We continued working on persuasive writing in Writers Workshop. We worked with a partner to get feedback on what we had written so far and made changes based on that feedback.
What a great turn out for Meet Me at the Movies night at Rio! I hope everyone enjoyed Born in China. We will be learning more about the animals from the movie as well as how animals survive in the wild. Here are a couple pictures of some of our friends who came to the movie!
Thanks for meeting me at the movies! I had a great time!
Today was a very busy day! In the morning we had a Mad Science assembly. The assembly was about chemical reactions. The "mad scientist" was very funny, but did a few things that were a little loud. Ask me to tell you about the assembly. I want to tell you that our class was the best behaved class in the first assembly. We reviewed assembly behavior, and talked about how even if it gets funny not to get too carried away. We also talked about being kind to people around you and giving them their space, sitting flat on the floor (not on knees or standing) so the people behind you can see also, and listening to understand.
We worked in literacy stations and reading groups so the children could be up and moving around after the hour long assembly! After music, we worked once again on persuasive writing. We wrote about the best toy, in our opinion. It was hard to choose just one, but each child did. We talked about a strong lead, beginning sentence so the reader would know what we thought was the best toy and that would make them want to read on. We tried to think of at least three reasons we thought this was the best toy. We also tried to make the reader want to play with the toy with the last sentence. We are still working on this piece and will continue writing and illustrating tomorrow.
We checked in on the eaglets and found them napping with full crops of food. We watched the rescue and return in a video that you might be interested in yourself. It starts with a slide show then a video. I will post the link to the slide show and the You Tube video below. These little guys are stars! There are several videos of them.
Tomorrow is Take Your Child to Work Day. If you are planning on taking your child to work, please let me know so I can let the office know. Tomorrow night is also our Meet Me at the Movies Night. I will be at the AMC Movie Theaters at Rio. The movie starts at 7:10 so I will go into the theater around 7:05. This is not a drop-off event so your child will need to come with an adult. A few kids saw it over the weekend and enjoyed it so the rest of us are anxious to see it!
Mark your calendars now for Sunday, May 21. We will be having a Bake Sale for Share our Strength at the Giant in Potomac Promenade. They have some new rules this year so I am developing a sheet with a few promises the children need to make if they are going to help sell. I will be putting out two sign-ups that I will send through Sign-Up Genius hopefully tomorrow. I will need children to sell and families to bake. You are welcome to do both! The money goes to programs that help children who are living with hunger in the United States. I will open up a tab on our class website with more information about that tomorrow as well. This is not a school sponsored event and participation is not required.
Have a nice evening!
Thursday we started a new unit in writing. We are writing opinions and writing to persuade. Yesterday the students wrote about the best restaurant. These are very interesting and yummy pieces!
We also did some problem solving in math. We looked at jars with two gumballs in them with numbers on them. The challenge was for the students to move two gumballs so the jars would be equal, then write number sentences for both jars. We continued that into today and added a gumball to each jar so they were adding higher numbers. We first were using a strategy of just trying to move two and try again until the jars were equal. We did this again today to begin with then started to think about why we chose the gumballs we did to move since many of the children were arriving at the correct answer so quickly. They noticed soon to really pay attention to the values of the gumballs. They also were using a variety of strategies when adding, such as counting-on from the larger number using their fingers, or trying to make ten with two of the gumballs when we had three in a jar. But more importantly, we were practicing not giving up and being persistent. This was quite apparent when the problems got harder and the third gumball was added to the jars. Some children were saying this is hard, but then just sitting and watching others, waiting for other children to solve. We talked about trying it again and again, like a puzzle until we got it right.
Today we really learned a valuable lesson about persistence and collaboration. As you may have heard, yesterday, right after school, it became apparent that DC4's foot was stuck in the rails of the nest. After a few hours, it seemed like it would not be able to get unstuck on it's own, so the American Eagle Federation, who are in Pigeon Forge Tennessee tried to get help from the US Fish and Wildlife Federation. From what I understand from my new Facebook friend from Boston, they were not answering the phone. Apparently they had already gone home. So the lady in Boston called her friend Bill in Washington state who also works for the USFWS and he called and called and e-mailed until he got someone in DC from the USFWS. They worked with an eagle expert and sent a man named Matt to do the climb, trying to get it done before the thunderstorm they were expecting. He climbed the tree and rescued DC4 quickly, and filled in the area where it had become trapped with grasses and leaves. They did a quick look at him with an eagle expert and thought he was in pretty good shape, but they wanted a radiograph to be sure his foot and leg were ok.. I'm not sure how much of this story is exactly how it happened, but I was closely monitoring this because I could not sleep knowing DC4 was stuck. I could not send out a class e-mail from home because my OUtlook for school at home does not give me that option, and I just couldn't get to school in time to let you know why the nest had only one eaglet, so I'm hoping if you saw that you maybe heard on the news about DC4. They had trouble getting the cameras back online after the rescue they said and had an IT guy working on it throughout the night. So the cameras started working before an update message got there. Anyway, LOTS OF DRAMA, but a happy ending I think. Minutes after I took the kids out, I saw a message that DC4 will be returned to the nest tonight and that they will try and keep the live feed going so everyone can see the return.
