Spring is Here!

Hello families!

What exciting weeks we’ve had!  We had our field trip to the museum on the 7th and we learned SO much.  The students learned a lot about animals in winter.  We’ve already learned that some animals will hibernate or migrate to adapt to the colder weather but we learned that some animals actually freeze during the winter and thaw in the spring, like frogs, and other animals change colour, like foxes and rabbits!  Once staff realized our class has been studying bats, they brought out a real bat skeleton! It was so neat to see what a bat looks like inside–we found some similarities between human skeletons and bat skeletons!  Students also had questions about the First Nations exhibit and the Treaty 4 document.  We will begin to learn foundational concepts about our collective history of Saskatchewan very soon.   And of course, the snakes (much to my strong aversion) were the highlight!  Students learned that Saskatchewan has nine different species of snakes and that only one is venomous.  It was a really fun and educational day.

In literacy we have continued to learn about and practice visualization when reading.  We have learned about the r- and l-blend words and engaged in some fun, hands-on activities such as read-and-write-the-room and sorting games.  We have also looked for these words in our daily work.  Our class has also been working on our poetry unit.  We learned much about poetry over the year (that poems can have rhyming words or no rhyming words, have a title, can have a beat or rhythm or not, can have repeating words, action words, feeling words, describing words, and even sound words (we really liked the word “onomatopoeia!”))  Poetry is a really fun way to engage students and helps them to realize at a very young age that EVERYONE is a poet!  I am SO proud of their creativity and am currently putting together our first poetry book.  Your child will be able to show you at the Celebration of Learning on Friday!

In numeracy we have continued to learn more addition strategies and will be moving on to our subtraction strategies soon!  By teaching different strategies to all of the students, it helps each child to find the strategy that works best for them.  We are solving word problems every day and working on hands-on activities in small groups and independently to master these skills.

March 10th was an exciting day as we had our pizza lunch–thank you so much to Mrs. Maat for helping out!!–and we also had a guest speaker, Dr. Holmes, in to talk to our us about the importance and function of our lungs!  We learned a lot, especially that the lungs and the heart work together to keep us alive and healthy.  On March 13th we participated in the Brain Walk in the mini-gym.  It was hosted by the grade 6 and 7s and we learned a lot about the human brain.  It was a very nice introduction to the next part of our human body study in health:  the brain!

In inquiry we compared bats to humans in terms of physical characteristics, and then we compared bats and birds.  We originally thought that they would have more similarities but it turns out there are more differences than similarities! We were really intrigued by our discoveries.  We learned about the bat life-cycle and compared it with a human life cycle. We also classified living and non-living organisms based on criteria we generated together.  Students were really interested to learn that First Nations peoples used to and still believe that everything has a spirit–even rocks and water!  For them, they would classify living and non-living organisms very differently than we would.  Finally, we looked at things that living things NEED to survive versus things they WANT, in particular what humans need and want.  Next we will be looking at what bats need to survive, and how bats and humans navigate their surroundings to get what they need.

Friday was St. Patrick’s Day, and while we were not at school that day, we celebrated on Wednesday by listening to stories, creating our own leprechaun art, and writing creative stories about finding a leprechaun.  We had a lot of fun.

In Arts Ed. we will be starting Reader’s Theater.  It is a very new experience for the students so it will be a lot of practice, but I think the end-product will be amazing 🙂

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.  Enjoy this beautiful weather and happy Spring!

Ms. Holmes

Welcome back!

Hello families,

The first week back after the break was a busy one!  To kick-off the week, we predicted whether or not March would come in like a lamb or lion, and it appears March has come in like a lion!  We analyzed a poem, completed a writing piece, and created cute little lambs and lions to celebrate the start of a new month.  We will wait to see if March will indeed “tiptoe out like a lamb”…..

In literacy we have continued with phonics, word families, daily writing using our “checklist,” and reading in our guided reading groups.  This week we have started to learn about “visualization” which, like connecting, is a strategy used when reading.  We learned that as we read our brains make “pictures” in our head and the pictures change as we read more of a story and are provided more details by the author.  We also did a LOT of writing in inquiry and I am so proud of the students!  We are learning about the writing process and began with the “pre-writing” stage.  We brainstormed facts that we have learned about bats and created “thought-webs” to illustrate this learning.  Then, we used our individual knowledge to write rough/first drafts of acrostic poems about bats.  We went through and self-edited our writing using our checklist and then we were ready to write our final copies!  Our bat poems are on display outside our room in the display case.

In numeracy we have been working hard on learning addition strategies.  We have created and have been practicing our doubles song and have also learned the “counting-on” or “counting-up” strategy.  Students learned to start with the larger number in an equation and count-on the smaller number to find the sum.  The students have also been learning how to count to 10 in Cree!

In health we have continued to learn about the heart and will learn about the function and importance of our lungs this week with hands-on activities and a special guest speaker!  We have also discussed the many ways in which we keep our whole body healthy.

To accompany our bat poems, we also drew our own diagrams of bats which we then labeled to show the different body parts of a bats.  Many students were surprised to learn just how similar our own bodies are to bats (we both have four fingers and a thumb!)  We also got to see a real bat house this week when a student brought in one that he and his grandfather made over the break, and we were SO excited and engaged.  I have a feeling we will have more questions about bat houses as we move further into our inquiry unit!

Finally, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday on Thursday.  He would have been 113 years old if he were still alive!  We read several Dr. Seuss books, including Yurtle the Turtle, and engaged in literacy and numeracy activities throughout the day!

This week we have our field trip to the museum on Tuesday.  Thank you so much to all of the parents who are volunteering their time and energy to help out!  I will also be sending out information in regards to our “Celebration of Learning” conferences which are coming up on March. 24th.

Have a great weekend!

Ms. Holmes