Love You

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Making a house that the Big Bad Blowdryer can't blow down!

Being an engineer wan't quite so easy with today's challenge.  The basic idea was that we all knew the story of the Three Little Pigs and how the house of straw and the house of sticks could not stand up to the Wolf as he huffed and puffed.  Only the house of bricks stood up to the wolf.

Today each student again thought of how they could create a structure that could stand up to the wind (or in our case, a blow dryer).  We looked at the various materials that would be available in the teacher's hardware store.  The materials included drinking straws, craft sticks, pip cleaners, styrofoam bases, large index cards, string, coffee stir sticks, and lots and lots of masking tape.
The groups met and discussed their plans and decided what the structure would look like and what materials would be needed.  In this case, they were to label their drawings with the material names.
They would come to the 'store' and order what they needed.
Together, they were to work to try and create the structure that would not fall down.
There were groups that were a bit more haphazard in the approach,
and there were groups that had a plan and worked well in attempting to make the structure.
Whether the structure withstood the blowdryer test or not,
the idea was that they would be able to talk about the plan, what worked well, what was difficult and what they would try differently next time.  Being happy with the final structure was a bonus!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

I've got no strings on me!

As the students work on using various materials, our discussion moved to how items are fastened together.  We talked about tape and glue and thumb tacks and nails and staples.  We looked at how alligator clips and paper clips are useful and how blue tac is used in our classroom.  The students then got a chance to use a fastener that many of them have not used before, a brad. 
We watched a small clip from the movie "Pinocchio" and identified that at the beginning he was a puppet.  His joints moved.  This was quite a long activity because it involved colouring, cutting, pasting the head onto the body, then having the teacher use the hole punch so that the brads could be
added.
 
They turned out beautifully and will be making their way home on Friday in the Take Home folders.

In math class, we hung up our 'laundry', and yes! one smart knew exactly what that difficult word meant! Hooray!
The students got a chance to choose to make a t-shirt, a dress or a pair of pants.  They chose stickers and used them to create a pattern and then labeled the pattern using alphabet letters.
They were all hung up at the back of the classroom on our shelf.
Using crayons, the students then created a pattern on a pair of socks.  We noticed that whatever pattern would be found on one sock, had to be repeated exactly on the other sock.

I do believe they are ready to help with laundry at home now! (tee hee!)

Monday, 16 October 2017

From beards to bridges....

I think Jesus has a sense of humour, especially when it comes to kids!
Today in our assembly, the words to morning song seemed to be a little bit changed....
perhaps our assistant principal had something to do with it??
It was all for a great reason though!
This brave teacher had his beard shaved off in front of the entire school body.  He offered this as a reward for meeting the challenge of selling tickets for an upcoming event.
First the beard came off,
then suddenly it was all of his hair!  Hope the weather stays warm!
The students and I have been talking about what an engineer does.  We know that both boys and girls can become engineers.
These are the steps that an engineer uses to try and solve a problem.
We are doing STEM activities all week long.
What is STEM?
STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
The problem for this project was based on the story of the Gingerbread Man.  How could he get across the river so that he did not have to rely on the wolf?
The students were placed in small groups after they had created their own plan.  They shared their ideas and they discussed which plan they would like to try.
The students worked collaboratively to create what they had planned.
The discussions were rich.  At this group I heard "We are going to have to change the plan because the marshmallows are so heavy that they are falling down."  Great insight.....
The students were focussed and worked well together!
I think that they really enjoyed themselves!

Look how this group checked over the original plan to make sure they were on the right track.
At the end, the entire class went from one group's project to another and each student got a chance to share their experiences.  They explained their thinking and even shared if they thought they were successful or not.  I was extremely impressed for this being the 30th day of school!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A peek at our week....

Over the last few weeks, the students have been focusing their attention on looking at, identifying, naming, extending and recreating patterns of various types.  Patterns are all around us, and though this work is mostly focused in the area of mathematics, our daily life is full of understanding and following patterns.  When you think about it, reading recognizes patterns as well!
After many opportunities to work with various types of materials, the students were asked to demonstrate their understanding by creating patterns with blocks and then taking the concrete and creating a picture of their pattern on the paper, as well as naming it....this time with the letters of the alphabet.
In our classroom, we do not stay in our desks all day long.  Being able to work in other locations, assists the students in keeping their brain active as their bodies work in different ways.


Look carefully.  Never expect that I will only show work where the student is correct.  When I assess, I am looking for where I will need to re-teach, or explain again to a little one who appears to be a bit confused.
I also will look at why the student did not complete the task, or take the time to do the task in a manner that they can be proud of.  
Isn't this a lovely sign of our season of Autumn?  Here is the little gift that I received after recess....so lovely especially as there are so very few Maple trees in our little town.
Every afternoon, there is about a five minute window in our school day, that allows us to get up and move.  We often dance, following the actions of one of our favourite groups.  The movement, or dance, or brain break, is shown to assist the students in getting the cobwebs out of their heads so that they can focus on the last, and often most tiring part of the day.  

The students know that after their Brain Break, the end of the day is not too far away!
I have been reading some of my very favourite books to the students this week, written by Patricia Coombs and featuring Dorrie the little witch with the crooked hat and the socks that don't match.
The students LOVE the books!  I took the opportunity to make a connection to the story as we
practised hearing the sounds in the words and trying to see if we could print the letters that make those sounds so we could print words.  We did this together as a group.  We then put together a skirt, some socks and a pair of very fancy black boots to create a type of witch picture.

Our first Yoga class was great fun, as we warmed up our bodies,
practised paying attention to our breath,
and challenged how our bodies could move!

Thanks mom and dad, for paying for these four 1/2 hour sessions.  We can't wait for the next one!