What happened today?

January 20th
January 21, 2009, 11:51 am
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Welcome back! We played some catch up today. Students were informed that this is the last week of the marking period, and we cleaned desks looking for any missing work. Progress reports went home today, along with their Friday Folder, Monday folder, ideas for the Celebration of Writing Event , and directions for the reading project for this month. We played a game using the colored blocks we have been using. This game is called “How Long, How Many” and it has the students creating rectangle arrays for multiplication. We watched the inauguration and we discussed what President Obama wants for our country. We then created a page in a book telling the president how we plan to make America a better place! I am confident we are in good shape for the future! They had awesome ideas!! We took our spelling test and created new words for this week, which were sent home.

January 15th
January 15, 2009, 10:43 pm
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We used the blocks today to build a design and figure out the value of our design using multiplication. Miss Alford had an “inspired idea” as Patricia Polacco would say! We recreated the rock cycle using marshmallows, chocolate chips, and caramels. First we squeezed them together to form a sedimentary rock, then we added more pressure and heat to make a metamorphic rock . To make the two types of igneous rocks we used a crock pot as our volcano and melted the 3 layers. We took some and cooled it right away in cold water and then we let the rest cool slowly. We went to computers and did more research on our Webkinz! We found out that the monkey isn’t a monkey at all…it is an orangutan! Harriet Tubman is finally free, but it was a scary journey! She just crossed the line and she wants to go back to free the other people in her family. We read a memoir by a different author today. We talked about our strategies we are using to write our own memoirs. Elana is using dates and time to keep her on track, Drew is using the web he always uses, Cole P. decided to use a historical event and how his family reacted to it, Anna is making a list of events, Noah is asking his parents to share stories with him and he and Taylor are trying to create snapshots of the people in their memoir. Larissa is really trying hard to add lots of details. Daddy Daughter Dance invitations went home today! It is February 7th!

January 14th
January 15, 2009, 10:31 pm
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We used a new set of blocks today that are different colors and lengths. Each length and color means a certain number and we will be using these for multiplication. Today the students were able to explore with the blocks and figure out the value of each block. We  made sugar crystals solution today and we set up our growing lab. We also looked at the three types of rock in science lab. We learned that sedimentary rocks can turn into metamorphic and igneous rocks. We learned that rocks have a cycle like many other things. We  learned that each type of rock is formed a different way. We wached 3 different short film strips about the rock cycle to see if we could understand what was happening…Miss Alford is trying to see if she can come up with something better since we are all a little “vexed” as Patricia Polacco would say! We read another chapter of Harriet Tubman, and boy are we scared! She ran away! She isn’t past the Mason-Dixon line, so she isn’t free yet! Jack is really worried she will have one of her sleeping spells and be caught….we will see! We read another memoir and we worked on ours.

January 13th
January 15, 2009, 10:23 pm
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We had our last bead math activity and we were limited on the numbers and colors of beads we could use. We did keep the last bracelet we made. We looked into what sedimentary rocks are. We had cupcakes that were in layers last week and we took a core sample. Today we looked at core samples made our of  paper and figured out how old they were. We learned that sedimentary rocks are formed by layers of sediment resting on each other and the pressure causes them to squeeze together. We read another chapter of Harriet Tubman and found out the reason her last name is Tubman is because she married a man named John Tubman, but he wasn’t nice to her either! We have been reading Patricia Polacco books and studying how a memoir is written. We read about her brother today and yesterday and that inspired some of us to write about our family!

January 12th
January 15, 2009, 10:15 pm
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We continued with our bead math activity. We had to use more colors this time and try to record our data in a more organized fashion. We also finished our lab on rock properties. We researched what exactly are our Webkinz. We decided we needed to decide exactly which animal it is to better understand them. We are also checking out at least 3 websites to find out what our animal truly eats! Harriet Tubman really has a tough life! Today we read that she was hit in the head with a two pound weight! She almost died, but her mother, Rit, nursed her back to health again! We brought home a homework assignment to create a map of our bedroom, our newsletter, and our new spelling words for the week!

January 8th
January 11, 2009, 1:52 am
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We started our “Bead Factory Math”. This is a unit that involves problem solving using multiplication, algebra and money skills. Students have beads to make bracelets that are a certain value. Today’s value was sixty cents. We started a strategy page to keep track of the different strategies students used. Our clay rocks from Tuesday finally dried so we could compare them to real rocks and make another prediction on whether this rock would break apart or not. We put them in the freezer and we will check on them tomorrow. We read another chapter of Harriet Tubman and we are very upset that she is a slave and we cannot believe how she was treated. She was only 6 years old when she was taken away from her parents to work. We continued to work on our memoirs.

January 9th
January 11, 2009, 1:50 am
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We had another bead factory math session where we recorded the amount we spent on each bead color.  Students had more strategies today. We had some use a 2 cent bead with a 5 cent bead to make it easier to add up the total cost of the bead, and others used the 10 cent beads in the same manner. We looked at our clay rocks we had in the freezer and we were shocked that they all broke open. We found out that water can cause a lot of weathering to take place and we found out that this is one reason we have potholes. We were paid today and the store was open with lots of new items! We did our cursive in shaving cream today and we cleaned our desks inside and out. We took our spelling tests and chose new words for next week. We also worked on our memoirs. We had a Bridges to the future note go home today as well as our weekly progress report and our corrected papers! We do have an extension on the due date of the commercial we are making! It is not due until the 23rd now!

January 7th
January 11, 2009, 1:35 am
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Today we continued to investigate the area models of mutiplication, but today we used chewing gum. We had to do a lot of thinking to figure out how many pieces there were at each table, in the class, and we made lots or rectangular arrays using the sticks of gum. Today we looked at rocks through the eyes of a geologist. We tested the hardness, luster, streak patters and cleavage or fracture of each rock. We will continue this in science lab on Monday. We also investigated how the tectonic plates move. We took graham crackers and frosting and practiced how the plates move by pulling them apart, pushing them together, and sliding them against each other. Students could see that mountains formed in the frosting. We also cut apart the continents and put them together like they were along time ago. We started reading a biography of Harriet Tubman. Students have a journal they are working on that will help us keep track of the interesting things we learn about her. We also investigated another memoir by Patricia Polacco. Students began writing their rough drafts of their own memoirs.

January 6th
January 11, 2009, 1:25 am
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Welcome back! We had a very busy day! We started the day using Hershey Bars to make area models of multiplication problems. It was a yummy math activity. Students are starting to be interested in division as we delve deeper into multiplication. We also had rock samples and we put them into categories. This is a precursor for our lab we have tomorrow investigating the properties of rocks. We also reviewed maps and what features they have. We did so our holiday party today since the snow day took it away from them. We turned it into a science extravaganza! We made models of the Earth’s layers by making a yummy treat with different foods for each layer. We also had sediment cupcakes that had several types of cakes as layers. We added frosting and sprinkles to finish off the top layer of the crust and then we took a “soil sample” using a straw. We made crystals and painted with a crystal solution, and we made rocks out of clay. In our fake clay rocks we put a water balloon in the middle. We made a hypothesis on whether our ‘rocks’ will break open or stay the same if they spend the night in the freezer! Thanks to all the parents that sent in food! We ate to our heart’s content.