Saturday, April 27, 2013

Room 8 Update

Reader's & Writer's Workshop
This week students worked really hard to complete their poetry anthologies!  They published an ode, a "show not tell" poem, "Inside My Heart" poem, and their favorite poem.  They also created a word cloud using their name and words which describe them in computer lab.  Your child will recite two poems during our Poetry Cafe on Tuesday morning--one poem he/she has written and one poem by a published author.  We look forward to sharing our poems with you Tuesday beginning at 8:45!

Math Workshop
We wrapped up Unit 9 this week.  We created a "gallon guy" to help us understand units of capacity.  We also used a spring scale, diet scale, and bath scale to explore different units of weight.  We ended the week taking our Unit 9 test.

We started our final science unit this week...Balance & Motion.  This is my favorite unit!  Students always have a lot of fun with the experiments.  This week students practiced balancing tagboard crayfish, triangles, and arches.  They balanced the crayfish on their fingers, and they balanced the triangles and arches on popsicle sticks.  Students also used clothespins as counterweights to help achieve a stable, balanced system.  They learned the counterweights need to be below the balance point in order to have a stable system.

Happy Earth Day!
On Monday I read aloud one of my favorite books, The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.  After reading the story aloud, students completed the Visible Thinking Routine--Chalk Talk.  Each table group worked together to record their thoughts about the following quote from The Lorax: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not."  Students quietly recorded their thinking regarding this quote.  They also recorded their thinking of other students' thinking.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Room 8 Update

Reader's & Writer's Workshop
This week students began working on their poetry anthology.  We are balancing our time between writing new poems and publishing poems for our anthologies.  Students wrote an acrostic poem using their name.  They also wrote a poem about themselves using similes.  This poem was based on the book Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood.  I also read aloud Animalia by Graeme Base.  The author of this book uses alliteration on each page (i.e. "Beautiful Blue Butterflies basking by a Babbling Brook).  Students then tried writing a phrase using alliteration as well.  Then we typed our phrases and added pictures to them in computer lab.  Finally, students worked on a rough draft of an "About the Author" blurb.  It was a little tricky to write in third person, but their paragraphs turned out great!  Don't forget to mark your calendar for our Poetry Cafe...Tuesday, April 30 at 8:45 a.m.

Math Workshop
We continued our measurement unit this week.  We focused on area and perimeter.  Students often confuse these.  Perimeter measures the distance around a shape, and area measures the amount of space inside the boundary of a shape.  Students used Cheez-Its to determine the area and perimeter of various quadrangles.  Thank you Mrs. Kirchler for helping out with this project!  Students also determined the area and perimeter of large shapes created on the tile floor with masking tape.  Check out the teams working together below!

Science & Social Studies
If you haven't already, please make sure to view the short video of our classroom band below.  Students did an awesome job on their instruments and had fun playing them in class!
In social studies this week, we have focused on learning more about various service occupations.  We also placed family member's occupations into the following categories: people who make things, people who fix things, people who give us ideas, people who take care of people and pets, and other kinds of jobs.  At the end of the week partners worked together to create pantomimes of a particular job.  The rest of the class guessed which job the partners were acting out.
Don't forget your child's career project is due on Tuesday, April 23.  When your child completes the project, have him/her check the rubric on the back of the letter to make sure he/she has completed the project accurately.  Your child only needs to return the final copy.  Thank you for your help at home with this important project!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Room 8 Band

I was really impressed by so many creative instruments! Thanks for your help at home with this project! Check out the video below to hear the instruments in action!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Room 8 Update

Reader's & Writer's Workshop
We have continued focusing on poetry in both reading and writing.  Students have learned to recognize patterns found in poems and have used this knowledge to try writing their own poem with a pattern.  Students tried repeating words and phrases to create a poem with a pattern.  We also talked about another type of poem called an ode.  Students learned an ode is usually written to or about an object, person, or place the poet loves.  We wrote a class ode together called "Dear Beach."  Then students chose a topic to write an ode of their own.

Math Workshop
We have started Unit 9.  This unit focuses on measurement.  This week we have discussed standard and nonstandard units of measurement.  Students have practiced using a ruler to measure to the nearest inch and centimeter.  We have also worked together in class to meausre distances in feet, yards, and decimeters.

Mark Your Calendar...
Friday, April 26: Wass PTO Fundraiser.  I hope to see you on the 26th for the Wass PTO Auction.  I'm looking forward to bidding on the fantastic baskets that have been put together!  Our classroom basket will be there as well.  Thank you so much to Mrs. Potts for taking the time to put it together!

Tuesday, April 30: We are inviting you into our classroom first thing in the morning for a very special Poetry Cafe! Students will share poems they have written and recite a poem or two! We look forward to seeing you on the 30th!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


In Writer's Workshop, students learned how to write a haiku.  A haiku is a short poem which originated in Japan.  It is three lines long; the first line consists of 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables and the third line has 5 syllables.  Each student wrote a haiku about an animal without using the animal's name.  I recorded a short video of the students reciting their haikus.  For the most part the students were recorded in number order.

Can you guess what animal each haiku is describing?  Listen to find out...

Science Review

Today we reviewed many concepts from our sound unit in class.  Your child is going home with his/her sound packet and also a review packet.  All of this work was completed together in class.  Below are some pictures of various sound experiments.

Lilly tests the slow and fast vibrations a ruler can make.  She knows a slow vibration makes a low pitch and a fast vibration makes a high pitch.
Justin makes a nail xylophone.  He learns the larger nail makes a low pitch and the smaller nail makes a high pitch.
After the nail xylophone experiment, Katie knows the longer keys will make a low pitch and the shorter keys will make a high pitch.  She also knows how to change the volume of her instrument.  She can tap lightly for a quiet sound and harder for a loud sound.
Ava hits the big tuning fork on the bottom of her foot to hear its low pitch.
Ethan feels his vocal cords working as he hums a tune.
Nicolas touches a tuning fork to the surface of water to see the vibrations.


Students experimented with boomwhackers.  In doing so, they learned about the difference between pitch and volume.  Volume is how loud or quiet a sound is.  Students tapped the boomwhachers gently for a quiet sound and strongly for a loud sound.  They could also hear the different high and low pitches depending on the size of the boomwhacker as demonstrated below.