Our first tulips are emerging! Over the weekend three brave little sprouts have pushed above the soil line. We posted our observation on Journey North. Ours are among the first in the world that have been reported as sprouting. It will be exciting as we watch and record our observations this spring. Remember to listen for the nighttime songs of the frogs. Watch for other signs of spring so we can log our data and share it on Journey North.
Today we connected with researchers working in Antarctica! We logged on to a live webinar sponsored by TFK (Time For Kids) and heard from a science reporter and two scientists who live and work at a research science station there. We used Twitter to send questions but apparently ours couldn’t get through. We still learned many new facts. Did you know that Antarctica is a desert? There are many rivers and lakes underneath all that ice, but it is always too cold to rain. The record high temperature is just 7.5 F! Students were also surprised to learn that there are no polar bears in Antarctica, but there are a couple types of insects that survive there! It was a special morning being able use technology to learn directly from actual scientists while they are thousands of miles away.
If you want to extend the experience, check out the resources at this link: http://www.timeforkids.com/news/destination-antarctica/136686
Hopefully you have marked your calendar for the upcoming minimum days. Students will be out of school at 12:30 PM on Friday, January 24th AND Friday, January 31st. The 24th is a training time for teachers and the 31st is a regular track change day.
Progress notes have been sent home today. Hopefully your student was eager to show them to you because they are filled with information about how hard the children have been working. There is a lot to celebrate so far. Keep up that strong effort and the end of trimester will bring even better news!
If you would like to discuss your child’s grades, just send me an email and we can schedule a time to conference after school or over the phone.
We have decided on our six habitat research teams. Now you can dig in deeper to your assigned regions of study. Learn all you can about the landforms, plants, and animals that are found there. Can you follow their food web? How do the animals use camouflage? Be ready to share your knowledge with your teammates. We will begin creating our dioramas next week.
Tundra: Karisse, Isabella, James, Jaden O
Grasslands: Bela, Cailie, Malia, Sophia
Desert: Alisha, Meher, Justin, Yaseen
Rainforest: Taison, Brian, Zoe, Samantha
Ocean: Aidan, Charles, Zaire, Jayden V
Woodlands: Jayden J, Grace, Oscar, Sufian
We have challenged Mrs. Deming’s class to a Math Facts Fluency contest. Our first set of facts will be addition doubles. Help your child practice at home. I have emailed you the results of our in-class quiz. The facts they missed are listed as well as their speed. Everyone can work on getting quicker.
Yesterday, I timed everyone in attendance with a one-minute fluency test. I am joyous with the results because EVERY student increased their fluency score. That kind of progress surely makes my day! Be sure to give your child some recognition for working on such an important skill.
Mrs. Petuya 😀
Our next unit in reading is called “Camouflage”. We are also learning about animal life cycles in science. So, we will be combining these topics and creating a special project in class. Students will work in groups of four to research an assigned habitat and create a life-like diorama on one of our shelves. The diorama must include landforms, plants, animals that represent the food chain in each region. We will create everything in class, but students will need to do research at home in order to be a productive team member and bring knowledge to complete the project.
The regional habitats that we will study are as follows: Arctic tundra; tropical rain forest; desert; woodland; African savanna; ocean.
Start exploring! Find some facts! Use the internet, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and of course, the library! We will learn so much more when everyone shares their research, just like real scientists!
We will have some reptile visitors on the morning of Monday, January 13th. We will discover how these animals are classified and many facts about what makes them special. The cost is $5.00 per student, BUT I will pay for it out of the funds you have already sent for the Folsom Dam trip that was cancelled. Everyone will still have a $3.00 credit for the next event, whatever that may be.
I hope you had an enjoyable vacation time. I certainly did! I was able to visit my daughter in Baltimore. We went to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving in Washington, D.C. We saw how our paper money is made and even met Rosie Rios, the Treasurer of the United States! I also visited my grandchildren in Seattle. I taught them how to make Christmas ornaments and decorate gingerbread men. I even went to preschool with my granddaughter. Finally, Mr. Petuya and I enjoyed the warm weather and beaches in Los Angeles. We even went to see the La Brea Tar Pits and the many fossils found there.
Welcome to 2014! It’s great to be back at school with my super second graders.