Mihalik's Marvels E-33
Hi, we're Caitlin & Brayden the editors! This is the Smore newsletter!
Smore September/October Staff
At Westwood Elementary after school in Mrs. Mihalik’s classroom, there is a robotics club called Thursday Tinkerers. It is run by my dad Mr. Canino. We get these robots called Lego Mindstorms, and my HP streams (laptops). We program the Mindstorms to do what the challenge is. For example, the first challenge last year was to make the robot race the other robots and all you have to do for that is drag the first motor block to the start block and put a loop block around the motor block. There were tons of other challenges like make a robot track a line and battlebots. Also, an echolocation challenge, but I forgot the programs for those. I was the only third grader there, and my team won all of the challenges. Thank you for reading.
Anouncement, anouncement, on the overhead, “Fourth and fifth graders come to the M.P.R during your lunch at 12:30 for student council sign-ups."
* * *
It’s 12:30 right now, bell just rang. As half of my class walks into the M.P.R, we see that there are a bunch of people here. As we all sit down, Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Mihalik, and Mrs. Gravin talk about what we have to do if we're in student council, and all the other requirements. At the end they hand us sheets where we have to get signatures from our parents and our teacher. Then we have to write an essay about it. When I first got home I did my regular homework, and then I did my student council stuff. First my own signature, then my mom’s, and then the essay that took me about an eon to do. I talked about the things I did, I'm going to do, and on and on and on. Next day I asked Mrs. Mihalik to sign it and she said yes!
* * *
A couple days later, “We have a special announcement to make, our student council reps," Mrs. Mihalik said. ”They are the one and only Sophia Clark, and Brayden Kaelin. Yes, I thought in my mind.
* * *
A few days later a note on my desk said that there was a student council meeting today at 12:20… A couple hours later we were going to the student council meeting. At the student council meeting (in Mrs. Medico’s room) she talked about how they had raised $3,000 last year! Guess what we’re going to do this year? We’re going to plant huge trees and make a garden. SUPER COOL!!!!!!! And maybe have some buddy benches!! Please wish me luck in Student Council.
Beach Ball P.E.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we have P.E. Sometimes on Wednesday only our class goes out to play, and sometimes we do beach ball P.E. Some kids say it's their favorite activity! The goal of the game is to try to keep the ball up in the air without letting it touch the ground. We play boys versus girls and we count to see which side can keep the ball in the air the longest. A couple of times we played in our classroom when it was too hot outside, and sometimes we played out on the blacktop. When we go out with the other classes, we do rotations. We do things like jump rope, football, frisbee, four square, kickball basketball and sometimes hot lava!
By: Sophia C.
We have X-Ploration Day on Thursdays. We are going to have it at least 10 times this year. During X-Ploration Day we have science, coding, engineering or art. We do one of those things and P.E. For the introduction, Mrs. Kotnik our X-Ploration teacher, told us a little bit about herself. Then we did an art project. We made name tags. Then we went and did P.E. For P.E. we got to go on the MPR stage and show the other 4th grade classes how to do the exercises. After P.E. we did a science project. We got a blow dryer and a ping pong ball and the ping pong ball stayed floating even when we tilted the blow dryer sideways a little. It was so fun, but sadly that was the end of X-Ploration Day.
Two-Dice Sum Game
This year in E-33 we played a math game called Two-Dice Sums. This game teaches you a lot. It helps you get better at addition and teaches you about a bell shaped curve. A bell shaped curve is something that tells you how many combinations there are when you roll two dice.
What you need to play Two-Dice Sums is a game board, ten counters per player, and two dice. First, set up your counters on the game board. If you have a strategy to set up your counters, it may help you win. Next, you roll both dice and add them up. If you have a counter on the number you rolled, you can take it off. If your partner has a counter on the number you rolled, he or she also can take it off. Then keep repeating rolling the dice till all the counters are off your board. Whoever has all the counters off first wins.
The strategy I learned is to put the counters on 7,8, or 6 because there are more combinations to make with the dice, and you are more likely to take off more counters and win. We had tons of fun playing Two-Dice Sums and learning about the bell-shaped curve. It amazed me how that worked!
In these first units we are learning about rounding numbers, estimating, place value, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. Every Tuesday our class has a timed math test to help us figure out our multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division facts quicker. Also, every Monday we have math rotations with our amazing helpers Mrs. George, Mrs. Tokushige, and Mrs. Vermeer. We tackle challenging math equations and play new math games. Also, if you solve one of our Puzzled Penguin equations you get Puzzled Penguin on your desk!
Puzzled Penguins and Friends
This year we are buddying up with Mrs. McClelland’s 2nd grade class for buddies! We each get a buddy to pair up with during the year. All of us get to do crafts and different things with our buddies. At our first meeting, we made our own bookmarks! Last week we did a five senses paper for tasting apples, in honor of Johnny Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. “She is really nice and cute,” Keira says about her buddy. “He is nice, friendly, and smart,” utters Camden. “He is great!” Brayden exclaims. I think we can all agree that we love our buddies!!!
Five Senses Apple Tasting
Our class has been studying social studies, this is an explanation of our first lesson. On the first lesson the vocabulary words were compass rose, line of latitude, line of longitude, absolute location, equator, and the prime meridian. Why this is so important? Because we did it every day, like EVERY DAY! So a brief explanation of what we’re doing. So in this lesson we are learning about directions, latitude and longitude, and absolute location. Why are we learning about this? Because if you think about it all these things it all relates to this lesson, “Locating places on Earth,” because lines of latitude and longitude give absolute or nearly absolute location (and that is another vocab word) and last directions and of course that helps you get to places on earth. So that was our first lesson. Moving on to the second one. The vocabulary words were hemisphere, climate, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn; this lesson was about “How the Earth is divided." (See it is the title.) We learned about the North and South Poles, and dividing the Earth at the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. Finally, we did a fact and opinion. And now it makes a lot of more sense, all of those titles relate to the main idea on how is the Earth divided. Lesson Three vocabulary words were region, landform, capital, coast, and desert. The title was, “How are the areas of California different." Now onto the lesson. First, we learned about the four different regions of California which are the valley, coast, mountains, and desert. We also studied California’s capital which is Sacramento. We explored the different climates, landforms, landmarks, and natural resources each region has in it. Finally, we did an activity with a map legend and a map scale. That was probably the longest lesson yet. And of course you know what all this relates to, how are the areas of California different. Lesson Four vocabulary words were border, settle, mountain pass, and natural resource. The title was “How have California’s landforms and water affected settlements”. We learned about the Pacific Ocean, traveling across the mountains, and how the population of California has grown, and lastly a little fun activity about past and present photographs. And all these facts related to the main title's basic idea of “How have California’s landforms and water affected settlements." And our last lesson, was lesson five. The vocabulary words were: urban areas, suburban areas, rural areas, agriculture, architecture, transportation, and population density. And the title was “How are California’s communities alike and different."
We learned about California’s communities, environments, California's climates, recreations, living in communities, and a fun population skill activity. It was the second longest lesson. And all those loooong paragraphs relate to the title "How are California's communities alike or different."
Now we have done all of the social studies… but no that is just prep for the final activity, the map of California. I’m going to explain this in steps. The first step was you had to do some homework (no surprise), so the homework was to bring in a 12 by 18 inch piece of cardboard and some dough. Next step (at school) was to paint the ocean and the other states. The next step was the dough-- “yay” emphasize the yay, so when we did the dough we had to make the mountains. The next step was to paint the coast, mountains, and desert. The last step was to put on the labels and ta-da, you got a map of California!