Classroom Notes – March 17, 2015

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Our class trip to the Rice Rock museum was a great success. The kids were amazed by the many different kinds of rocks and crystals the museum had on display. They also enjoyed picnicking in the museum’s garden, but most of all, the kids had a great time choosing a special rock from the rock pile. With so many to choose from it was challenging to find the right one. We shared our finds when we got back at school. It was great fun to see what each child chose – big, small, crystals, agates, smooth, rough, heavy, light…

We are wrapping up two units this week – our science unit on Rocks, Sand, and Silt and our Penguin Math unit on measurement. We have had fun learning about and comparing six different species of penguins. We were amazed to learn that smallest penguin, the Little Blue, weighs only 2-3 pounds compared to the largest penguin, the Emperor, which can weigh up to 100 pounds! We also had fun observing and experimenting with rocks, sand, and silt. We learned at lot about how to classify rocks based on their size.

This Thursday afternoon we will be attending a preview of the Lewis school play Jack and the Three Sillies. These performances are always fun. Tickets are on sale in the office and online if your family is interested in coming back Thursday or Friday evening to see a public performance.

Lastly, I have started posting pictures on a Twitter account  at https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry. Subscribe and check out daily classroom happenings.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – March 9, 2015

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Alas, we will be heading off to the Rice Rock Museum early on Friday. Thank you volunteers! Thank you for answering my call – I couldn’t do it with out you. If you are packing a home lunch – please consider packing it a paper bag and other recyclable trash to help with ease, space, and lost items. Thanks!

We are having great fun as scientists this week. The kids are actively observing, screening, and identifying river rock. Their task is to figure out what actually makes up the material known as river rock. They are screening it and identifying the materials, as well as hypothesizing how it came to be that way.

In math, we continue our investigation of penguins by documenting each penguin’s height and weight, as well as other special identifying attributes. This week the kids will also start creating a bank of penguin questions for an upcoming game of Penguin Jeopardy. Each group will be responsible for writing several questions on an assigned penguin.

We have started focusing our writing on All About books. The kids are picking topics that they know a lot about – Room 3 experts, so to speak. Chatting with your child about ideas and topics that are of interest to them will help them be more successful.

Finally, I am looking for volunteers to help with some prep work. The upcoming Spring math curriculum includes a Farm unit which requires a lot of prep work. I would love to get some volunteers to help cut out some of our necessary pieces. Using the paper cutter at school is probably easiest, but taking the work home is also an option. Let me know if you are interested and have the time in the next month to work on this. We will need the pieces by mid-April. Thanks!

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – March 3, 2015

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Happy March! Our rock unit is in full swing in the classroom. We have observed, sort, described, and thoroughly examined our volcanic rocks and river rocks. In addition to our classwork and upcoming field trip the kids can start, or add to, a rock collection at home. This is optional, fun extension to our science unit. We will bring our rock collections in the week of March 16 – 20th to share with the class. We will be observing, sharing, and comparing them. The rocks will come home and won’t be “experimented” on, but please make sure nothing too special is sent in just as a precaution. I would hate for a favorite rock to go missing.

In math we have learned about our first penguin, the Rockhopper. The kids were surprised to find out how small it is – only 18 inches high and 5-6 pounds.  This is much smaller then most of us imagined! We have a lot of weight comparisons to make between the various types of penguins and it would be helpful to have a scale in the classroom. If you have an old scale we could borrow for the next few weeks – let me know! Thanks!

The kids did a fantastic job on their first spelling test last week! Keep up the great work! Now the key is to make sure we are remembering them in our writing!

Our Rice Rock Museum trip is next Friday. I still have room for 2 chaperones. This is a wonderful trip with some amazing rocks to view.  We need plenty of hands-on-deck, so to speak, to make it successful. Please let me know if you are able to come ASAP. Thanks!

