Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 13 plus

Wow! It sure does seem like a long time since I've blogged, but it has only been a little more than a week. Sorry I left my camera in the classroom over the weekend. We have learned so much in such a short time.

We have enjoyed learning about the Native Americans. We read the book, The Very First Americans. and learned so much about each tribe. 

We learned where each tribe was located in the United States and how each tribe had special qualities. The totem pole was often used to tell stories. The Indians carved colorful objects into wood and told a story. We had fun making our own totem poles too.

We learned about the tepee and had fun making our own tepees.

But the best part was playing in a real tepee. We even had to do our Daily 5 in and around the tepee.

We learned about how important the buffalo were to Native Americans and how they used every part of the buffalo. We even got to feel some real buffalo hair.

We pretended to tan buffalo hide (also known as brown paper bags) and draw Native American symbols on the hides.

We learned that Native Americans made their own canoes out of trees. We had fun making canoes out of paper and putting an Indian inside.

After learning about the hardships of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, we worked with our 3rd grade buddies to make a list of items we would put in our suitcase if we were on the Mayflower. We really enjoyed this time with our buddies.

We had fun making Thanksgiving bracelets to help retell the story of the Pilgrims.

And Thanksgiving would not be complete without a feast. We dressed up in our Pilgrim and Indian hats and we ate in the cafeteria dressed that way.

In math, we continued practicing comparing numbers, and counting to 100 by 1's, 5's, 10's and 2's. We were excited about our new Thanksgiving math work stations.

We learned about ordinals too. We read the book Seven Blind Mice and retold the story with our pictures. Each mouse was describing a different part of the elephant that they felt, but the 7th mouse felt all over and put the pieces together to determine it wasn't a pillar, spear, rope, cliff or snake. It was an elephant. When retelling, we were sure to use the terms first, second, third, etc.

Science has been so much fun. We started a unit on weather and I think that we have observed just about every kind of weather here in Texas these last few weeks, which is highly unusual. We have made entries into our science journals after observing weather. We learned about clouds and how they change shape. We read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk and made our own cloud shapes. We even made our own cloud in a bottle.

We learned that clouds are formed when hot air and cold air combine. Clouds are made out of tiny water droplets. We made clouds by blowing our moist breath onto a cold spoon and watching how it fogged up. We also noticed how the spoon was wet after blowing on it.

We learned that when the water droplets in the cloud combine and get too heavy, they fall to the ground as precipitation. We made our own rain in class by combining hot and cold air. We got to see the process of the water cycle in action.

We learned another reading strategy called Chunky Monkey. This helps us to break a word down into smaller parts and look for familiar chunks of the word.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and I will see you back next Monday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 12

Our week started out with a bang. After morning assembly, we got to go outside and hear the Anderson High School Band perform for us.

In language arts this week, we learned the letter Ii with the help of Isabella Inchworm. Our focus book was On the Go. We learned how people use transportation around the world. We began learning how to write our lowercase letters with the help of the Magic C Bunny.

We also learned another reading strategy. We use Stretchy the Snake to help us stretch out the sounds of a word and put them back together to decode the word.

We worked on a website called Starfall. This is a great resource that is free. It helps students with letter sounds, word families and reading. Click on the link below and help your child at home. They all are super excited about this website. Some have already used it. Many others wanted to try it so I told them I would put the link on my blog.

In social studies, we continued to learn about American symbols. We learned about the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty. We enjoyed making them too.

We also learned about Veterans Day and had an assembly on Thursday to honor our veterans. Thanks to everyone who wore red. We represented the colors of the flag in our assembly.

In math, we practiced our number skills by comparing numbers. We enjoyed playing war and memory games and working in our math stations.

In science, we have been studying force and motion. We focused on movement this week. We experimented with marbles and how changing the surface that the marble rolls on changes the way the marble moves.

We also experimented with different kinds of balls and different sizes. We practiced different ways that a ball can move (rolling, passing, bouncing, dribbling). We learned about the gravitational pull and how the size of the ball and the weight of the ball can affect the speed of the fall and the height of the bounce. 

We also examined which objects spin as the form of movement.

We also had a lesson by Ms. Phillips. We have been using a program with Kelso the Frog to help us problem-solve when we have little problems. Here, Ms. Phillips is explaining the program to the students and talking about taking turns and sharing.

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. I will be on campus on Monday, but will be pulled out for the GT selection committee. Mollie Snow will be subbing for me. Thank you to all who have returned the yellow survey forms for the district. If you have not returned the survey, please return them ASAP.