What a busy but wonderful couple of weeks! Last week we began our new health unit on the brain, heart, and lungs. Dr. Dehghani was kind to come in and speak with our children about the heart and even brought in two real, human hearts in formaldehyde! We also were able to listen to some heart beats using a stethoscope with bluetooth! We were so surprised to hear how different our hearts sound. We will continue to learn more about the function of these important organs and learn about ways in which we keep our body healthy.
This week we started with our 100 Days of School celebrations! We engaged in several writing activities and numeracy activities. We took our 100 items and compared and contrasted the weight of our objects with those of our friends, and then we lined up our objects to see whose items made the longest and shortest lines. It was a lot of fun and we had some very creative objects that were brought in!
In literacy we learned about the “when two vowels go walking” rule. When two vowels are side-by-side in a word (not always, but sometimes) the first vowel “does the talking” and says its name and the second “doesn’t say a word.” For example, in “rain” the “a” says it’s name and “i” is silent. Students had fun watching a video explaining the rule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fb3Pdt8kxg and looking in books to find words that demonstrate this rule. We looked specifically at words that have “ea,” “oa,” “ay,” and “ai” vowel combinations. Students have also been practicing how to choose “Good Fit” books. This is a concept we have been working on for a while but it seems as though students are really starting to use the strategy more frequently and independently! Students use a “I PICK” acronym when choosing library books. They look for: Purpose (“Why do I want to read this book?”) Interest (“Does it look interesting?”) Comprehend (“Do I understand the book?”) and Know (“Do I know most of the words?”) Students are using the “Five-finger rule” to assess whether or not they know and comprehend what they’re reading. As your child reads the first page of a new book they put up their five fingers. As they come across words they do not know (and can’t use their strategies to figure out) they put a finger down. If they get to the end of that first page and all five fingers are down, they know that they book may be too difficult for them. If they find that they still have all of their fingers up, the book may be too easy. However, if the child is reading the book for a purpose (to learn more about a topic or for fun) they can continue reading. Ideally, children should be able to choose a book independently that is neither too challenging nor too simple. They had some opportunities to practice this week and we will continue to do so for the rest of the year.
In numeracy we have begun our addition and subtraction to 12 unit. The first step of learning to add and subtract is to learn about adding “doubles” (1+1, 2+2, etc.) automatically. This makes adding and subtracting different numbers easier. For example, if we know 5+5 is 10, then 11 is 5+5+1. We created our own doubles song, played doubles activities and have also used manipulatives to figure out the “word problem of the day!”
In inquiry we have been learning about the difference between mammals and non-mammals. They have engaged in sorting activities and are really interested in finding out that there are only two mammals that lay eggs!! We have also been adding new definitions to our terminology page and documenting our learning about bats. We were absolutely THRILLED to meet the “Bat Man” Professor Brigham from the University of Regina. He brought a real, live brown bat which fit in a little, fleece bag! We heard it echolocate and got to learn more about bats from around the world. We learned a lot of new information, including that some bats can actually swim if they need to!
Valentine’s Day was filled with literacy and numeracy activities. Mrs. Crawford’s class joined us for a craft and we made valentine paper chains. We also decorated paper bags that held all of our valentines and treats. Thank you to all of you for sending these lovely gifts!
Today was Pink Shirt Day! It was a really nice reminder for our students to keep being bucket-fillers and go out of their way to make someone’s day brighter. We read the book “Oliver Button is a Sissy” and we had wonderful in-depth conversations about how every person is different and it doesn’t matter if someone is a boy or a girl, they can participate in any activity they want to if it makes them happy. We also launched our 100 Acts of Kindness initiative:
In honour of Pink Shirt day and in our celebrations for the 100th day of school, our classroom (and Ms. Perkins’ class) has pledged to complete 100 acts of kindness throughout the remainder of the school year. We talked to our students about how these acts were physical acts of kindness above and beyond their normal everyday chores or expectations. Perhaps they see a neighbour struggling with shoveling their driveway and they volunteer to help, or their little sibling is struggling with a game and they help, etc.
Please let me know if you have any questions and if your child does something above and beyond for you or someone you know, please send a quick note so I can add it to our chart.
Tomorrow is Backwards Day!! It is also our February birthdays party, so it will no doubt be a fun-filled day!
Have a wonderful February break. Take time to rest, relax, and spend time with family. Hold your loved ones close and be so thankful to have them there with you.