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – Feb. 24, 2015

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We had a fantastic time on our field trip to to see The Jungle Book at the Northwest Children’s Theatre. It was filled with traditional Indian dances and fantastic performances, including one by a former Lewis student!

We have been exploring the world of rocks. We have conducted two experiments so far. For our first experiment we rubbed two rocks together and found that we could create rock dust. Next we put the rocks in water and were amazed that some of the rocks gave off bubbles, and that we could now see some colorful details. We used our “Rock Word Bank” to describe our rocks today – using adjectives to tell about their shape, color, size, and texture.

This week we are reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. We are exploring how the main character changes throughout the story, as well as the themes of the story. We decided two possible themes might be that anyone can be an artist, and that you should believe in yourself. We are also doing our own dot paintings inspired by the book.

Finally, the class will have their first spelling test on Friday. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – February 18, 2015

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I hope everyone is enjoying the fantastic weather we have been having lately. One could get used to this! This is another busy, short week and it is all about fresh starts. In language arts our next set of stories will focus on things we treasure – from surprises, to great finds, to things people do for us. In writing we will turn our focus to writing nonfiction “all about” stories. In math we will begin an integrated unit on penguins and measurement. And finally, we will begin our Spring science unit on Rocks, Sand and Soil.

Our field trip to see The Jungle Book at the Northwest Children’s Theatre is next Wednesday, Feb. 25th. I look forward to NWCT productions because their adaptations are always fun and quite different from the well known versions. If you haven’t returned the permission slip yet, please do so ASAP. Also, please pack a snack as we will be eating an early lunch in the classroom before we go and will have an afternoon snack when we return. Chaperones can be at school by 10:40. We will board the bus at 11:00 and should be back at school around 2:00.

Next week we will begin having a spelling test on Fridays. The test will be on the words that are coming home in the homework packet. Please help your student practice these words throughout the week. Next week I will include a Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe sheet that has some ideas on how to practice. I will be including challenge words for those students who quickly master the words and patterns. Please work on these only if your child has mastered the other list.

Cheers!

Classroom Notes – February 4, 2015

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The school was treated to a fabulous performance by the Portland Opera Company on Tuesday. The kids loved it, as I am sure you heard. I was sorry to miss it, but the kids did a great job with Ms. Heinline. I will be out of town at a funeral early next week and Ms. Heinline will be back for me. All of the substitutes always rave about what a lovely class Room 3 is this year. I am so lucky!

Our literacy work this week will be working on our timelines – selecting pictures, writing captions, and sequencing them on a timeline.The kids had a great time sharing their pictures with table mates – lots of giggles, oohs, and aahs. I can’t wait to see the final results. I hope they will be up in the hallway before I leave on Friday.

In math we have been working with comparing lengths and will now turn to measuring thing with non-standard units such as popsicle sticks and unified cubes.

A permission slip will be coming home this week for the upcoming play The Jungle Book. Please check with me about chaperoning if interested. And finally, report cards are done and will be coming home at the end of the week. This kiddos are doing just fabulously. I look forward to our Spring adventures in rock and insect science, penguin and farm math, and more personal narrative and how to writing. Cheers!

Classroom Notes – Jan. 27, 2015

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The first graders in Room 3 are finishing work on a writing piece about their favorite season. After brainstorming many great things about each season, the kids each chose one season as their most favorite to write about. Each essay includes three reasons why the chosen season is their favorite. There are many great reasons to enjoy each season including popsicles, bike rides, birthdays, snowball fights, Santa, leaf piles, swimming, and simply having time to play outside.

In math we having been working on telling time. This is a tricky skill to master especially in the age of digital clocks. Any chance you get to look at analog clocks will be extremely helpful. Our targets right now are simply telling time to hour (o’clock) and half-hour (thirty).

We will begin putting our timelines together next week. Pictures and momentos should be in by this Thursday (tomorrow) so the students can look through them on Monday and choose 5 moments to share on their timeline.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah