Landscape watercolor pieces and two sessions with Springfield Pottery Claymobile!
Congratulations to Maddie and Jacob for placing in the MCTM Elementary Mathematics Contest March 10! Jacob won 1st Place in Problem Solving and 4th in Concepts; Maddie won 5th Place in Problem Solving and Concepts. Way to go! Check out our Andy Warhol Pop Art pieces; professional artist and Field Dad, Jason Harper, tells us about cartooning and his artistic process; and, kids get creative making their own Jackson Pollock pieces!
Stephanie Cramer, a professional artist and director of programs and exhibits for the Springfield Regional Arts Council, shared her artistic process with us and explained the abstract mixed media project students will complete at the Creamery Arts Center on April 10. Also, check out our math quilts, an inquiry into symmetry and the geometric transformations "reflections," "translations," and "rotations."
Grace shares her Chinese heritage with the class; geometric reflections and symmetry using transparent mirrors; and abstract art inspired by Vassily Kandinsky!
Studying Immigration "Push/Pull" factors; researching and presenting a mini-report on various immigrant groups who came to America--with a focus on what pushed and pulled them here, their challenges, impacts on the community, and interesting facts/traditions; and, Saturday's BIG DIG in the new Field Garden! Thanks to all who came and helped rake, dig, weed, build, and pass out refreshments. We had 270 volunteers in all!
Valentine's Party Fun! And, for our Immigration unit, guest speaker Alex Patsioukov from Russia (owner of Ballroom World and a "Field Dad").
Immigration speakers: Russell Dell from Canada (Ilee W.'s grandpa); Kass Lear tells us about Zealon's ancestors, who immigrated from Lebanon; and, Sachin Shenoy of India (Stephen's dad) tells us via Skype about coming here 25 years ago to study medicine. Also, a "fractions of sets" math game!
Groups collaborate and research using the book If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island. They taught each other why immigrants came to America, what they brought with them--and left behind, what life was like on the ship, how they felt at Ellis Island, and what they did after they were admitted into the country. Then, our Ellis Island Simulation, beginning on the "ship" in the library and ending with immigrants getting deported or taking the Loyalty Oath. Friday, we heard from our first immigration guest speaker, Paul Devlin, from Scotland! Kids got to hear first hand about his challenges, risks, and opportunities as an immigrant.
Electronics/Snap Circuits party for good behavior, and three sessions with The Moxie Cinema for our storyboarding project and field trip!
Sprouting some good ideas: A garden seed-starters project with our Kindergarten Buddies--in January!
A group fractions investigation and presentations; and, Discovery Center helps us understand types of energy, energy transformations, and sound and light waves!
For our Energy Unit: City Utilities Electricity/Electrical Safety presentation!
The All-School Holiday Assembly, the Holiday Concert, Anna and Nick and advanced Spanish lessons, and former SPS science teacher Larry Davis. He taught the kids how to observe and analyze energy changes—through everything from eating peanuts, shooting arrows into a target, juggling golf balls and swinging a rubber-ball pendulum, to stretching a rubber band between his fingers and aiming it away from him. Also, highlights from our rip-roaringly fun Holiday Party!
Using the scientific method to investigate batteries, wires, and light bulbs; investigating circuits with snap circuit kits; Play-Doh and the writing process (thinking about connections between the creative processes of sculpting and writing); Spanish lessons with Anna and Nick; and, our awesome James River Power Station field trip!
Learning advanced Español (terms and actions for feelings and emotions) with Glendale Spanish 5 students; and, working with our Kindergarten buddies on the concept of Family. Olé!
Investigating circuit boards from old cell phones, CD players, digital cameras, computers, and remote controls. Also, how does static electricity work, anyway?
Numbers, Mayan Style, with student "teacher leaders"; and, our second-unit action plans. Kids took so much wonderful action this unit. Way to go!
"Beat the Calculator" game in multiplication; Mayan numerals; our Greene County Courthouse Field Trip; inquiring into great leads in writing; thinking about character, setting, plot, change, and conflict in reading; and, writing our own Children's Bill of Rights!
Measuring centimeters and millimeters with partners; examining the U.S. Constitution; Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, one of our classroom "dads," discusses the uniqueness of our government; and, our class Reflections projects on "Diversity Means..." Kids presented their incredibly thoughtful interpretations of how people are unique and have so much in common, too. There were paintings; posters; drawings of hands; photos of multi-cultural restaurants, athletic equipment, produce, Legos, faces, everyday objects in a new light, and diverse families; international flags; peace symbols; computer-generated art; poetry, and so much more! Way to go!!
Where the Wild Things Are! Descriptive writing: the better the description of your wild thing (inspired by the book, Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak), the better your partner should be able to draw it without seeing the picture!
King George III and four of his loyal aides (members of Parliament and tax collectors), collect "taxes" (M&Ms) from students who were wearing jeans, owned pencils, were wearing glasses, etc. Students were angry, especially since the king got 50 percent of the "earnings," Parliament divided 30 percent, and the tax collectors got to split 20 percent! Also, decorating our class pumpkin at recess for Field's Fall Fest Oct. 28, our First Quarter Writing Celebration, and Loyalists vs. Patriots Reader's Theatre.
Book Club "fishbowl"; students use "magic" paper to share their noticings and wonderings about a protest by American colonists; and, reading with our Kindergarten Buddies (we were discussing author's purpose).
The Factor Game with partners, brainstorming what we know about Rules, Laws, Social Contracts, Responsibilities, Citizenship, and Children's Rights, the "party" students got to plan until their "freedom" got taken away (as an intro to our American Revolution study), "Paco and His Band" from Mexico, and our first Electronics Party for good behavior!
The "Incredible Journey" as students become water molecules traveling through the water cycle and landing in lakes, rivers, oceans, soil, on plants, on the ground (becoming groundwater), evaporating and forming clouds, and being consumed by animals! Also, Mrs. Aho's Class took home the grand prize and the Golden Sneaker for having the highest class participation as students walked to school on Walk This Way Day! Woohoo! We spent four days on an in-depth math investigation in which students worked in groups to inquire into multiplication concepts. They looked at multiplication as area and arrays, discovered patterns in the multiplication table, and worked with factors, multiples, products, square, and prime numbers.
Investigating direct and indirect uses of water (How many ways can you think of that was water used to get this ice cream to you in a restaurant on a cruise ship?), analyzing class head size to illustrate the concept of landmarks in data, solving a waterborne disease (cholera) mystery from 1850s London, looking at water invertebrates to determine "health" of some local stream water, and our Watershed Center of the Ozarks Field Trip! There, we discussed watershed habitats, tested the water (it was much less acidic than South Creek), explored surface runoff on a scale model of a community, and got to carve water messages in "stone"! It was a beautiful day!
How can we clean water? Check out the designs showcased at our 2011 Water Filter Museum! Congrats to our each classroom winner and the 4th-Grade 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners! Also, "How many ways do you use water?" and thinking of direct and indirect ways we use water (Did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans?) Also, going to Planet Zork and determining the properties of water, action plan presentations. In Math, data analysis and maximum, minimum, range, median, and mode (with guesses and estimates) using raisins.
Fiction vs. Nonfiction and Realistic Fiction vs. other fiction genres. Circle constructions with a compass, and thinking about our individual and collective responsibilities to water quality and conservation. Later in the week, we predicted "How much water is in living organisms?"
South Creek Water Testing at Sequiota Park!
Telling our favorite water stories, generating questions about water, and students participate in a water simulation to symbolize the fact that every 15 seconds, a child dies somewhere in the world from the lack of clean water. Also, feeling how difficult it would be to carry water for miles, a water cycle demo, a geometry investigation, and sharing out in Writing Workshop! (To make the pictures bigger, click on the first one and then click on the arrow).