Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Best Week Ever?

I am not sure if this has been our best week ever, or if we have finally made it through the getting-to-know-you phase of the year. Regardless, we had a wonderful week together. It's about 8:00pm and I have a lot to say, so here we go!
Here is a fun little moment I captured (or may have had them reenact) while the class was waiting for me to pick them up from Spanish. 

We continued our study of Jack and the Beanstalk and the children succeeded in convincing me to assist them in transforming the loft into a castle in the clouds, complete with a dragon's cave. Here are a few photo's of the process.

I have a wonderful photo series of the class making their best dragon faces, but blogspot is picky about my photo placement so above are two of the best. Below are a few of the children explaining what was going on in the dragons cave.

We have been focusing on predicting, observing and learning about plants during our science lessons this week. All with a mini-magical twist. Last week the children made and planted their magic beans and predicted what (and when) they would grow into. Although a few of the beans are beginning to poke through the surface, none have yet shown their roots or stalk/stem. We were treated to a real live beanstalk on Tuesday when K.F's family found that a beanstalk magically appeared in their garden! The children worked to make and decorate a support structure for it and we are excited to see it grow. 
Yesterday the children planted Jellybeans in sugar and fed them with a sprinkle of glitter. I've posted their predictions on what they think the beans may grow into. If my predictions are correct they should turn into something by Friday morning!

The class continued to work together to solve compare problems (The giant's hand is __ blocks long. My hand is __ blocks long. How much longer is the giant's hand than mine?) Separate, Result Unknown problems (Jack's Beanstalk was __ feet tall. He chopped down __ feet. How many feet tall is Jack's Beanstalk now?) and Join, Change Unknown problems (Jack's Beanstalk was __ feet tall. Jack climbed up __ feet and had to rest. How many more feet does he need to climb to get to the top?). Below are a few video's of the children working together to solve some of these problems.

The children also used a giants hand to measure the room while estimating (and counting) how many cubes the could fit in it.

Reader's Workshop
During Reader's Workshop the children read Jenny and the Cornstalk and used a Venn diagram to compare the two stories (Jack vs. Jenny). The children also used words and pictures to describe Jenny's characteristics. We also checked to see whether or not Jenny and the Cornstalk had the elements necessary to be a fairy tale, and they did!

Writer's Workshop
During Writer's Workshop the children learned about the Oh-Ah-Oliver sound and created a very very very long word list of words that have the Oh-Ah-Oliver sound. My favorite was a picture of Oliver the Olive. The children are continuing to practice writing their lowercase letters and bumping the lines. As more and more lowercase letters are introduced they will be held accountable for using these letters in their writer's workshop writing jobs. 

Overall it has been a very busy, and really fun week. They children are so excited about the transformation of our loft area and this has been one of our main focuses this week. One morning the class got so involved in the process that the boys were taping black beards onto their chins while some of the girls were making crowns, rings, necklaces and earrings to wear. We have quite a creative and imaginative group! Here are some fun photos.
V.V. protected with his sheild

Beard? Check! Earrings? Check!

What a glamorous crew!

 Thanks again for another amazing week with your children!

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