Time has been our math focus and now the Tigers can tell time. They are pretty excited about this new development! We have been learning our lines and creating the blocking for our Matinee play, "The Native Species Pet Shop." It emerged from our money math unit where we created a pet shop in our classroom. It also features our dandelion recipes, another theme from this semester.
April is poetry month and we have begun writing and listening to poems. We started with trees and moved on to native species animal subjects...(lots of snakes eating cakes and drinking milkshakes), but we will be working to exhibit our nature science knowledge as we become more comfortable with rhyming word patterns and families. April is also for April fools...here are a couple of ours.
The students have selected and read a short biography with a partner and are now writing book reports on their important person.
Much of our time is spent now on independent study projects. Many of the students have finished the research, and are on to the demo projects.
We've covered a lot of ground in math in the past few weeks. We worked for several weeks on multiplication and then started a money unit. Our big project this week was to create a pet shop. We took inventory, priced the pets, set up the store and grooming salon, bagged food, made leashes, feeder mice, and crickets and then had a chance to operate the store and give field trip tours to the other students at IOS. Here is a gallery of math photos.
We've continuted to work on the research aspect of our dessert projects. Each student needs 12 facts to proceed to the next step. We are almost all there after this week.
We have been learning about contractions in spelling. We have had fun performing surgery to remove letters, leaving band aids as apostrophes.
For several weeks we have been writing opinion essays about our favorite movies, giving four reasons you should go see it.
In science we contined our work with dandelions, measuring and comparing stems and using the roots to make dandelion root vinegar. We also planted lavender, documenting the starting height in our nature journal. We have continued to investigate photosynthesis and have expanded our discussion to include more information about the role plants play as producers in the food chain, becoming food for herbivores and omnivores who become food for carnivores.
As always, our primary and favorite investigation is during nature lit time. IOS Island is the newest, biggest, best thing in the woods right now.
We have welcomed two new students, Drew and James.
We always have math games going in rotation and we've got some new ones to enjoy.
We are writing opinion essays about our favorite movie, learning how to give reasons to support our opinion. We've been doing a project with Lily's mom, Lindsey. The kids are designing emotion cubes and using woodburning tools.
Our other interesting project has been learning about photosynthesis, growing wheat grass in light and dark places.
We've also done some learning with dandelions. Last week we dug up dandelion roots. We measured and recoreded the length our longest roots and then we tried this week to match every root back up to the student who plucked it out of the earth. Then we used our measurements to find the mean, mode and median. Finally, we peeled, boiled and smashed the roots and made chocolate dandelion root brownies. They were delicious and full of vitamins and minerals. More to come with dandelions in coming weeks.
We began our semester with a day spent outside. We had a spelling/vocabulary lesson to introduce words from the story "Roxaboxen". We read the story outside in the tipi and later had nature journal time with the prickly pears.
Since then we have done a number of map skill activities, focusing on location. We used a grid map of the woods to locate the radish seeds we will use in our tropism experiments.
Math for group C has been multiplication the past few weeks. We have learned a few new games like Sum Rummy which we are enjoying. The last few lessons we have been exploring area and perimeter, inches and centimeters.
We began a study of Greek and Latin, which we are enjoying. There are many connections to make like autographs, phonographs, and photosynthesis. Our first two weeks back we read several articles on photosynthesis and have begun plant experiments.
We worked on building a sentence from the bare bones up, starting with an article, a noun and a verb. Then we added a phrase to tell where, when how or why. Finally we added adjectives to tell more about the noun.
We worked in the woods to write a descriptive paragraph about a location to establish setting for a short story about something that happened at Nature Lit time.
One of the things the Tigers learned about rainbows this semester was that there is a dark band of light between rainbows called Alexander's dark band. The light below the bottom rainbow is lighter. We also learned that the order of the colors is reversed in a double rainbow. We got to see that after school recently.
Our 2nd graders went on a mysterious outing to bring home something very special.
8 Chicks! They are very skittish around people and so we are experimenting with holding them every morning and singing to them.
