Mrs. Ball's Weekly Update
January 30, 2016
The Adventure Continues
This week our focus was on the Rockhopper, King and Little Blue Penguins and we began what will be a consistent format for studying these darling creatures.
There are specific tasks which will be performed for each penguin in this unit. The Rockhoppers were the first penguins we studied. Our introduction lesson began with a poem which we read together. We next discussed and highlighted important information found in each stanza. Using that information, the students then completed a Rockhopper data sheet, documenting the penguins’ height & weight and they colored a beak, feet and head to match the description given in the poem. The students next cut yarn to represent in inches the penguins’ height which was recorded on the “How Tall Is Each Penguin?” chart. This chart will be used throughout this unit to compare each penguin to the students’ height, as well as comparing them to one another. Next, using a collection of canned goods of various weights and sizes, the class was challenged to place a combination of the cans on the scale until they found a can combination that matched the weight of the Rockhopper (5-6 pounds). The students placed this combination of cans in a shopping bag and by lifting the bag, had a true understanding of the penguins’ weight. These poems and data sheets provide the information needed for the class to thoughtfully compare the various penguins’ weights and heights and to also differentiate their features, breeding patterns and homes. We are charting this information on a class poster, too.
The list below will become the students’ regular routine for each penguin we study after highlighting poem.
STUDENT JOB LIST
1) Cut string to match the height of penguin type. Tape it to the data sheet and fill out information.
2) Color in your own height and that of penguin on “How Tall Is Each Penguin”.
3) Go to the scale and find out how heavy this penguin feels and complete weight sheet.
Our math game this week was “Penguins On Board” which required the kids to read a coordinate grid, practice addition facts to 18 and count money in quantities of 1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s. Next week will will complete our basic math unit on measurement; comparing and ordering lengths, weights, temperatures, capacities and areas. Followed by measuring time to the hour and half hour. We will also focus on building our math stamina by introducing minute math practice. Just like in reading, this timed practice will increase our students’ basic math facts fluency.
In Language Arts the class wrote informative essays about the important facts they learned about each penguin. They also included a labeled illustration.
Next week we will learn about the penguins’ predators, discuss the food chain and complete informational writing about Little Blue Penguins of Australia and New Zealand. We will then travel to the South Sandwich Islands to meet the Gentoo Penguins! Most of our current class work is being saved for classroom display or for their penguin pocketbooks which will come home at the end of the unit.
The Great Kindness Week Challenge!
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" - Leo Buscaglia.
This week, schools across the Nation and beyond celebrated The Great Kindness Challenge! We decorated doors, decorated ourselves, participated in Kindness Station activities (writing thank you notes, making compliment hearts and kind hearted hands), we sang the "Kind Hearted Hand" and focused on using kind words and actions with everyone we encountered. It was a wonderful week and a tradition we will look forward to continuing!