Today is 'Bell Lets Talk," day which is a day dedicated to raising awareness for mental health. We were lucky enough to have a couple grade 8 students come in to teach us about mental health and what that all entails. They showed us a video, gave us a speech and gave us cookies to put a smile on our face!
After the presentation, we spoke about mental health is something that we should take care not just one day of the year, but everyday! We brainstormed ways that we take care of ourselves when we feel mad, sad, frustrated or anxious. Here is what we came up with:
Then we decided to try meditating with the focus of belly breathing by using stuffies as a visual! Each kiddo got to pick a stuffy and a spot in the classroom where they felt comfortable, while I guided them in a short meditation.
After we slowly woke up from the mediation, we discussed how it made us feel. Some kids told us they felt nothing different, others said they felt calm, peaceful and sleepy afterwards. Collectively we agreed that it helped our bodies and minds slow down after being coped up inside all day with this cold weather!! Stay warm friends and keep the conversation going :)
In math, we have began to learn a new mental math skill.. DOUBLES! Doubles are considered two of the same number added together. Our new goal in math is to know these math facts, "Just like that!" Here are some fun ways we are learning to solidify doubles.
Seesaw activity: the kiddos use their tech skills to log-on to the computer and load Seesaw. They are challenged to two activities. The first activity, they look at a picture to write a math sentence to. For an example: two eyeballs would be 1+1=2. The second activity, they do not have an visual cues to answer the question but rather they must recall the facts from the previous activity to match the correct answer to question!
Doggie Doubles: At this center, we use a paper clip and a pencil as a make-shift spinner. By flicking the paper clip, the kiddos have to double the number they spun. First we write the equation on top of the numbered picture, then they get to color the picture!
Fishy Doubles: The kids are dealt two sets of cards. One with a single number on it and one with number sentences on them. The number cards are face up, while the equations are face down. The kiddos pick a face down card, do the math and then match it with the number card! There were lots of smiles going on at this center!
Double Your Dice!: This center has a similar concept to the doggie doubles, however, this time with a dice. After the dice is rolled, the kids double the number on the dice and write the number in the blank. The objective is to have one number win. The first number to reach the bottom is the winner!
Double Dominoes: At this center, we pick a domino from the basket with our eyes closed! The kiddos record the domino dot pattern onto their sheet and the complete the number sentence. They can use the dots to help them solve the problem.
Penguin Friends: At this center, the kids use penguins aligned in 10 frames to help them come up with friends of ten. Friends of ten are two numbers that make 10! After they have recorded
This week we spent some time discussing the last strategy an animal may do in winter...... ADAPT. After discussing how we adapt for the winter (put on different clothing, store garden food & bring out shovels) we talked about some of the ways animals may adapt for the winter. We discussed how some animals will grow more fur, may use camouflage, store food and add extra layers of fat for warmth. In order to show the kiddos how extra fat is a useful strategy, we conducted an experiment. Each kiddo was tasked with putting a hand into the snow to see how it felt. "So cold!" and "It's freezing!" were their observations. Next, each put their hand into a makeshift fat bag (margarine between two bags) to see if this changed how their hand felt in the snow. "My hand is warm" many of the kiddos exclaimed! This is a difficult concept to understand, however, a bit of hands on experience made the concept easier to grasp! Take a look!
So far we have learned what animals live in Brandon, what animals do in winter to survive, and what the animals that live in Brandon do to survive during the winter. We have used books and the computer so far to answer our questions. However, today was exciting as we got to use our third research strategy which was to ask an expert. We had a visitor to the classroom who was able to tell us all about animals in winter and answered our questions about what Brandon animals eat. Caroline also brought muskrat pelts so we could see and feel what a animal coat may feel like and how it keeps animals warm.
After Caroline spilled her wealth of knowledge on the grade one's, we realized we had all the information we needed to decorate the After Christmas Tree! We got our winter clothing on and headed outside to put popcorn and bird seeds on the tree.
We stayed outside for the rest of the afternoon to have our own winter party. Tomorrow the kiddos will have to check out the tree to see if there are any signs that the animals had a party as well!
Today in Grade One, we received our very first word work words! We will be doing an informal word quiz at the end of each week on a whiteboard. The goal of word work is to help your child with their writing, enable them to understand patterns within words, recognize and use word wall words and to pay close attention to sounds they hear within words. They will be given a small booklet at the beginning of each week that offers fun activities to help them learn these words. By the exposure to these hands-on activities, your child will most likely not need extra practice at home. However, many children were excited about the fresh set of words today! Feel free to create flash cards, have them practice stretching out the words, or have them identify them while you are reading books together. Here is the first list:
Here we are, practicing our very first word work activity!! First we copied the words off of the board and then we "Rainbow" wrote them. Lastly we said the word, covered it up and tried to write it from memory.
This week, we read the story, "The After Christmas Tree" written by Linda Tyler. The story talks about how one family overcame their sadness from the holiday season was finished. Instead of being upset, they decided to hold a winter party for their friends. Friends were asked to gather pinecones. They then rolled them in peanut butter and seeds and made popcorn and berry chains. Once they were done, they "decorated" the tree outside and watched the animals come and enjoy the tree. It was the tree's second season of giving. When the story was finished, one of the kiddos commented what a cool idea the 'After Christmas Tree' was. We quickly decided this was something we would like to do. I questioned the kiddos about what we would need in order to accomplish this!
One of my goals before the end of the year is for the kiddos to realize if they have a question, it is within their power to find an answer. I introduced them to a K/W/L (what I Know, what I Want to know, and what I Learned) chart. We spent some time discussing the difference between what we know to be 100% true fact compared to what we think we know about animals and birds in Brandon! We quickly realized we didn't know very much. We came up with some pretty interesting questions to explore during our research. We want to make sure when we create our tree, we know what animals/birds may visit and what they need to eat so we do not do any harm.
After discussing animals we have seen in Brandon, we started to talk about whether we have seen them recently. This led us to our third question!
Once finished charting, we discussed how we could find the answers to our questions. These were the suggestions by the kiddos.
As an extension to our research project, we have been chatting lately about the word 'change', and how 'change' effects not only us, but animals and the environment around us. This has led to some interesting discussions about how we 'change' to survive in winter, as well as what animals will do.
We spent some time discussing migration and learned about a few animals who utilize this strategy in the winter. The kiddos were intrigued by the photo of Canadian geese and wisely asked, "Why do they fly in a v?" After explaining this phenomenon to them, out into the hallway we went to experiment ourselves with this amazing strategy. We definitely had a few laughs, but now carry a new appreciation for those animals that migrate in the winter.
Stay tuned for our exciting findings on our After Christmas Tree project!!