Thursday, March 27, 2008


For science today we read the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss. It was about a king who wanted a different type of weather to come down from the sky. Oobleck came down and got stuck on everything. When the students first saw the oobleck in class, they thought it would be a liquid, but then they were surprised when they touched it and it seemed like a solid. We debated about which form of matter it really was. It is actually neither a solid or liquid but has properties from both stages of matter. Formally it is known as a non-Newtonian subtance. This means that when a small amount of force is used, it acts like a liquid, but when more force is applied, it acts like a solid. There are more picture posted of everyone on the classroom website.

Oobleck Recipe

2 cups of corn starch, 3 drops of green food coloring, enough water to make a thick mixture (about the texture of pancake batter) I usually measure equal amounts of water and corn starch, but mix water in slowly.

I hope you all have a wonderful Spring Break and I will see you in a week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


In math workshop we are continuing to learn about shapes and space. We have begun exploring area using pentominoes. Each piece is made up of 5 square units. Students are working with them examining the different ways they can fit together to cover the same amount of area.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Geometric Pictures

Today students worked on a couple of things for math. Our IUPUI interns were here again today, and they helped take students around the school and take pictures of a plane shape and a space shape. We used these pictures in computer lab and wrote about the shapes in Microsoft Word. In regular math workshop, students made pieces of artwork using paper shapes and construction paper. We will be constructing graphs on Friday based on what shapes they used in their pictures. I always enjoy combining the different subject areas, and today was one of those days where everything fit together nicely.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rocket Ships

In math workshop we have begun our geometry unit. The students have a variety of levels of understanding on this concept, so they will not all be doing the same activities and projects for this unit in math. We will however we doing a lot of artwork related to geometry that everyone will get to participate in. One assessment I did was on how spatially aware your child is using shapes to make other designs. Students were given a square piece of paper and asked to change it in any way to match the design I created of a space ship. They had to use the whole paper and not waste any of it. It was interesting to observe their thinking- how easily some gave up and started a new one, how many different approaches we made, and the discussion that occurred.

Friday, March 14, 2008

School Expert Visits

Dr. Copper came and visited our classroom today. The students were anxious to ask him questions about his job and school. They dicovered that he loves to visit the schools and see the kids, and that he has a lot to do in his job. He told them stories about when he was a little boy in first grade and that his teacher's name was Mrs. Miller. He liked to listen to her read stories and do projects too. The students also showed Dr. Copper their map they made of Mary Castle and explained what they have been learning and doing during project time.

Project Documentation

Here are some shots of the documentation we have so far for our school project.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How Many People Are in Our School?

One of the questions the students had for project was about how many people were in the building. We have been working on that question for a while now. First the students made a list of all the teachers in each grade level. They had to go out into the school to write down names of those teachers they didn't know. We made a big list of the adults. Then they went back to each individual teacher and did a survey of how many children were in their class. They also had to figure out all of the other adults in the building for Loving Care, Specials, the cafeteria, etc. Now the hard part came...adding up all those numbers. I suggested that they add the grade levels one by one and then add all the big numbers together. Each group had to come to a consensus on the total amount. The endding tally was 514 people.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An Attic, an Elevator, and a Stage

Did you know that our school has an attic and an elevator? The students visited the attic and saw all of the things that are stored up there. Mostly, Mrs. Tidrow has stage sets and costumes up there, but there were a few things from the Pumpkin Festival. We also saw where the elevator is by the stage. We looked at the curtains and lights on the stage too. I think the kids are finding it exciting to learn about all the places they never knew existed here at school.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cafeteria Tour

Today the students visited the cafeteria. They wrote questions for Mrs. Belcher to answer about how it works and how the food is made. We saw the walk-in refrigerator and freezer. They were very cold. The students were also very excited to see how the dishwasher machine worked that cleans the trays. One student said it was like a carwash for the trays. They go in one side and come out the other. We finished the tour by writing about our experience and documenting what we learned.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Teacher's Lounge

Today students went on a field trip to the teacher's lounge. They were amazed to see the vending machines and couches. Some items they expected to see were the tables and the kitchen. We are continuing to learn more about our school with Project and will be visiting some unique places in the building this week.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wizard of Oz

We have finally finished reading the story of the Wizard of Oz and watched the movie today in class. The children noticed many differences and similarities. Did you know that Dorothy's shoes in the book are actually silver and not red? The movie also left out a lot of the book too, like the complete story of the flying monkeys, the china dolls, and the hammerheads. We will be working on a Venn Diagram in class to formally compare the two versions next week.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Visit to 4th Grade

Since the students are learning about school, we decided to compare and contrast classrooms to see if they are all the same. They made a list of things they thought were in all classrooms and then we went and visited Ms. Haase's room to see if they were right. They also asked questions about the students' favorite classes and subjects. They were very interested in how many students had been together since first grade and how many were new to the class. We will also be conducting a school wide survey to see if other classrooms compare in the same way.

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