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Popcorn Words

Please read these weekly Popcorn Words with your K-Kid each night!

*I *it *run *help *away
*a *in *jump *down
*is *we *one
*am *big *two
*to *for *make
*the *this *get
*go *red *play
*me *like *find
*see *my *funny
*and *come *look
*can *up *blue
*you *not *yellow
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Whales Vs Sharks!

We have taken a headfirst dive right into our Ocean unit. This is such a fun unit to teach since there is so much we don't know about the ocean, which leads to many interesting questions from the K-Kids!

Language Arts:

This week we started a new round of literacy work stations, many of which focus on ocean animals and creatures. We continued to do Words Their Way to help with spelling and phonics skills and the K-Kids have shown a great deal of independent growth now that we have entered into the second half of the year. As a class, we are discussing specific vowel strategies. First, we discussed what the magic e does to other vowels in words like cake, note, and bike. We also talked about what happens "When two vowels go walking..." After looking at some words with this happening, we discovered that "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." Interestingly enough, it also uses it's long vowel sound. However, not all of these strategies are apparent all the time, and we keep putting words in word jail when they don't follow the rules! Try to look for some magic e words and two-vowel words when you're reading at night!

Math:

In math we are continuing our exploration of how to compose and decompose various numbers. We are also starting to explore measurement, greater than/less than, and even/odd numbers with this ocean unit.  To begin, we talked about using our fingers to look at the numbers in only the ones column, and how even numbers will each have a partner while odd numbers will have an 'odd man out!' Ask your child to explain this to you at home!  We are doing a great deal of our math learning through games and manipulatives, which has helped the K-Kids solidify the skills and their ability to explain their thinking! The kids are absolutely loving the Estimation Jar, and after a few days of it there has been a noticeable difference in the kids' estimation skills, and their ability to guess numbers that make sense!

Writing:
We continued to pay attention to various text features that authors can use with their informational writing. We focused on using comparisons in our writing, such as "A polar bear weighs as much as ten men." The students particularly enjoyed the comparison example in one of our mini lessons: "A pig weighs about as much as 6 first graders", which was accompanied by an illustration of a pig and six children balancing on a scale.


Science: 
The ocean unit lends itself very well to science. We started our discussion with an overview of ocean zones, but this week we focused mainly on sharks and whales. First, we created schema charts for each animal. The students shared whatever information that was "already in their brains", and we added it to our chart. Then, as we learned about sharks and whales throughout the week, we added all new information to a separate section on the chart. We also discovered some of our schema was actually a misconception! Then we discussed the differences between sharks and whales. Did you know that sharks are fish while whales are actually mammals? We also explored an actual sharks mouth! Did you also know that sharks don't have a skeleton made of bones? Instead, they are made of cartilage, which allows them to swim through the water with ease. Also, a shark has up to 20 rows of teeth and as they fall out, a new tooth from the next row just pops right in to fill the space! Ask your kiddos to tell you even more shark and whale facts! We ended the week with two fun and adorable projects. The students made orca whales and then wrote 3 facts that they had learned about whales. They also made sharks, and wrote a shark Can/Have/Are sheet. Be on the lookout for these projects hanging up outside our classroom next week!

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