We had a delightful trip to Fog Willow Farm this week. We owe a huge thank you to our chaperones! Each of you were essential in keeping all the children safe and focused on fun.
I was surprised to learn that baby rabbits are actually called kittens or kits! Be sure to ask your student about other cool facts they learned about farm animals.
Don’t forget to upload your best photos to our Shutterfly Site so everyone can share in the experience.
I have checked and rechecked all connections. On Monday we should be able to participate in our first videoconference with a park ranger from Denali National Park in Alaska. We will extend our knowledge about arctic animals with an in-person lesson from an expert in the field. We will connect via Skype so we can see and talk to the ranger in real time. We will be talking about animals that live in the park today and also those that lived there long, long ago. We are all looking forward to this unique opportunity!
Here’s a link to their website in case you are curious about Denali National Park.
I have been unable to solve the connectivity problem with the Glacier Bay ranger program, so I have not rescheduled that virtual trip.
As I was looking over my photos and Seesaw posts for this month, I was a bit surprised at how much we have explored in just a couple of weeks. We focused on a snow theme at first and got to build a snowman with fake snow we made in class. Just stir together three cups of baking soda and one cup of white hair conditioner and you get a mixture that has the consistency of packable snow without the freezing hands. We also made artistic snowmen in a variety of ways. They are currently decorating our room.
We read and retold The Mitten by Jan Brett many times. The children love to act out the part when the bear sneezes and all the animals go flying in the air! Retelling a familiar story builds stronger comprehension skills and gives much needed verbal practice.
I introduced an ice cube challenge that got their brains thinking with determination. How can you pick up an ice cube using just a string? No hands on the ice cube either! We had a few successes once I provided some salt. I love how engaged and creative the students get when presented with an interesting problem to solve.
We also grew beautiful crystals using a super saturated solution of Borax in hot water. Here’s how we did it: start with three cups of very hot water and add 1/2 cup Borax laundry booster. Stir in more Borax until no more will dissolve. Twist and shape a pipe-cleaner and hang it from a stick so it doesn’t touch the sides or bottom of a clear jar. Pour in the solution. Don’t disturb the jar! In about an hour you will see crystals begin to form. The longer you leave it, the more crystals form on the pipe-cleaner.
This month has been made special with guest teachers helping us learn. Mrs. Stark has been providing music lessons. She has introduced us to different styles of musical compositions and use of voice. Beethoven’s Moonlight Serenade had an impressive and immediate calming effect on the whole class!
Mrs. Tweedt has been teaching us about arctic animals. We get to draw the animals as we make our own book. We couldn’t secure a connection for our videoconference with the park rangers in Alaska but we have explored mini icebergs in the classroom. I’ll keep trying to find a solution the the connectivity issue so we can reschedule that virtual fieldtrip.
I hope you are enjoying the photos and videos on our Seesaw blog. Be sure to leave a few comments for your child. It makes quite an impression when we read them in class.
We have published our first TKNews edition of the school year. We think you will find it interesting. Click on the TKNews tab above and look for the Mantis Report. Let us know what you think of it.
Hello TK friends,
I hope you are enjoying your vacation time. The rain may have stopped some plans for a few days this month, but gardens and trees have sprung to life because of it. Take time to look around and notice the changes that are happening daily. What are the animals doing? Do you see birds migrating back to the north? What kind of birds are flying away and what kind are staying here? Are they building nests and defending their territory? It is a very busy time of year in the animal kingdom. There is so much to observe. Leave us a comment about what you have noticed in your neighborhood.
We have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly and the amazing migration of monarch butterflies. The monarch butterflies travel from all over North America to spend the winter in a very small area of Mexico. Read about it on JourneyNorth.org.
Our buddy class (Mrs. Washington’s Third Graders) have helped us participate in the Symbolic Migration. We are sending a cluster of decorated butterflies and friendly notes to school children in Mexico as a tokens of goodwill between our two countries. We are ambassadors and building understanding between people of other nations. We are also citizen scientists sharing observations of our environment as we post on journeynorth.org. You, too, can follow the migration of the butterflies or post your nature observations on the website via their app on your smartphone.
We couldn’t believe it! We received a package from journeynorth.org that was filled with butterflies that had migrated to Mexico and back to the US. The large butterfly came from Ms. Lange and Ms. Wertheim’s class in Asheville, North Carolina. The small butterflies came from many different states: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Two butterflies came directly from Coahuila, Mexico! We also received a letter from one of the students who lives near the butterfly sanctuary in Mexico. We are looking for someone who can read the letter to us because it is written in Spanish. Can you help?
We are researching where each of these butterflies came from. We are also adding information to the journeynorth.org website so students can find out where their butterflies landed. Hopefully, the classes that got our butterflies will post online, too. Then we can discover where they ended up. This project has made looking at a map more fun than usual for us.
I have registered our class for a very special event on Wednesday, January 21st. We will be participating in a video conference from 10 – 11 AM with scientists in ANTARCTICA! Time For Kids has arranged for many, many classrooms to get connected via the internet to hear directly from those men and women who are way down under studying penguins. I have some penguin-related activities planned for the week, so I think we are in for a treat all week long.
There are many kinds of wild animals that are important to us. For example, the Arctic wolf is fascinating. In the winter it turns white. It also howls at the full moon at night. Another example is the cheetah. It is the fastest animal on Earth. Studying animals is good for homework so we can learn to save some endangered animals. It also helps the people who want to become scientists or veterinarians. It is important to understand animal lifecycles and their habitats so we keep the world healthy for everyone. That is why learning about wild animals is important to us. What facts have you learned about wild animals?
3rd Grade: Jaelyn, Cristian, Adia
2nd Grade: Bela, Zoe, Jaden O, Isabella