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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Missions in Texas

Hello, fourth graders!

Click the link below to use an interactive map to view pictures, examine artifacts, and then compare and contrast similarities and differences between missions in Texas.

photo courtesy of Texas Beyond History

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Texas Capitol Tour

Use the link below to learn more about our capitol building and its history.

photo courtesy of Senate Kids

Friday, March 13, 2015

Before We Break for Spring...

It's been a busy week! Fourth and second graders had fun field trips (and don't forget...our third graders will be going  to the State Capitol on Monday, March 23).

All of us had the privilege of attending our own Brass Ensemble Concert! The brass section of the Austin Symphony visited us Tuesday morning and shared some fun tunes with us.

In math fourth graders learned formulas to find the perimeter and area of a shape. We also started on a swimming pool project. First, they designed their own swimming pool then they will spend time finding the area of their swimming pool. Third graders learned about congruent figures, 3-D solid figures, and how to find the area of a shape. Second graders worked on subtracting 3-digit numbers and solving subtraction and addition story problems. They also learned a strategy called break-apart for adding three digit numbers.

Second Grade has been hard at work! We've added some skills to Mountain Language: prefixes and suffixes, categorizing, vowel sounds, and blends. We completed an expository piece together, and are learning how to organize by outlining. Our books this week focused on the historical period of Segregation. Through these books, we learned facts about the time, but also used inferring, analyzing, and interpretation to go deep. We even learned symbolism!!

Third Grade is delving into poetry. Lots of interpretation, inference, and analyzing! We have honed our skills with figurative language, and compared poems using a common theme. We even compared them to a nonfiction piece! Expository was our focus as well, which was challenging, but we are persevering and getting our feet wet!

Fourth Grade is eagerly preparing for our STAAR Writing, which takes place on the 30th and 31st. They've been analyzing good work, editing, revising, and refining our own narrative and expository pieces. We are ready!! We also started a book about WWII, this time based in Europe. We are only on Chapter 3, but have identified themes and created theories through the signposts we see already!

Before we finished our Weather Unit, we enjoyed seeing Kiker's own weather station at work.

Luckily, we had plenty of precipitation to measure thanks to all our recent rain!

Our fourth graders had a fantastic time on our Keep Austin Beautiful field trip. During our visit to the Water Quality Protection site, we checked the quality of the water based on the type of macroinvertebrates present in Slaughter Creek. We loved identifying all the organisms we caught!

Our scavenger hunt gave us to the opportunity to apply our observation skills! We searched for--and discovered--fossils, scat, invasive plants, and animal tracks (among many other things).

We got in touch with our inner botanists to identify seeded plants, discuss how those seeds may be dispersed, and then scattered some of our own in the form of seed balls.

Ask your botanist about the ingredients for a seed ball...

...which can get messy but oh, so fun...

...especially when you get to hurl them into an open field!

Although all land is part of a watershed, this model was cool because it showed the watershed WE are a part of! Here we are demonstrating how water moves, the type of pollution that can affect it, and how we can positively make an impact on water quality.

Second grade had a great time viewing the humpback whale IMAX at Bob Bullock today.

 We also got to check out some of the exhibits while we were there.

A gorgeous day for another learning excursion!

Whatever plans your upcoming week include, we send smiles your way!

Enjoy the break!
Your SBLC Trio

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Exploring La Belle

Hello, 4th grade archeologists!

Click the links below to learn more about the La Belle, how archeologists excavated it, and the artifacts they found. 

When you are finished exploring, leave a comment with:
1) something you learned and
2) a question you have about the La Belle or La Salle's expedition.

*Photo courtesy of Texas Beyond History