Monday, March 25, 2019

Read Your Heart Out + more

The last week before spring break was a lot of fun! It was full of visitors - we had a visit from the nature center who taught us how to tap our maple tree, a visit from the UW pharmacy students who taught us how to treat medicine safely in our homes, and guest readers including a parent and several first graders who wrote non-fiction books to share with us. We also had Read a Thon, where the students could bring as many books from home as they wanted, and we kept track of how many books we read throughout the day. The result was over 100! Pictures of all these things, plus a few other fun things we've been doing in the last few weeks, are below.

Playing fun math games

Doing puzzles and playing board games

Guest readers

Celebrating spring by making flowers and rainbows

Read a Thon!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Tapping our maple tree

On Tuesday we had special visitors from the nature center come to tap our maple tree in the front yard! First, we learned about features of maple trees, and how to identify them. Then the naturalists taught us about we collect sap from maple trees, showed us the tools they used, and we got to count and see just how fast the sap was dripping out of the tree! 

A few students got to pretend to be maple trees while the naturalists showed them how people collect the sap using a hose system when they have a lot of maple trees.  

Lastly, the students learned about how the sap from the tree is made into maple syrup. We talked about how the syrup many of us buy from the store is different from pure maple syrup, and then the kids were able to taste test two different syrups! They got to decide which was their favorite, and which they thought was the "real" maple syrup. Everyone had so much fun, and it was such a nice day to be outdoors!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Science Friday: Investigating chemical changes

We were lucky enough to have another installment of Science Friday this week! This time Ms. Melissa demonstrated how to tell if there has been a chemical change - such as two materials changing into a solid, forming a gas, or changing color. Then the kids got to do a hands-on investigation of a temperature change by making "snow" from shaving cream and baking soda and pouring vinegar on it!! Each student got their own tray to make their own snowballs, and then we came around with pipettes and cups of vinegar for them to add the explosion effect.

This was an incredibly fun experience and I had multiple students tell me "This was the best day of my life!" Sensory learning experiences are so important for early childhood learners (and older kids as well), and one of the best way to learn about scientific concepts is through hands-on investigations - and we were lucky enough to do both on Friday!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Writer's Workshop

This week we started Writer's Workshop up again after a long break for our science unit, and the kids are writing up a storm! We started off by brainstorming why writers write, and what we could write about. Each morning we spend approximately thirty minutes in free writing time, except Mondays, when we write about what we did over the weekend. This is one of my favorite times of the year, when kids start to synthesize all they've learned about writing for the past six months - stretching out words, using spaces between words, labeling pictures, using periods - to write some very cool pieces. I love seeing what they come up with. Below are some pictures of the kids in action: using their alphabet charts to sound out words, drawing pictures, and writing letters, poems, and non-fiction pieces.

"Ways we can make the world a better place: Riding a bike."
"Yo-yo, yo-yo, bounce, bounce, bounce. Down goes the yo-yo"
"Bounce, bounce, bounce. The yo-yo is bouncing."