Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pebbles of Kindness

During interactive read aloud time I’ve been reading the class a series of books on how a little bit of help to either a person or a group of people can make a huge difference. The books we read focused on help in developing countries in the form of animals (goats, chickens, etc...), seeds and gardening techniques, the necessity of fresh water, and health care (such as mosquito nets to prevent malaria). I call that little bit of help being a pebble of kindness, and compare it to dropping a pebble in the water and watching how the ripples spread out far and wide. The children have a good understanding of what this means. They have talked quite a bit about how people in the places we read about live very different lives than they do, and I think it helped them realize (at least to some degree) how fortunate they all really are. As a culminating activity to this series of books, the children voted how to spend a bit of my money so that they can be a pebble of kindness and help others. They each did this through a persuasive letter to me, where they had to state both their opinion and the reasons for their opinion. The winning option was that we would spend money to help provide three sets of insecticide-treated bed nets. This means that our class will help protect three entire families from malaria for up to four years!  I’m really proud of how seriously the children approached their task, and their desire to truly be a pebble and help others less fortunate!

I was so impressed with what the children had to say that I asked each of them to pick out their best reason for their choice, and I recorded them reading it. You can listen to that recording below. Please take a few minutes to listen to their thoughts, and then leave them a comment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fraction App Smash

An app smash is when multiple apps are used to create a product. The Safari Scholars have been busy app smashing with the iPads to share their new knowledge about fractions. First they went on a treasure hunt around the building to find examples of fractions and take pictures with the camera app. Then they used Pic Collage and Educreations to create their show. Here's one of the many great products created!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Pictures

New pictures taken this month have been added to our class Photo Album page. Look in on your child during his/her days in school.

Bored Kids?

Are your kids complaining about being bored at home with all of the time spent inside lately between super cold days and snowy days? Our class website has the answer for you and your child. The Just for Kids section is filled with links to educational activities and games that go with our curriculum, as well as keyboarding practice. The Safari Scholar section will stretch your child’s brain with 100 unique and challenging tasks. Also, don't forget your child can keep practicing their math facts on XtraMath and keep reading on RAZ-Kids, and use that time for their reading and math fact logs. There's always something fun and educational for your child through our class website.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up

Next week we begin our next topic of study in math, fractions. Students will learn that fractions are equal parts of a whole, of a set, or of a length. They will also learn to name fractions and to locate fractions and mixed numbers on a number line. At home you can help by asking your child to identify fractional parts of a set. For example, you could ask them what fraction of the silverware on the table are forks, or what fraction of items (such as toy cars or rubber bands) are a certain color. Keep the objects in the set to 12 or less, and ask your child to also use the fractions 1/6, 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 to identify the fractional set when possible. Example: Of the 12 rubber bands, 6 are red, so 6/12 or 1/2 of the rubber bands are red.

Please make sure your child is reading and practicing math facts during any snow days and our Feb. break. If they don’t have their logs, copies can be found in the File Cabinet section of our class website. All children picked out books to bring home to read during break, and if they have a computer or a device with internet they can login to their RAZ Kids account and read books on there. Just remind them to record their reading to earn their Tiger Tickets.

Here's what we're learning for the next week and a half:

  • Reader’s Workshop: Biographies
  • Writer’s Workshop: Opinion Writing
  • Spelling: Unit 20 - Words home on Monday, Feb. 23rd, test Friday, Feb. 27th.
  • Math: Topic 9 - Fractions
  • Science: Habitats

Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Information Books

Our information writing books have been published... sort of. Here's the quick link to the books:

Now here's the story behind publishing their stories... I'm having some technical difficulties getting them into Kindle format, and retaining the page breaks for chapters and special formatting like bulleted lists. So, what I've done is put them all into PDF format and post them on our class website. In the meantime I've got calls out for help on social media to all my techie teacher friends and even further on Twitter. So hopefully I'll be able to get the books in ePub format so your children can all download each others' books onto their devices.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Division with Educreations and Pic Collage

The Safari Scholars have been busy creating presentations to show their understanding of the concept of division. Using the iPad apps Pic Collage and Educreations, they worked during their center activity time in math rotations for about 15mn a day over 3-4 days. I'm so proud of their hard work with these presentations! Parents, hop over to your child's blog to leave a comment on their presentation.