggested they play scientist at home, and several of them seemed to come up quickly with plans for this involving brothers!
We had a class meeting today to talk about best friends. We talked about how best friends are great to have, but to not miss opportunities to make new friends or get to know others better because you are spending so much time with just one friend. We also talked about being sure we don't exclude others in our play. Monday, we are going to make "playdates" before recess to spend time with someone we haven't spent much time with before and play with them at least part of our recess.
We are continuing to work on addition and subtraction fluency. We are working with adding on one and two and subtracting one within ten. We are doing better at paying attention to the signs as we go quickly through flashcards.
Your children are also bringing home two books from the PTA Book Exchange today. They were complimented on their polite behavior by the moms working in the room, and I was so proud of how quietly they listened and how gentle they were in looking for books that were on the tables.
Remember, no school for kids tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!
Today we read a story called Way Out West Lives a Coyote Named Frank, by Jillian Lund as we visited Arizona. We revisited a few landforms and watched a short video clip about the desert habitat. Then we drew pictures to show plants, animals, and the colors you would see in the desert. We labeled the animals and plants in our pictures. These will be coming home tomorrow and are great! We learned to color with a shorter crayon with no wrapper by rubbing it across the paper. This made the sky and sand look real!
We worked with subtraction today, and bringing -1 facts to fluency. We think one less from the whole number. Then we mixed up addition and subtraction problems we are working with for fluency. It was tricky at first to remember to check the sign to know if we were adding or subtracting. We all agreed we were really "on fire" and had to use our "fire extinguishers" to put each other out! We are having fun adding and subtracting!
Today we went to a Mad Science assembly. During the show students explored the scientific process learned the science behind magic, explored air pressure, and saw spectacular indoor fireworks, and discovered the secret behind sublimation with bubbling potions. Ask me to tell you about the pictures below from the assembly!
I'm having technical difficult at school with the pictures, so I'll edit this at home, but I'll keep them up for now!
Today we also worked with the counting-on strategy in math for addition. We will continue to work with addition and subtraction facts and story problems. We reviewed /sh/, /ch/, and /th/. We went on a word hunt around the room and found lots of words with these sounds in them. We also found them in a poem about best friends we read today. We identified the main idea of the poem, and found the supporting details for the main idea. We continued to Read Across America with a beautiful story of two friends from Mississippi, called Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles. The story is set in Mississippi just after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Two little boys, one African American and the other white, are very good friends, but because John Henry is African American, he is not allowed to do everything his friend Joe can do in town. They are so excited to find out the segregation has ended. Ask me to tell you what happens when they get to the pool. At the end of the story, the two boys go in together to the General Store in town to buy ice pops. We don't know what happens when the boys go in, but we talked about what we hoped would happen. This book is a beautifully written story of friendship during the difficult time of segregation in our history. I am so proud of how thoughtful the children were in their discussion of this book. It's a big, difficult topic, so we also talked about how things have changed but that we need to continue to make the world a better place for everyone. I don't want the children to have a negative view of the South and Mississippi, so we spent a little time looking at pictures of Mississippi, and the might Mississippi River. We looked at steamboats and watched a couple snippets of Steamboat Willie and an actual working steamboat. We will learn more about steamboats and transportation after Spring Break! Below is a video of a little boy reading Freedom Summer. Enjoy!
Have a nice evening!
Today we started working on procedural writing, or how-to books. We practiced together rehearsing a simple book about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Although one of our little friends wanted ham on it, we kept it basic. Then students had a choice of topics and rehearsed their own booklet they will write tomorrow. We thought about a title, ingredients or supplies needed, and putting the steps in order.
In math we have been working on decomposing numbers, as well as learning basic math facts so the children can recall them fluently. Just like in reading, we want them to just know these when they see them without using fingers, counters or any strategy. We are doing very well with facts within five.
On our reading trip across the United States, we went to Wyoming, the Cowboy State! This was quite impressive to many of the students. We read a book called I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote, by Linda Arms White. What a great book! Although some of the book may have been embellished a bit, it's about a woman who was persistent, motivated and put forth her best effort in taking on new challenges, even when some people told her she couldn't do it. Since she ended up in Wyoming, I'll just say she had gumption! This part of the book connects perfectly to our academic success skills! Since we were in Wyoming, we had to visit Yellowstone National Parks. We talked about why the National Parks are so special, and how they really preserve the habitats for many animals and plants. We also were able to review landforms because Yellowstone is so diverse! But as you might guess, the geysers were the stars of the show. In fact, during Literacy Stations, I put the Yellowstone National Park webcam on the Promethean Board, and finally, we saw the geyser erupt. There are other geysers in view on the webcam, and they do seem to focus in on any that are getting ready to erupt. We were lucky to see it earlier today when it wasn't raining, but here is the web address in case you would like to also do some geyser watching.
Enjoy the evening!
Today we had a visit from Opal's dad who talked about his job with the non-profit KaBOOM! KaBOOM builds playgrounds for children who did not have easy access to a neighborhood playground. We learned so much about why play is important for children, and what kind of jobs you could do with KaBOOM! It was such a great follow-up from Mr. King's visit yesterday because as he told the children, they can work to fulfill the dreams they wrote about for our world, and several of the children had written about having safe playgrounds for children to play on in their dreams. Ask me to tell you about what kind of jobs people do with KaBOOM!
