This week Frank Asch's bear has been keeping us entertained. This bear does not understand how many science ideas work, so his adventures lead to giggles in the silly way he interacts with the moon, with echoes and with shadows.
In Happy Birthday Moon Bear climbs a tree and puts a hat in the branches.
As the moon travels across the night sky, Bear thinks that the moon is coming to get his birthday gift, the hat.
The students used their imagination to decide what birthday gift they might choose to give the moon, if they were the Bear. I appreciated the variety of ideas!!
Bear wants to get rid of his shadow in Bear Shadow. He tries a variety of methods including trying to nail it to the ground and bury it in a hole. The discussion of how a shadow is created showed the students' understanding. It was impressive to hear that they understood that a shadow can be created in the night! They used a sun to determine which side the shadow should be on. Not all of them understood that the shadow should be feet to feet with Bear, but we will revisit this when the weather warms up and we can try to make our own shadows outside.
The students are just starting to take two large numbers and put them together. Today, the students were using manipulatives, the base ten blocks to put two parts to create the whole. For example, they might be putting 17 together with 12 to create the sum of 29. At this early stage of understanding, most are putting the groups of 10s together first and then putting the ones together. They will be working with this for a while, so eventually we will discover that when putting larger numbers together, it might be easier to start with the ones first. They won't be using paper and pencil or the usually accepted algorithm for quite a while, so don't be concern that they will be learning 'the wrong way'. Right now it is exploration time, and understanding of the concept that is most important.