Monday, March 30, 2015

Capture the Flag

We started playing this game at the beginning of the year to get to know one another and learn how to play with each other.  They are in LOVE with this game.  The mud isn’t cooperating with our desire to play, but when it allows us to playwe will!  They need to work together and use strategies to get themselves out of jail, and to the flag without being caught by someone on the other side.  It’s a great way to exercise, have fun, use strategies and learn how to be a good sport.  I love watching them work with each other.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reading with our favorite YOUNG FIVES! 

Adorable.  That’s the best way to describe the kids in Mrs. Saenz’ class.  They are funny, goofy, friendly, happy, silly and quite short.  We spent some time visiting them on Friday as part of their Camp Read-A-Lot adventure.  We brought books and hunkered down for a bit of reading.  And giggling.  These amazing fourth graders are so good with these itty-bitty kids!  They are kind, helpful, patient and excited to read with them. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

THE Hands On Museum, Chemistry and Room 306

What’s a PHYSICAL change in a substance?  If the change doesn’t change what the substance IS, it’s a physical change.  In a CHEMICAL change, there is a chemical reaction, a new substance is formed and energy is either given off or absorbed. 

  What happens when you put baking soda in vinegar?  The baking soda combined with the vinegar creates carbon dioxide, causing the balloon to inflate. 

  What happens when you mix a variety of elements? 

  What happens when you put a little water and an alka seltzer tablet into a film container?

Here are some concepts covered in the amazing workshop:
  Demonstrate the ability to sort objects according to observable attributes such as color, shape, size, sinking and floating.
  Demonstrate that water as a liquid takes on the shape of various containers.
  Describe that water as a liquid takes on the shape of various containers.
  Describe the properties (hard, visible, freezing, ice) of water as a solid (ice, snow, iceberg, sleet, hail).
  Measure the volume of liquids using common measuring tools (graduated measuring cups, measuring spoons, graduated cylinders, and beakers).
  Explain how matter can change from one state (liquid, solid, gas) to another by heating and cooling.
  Compare and contrast the states (solids, liquids, gases) of matter. Describe and illustrate changes in state, in terms of the arrangement and relative motion of the atoms or molecules.
  Explain how mass is conserved as a substance changes from state to state in a closed system.
Vocabulary words:
Gas, liquid, solid, molecule, acidic, basic, chemical change, element, energy, matter, neutral, period table, pH scale, physical change, states of matter, surface tension, vibration
(From The Hands On Museum website)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poems for TWO!

This has been SO MUCH FUN!  Kids were given a partner (selected by the cool app I have!) and working together, they wrote a poem that they will perform in front of the class.  Based on the book Joyful Noise Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman, they wrote poems that followed a few simple rules.  1.  Each person must say things alone.  2.  Partners must say the same word at the same time.  3.  Partners must say different words at the same time.  They had a great time figuring out what they were going to write about and everyone worked really well with one another.  It was glorious.  Seeing them excited about composing a poem is a wonderful thing to see.  Who is YOUR favorite poet?  Share a poem with your child!  I still vividly remember memorizing the poem Sick by Shel Silverstein when I was in the fourth grade.  I can still recite most of it by heart and love sharing poems with your kids.  Such a creative group!  Stay tunedI will post their poems soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 Cutting glass...amazing!
 I'm shaping what will be the bottom of my glass with a cherry paddle.
 Here are two of my completed glasses.
When there is too much glass on the rod, you can get rid of it by scraping it on a metal plate.  You can also cut 
 This is my favorite tool in the studio.  4 pieces of wet newspaper.  It's used to shape the outside of your piece.  

As part of the MATTER unit, The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum will visit on Friday, March 27th.  Kids will get a chance to participate in experiments that will reinforce the concepts we have been learning in class.  I showed them a video about glass blowing (I just finished a 4-week class in Ypsilanti and have brought my pieces to show them) and it’s a wonderful way to see and question the states of matter.  Glass is amazing and I am constantly in awe of what we are able to do in the studio.  Can you cut glass?  As it turns out, yes, yes you can!  Of course, it must be heated up to do so, but that doesn’t take away from how amazing it is.  My favorite tool in the shop is four pieces of newspaper.  We use it to shape our pieces.  Four pieces of wet newspaper shapes 1700 degree glass.  It's super cool, er, hot.    

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pippi Longstocking

There’s so much to love about Pippi.  She’s a strong and lovable character who says and does things to make kids burst into fits of laughter and giggles.  As a kid, I adored Pippi and love having the chance to share her with another generation.  We spend time talking about what she’s like as a person and if we’d want to be her friend (we ALL want to be her friend!).  They are also talking about all of the characters we have read about this year.  It’s been fun chatting about the various characters and the similarities and differences they have.  Getting kids to write about books is a fun part of my job.  In the last few weeks, we’ve really focused on providing EVIDENCE about the things you are writing.  I wrote the sentence:  Pippi Longstocking is an unusual nine year-old girl.  As it turns out, there are a TON of things you can say to back this up!  They worked independently and as a class to come up with evidence to back this up.  It was fabulous!  Everyone had so much to say about this crazy little girl.  If you are reading a book at home, keep track of things together by jotting some things down and talking about them.  It’s so great to hear them contribute to these conversations and I love how much they all have to say.  Reading out loud will always be one of my favorite things to do.  To see and hear their delight when reading is one of the best sounds on the planet.  It’s truly magical. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fraction BINGO

Oh my!  We are having a WONDERFUL time playing Fraction BINGO!

Here’s what you need: bingo board (laminated so we can use them over and over again), dry erase marker, a pair of dice, and an eraser (they play a lot of games!).  The fraction is created by a roll of the dice, a 2 and a 3 would make the fraction 2/3.  If they can reduce the fraction, they can use either fraction whichever works to their advantage.  They LOVE this game.  We have been practicing reducing fractions, comparing fractions, placing fractions on number lines and soon we will be adding and subtracting them too.