Here are two videos from KaBOOM! Our internet connection was acting up so the kids really didn't get to see the beautiful play video without it stopping and starting, so I hope they get to see it with you.
Enjoy the weekend!
I was thinking back to my elementary school experience and trying to think of a stand-out day like we had today, and all I came up with was the day we had TB shots at school. My little friends got to meet a human rights advocate and a hero from the conflict in Afghanistan in one day. This morning we listened to Martin Luther King, III. What an amazing assembly we had with our chorus singing beautifully, students reading their dreams, and students asking questions. Our own Alexis did a dramatic interpretation of My People, by Langston Hughes, and was so amazing. We are so proud of her! I loved listening to Mr. King talk about his dad because we've read about him in books, but to hear his son tell family stories made this monumental figure so real. We are so grateful to the Pierre-Louis family for making this amazing day possible. They are family friends of Mr. King so we were able to have him come to speak to the children and staff. Tonight he will be at Cabin John at 7:00, doors open at 6:30. Alexis will be performing once again tonight, as well as the Scotland Church Choir and the Cabin John orchestra. I hope these kids never forget this day and the message Mr. King shared with the children. He left them with the message that they can change the world and make those dreams they wrote about happen.
Today we also said goodbye to Chandler and his family. They are going back home to Indiana. The books you gave helped fill up a little suitcase we got for Chandler. Our creative paraeducator, Ms. Lillis, made a very special framed message with pictures of all the kids in it. The children wrote special goodbye messages to Chandler, and we sent him away with lots of pictures so he will never forget us!
We truly have an incredible school family. Yesterday I met with moms who have volunteered to help with our No Kid Hungry Bake Sale. Every year I think it can't get better than the year before, but it does. We have a lot of eager volunteers getting the ball rolling. We'll keep you informed of what is going on, when the bake sale will be, and how you can participate. Thank-you to all the moms who came out yesterday!
No specific ask me about questions should be necessary because your children probably are coming home with a lot of energy from the sundaes and cookies they had at our party. They probably will be talking non-stop about their very amazing day!
Feeling tired, but so grateful today.
Have a peaceful evening!
Today we talked about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in preparation for our visit on Thursday. We talked about rights and being fair. Each child wrote a wish for display on a I Have a Dream wall. We worked with decomposing numbers more, and finding the missing part. We played a game of breaking a tower of cubes apart and using a strategy such as counting-up to find the missing part. To play the game, a child has a tower of connecting cubes, and they put it behind their back and break it into two parts. They show a partner one part, and the partner counts up or back to find the missing part. So if they are showing 3 out of a tower of 5, they would start with 3 and count up 4, 5 to find the missing part of 2. Using fingers is encouraged. We are working to make sure they count the jumps between the numbers so they don't count the 3 in this example. They count on FROM 3.
We visited Hawaii today. We learned about Hawaiian customs and some words. The book we read, Grandma Calls Me Beautiful, is about being beautiful on the inside, but also about the unconditional love a grandparent has for their grandchildren. Ask me to tell you about the story!
Enjoy this warm weather today because I heard we will wake up to a much colder morning!
Busy news day today!
Today we learned about animal coverings. We studied this picture and talked about what we noticed. We zoomed in on just animal coverings and noticed the different animal coverings. Interesting picture, isn't it! Ask me about what I notice!
Then we sorted animal cards, and read on the back to learn more about the coverings of some animals that were a surprise to us! We read a great book today about a very unusual animal called a pangolin. The book is called Roly Poly Pangolin, by Anne Dewdney, and it illustrates some of the unique behaviors of the pangolin. We looked at a pangolin in the San Diego Zoo and learned more about these interesting critters! Ask me to tell you what I learned about the covering on a pangolin. You can read Roly Poly Pangolin by following this link: http://www.wegivebooks.org/books/roly-poly-pangolin/reader
This site is free, but you have to register to read the books. I also included this quick video of the pangolin the San Diego Zoo.
We visited Illinois today our on reading adventure across the United States. Today we visited Illinois. We knew this would be a sentimental trip for our friend Daniel who moved to Maryland from Illinois, but we were so glad he was here to share more about the city we visited. We went to Chicago with Larry and Pete. We read Larry Gets Lost in Chicago, by Michael Mullin. Do not read this book unless you want to end up wanting to go to Chicago! The story is about a family visiting Chicago. They take their dog Larry who gets lost after leaping off a train to grab a famous Chicago hot dog. Larry and the family have great adventures around town looking for each other, but also visiting so many wonderful places in that great city.
We also read a book today called My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete. This story is told by a girl whose brother has autism. It was a great introduction to learning about autism. Then, this afternoon before we went home, we had a visit from Mrs. Kanter and a former Bells Mill student whose brother also has autism was used to be in our classes for students with autism. He talked about his brother and what it is like to have a brother with autism. The children asked some really thoughtful questions, and I think they have a better idea of what autism is and how we really are more alike than we are different.
Have a nice evening!