Friday, April 17, 2015

Learning & Loving It!

We're halfway through April but ALL the way into learning! 

Science & Social Studies
We completed our space unit this week. We continued our understanding of Earth's movements and patterns. Sophia explained, "We were able to identify sky patterns like seasons, day and night, and years. These patterns happen because the earth revolves and rotates."

We also studied the moon's patterns. Second graders learned about the appearance of the moon. Kate said, "I discovered that the moon is waxing when it gets bigger and waning when it gets smaller." Third graders deepened their understanding of the moon's phases and cycle. "I learned that we always see the same side of the moon because of how fast the moon rotates," Ronak explained. Fourth graders made the connection between the moon and our oceans. Dylan reflected, "I learned that the Earth bulges as the sides from the moon and sun’s gravity, creating high and low tides.

With so many questions about space, we took advantage of our access to technology with some Google Time. Ryan said, "I’m grateful for search engines. Today I learned Google knows a lot of stuff!"

Some other space trivia? Lola learned "that the sun is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit." Wow!

This week during recess, we spotted our Texas State Bird! A lovely mockingbird song rang out from the very top of that tree! 

In reading, our novels have been teaching us all kinds of things about history! In Fourth, we finished Someone Named Eva, and, as Nora realized, the book revealed much more about a village of people than we realized. "I learned that Hitler completely destroyed Lidice, a town in Czecholslovakia because he wanted revenge for an attack on one of his important soldiers." We had been so focused on our main character and her struggle throughout the novel, however, in the Author's Note, we found the author wanted to make sure that Lidice itself was never forgotten. Powerful! It has been such a moving experience together that Jillian found extra questions to pursue in her Blast Off notebook.
Third grade is intently reading Out of the Dust, and has been amazed that, as Taylor said, "The dust could be like snow." We have discovered the trials of living in a harsh environment where your whole life revolved/depended on nature.

Second has been exploring a new novel, but also took time to develop a rubric together for our 3,2,1 and ROW. All grade levels contributed, but this was 2nd's first time. Larkin pointed out, "A rubric is something that contains what's expected." It makes things extremely clear, and helps students know what they are doing and what areas can be improved.

As a reminder, 3rd and 4th will be taking STAAR Math (Tuesday) and Reading (Wednesday). Please have them get a good night's sleep, a good breakfast, and here to school on time.

This week 4th graders learned about elapsed time, frequency tables, and dot plots. Fourth graders also measured and converted units during project block. A quote from Evangeline was, "I learned that 10 decimeters make a meter."

Our 3rd graders learned about frequency tables, pictographs, dot plots, and bar graphs.  Sydney Crowe said she "learned how to look at data and tun it into a pictograph."  Second graders had fun measuring in inches and feet.  Juyeop loves measuring and he said, "I learned what a meter stick is and that it has 39 inches and 100 centimeters on it."

Happy Weekend!
Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Forrest, & Ms. Reiman

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Space Videos

Alright, SBLC Astronomers, here you go! The videos we watched in class are below...enjoy!

Planet & Star Size Comparison

Sun's Atmosphere Time Lapse

Phases of the Moon

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 6-10

Fourth graders had fun using protractors to measure and draw angles this week.

Third graders learned about customary and metric units for liquid volume, weight, and mass.

Second graders learned about 3-D solids and faces, edges, and vertices.
Language Arts
In reading and language arts, we are honing our skills with short text and have focused on narrative writing. 
Second grade wrote, revised, and edited a piece that shared something they did over the Easter weekend. In addition, they analyzed poetry, and Luke J. reports, :I learned that a poem that tells a story is called a narrative poem." It's amazing to see them picking up the ideas behind text structure! Finally, we began a Bluebonnet Nominee called The Vanishing Coin.
Third Grade wrote as well. Nicole explains it well, " I wrote a narrative about Easter weekend. Mrs. Forrest wrote hers with us and it was really funny. I think my narrative came out well and I was proud of myself!" These kids are learning by watching a seasoned writer write. In modeled writing, the thinking is actually verbalized so the kids can hear what's going on in the writer's head. It's not a magical process then...they actually hear the decision making and why the writing is developed that way. It's great to see them proud of their work too! Wonderful ownership! Third grade also began a novel written in narrative poem form about the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. They are learning a great deal about the region and The Great Depression through their character, Billie Jo.
Fourth Grade has been analyzing and comparing/contrasting different text forms, primarily nonfiction and poetry. It is pure joy to hear their discussion and thought processes through margin notes. They are masters! We have also made a great deal of progress in our book, Someone Named Eva. Their knowledge base about how books work is such a fabulous support. They are delving into themes and subjects with a fervor!

Social Studies & Science
Fourth grade completed their San Antonio Mission Projects this week. After researching a specific mission they completed a brochure to teach their classmates. They took notes during a gallery walk and then compared similarities and differences of the missions they observed.

