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.