We watched the rescue from last night, and the kids wrote thank-you notes to Matt, Bill, the AEF and the USFWF. They just wrote one note to all of them with a picture. They were very sweet and sincere so my new Facebook friend from Boston is going to give me Bill's address and I'll make copies and send them to all these places. When children write about authentic experiences, they include so many more details and questions. I may add these to our website as well because they really are cute. They didn't have a lot of time for it though because we had a schedule change and library so we will be sending their mostly unedited and unrevised writing.
So the return will be tonight, but you may want to just wait for a video of it just in case something were to go wrong. I found videos of the rescue by the time I got to school this morning, so I would not be surprised to see that again tonight. There is also a Facebook page for eagle fans that I guess I have become in this past year. And I made a new friend!
I hope you have a peaceful, calm weekend! Don't forget, no school for Kinders on Monday and Tuesday.
We had an upside down day today since I had to be in meetings all morning. So the children had a substitute did some math review and word work. They also visited the state of Utah in our Read Across America. The children listened to a story called The Wheat Doll. This story is set in the late 1800's and tells about what pioneer life was like as it tells the story of Mary Ann and her doll made from wheat. Ask me to tell you what happens when Betty gets lost during a storm.
This marking period, one of our TASS skills is originality. We talked about what originality looks like, and looked at an example of a traditional ballet dance and an original dance to the same music. We looked at how the same story of the dying swam from Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals. Below you will find the clips I shared with the students today. They wanted you to see them too!
Have a nice evening!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Spring Break and spent time with family and friends! It's good to be back!
We had a great first day back after Spring Break. The kids came in eager to tell stories of their break, so we passed the Talking Fish and listened to everyone's adventures. Then the kids wrote and illustrated postcards about their spring break. After they finished the writing, we listened to about six of the postcards and talked about what they needed to fix, finish, revise or edit. Some of the kids needed to edit to include punctuation. This is still something children are learning and is difficult when they begin writing longer pieces. Some children needed to revise more and add more detail to their writing. I wanted to hang these in the hall but the children wanted to bring them home. We are compromising and I will scan them tonight at home and add them to our website.
We had a bus evacuation drill today. This is something that we do twice a year with different ways of exiting the bus are shown to the children. They were so respectful listening to the bus driver and patrols!
We did a quick pre-test to see if children were able to use ordinal numbers. I usually have the children use eggs that register on the Promethean Board, but we have some that need batteries replaced, so we used sign language for the letters a, b, c and d. Ask me to show you how to sign a, b, c and d! They seem to have a good understand of ordinal numbers, but we will do a few things to practice over the next week just to be sure!
In Social Studies we started a new unit about life long ago. We talked about the word history and what that means. I asked the children how life has changed through time. This group amazes me everyday, and today was no exception. The responses from the children are in red, I added the words in parentheses. We talked about how far back history goes and watched a couple short clips from Brain Pop Jr. about ancient China and Egypt. Then we watched part of Reading Rainbow to listen to Ox Cart Man, by Donald Hall. This book is about life in New England in the 1800's. Most of our study will be about life in America. This week the focus is on toys! My little friends were very happy to hear that, and we will have time Thursday and Friday to play with some toys from the past.
Usually we have a field trip to Rose Hill Manor in Frederick. This year we were unable to get this trip scheduled when we are studying life long ago, so I'm going to just mention it to you. You might consider going to Rose Hill Manor sometime with your family if you are looking for something to do on the weekend. There are several parts to area, and I've never gone to the farm part of it, but they have a manor house that is fun for the kids to visit. It is geared toward children, so there are hands-on things for the kids to do. There is a cabin on the property too which the children usually love going in! There is also an ice house, a carriage museum and the farm museum. Here's a link to information about Rose Hill.
Have a nice evening!
Today we visited the state of Arizona and talked about the animals and plants found in the desert habitat. This is just a little preview of what we will be studying later in marking period 4. We read the book Way Out West Lives a Coyote Named Frank, by Jillian Lund. This short book shows many of the plants and animals you would find in the desert. Ask me to tell you what animals and plants are found in the desert. We also read a very sweet story of a Native American little girl and her grandmother called Tortilla Moon, by Joy Crowley. In this story the little girl Marta Enos, has two problems. Ask me to tell you about her problems. The Grandmother helps helps the little girl by singing her a healing song. The song says when you have a problem, you can choose what you will be. Sometimes it is best to be a tree so you can "get the big picture" and see all ways at once. She tells her sometimes it's best to be like a rock and sit still and see and say nothing. Sometimes you have to be a mountain lion and fight for what is right. And other times you need to be an eagle and fly up to see how small the problem is and laugh. Ask me to tell you what the little girl chooses to be and why.
In reading, we are working on close reading strategies. One strategy we are working with is asking questions and finding them in the text or thinking about what we know and clues from the story to answer inferences. We work with a short text and are learning strategies that focus our reading more so we can understand the text more deeply. Our morning is short on Mondays with P.E. in the morning so I was only able to meet with two groups, but we will do more tomorrow.
In math, we worked with using the number to solve simple addition problems. We know we need to look at the parts of the problem, start on the bigger number, and hop the number of spaces in the other part.
We got to see DC4 and DC5 feed a lot today. The First Lady was giving the eaglets fish today. The eaglets are getting stronger and able to hold their heads up more so they are eating more. The will change very quickly over the next week with such good meals from their parents. The children were less than impressed with the saliva they were also given. Right now, these eaglet siblings are very cooperative and patient with each other, although we did see a few head bonks today.
Have a nice evening!