Since returning from the holidays we have begun some new units. Last week we began exploring patterning, with students discovering that patterns are things that, “Go over and over and over again.” Students have been, and will continue to explore, different materials to see what types of patterns they can make.
On Tuesday, students also began their new reading program! There was a lot of excitement, especially after reading Todd Parr’s book, Reading Makes You Feel Good. The first story for our reading program was, At the Market. The topic of going to the market was introduced, and then students looked closely at the pictures to gain ideas about the story. After it was introduced, we read the story together as a class. After practicing the story, and ensuring that we were using one to one matching when reading the words, students assisted a partner in re-reading the story. Through this reading program, students will also begin writing about the books that they are reading. In time they will be placed into smaller reading groups to help them develop some of the skills required to read.
How tall of a structure could you make with 40 Keva Blocks, 20 wooden cubes, 6 large popsicle sticks and 6 small popsicle sticks? Would your structure be able to hold an apple? That was the challenge that students faced today. Students had the choice of working alone or in a small group. They were encouraged to use their creative and critical thinking to accomplish this task, as they discussed and tested numerous different designs. Over the coming weeks, we are going to continue these different challenges, pushing students to think in different ways, test their ideas and work together to accomplish different goals.
A pancake breakfast, a visit from Santa and a school-wide game of BINGO were all wrapped into our last day of school before winter break.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday, whether it be spent at home or elsewhere. I hope that you are able to enjoy some time with your family and friends this season. All the best for a wonderful year ahead.
I will see you in 2018! (January 8th)
Today with Mrs. Good we read The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever, which inspired us to build our own Christmas Trees. Students used a variety of materials to make many different types of Christmas Trees. There were trees made out of cardstock, Plasticine, paper straws and blocks. There were wide trees, small trees and trees that even touched the roof. The class was so engaged we worked from 9:30 am until lunch! Some students even continued creating their trees in the afternoon. Take a look below to see what they were working on.
Please note, the website has a new address. You can now see all of our updates at sd41blogs.ca/macdonaldn .
Today we were lucky enough to make Gingerbread Houses with our big buddies. Using Graham Crackers and Icing, students constructed a house, and then they decorated the houses with candy. Some houses were even filled with candy!
A few messages from our class:
“Our houses are full of candy and I want to eat it so soon!”
“I hope my mom likes it and she wants to eat it.”
“I hope we eat it as soon as I get home.”
“I hope they are awesome to you.”
“I hope you like them because we worked really hard on them.”
“I hope you like our houses!”
To celebrate our learning about the different states of matter, we made Root Beer floats today (Tuesday)! In their Science notebooks, students made observations about ice cream and root beer, using their knowledge of solids, liquids and gases, to guess what type of matter these were. Then we poured the root beer onto the ice cream, and each student got to enjoy their own little Root Beer Float.
Today, report cards will be coming home with students. This is a chance to celebrate all of the hard work that your child has put in during the first term. A large portion of the overview was completed by the students, including the list of all the things that they have learned and can do. I would encourage you to go over the report card with your child, celebrating their accomplishments.
The report card and overview are yours to keep. But, please return the report card envelope, so that we can send future report cards home in this envelope to you.
You know it is December when there are so many winter activities going on. It really kicked off on Friday, when we helped our big buddies (Grade 6/7) with their giant mural. The Grade 6/7 class made a backdrop, and each of them created their own store. Our class helped fill the mural with people, penguins, Santas, snowflakes, and many other characters.
With our medium buddies (Grade 2/3), we built different structures for an elf. The pairs of buddies were encouraged to plan together, deciding on a theme and materials that they wanted to use. These materials included Keva Blocks, Lego, Cups, blocks, logs, and numerous other materials, as you can see in a few of the pictures below.
This week we also made some dough for a winter craft. It was a bit messy, but students enjoyed making the dough.
Unrelated to our winter theme, we have continued using Plasticine with Mrs. Good. Today, we watched a Barbara Reid video explaining how she makes the background of her illustrations with Plasticine. This video taught students different techniques for adding Plasticine to their poster board. Students then explored these techniques as they created their own illustrations. Students also continued learning about the states of matter this week. Our focus has been on identifying their shape, how solids are fixed, and liquids and gases change, dependent on their container.
Today, students explored plasticine with our librarian Mrs. Good. Mrs. Good read us Barbara Reid’s Subway Mouse, then Katherine Burton’s One Gray Mouse. Both of these books are illustrated through the use of Plasticine and Fimo (modeling clay).
After the stories, students had the chance to explore some different tools for working with clay or Plasticine, as well as different colours of Plasticine. Here are some photos of what they made and tried today.
Some of you may have noticed the family portraits that have been posted in the hallway. These portraits are based on the family photos that students brought in, and that are framed in our classroom. To help make the pictures as accurate as possible, students gave and received peer feedback. Students also demonstrated their critical thinking through their personal analysis to improve their picture.
We are also completing the final book from the Fin’s Friends program. This final book, Odd Velvet, was about Velvet, a girl who just seemed odd. But, as the class got to know her, they learned that she was not odd, but unique in her own way. One of the activities that accompanied this book was making pennants about traits that are unique to each student in the class. These pennants will serve as a starting point for our social studies unit, which will begin to take a look at what makes us unique, and who we are as individuals.
This past week, we also made Tortilla Pinwheels, using tortillas, cream cheese, turkey and cucumbers. The class also began learning about different states of matter, thinking about the shape of solids, liquids and gases.
Please don’t forget, Monday is our library day, so please return any library books that may be at home so that your child can take out a new book.