Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day One of P.O.L.s!

Hello families!

Could you feel the buzz of anticipation today?!  Everyone was so excited to show their friends and family their Presentation of Learning!  Thank you for coming and showing your support and sharing in their learning!

(I apologize for the video angling!! I'm so bummed that some friends' heads were cropped off =/ )

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Long Overdue!

Hello there!

It's been too long!  I apologize for my lapse in posting!  There's just so much to say.  I write a little bit here and a little bit there, but I am going to finally publish this post! Yay!

We have been experiencing some pretty amazing moments together as a class thanks to the support of our Innovations Academy community members, like you!  Here is a "quick" re-cap of our adventures.

City Planning 101

Maximus shared his grandad, Jim, with us, who is an expert in architecture.  In our Construction Area, friends have really been getting excited about putting their work together and making cities.  Knowing that Jim was coming to our class, we got our ideas ready about what structures were found in cities and made a great list! Then Jim brought out his model and talked to us about what city planners might consider when structuring the area.

Have you ever thought about why buildings are placed in certain areas and not others?  This really made us think!  Soon we were on our way to plan our own cities, using teamwork to come to agreements and work out problems along the way!

Later that day, our 5th grade Reading Buddies came in and had the opportunity to hear our ideas and ask clarifying questions about the choices friends made in their work.  They were also asked to give us feedback about what was clear and to leave us suggestions to help our work!  We were really excited to read what they had to say.

A big thank you to the Teresa and everyone from Home Learning Community who invited us into their space to share in their excitement about their new additions!  Their chicks were starting to hatch inside of their incubator!  We were excited to see a fresh new chick, hear their chirps, and watch as new chicks began to break away at their shells!  Also, noticing the incubator and how hot it was also made us wonder about how it worked.

We're looking forward to the HLC coming to our class with their new chicks and interview their "momma" when she comes in as an expert!

Dirt Day

Our school's Director, Christine, went above and beyond once again for our final Dirt Day by filling her truck up with as much dirt as it could carry from the dump and bringing it to our school!  All the Lower Grade classrooms got to work together to unload the truck bucket by bucket and with no time at all, the four planter boxes were filled and ready to host new plants!

Thank you to everyone who helped bring in bags of soil and compost!  You're amazing!!

Testing Wire

A new and exciting tool has entered our classroom: WIRE.  We took some time to get to know different ways to manipulate wire and testing different tools.  Our findings were many:  some tools cut wire, some tools are great for gripping, others are great for coiling.

We've moved on to planning what wire creation we would like to make.  Each student drew their idea and are working towards bringing that idea to life with wire!  It's really exciting to see so be sure to come in and check it out!

Presentations of Learning

We have been getting ready for our P.O.L.s and many of us are very excited.  We've worked as a group to make agreements about what these presentations could look like:

-Introduction to work
-What I learned from my work is...
-What was hard was...
-What I'm proud of is...
-What I learned about HOW I learn is...

We are doing practice runs in class and we are excited for you to come in and see us in action!

Thanks for stopping by!
Love, Gaby

Monday, May 14, 2012

What a Special Week!

Hello families!

Last week was so special for more reasons than one!  I want to say thank you so much for all of the lovely surprises that helped make me feel so loved!  The tasty treats, beautiful flowers, lovely cards, and all the other special gifts were so wonderful!  The school was buzzing with good vibes thanks to the amazing spread of treats for all the staff to enjoy in the work room too!  Everything you all do for us is very much appreciated!

Last week felt different for us because of the Half Days.  This made our morning work time into an opportunity to test some neat new tools in our class.  We did water color for the first time and it was a big hit!  The students had a a chance to test different brushes, resist, a scratcher, and found some interesting results:

You can read the numbers on the brush to tell if it is a big brush or a small brush (10 round or a 2 flat).
Bigger brushes make bigger lines.
You can still make skinny lines with big brushes if you just use the tip of the brush.
Flat brushes make straight lines.
Resist can help make cool designs.
The scratcher makes the paint look like it's bleeding.
If you paint slowly, your paint doesn't run out as fast. 

We have also been bringing in quite a few items from home to continue our research on echoes.  We have been trying really hard to find something that makes an >>>echo<<< (a sound that repeats itself) but have not been able to.  We HAVE found a few things that amplify (makes sounds louder) our voice and makes a >>> reverberation<<< (a long, lingering sound).

We took a moment to listen to a sound clip of an echo and of a reverberation and followed it by watching an >>>animation<<< about them.  Friends were asked to answer the following question in their journal:  What is the difference between an echo and a reverberation?

And lastly, I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day weekend!  While at school, friends worked very hard on a special gift for families in honor of Mother's Day.  Their wish was to write their own song and sing it to you!  It was something that friends wanted to keep a secret so that everyone would be pleasantly surprised!  We had to put our work away quickly sometimes when families came into our classroom for early pick ups!  We even worked on writing invitations to this special performance, which went home last Friday!  If you missed it, don't worry, here is the recording!

I can't thank you enough for sharing these amazing beings with me!  Have a great evening!

Love, Gaby