Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 20

What a week! So much learning took place this week, it just sped by. In case you haven't heard, I was honored on Thursday morning at the assembly as the Hill Teacher of the Year. What an honor to be chosen by your colleagues. In a profession that doesn't include merit raises, bonuses and sometimes not even pay raises, this is the next best thing. I am honored and humbled by this award. It means so much to me and I am very proud. Here we are after the announcement at morning assembly.

In language arts, our book of the week was Russ and the Firehouse. We have been talking about community workers and things in our neighborhood. This book combines both when it talks about a young boy names Russ, who works at the Firehouse with his uncle helping him to clean the equipment there. 

Our letter of the week was Hh. We learned this with the help of Henrietta and Harvey Hippo. Ho, ho, hee, hee, doodley doo.....  Our sight word of the week was "are". 

We started a unit on penguins this week. Once again, we started with a schema chart.

After reading books about penguins, we added our new learning to the chart.

We enjoyed making penguins too.

We made non-fiction books about penguins. This time, I gave the students more responsibility by letting them choose what facts to write about penguins. They also did their own illustrations and covers.

We enjoyed reading some fiction books about penguins too. Here is our favorite new character, Tacky and many of the Tacky the Penguin books we read. Tacky is really an "odd" penguin.

In social studies, we learned about Chinese New Year. We read several books and watched a short video about this celebration. I also had one of my former students come in and tell us about how she celebrates Chinese New Year and learned about the customs and traditions. She was wearing her beautiful robe too in celebration of this holiday.

We began a science unit on rocks.

We went on a rock hunt around our school and we each collected 3 different rocks. We brought them back to school and drew pictures of them.

We ordered our rocks by size and compared them by weight.

We sorted our rocks by texture (rough and smooth).

We put our rock in water and we noticed how the water changed the color, or helped to bring out more colors in the rocks.

In math, we have been reviewing numbers and becoming familiar with the 100 chart by doing some fun coloring by numbers pages. We are looking forward to our 100th day of school on Wednesday and our 101st day on Thursday. Please don't forget to wear black and white to school next Thursday as we will have a 101 Dalmatian theme going on throughout the day.

Friday was a lot of fun. We visited our buddies in Mrs. Armstrong's room and enjoyed reading together. We went to the computer lab and Hill Harbor. We finished our day watching March of the Penguins. It was also book character dress up day. Look who visited our class.

Snow White

Sleeping Beauty


Tille the Ballerina

Junie B. Jones

Brier Willows



Friday, January 20, 2012

Week 19 Update

I hope that you had a nice long weekend. It was great to stay home and play with Noah. He is starting to take steps (as many as 8 now) and saying more words, so he had been lots of fun. This week, we had a review week in language arts. Our focus book was the Mole and the Baby Bird and our sight words were "his", "her" and "make". 

We reviewed our beanie baby reading strategies and added a new one. Flippy the Dolphin reminds us that vowels can make two sounds. If you try the short sound and the word doesn't make sense, flip the sound and try the long vowel sound and see if the word makes sense.

Our unit this week focused around polar bears. We started our week again by making a schema and writing down what we already know about polar bears. I was amazed at how much the students had learned about polar bears, just by learning about walruses last week. 

After reading several books about polar bears, we added new learning to our schema and moved some ideas to misconceptions. We started another non-fiction book about polar bears and wrote daily in this book after learning new ideas.

We had fun making our polar bears and putting them on the wall in our classroom.

We compared polar bears to walruses using a Venn diagram.

We finished our non-fiction book today. We worked on shared writing during the week and the students wrote the last page in their book independently.

In science, we finished up our weather and space unit by learning about the stars.

We learned that stars are balls of gas and dust and are different colors. We learned that many stars are bigger than the Earth but they appear smaller because they are so far away. We learned about groups of stars called constellations and we were creative when we made our very own constellations and named them.

We learned that the sun is also a star and it is the closest star to the Earth. We get energy in the form of light and heat from the sun and we learned that the sun is the center of our universe, as all planets orbit around the sun.

We made pictures to put the sun, moon, stars and the Earth all into one picture and to draw them proportionally. 

In math, we continued to work at our math work stations to review concepts already learned. We began a couple of surveys this week and practiced graphing our results. We are now on our 92nd day of school and are eagerly awaiting our 100th day of school. We can't wait to celebrate!

We concluded our week by watching an non-fiction movie called Arctic Tale. The students really enjoyed watching the walruses and polar bears in their natural environment.