Other work we have been engaged in includes composing songs about the structure of the American government branches and the electoral process, writing essays about migration, putting final touches on our play for EXPO, learning to spell those sneaky ough words, and adding 4 digit numbers to 4 digit numbers. We finished a read aloud, Where are you Going Baby Lincoln, by Kate DiCamillo. One of the things I like best about it was that Baby Lincoln could hear the stars singing. I thought about that last night watching the super moon. I am very grateful for my beautiful class. I wish teachers everywhere could be able to relax and enjoy the time they spend with their students. It is good!
Halloween is over and November is here. We spent a lot of time this week and last week preparing to host a Halloween party for the school. First it was the alien invasion and then making spiders for the web that we installed in the theater. Yesterday we made apple bites, a brains and eyeball sensory bowl, a carved pumpkin swimming in gooey green guts and a small graveyard. Our party was lots of fun to plan and prepare for. Tigers love to dance!
Also part of our Halloween this year was Harry Potter Halloween on Friday. Here are a few highlights from this historic event.
We have been discussing the upcoming election, the process of running and campaigning, and the role the upcoming president has in selecting one or more Supreme Court nominees. Since we have been studying letter writing for several weeks, the students wrote letters to me nominating a student of their choice for president of our student body, giving a reason for their nomination. We have proposed to make this more than just an assignment by submitting the idea to the school HIVE this week.
We continue to work on EXPO projects about goats and scarcity. Poems for two voices are being written about the role of wolves in ecosystems. Do you know what a trophic cascade is, or extirpation? One of our reading groups does now. Come to EXPO to find out more! Here are some pictures from our word work and cursive practice.
Our math groups have been working with Roman Numerals as well as using several strategies for adding numbers.
The Wild White Tigers have been setting goals for the semester, conferencing with me about goals for math, reading, writing and social interaction. We have been working on memorizing a new poem, Something Told the Wild Geese, by Rachel Field as we begin to study migration.
The students are all in some stage of working on their own books about rainbows. We learned 15 new things about rainbows and each student has selected 7 or 8 for their own informational booklet. We have a play we are working on for EXPO about scarcity and the ecological effects of eliminating apex predators.
We have taken on the ou and ow pattern for spelling, but are still working with the various spellings of the long i.
We took a little detour in math and made butterfly shaped cookies (for the CSA baskets), studying fractions. The following day we attempted symmetry in our cookie decoration.
Other math projects have included writing word problems for the addition facts with a sum of 11, and writing bird on the wire subtraction problems. We are covering all the strategies that help us learn addition facts.
Here are pictures of reading groups, writing partner conferences and spelling word work in progress. The green guy is "Booger," the spelling teacher.
We learned a poem this week from a book called Agatha's Feather Bed. We set the stage for a semester of wondering about where things come from...."Just like paper comes from trees."
We set up one of our semester investigations about the expected goat kiddings. We have assembled a birthing kit and planned for some possible difficulties. We will be creating a news report over the next months.
We got our math and spelling initial assessments out of the way and planned our first story. Other than that we have mostly been decorating our journals and book boxes, becoming comfortable in our new space, hanging out with the goats, and jumping into our first read aloud, Heidi.
It is day 2. Today we named ourselves the Wild White Tigers. We read a book about the Rainbow Goblins who steal the colors of the rainbow and fill their bellies with color. It is an extraordinary book. This is our jumping off place for the rainbow tracking we plan to do this year. Unplanned by us, a rainbow appeared in the sky on Tuesday evening when we had our back to school potluck. It was very auspicious. We will be exploring the topic of rainbows as well as "Raising Goats." Our baby goats (the kids) are due any day now. Here are some of our rainbow drawings/paintings from today.
Today we had our first K-1 spelling bee. It was the final activity for "Bee Week." This week we wrote a bee mad lib, made beehive mobiles, fashioned beeswax bees, studied the workers, drones and queens, practiced all the yoga postures we know that begin with b, and observed bees in our herb garden.
We baked honey sweet baklava cookie cups with local honey on Tuesday.
For our independent study project, each student brought 4 or 5 objects that represent things they like to do with Mommy.
For poetry month, we have been writing poems like this....
We happily met our visiting billy goat, Chevre, sadly said good bye to 3 hens who were eaten by raccoons, and experienced a day without electricity after the early morning storms on Wednesday (a bit grumpily). The owls also got to take the maiden voyage in our new school bus.
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