Mrs. Ball's Weekly Update
January 18, 2016
The Journey has Begun!
It has been a wonderful start to our trip to Antarctica! The first days of study involved important preparations... read alouds about Antarctica, packing lists, and passports. The students' measuring of their heights and weights for their passports provided a reference point for the penguin studies to come, including the physical attributes, behaviors and life cycles of 6 different penguins (Rockhoppers, Kings, Little Blues, Gentoos, Chinstraps, and Emperors). This unit is rich with measurement activities as well as map reading, sorting, and graphing. The kids' book boxes are piled deep with non fiction choices and their writing is fact based and detailed. I am truly impressed by their knowledge base of world geography, weather, and penguins. First graders are researchers by nature and the kiddos are engaged and excited for more!
This week we played our first travel game- Journey to Antarctica. This unit's math games are designed to keep the students' computation and place value skills sharp. We also gathered facts and did some research about the environment. We discussed the fragile environment of Antarctica and the concerns scientists have for the future of our planet. We talked specifically about global warming and how the rise in temperatures have caused ice shelves to collapse throughout the region, subsequently its effect on the penguin numbers. More importantly, we talked about how we can do our part to help the earth by conserving, consuming less and "chiming in" to educate others.
How Cold is the Polar Sea?
Now that we understand how cold and dangerous the polar sea can be we will cautiously set sail to the Falkland Islands just northeast of Cape Horn. There we will meet our first penguin, the Rockhopper, and learn how to measure in inches and weigh objects to the nearest pound. We will also have an introduction to non-fiction texts and informational writing.