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.
Code.org put together this five minute video to help explain what computer programmers do and what coding is. The more I learn about coding, the more I appreciate how it teaches perseverance and problem solving. If my students never become a programmer, they can all use those skills!
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 had our first tasting experience recently as part of our “Harvest of the Month” lessons. This opportunity is partially funded by Raley’s and Bel-Air Markets and provides many classrooms with fresh fruits and vegetables for students to try. We use all five senses to observe and learn about the food choice. We practice using descriptive words to build our vocabulary and verbal skills. We also record our observations in a workbook that will go home at the end of the year. I have found this to be a valuable learning experience for my students, even if the food choice is a familiar one, like the grapes we just had.
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.
This is our last week on-track and it is full to the brim. We’ll be participating in a Mystery Number Google Hang-Out on Wednesday with a first grade class at Arlene Hein Elementary. We’ll test our number senses again on Thursday with a first grade class in Truckee. We will be asking and answering questions to find the Mystery Number. On Thursday and Friday, we will meet up with our Big Buddies to work in the garden. We have some weeding to do as well as sowing seeds for the next crop. What do you think we will be planting?
If you would like to participate with us, please let me know. We can always use another pair of hands. We would also welcome a donation of 2 bags of planting soil.:D
Picture Money is due now.
Monday: Homework and folders are due.
Wednesday: Library books are due.
Friday: Minimum Day- all Kindergartners come 7:45 AM – 11:16 AM
Orders for Dodo Bags are due.
April 6 to April 27: We are off-track.
Tuesday, April 28: Back to School!
I have exciting news! Our butterflies made it to Mexico! Click here to Find Our Butterflies! and see the students who are taking care of them for the winter. Can you find Michoacan, Mexico on a map? Do you remember how far our butterflies had to travel? I wonder when the real monarch butterflies will begin their migration north again? When will the Mexican students send us their butterflies? Make a prediction and post it as a comment.
Today we had our first experience with computer programming. Our Big Buddies met us in the computer lab and we began our online lessons at code.org. This is a fantastic way to work on so many many skills. We had a great time! We hope to make this a regular activity. More importantly, everyone can work on code.org from any device at any time. I will send home a special card on Friday in your child’s homework folder. This card has the URL needed to log on to our class at code.org and your child’s secret picture password. Keep it in a safe place. I have printed them in color and laminated these cards. I will not be able to replace them. A clever idea is to take a picture of the card with your phone so you have a handy copy. Enjoy! Check out more pics on our photoblog.
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.