Friday, December 21, 2012

Classroom Update and Happy Winter Break!

Happy Holidays!
We sang carols with the 1st and 3rd graders this week! We had a blast!

Holiday Pals
We had a successful Holiday Pal gift swap! It was so nice to see the students doing extra nice things for their friends and take the extra effort to make something by hand!

Reader's Workshop

Students are working on visualizing a story in their mind during reading to improve their comprehension. I read The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey to the class without showing them the pictures. Instead, I had students close their eyes and make a movie of the story in their mind. I modeled phrases, like I am picturing the little boy getting his jacket and tennis shoes on while his dog is eagerly waiting to start their paper route or I see the empty red bag flapping in the wind as the boy races home after he delivered all the newspapers. I asked them questions like, what do you think the little boy looks like? and what does the dog look like in your mind? After we read, students drew two mental pictures that they formed in their heads from the story.

Writer's Workshop
We are focusing on reindeer in fiction and non-fiction writing. We read the non-fiction book Watching Reindeer in Europe and noted that reindeer live in cold places. In computer lab last week, students researched reindeer facts. We checked out Santa's reindeer LIVE from the North Pole! You can watch them here: Reindeer in the North Pole Live Feed. If you watch at 11AM, 6PM, and 9PM you can see them being fed by an elf!

Students brainstormed their own reindeer story that is modeled after Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Students had to change the name and nose color of the reindeer in their story and tell how their reindeer helps out at the North Pole.

Math Workshop
This week, students explored with shapes and symmetry. Students completed a Geome-TREE (geometric tree) puzzle out of triangles, squares and rectangles. They had to keep rotating the shapes until they formed a tree.

Student made a Symme-TREE (symmetric tree), making sure that the ornaments on both sides of the tree match.

Everything we have been doing this week is an introduction to geometry and shapes for Unit 5, which we will officially start after break.

We continued the air portion of the Weather, Air, and Wind unit this week. We experimented with air and water. Students learned how air can move water in an experiment using two syringes, two flexible tubes, a short straw, a long straw, a rubber stopper, a vial, and water. They figured out how pushing and pulling on the grey plunger in the syringe can force the air and water to move. Students even got a little wet when the air forced the water out of an open syringe!

 Breaking News: If you haven't heard already, we are getting a NEW STUDENT on the Monday after break! 25 students, wow!

Have a safe and merry winter break! Enjoy the extra time with your family! Can't wait to see those smiling faces and energetic minds after break! :) Miss Eckardt

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