Friday, December 5, 2014

Learning is Fun!

This past month flew by!  On November 14th we went to the Children's Discovery Museum in Acton. The children had a blast exploring the various floors of the Museum.  They also participated in a Sink and Float Design Challenge. The challenge was to build a boat that would float while carrying various supplies (treasure-hard boiled egg, people-pennies, sleeping bags-rolled felt, food-tea bag, tent poles-straws, etc.).  First the students were put into groups of four.  They were given time to investigate with a variety materials to figure out which would sink and which would float.  Then it was time for the challenge!  Students learned quickly that teamwork was the most important aspect of this challenge.  They shared ideas, strategies, and solutions as they worked.  Many of the groups came close to building a boat that would carry the items safely.  Throughout this activity the children were taking part in the Design Process.  Below are many pictures taken at the Discovery Museum!

     In Science we finished our Tree Unit with a culminating project.  Each child created a slideshow using the Explain Everything App on their iPads.  They took pictures of coniferous and deciduous trees then wrote facts about each type of tree.  You can watch your child's slideshow by clicking on the "Tree Project" tab underneath the class picture on this blog page.   Our next unit of study is the Moon.  The children will learn about the phases of the moon and the relationship of the sun, moon, and earth.
     In math we finished our sixth topic which focused on addition strategies for adding two digit numbers.  Our next topic is topic seven which focuses on subtraction strategies for subtracting two digit numbers.  Below are some pictures which show various games the students played to help with their fluency of math facts.  Please make sure your child is practicing math facts daily by using any online games, math apps on the iPad, flash cards, etc.  If your child is fluent with addition and subtraction facts to 20, it will make solving more complex problems easier.
     Our Reading Class has been learning about multisyllable words, and adding suffixes such as ed, ing, ful, ment, ness, less, able, ish, s, and es to words in Fundations.  During our hour of reading instruction the children practiced reader's theater scripts to work on reading fluency.  They did a great job reading with expression and were very excited to perform for Mrs. Lane's reading class.
   During the month of November the students learned about Narrative Writing.  We discussed the features that great narrative writing should include and the students wrote a piece about getting our class pets!  Many of the students published these using Google Drive on their iPads and created a picture in Drawing Pad to go with it.  Our class also works on creative writing at various times throughout the year.  They really enjoyed brainstorming scary words after reading Harry and the Terrible Whatzit  by Dick Gackenbach today.  Ask your child about his or her scary sentences and scary stories.
     One last thing that took place in the last month was the Turkey Trot and Walkathon.  The day began with a boom!  Literally!!!!!  Mr. Papadonis, Mr. Musselman and Miss Pavlicek came to our school and put on a special presentation.  Mr. Papadonis caused a chemical reaction inside of a pumpkin and the pumpkin exploded!  As you can imagine the kids thought this was the greatest thing they had ever seen!  After the pumpkin explosion we went outside to cheer on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders running the Turkey Trot.  Once the Turkey Trot wrapped up we began our walkathon.  We had a great time and luckily the rain held off until we were on our fourth lap.  It was really nice to spend the day together with our school community.  Below are many pictures from the last month of school and even a video of the pumpkin explosion!

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