Second and third grades continued their study of space. They determined the difference between rotating and revolving. We also completed a Websurf to become familiar with planet characteristics, moon phases, and Earth's relationship with the sun.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

No Foolin'...April's Here!

April's here and we're off and running! 

Second graders used  geoboards and dot paper to create 2-D shapes. They also used pretzels to make equilateral, isosceles, and scalene triangles. They practiced 2-D shapes all week and had so much fun!

Third graders measured and used time intervals by finding a starting time and an ending time. They also represented fractions of halves, fourths, and eights as distance from zero on a number line.
Fourth graders learned about rotational and bilateral symmetry. They also used mirrors to find what the other half of their drawing would look like as a whole. It was lots of fun!

Science & Social Studies
We've started learning about space and the cycles and patterns within it. This weekend we have the opportunity to experience a unique part of the moon's phases--there's a lunar eclipse that will be visible early Saturday morning. Click here for more details, including a short video.

We've continued our study of government in second and third grades. Fourth grade started delving into San Antonio missions. They're applying researching and note-taking skills to become "experts" on a mission they selected.

Language Arts
Fourth Grade rocked the Writing STAAR Monday and Tuesday! SO proud of all their hard work! We've spent more time delving into our novel, Someone Named Eva, and we are anxiously following every signpost. We are learning a lot about WWII and the Holocaust.

Third Graders have been analyzing and answering questions about short text, in preparation for our STAAR test at the end of April. We are using those margin notes and proving our thinking!

Second grade has been analyzing short text as well! We are really finding the importance of those margin notes and looking at every text feature as a way to access and understand our reading.

Enjoy your three day weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Missions in Texas

Hello, historians!

Use the links below in addition to the books in class to research your assigned Texas Mission.

(1) Who established the mission?
(2) When was it established?
(3) Who lived there?
(4) What activities took place in the mission?
(5) What was the outcome of the mission?

*  Outside cover includes name of mission and illustration
*  Inside covers include facts learned from investigating questions.

Mission Espada

Mission San Juan

Mission San Jose

Mission Concepcion

Mission Valero

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Great Week Back!

We arrived back from Spring Break refreshed and ready to learn! It felt wonderful to jump back into routines with fresh energy.

Third graders had fun finding the perimeter of rectangles and different shapes. They used
geoboards and rubber bands to make a shape then they found the perimeter of their shape. They also found the length of an unknown side using the perimeter.

Fourth graders worked on classifying triangles and quadrilaterals. They also made designs using pattern blocks then told  how many lines of symmetry their designs had.

Second graders enjoyed learning about polygons, 2-D shapes, and how to compose 2-D shapes with pattern blocks.

Language Arts
Fourth Graders are ready to take their STAAR writing test Monday and Tuesday! We have challenged ourselves with material that we know beforehand is a stretch, and have risen to the occasion by thinking critically and analytically. Let's get a good night's sleep Sunday night and a healthy breakfast Monday morning. I am so excited for these prolific writers to shine!

Third Graders have been working on short text comprehension. We examined question/answer format and strategized ways to prove our answers. We've been writing some great narratives and improving our skills with writing centers as well!

Second Grade read some picture books about segregation, and have been working on refining our summaries and honing in on the theme. The books involved quite a bit of symbolism and inference, so we flexed those muscles throughout our discussions/readings.

Science & Social Studies
We became hydrological experts this week and learned all about the water cycle. We created our own model to visualize the process, played a game to "travel" through the water cycle, completed a WebSurf to deepen our understanding, and even wrote from the perspective of a raindrop!

Our social studies focus this week was government, which our third graders got to see first-hand during their field trip to the State Capitol on Monday. We loved seeing our state's legislative headquarters and all of the history behind it. We started in the rotunda and then worked our way up to the House of Representatives!

Then we made our way underground to tour the extension that contains conference rooms and offices for the senators and representatives to work. It sure didn't seem like we were underground, until we experienced this view!

We learned a bit more about the Capitol's history in the Visitor's Center where we got to view the Goddess of Liberty from a telescope!

 We filled out our own land grants, complete with an embossing of the Texas Seal.

Then, we explored the monuments of the Great Walk and came back to create our very own illustrated version of our state's capitol.

Impressive, right?!

Fourth grade's focus was on the early development of Texas missions, presidios, and towns. We completed some research, gallery-walk style.

We even enjoyed some social studies during WOW time with a much-anticipated game of Citizens, Candidates, and Mayors! Ask your little citizen how to play rock, paper, scissors...with your FEET!

Our week wrapped up with our favorite SBLC Store! Thanks for all the volunteers and donations! It is a fabulous way for our kids to practice financial literacy and reward themselves for contributing to our SBLC Community.

Report cards are in their take home folders today. We are so proud of the work our SBLC learners have accomplished!

Happy Weekend,
Your SBLC Teachers