Math Lately

The kids have been working hard to understand numbers 0-10 inside and out. We have played many games to work on:

Identifying numbers 0-10

Comparing 0-10 

Writing 0-10

Counting orally 

Counting objects accurately

We played brain and pen to work on number identification and formation. 

   
We built towers with unifix cubes to work on counting objects, comparing numbers and identifying numbers. This activity also gives the kids a real sense of the quantity connected with each number. 

    
    
 
We played bears in a cup as well. Super fun! Ask your child to teach you how to play with some small toys at home! 

   
The kids are certainly growing as learners and mathematical thinkers.

Underwater Learning Party

Today we celebrated our class earning 50 behavin’ ravens with a learning party! The kids suggested party themes and we voted on a favorite. 

We began our celebration with creating underwater creatures. We were inspired by the book The Secret Seahorse. The kids used paper plates and made really unique artwork. 

    
 
We also enjoyed some underwater videos and songs. We then came up from the underwater depths and designed aluminum foil boats. 

The kids drew a plan. 

   
Created their boats. 

   
And tested our boats on the water! We tested our boats strength by adding counters. 

    
    
 
We ended our underwater celebration with an underwater yoga adventure. What a great day! 

   

Fire Safety

Our friends at the Columbia Fire Department visited this week to teach us about fire safety. 

   
They even put on their gear so we could see what they looked like so we won’t be afraid  of them. 

   
We have been reviewing the fire safety tips the fire fighters taught us. Please talk about fire safety at your home with your child!

Helping Hands

Today we began considering how our actions can be helpful to ourselves and others or hurtful to ourselves and others.  We read the book Hands are not for Hitting to get some ideas on how we can be helpful with our hands. We then created our own helping hands posters as an empowering and motivating way to think of our own hands. The posters are hung around the room as a visual clue to use hands for helping! 

    
   

Makers’ Space: Paper Towers

This week we visited Mrs. Schoelz in the library for our first Makers’ Space. Our lesson/activity/exploration was super open-ended and problem solving oriented. Mrs. Schoelz and I got to apply the “grandmother principle” and admire our little learners at work. I am so in love with the learning process Mrs. Schoelz used because it kindly put the thinking responsibility on the shoulders of the children.

We began by setting our challenge…making a tower that goes up to our waist using paper?!?!!  

  
The kids were a bit surprised by the challenge but they naturally are not too burdened by preconceived notions about what is possible. They happily set to work after Mrs. Schoelz provided a few behavior expectations to keep the kids safe and focused. 

    
    
    
After the kids had some time to work and limited success in terms of tower height, Mrs. Schoelz gather them back around the SMART Board to show them images of other people’s paper towers. 

  Armed with new strategies, the kids went back to work. Some tried out new ideas. And many optimistically continued their old strategies. 

   
   
   
    
Tadaaaa!

     

  
  

What is Writers’ Workshop?

Each day, the kids participate in Writers’ Workshop. Writers’ workshop has three main components: the mini lesson, independent work time with conferences, and sharing.

The mini lesson is a short whole group lesson that focuses on one component of writing. Sometimes we learn about the craft of writing, sometimes about conventions of writing. Some of our recent mini lessons have been about adding more, writing from our hearts,and labeling our pictures with one letter. At the end of each mini lesson the writers take a “think minute” to make a plan for independent writing time that day.

Independent writing time is just what the name suggests. The kids work on writing projects of their choice. Sometimes we will have focused pieces in which the children attempt a particular genre of writing. As the students work, I have individual writing conferences in which I talk with each child about their own individual needs in writing. I compliment something the child does well and give them one thing to try.

Sharing happens at the end of writing time. There are so many ways to share writing. At this point in the school year, I choose one student to share their work with the class and I model how to give compliments to someone else’s writing. Later in the year the kids will get to compliment each other. We will also do other types of sharing like sharing with a partner or sharing a particular aspect of our writing. Sharing provides motivation for students to work hard each day and also helps reinforce what students are doing well.
That’s Writers’ Workshop in a nutshell. Please ask you child what they have been writing about!

Stanton Brothers Visit!

Our science objectives came to life today when Dustin and Austin of Stanton Brothers Eggs visited our class to teach us about chickens, eggs, and farm careers. We got to see pictures of their work as well as the chicken feed the Stanton brothers grow and process themselves. Dustin and Austin brought real eggs and showed us some pretty interesting irregular eggs. They also brought chickens for the kids to pet and look at up close. What a great opportunity for learning. We may have some future chicken farmers in our midst!  

    
   
  
 

Nature Made or People Made

This week’s science focus allowed for us to further explore our school grounds and outdoor classroom. We explored the concept of objects in our world being made by nature or made by people. We had a lively discussion in the classroom and then headed outside to find more natural or people made objects.  

       

We found many nature made and people made objects along the way.