Monday, January 15, 2018

Solid Shapes

This past week we began our study of 3D/Solid shapes. We began by first exploring what we notice and how these shapes differ from shapes we have previously learned about. We concluded that solid shapes pop up (like a pop-up book) and do not lay flat like circles and squares, we can feel all the "faces" or sides of the shape. We are excited to notice we have a lot of these shapes represented in our own classroom. In addition to those in our room, we are building our shape collection from recycled goods that you are so generously donating. Students are excited to add them and watch our collection grow! As our collection grows we will continue to sort and classify shapes with similar attributes.

The solid shapes we will focus on include:

  • Cones
  • Cubes
  • Cylinders 
  • Spheres 
We are learning some "fancy" and quite impressive mathematical vocabulary to support our understanding of solid shapes:
  • Face: the face of the shape is the flat surface (Ex: a cube has 6 faces)
  • Edge: the edge of the shape is where the two faces meet
  • Vertex: the vertex is where the three faces meet 

5 Star Words

In writing we are beginning to look more closely at the words we use to tell our stories. This week we learned the importance of using ending marks and spaces to make our writing easy to read. Here is what we are learning:

Ending marks:  Ending marks tell the reader what to do as they read. We can use a period, exclamation point or question mark. Periods are used for telling, exclamation points are used to show excitement and question marks are used for asking. This knowledge helps us in both reading and writing. When we read a sentence with an exclamation point or question mark our voice changes to reflect that mark. When we forget to use ending marks the sentence just keeps going and going and going!

.          !          ?

Spaces: Spacesaresoimportant,withoutthemitwouldbeconfusing. See what I did there? :) We thought it was pretty fun to read sentences without spaces and quickly learned their important role in sentence writing. Spaces help us to separate words and makes our writing much easier to read! We can use our finger to help us with spaces or a "spaceman" which is a little wooden tool that is just the right size for making spaces between words (see picture below). 

Spaceman Deluxe Student Set 

Shelter in Place

This week we had our first "shelter in place drill". This drill is intended to practice staying safe inside the school building if something unsafe was occurring outside. Mr. Gergler came over the announcements to tell us of this drill and spoke to us about what to do. We were able to continue with our usual classroom activities while staying inside the building. Students were naturally curious about this drill which led to some great conversations about listening to teacher/trusted adult directions and what this drill was. We noticed a BIG difference between a shelter in place drill and a fire drill. During a fire drill we leave the building and go to our safe meeting spot, while during a shelter in place we stay inside the building.  Students did a great job of listening to directions and posing important questions. 

Extending Learning at Home
  • Can you find any 3D/solid shapes in your house?
  • Look at your books at home. Can you find and read any passwords?
  • Share what you know about spaces and ending marks.
  • Do you have a safe meeting place at home in case of a fire? What are ways you practice being safe at home?
Dates to Remember

January 25th - Ignite the Night - Build a City for 2050
February 8th - Invention Convention
February 9th - Report cards going home
February 19th - Teacher Workshop - Early Release
February 26th - March 2nd - Winter Break

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy New Year (a gingerbread recap)

Welcome back and Happy New year family and friends! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday. Thank you again for all your support with our Gingerbread celebration, it was truly magical (if you have any pictures you would like to send along for me to share please feel free)! While you were busy setting up our classroom to prepare for our return we were excidly searching the school for that sneaky cookie. Our clues led us to all parts of the building including classrooms in grades 1-4, the nurse, Miss Barrett's room and even Mr. Gergler's office. Upon our return we were met with the greatest surprise YOU! I have finally uploaded the pictures of our gingerbread celebration and last week activities. Enjoy!

Engineering Bridges

Mrs. Kurtz joined us the last week for a special building challenge. Students worked in pairs to design and build a bridge to help the gingerbread boy cross the river. Students were given toothpicks and marshmallows to build their structures. In order for their bridge to be deemed safe for the gingerbread boy we had to test them. Once completed, students placed a gingerbread boy (weighted with a penny on his back) on the bridge to see if it could hold him. If it couldn't it was back to the drawing board with a new design. If it could, we were challenged to test how strong it really was by adding more gingerbread boys. Thank you Mrs. Kurtz for this fun and challenging activity!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

All things Gingerbread!

We continue to have lots of fun with our gingerbread theme. This week we had Mrs. Lindquist (Levi's mom) as well as Mr. and Mrs. Bergen (Aveena's parents) as our guest readers. Thank you for joining us!

 Gingerbread Friends
The Gingerbread Bear

This week we filled the school with the glorious smell of gingerbread! We poured, mixed, kneaded, rolled and cut our very own cookies. To some disappointment they were not for eating but we are excited to fill our homes with this sweet smell as holiday decorations!

We have also been extending our learning about gingerbread stories through art projects. Here we are painting gingerbread boys and girls as well as creating our own houses for the gingerbread baby. 

Next Week

We are approaching the BIG gingerbread celebration! As students bring in items and ask about them I simply state they are for a "project"...since we engage in lots of crafty projects nobody has become suspicious :) Thank you for continuing to keep it a surprise! If you could send in items as early as possible (Monday or Tuesday) that would be great.

On Thursday please plan on arriving between 12:35-12:45 (our plan is to be back in the room at 12:45). Please use your best stealthy skills to get to our classroom!  I will need help setting up the room as we will be off on the "gingerbread hunt". If you are available to help I will leave directions on my teacher table about party set-up (example: someone can put all the tablecloths on, putting gingerbread cookies on each table spot, etc.) If one or two parents want to take charge of this please email me and let me know. This way when students return from the hunt they will have found the real gingerbread man and be ready to celebrate with you all!

Following the celebration we will be cleaning up, packing up and making our way outside for our end of the day recess. If you plan on picking up your child from the celebration please inform the office prior.

Thank you for all your support, here we go!