Teachout's Tribe

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Archive for the ‘Math and Science 1-2’


5-29-13 Sides, Angles and Attributes

We jumped into Geometry today! You may remember from your high school  geometry class that vocabulary was a big part of it.  Well, it’s the same for elementary students. Understanding how to define a shape by describing its attributes ( lines and angles) was one of our goals today. We also worked on predicting  and then counting the number of shapes within a shape.  In science, we reviewed what makes an insect an insect: head, thorax, abdomen, number of legs. Then we built our own super bugs. There were some  extraordinary  bugs created with very clever names!

5-22-13 Symmetry

Today we completed our butterfly unit. We drew and labeled the parts of the butterfly. Then, we worked on comparing and contrasting the insect (butterfly) with an arachnid (spider). In math we discussed that symmetry is a mirror image. Then we created a 3-d symmetrical piece using pattern blocks and working from the line of symmetry. Finally, we drew and then painted ½ of a butterfly and then folded over our painted side to create a symmetrical side. Fast math and Drops in the Bucket should come home with them today for homework.

5-15-13 The Butterflies are Free

I took the high school science class on a native plant/hedgerow walk this morning and so Cathy Mulligan taught our sensational group of mathmagicians/scientists today. You may notice that fast math wasn’t sent home this week. They did practice and many passed. I will try to email you what level they can practice this week. Additionally, Drops in the Bucket homework was not sent home today. Story problems and measuring in inches were practiced during math today.

In science, the butterflies had emerged from their chrysalis’s and the pictures show a joyful celebration of releasing them into the wild.

5-8-13 Measurement and Life Cycles

This group of learners has been moving right along. Over the past few weeks we have touched on measuring using centimeters, inches and even ½ inches. We are continuing to practice telling time to the hour and the half hour. As you probably know, we have a classroom economy and the students earn money by remembering to put their names on their papers and working hard (which they do quite often). Needless to say, they have become quite efficient at counting money!

Our science unit right now is focused on life cycles, specifically butterflies. We have been diagramming each phase and I expecting that we’ll see butterflies next week! We tied in a math concept with our butterflies today and discussed what symmetry was. We’ll be working on an art project around that concept next week.

Finally, thanks so much for your tireless work on their fast math facts. Some of our kiddos are working on -7!

3-28-13 Super Scientists!

This group of students truly is super scientists! Last week they were able to individually write their own testable question around the ingredients for soil, write a prediction, draw an observation and then write a conclusion. They carried it off with ease! Continuing to examine the components of soil, this week, we made predictions about which component would hold the most water; it was a great investigation where we learned a lot. Most of the students predicted either humus or sand would hold the most water but we learned that it was actually clay. We have finished our exploration of soil and will be starting a weather unit when we return from break.

In math today we started and basically finished a quick look at time. The majority of students are able to efficiently tell time to the hour which is right on target for 1st grade. We did work online at Think Central using the Clock-a-doodle-doo games.  We will continue to work in the area of measurement when we return.

Finally, this group looks forward to snack in the morning. Our snack time is right after recess. The majority of the class seems to like to share a community snack. If you remember and would be willing, please send in a community snack after break; otherwise send your child with a snack in their lunch. They are hungry after all of their hard work!

3-13-13 A Recipe for Soil

It was a cram-packed day today! We hit the ground running by practicing adding and subtracting using the resource of a number line for a warm up. After that we hurried over to Mrs. Shutte’s room to take a survey on the eye color of the students in her room. Using tally marks we collected our data and organized the information into a chart. WOW! Believe it or not, we didn’t stop there, we also made a prediction about which eye color would be most common and wrote a conclusion based on the data we collected. If that wasn’t enough, we read about  about the different types of graphs: picture, bar, circle and line and then used dye free m&m’s to create our own bar graph. Simply amazing!

In science, we talked about the recipe for making soil: humus, sand, silt, clay and then explored the properties of each component (except silt). Making observations using our senses some of the words we used to describe sand were, “ It feels gritty and it sounds like the ocean!”

We will be ‘sciencing’ next week, which means they will use the 3 main ingredients of soil to come up with a testable question to conduct an experiment with. So, dress them for getting messy!

3-6-13 From Charts to Graphs

Heads or tail was the focus of our learning today. First, we practiced making our tally marks into groups of five by collecting data about our class’s hair color. Next, we made predictions  about which side of a coin would show up the most when flipped, heads or tails? We kept track of our flipping by recording our data with tally marks and finally used that data to create a graph. Out of curiosity, we then created a class graph to see which side of the coin showed up the most. It was a close race, but heads was the winner by only 1 student.

In science we took another walking field trip around the building to check out the school worm bin, look for the spider webbing we discovered last week  (sadly it was gone) and to gather a soil sample. Our focus was to prove if there really was a recipe for making soil. By adding a bit of soil, alum and water to a test tube we were able to separate the soil into its three main ingredients:  humus (organic material), silt and clay. Finally, we began creating a flip book about the layers of soil. It was a busy day!

2-27-13 Dirt Made my Lunch!

Another terrific day with this group of terrific learners! They are getting comfortable navigating on the 100 chart so much so, that we will be moving on to using a 150 chart for our “What’s my Number?” game. Our target for today was I can use tally marks to collect data. We surveyed our class for number of pockets, eye color and lost teeth to practice making those tally marks in groupings of five.

Science was an adventure! We took a walking field trip to observe the daffodils we planted in the fall, predicted that they would be blooming by next week and checked the holes we dug on the back of the property. We discovered that one was completely covered with webbing. It was an exciting discovery! We also collected a soil sample to test to see if there were any bugs hiding in it. Sadly, with a bit of a heat lamp shining on it, we concluded that possibly our school soil is not very nutrient rich. Finally, created a food web or nutrient cycle, realizing and learning a song about how, “Dirt made my lunch!”

I almost forgot! Attached is a link that we watched showing all of the living things found in one cubic foot of land and/or water from 5 different biomes. We all enjoyed it so much that we watched a few of them. Quite intersting, check it out.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/cubic-foot/liittschwager-photography#/video/

2-20-13 Coins, Numbers and Observations

It was a  hodge-podge day. We began by practicing counting coins. We drew coins, used coin puzzles, put coins into piggy banks and played Money Bingo.  They were a great community of learners and played respectfully and were considerate of each other. Our next adventure was to learn the game of Guess My Number. This is a great game for familiarizing students with the hundred chart as well as building number sense. It’s as simple as having one player choose a number from the hundred chart. The other players then take turns trying to guess what the number is.  The person who chose the number tells the other players if the number is greater than, less than or equal to their guess. Play continues until the number is guessed or the players are skunked.

In science today we began our unit on soils. After watching a Brain Pop about the many ways to make observations, we headed outside to make some observations of our own. We also collected some soil and brought it inside to take a closer look at it with our hand lens. Finally we recorded our observations of soil by using all our senses except taste (yuk).

2-13-13 Graphing Conversation Hearts

I have to say, your kiddos worked HARD in math/science this week! We began our day counting coins and worked on a sheet that asked them to read and follow directions as well as do so very basic calculations in math. Reading and following directions can be a challenge for many students at this age and  it was good practice. Fast math has been going well. Some students have progressed up to +5! Please keep practicing with your child at home as it is such a great lesson to learn that if you practice you will succeed. We began learning about graphing by creating a realistic graph using our shoes and then using conversation hearts. We turned our heart graph into a picture graph and then did some comparing of numbers. The question came up more than once, “What happens when the numbers are the same?” We will continue to work on graphing over the next several weeks as well as begin our soils/plants unit.