Today we started our Reader's Theater. Our Reader's Theater will be short nursery rhyme and fairy tale stories told in a two part reading. Reader's Theater does not use props, settings or costumes, although our little readers will have some visors they will be making to represent their character. The important part of Reader's Theater is that the children are reading with one or more other students and using their voice to tell the story somewhat dramatically. This is not something they memorize, although they may memorize some parts as we will practice this a lot before our big performance!!! Ask me to tell you what character I am in our Reader's Theater!
Today we reread the story Leave Me Alone! The children worked on their own to identify the problem and solution in this story, then drew pictures to show the beginning, middle and end of the story. We are working to zoom in on the problem and not just retell the beginning of the story. The problem in the story is presented in the beginning of a story, and it's what drives the story. The middle of the story is where a lot of the action occurs with the main character often working through their problem. The end of the story is how it all turned out. The solution is presented in the end of the story. We will be working more with problem and solution over the next couple weeks.
We checked in on the eaglets today. They have names now! DC4 is Honor, and DC5 is Glory. The eaglets are getting so big and have changed in how they look and what they do. We wrote about what we notice about the eagles now. Ask me to tell you about the eaglets and how they are changing!
Spring is definitely here, and as happens every year, the children become louder and louder! Today we read Decibella, by Julia Cook. This is a great book about how to choose the right volume for different situations. The children practiced using different voice volumes by saying the word "slurpidoodle." Ask me to tell you the five voice levels we learned about in the book.
Have a nice evening!
Today we read a funny book called Leave Me Alone, by Vera Brosgol. This book is about a grandma who lives with her grandchildren in a little house. It is getting close to winter and she is trying to knit, but she has a problem. Ask me to tell you what her problem is and how she solved it! We made text-to-self connections about being annoyed sometimes by those around you. In fact, we had a BIG discussion about that, and they were very specific! We talked about what we can do when maybe we just need a little break from being around others.
In math we played some strategy games and worked with Rekenreks. Rekenreks are a small abacus with two rows of ten beads. Each row has five red and five white beads. We can show numbers quickly using what we number about five. Five and ten are very important numbers, and learning to use them to solve problems is a good strategy for children to learn. We learned how we will use the beads then used them in solving missing part addition problems.
Have a nice evening!
We read a poem called Train Song today that had words that sounded the sound you would hear on a train. We worked with words using ch, cl and ck. The children did a great job writing words quickly with those sounds.
We also analyzed three different trains to look at how they were alike and different. We will be studying more about transportation long ago and now.
We had a great afternoon Friday and today looking at toys from long ago. Ask me to tell you about the toys I played with and how they are different from toys I have now.
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!