K/1 Weekly Newsletter - March 9, 2012 Unit of Inquiry Updates This week we focused on the skeletal system in our study of the human body. Students learned about different jobs that our skeleton does such as protecting our organs, helping us move, and making sure we can stand up so we aren’t just a pile of skin and organs on the floor! We learned that a huge difference between humans and animals is our opposable thumbs, so we decided to see what life would be like thumbless. Student taped their thumbs down and attempted a variety of tasks such as open and closing jars, tying knots, stacking pennies, writing, and putting together a puzzle. Some students even requested to keep their thumbs taped for lunch to see what it would be like to eat and play! We learned about all the bones in the body and the functions of some of the major ones (i.e. the rib cage protects the heart and lungs and the skull protects the brain.) Then students got into groups and worked as a team to trace one of their team members and draw all of the major bones into the body. This way they were able to relate where the bones are and how they can fit into their own body. We also practiced bone names and locations with a fun game of skeleton simon says. “Simon says, touch your femur!” Students each put together their own skeleton by cutting out bones and figuring out how to assemble and label them. We learned about the structure of bones and how they look spongy on the inside and hard on the outside. During writer’s workshop, we revisited the five senses. We read a book about animal super senses (like hawk’s amazing vision, bat’s echolocation, and how polar bears can smell over 12 miles away!) Then students wrote and drew about which of their senses they would want to be super and why.
Photos front page, top to bottom: Maddie putting together a puzzle with no opposable thumbs, Shae being traced by her team, Ethan labeling bones in his groups’ life size skeleton drawing. Photos Second Page, top to bottom: Zoey acting out her super-ears during writer’s workshop- she would be able to hear over a 100 miles!, Marshall mimicking a butterfly after we learned that butterflies can taste with their toes, the Natarajan’s presenting on India for the Passport Program
Quote of the Week: While talking about super senses, a student said, “If you really want to have super hearing, you should have distance vision like a hawk, echolocation like a bat, and night vision like a cat. Then you’d be all set for any adventure!”
Math Minds at Work Blue Math: This week the Blue Math Group had fun placing circus animals in train cars while exploring three-part partitions of the numbers 7, 8, &, 9! We also read the 'Greedy Triangle' which helped refresh everyone on the names of 2 dimensional shapes. The children used descriptive language to compare and sort 2 and 3 dimensional shapes! Yellow Math Group: This week the yellow math group continued to work on grouping with tens and practicing strategies with the hundreds chart. We also began a simple study of area by covering shapes with non-traditional measuring tools like pennies and one inch tiles. Green Math: In the green math group this week, we began to explore the concepts in "grouping" which will lead the students to foundational understanding of multiplication and division.
Students worked to develop various grouping
strategies while looking at the concept in a variety of visual formats. Next week, we will be reviewing as well as our subtraction with borrowing. Red math group: This week the Red Math Group synthesized and applied knowledge they have gained in mapping coordinates, measuring length, mass and area, and using data tables and graphing to solving word problems. I am impressed with students efforts and gains in reading through problems and figuring out which strategies to use to best solve them. I am also seeing a lot of growth in our ability to show our mathematical thinking on paper and share verbally with the class. Next week we will delve into a unit that will help students develop strategies for learning multiplication facts.
Junior Passport Program This week Maya’s parents came in to present on India where they are from and where Maya was born. They wore beautiful traditional clothing to show the class different styles of dress. They also showed photos of native tribes in India to link the conversation to our previous unit on Native Americans. Students were full of questions about who rules India, where it is located, how many people live there, what schools are like, and many more. The Natarajans answered all the questions with their experience from India as well as a vast knowledge base about the country. Maya’s mother, Aparna, cooked a yummy Indian treat for the students to taste with rice and an Indian sauce. They also brought in sugar covered fennel seeds which look like sprinkles and are a popular candy among children in India. Turns out it is also a popular treat among our students! Thanks Aparna and Mohan!
Dates to Remember March 26-30 Spring Break April 5- Nurse guest speaker April 13- Lower Primary crawl through the digestive system (parents invited)