Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ELA Coming Attractions

Text Features

Want to explore or find a new quest?
Go to a place I love the best.

Text features are clues that nonfiction texts use to help us find the main idea or give us a little extra information about what we are reading.  In the coming weeks, the children will complete their own quests and have some 'schnazzy' PicCollages of their own.  I can't wait to share.  Here's mine to start:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Let's Try some Algebra

Algebra seems to be a mystery.  Everyone seems to ask, "Where did those letters come from?  I thought we were doing math!"

In order to master what algebra is, I try to include a free exploration of a math website that offers a plethora of algebra topics to explore.  Go to the following site and

  1. Choose one topic from the Algebra heading
  2. Start your post with the heading
  3. Tell us what you learned
  4. Give us an example
Adapted Mind is our site of choice today.  Simply click here and be on your way!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Magical Math Mysteries

This week's diabolical dilemma is to come up with a whimsical word problem that includes amazing alliteration, dastardly decimals, diligent division and mind boggling multiplication.  The fun part will come for those who finish earlier in the week; the class will solve your word problems as part of our review for Wednesday's test and Thursdays benchmark.

Make sure you solve your problem before posting!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Little Refraction Magic

A major element of light we encounter is how refraction works and how we use it. Whether it be light traveling from air to water or air to glass, mysterious things can happen.  A mystical convex lens can make items appear larger, a majestic concave lens can flip things upside down and water makes a whole appear broken.  It is truly amazing!  We witnessed 'broken' pencils, fat fingers, appearing pennies and magnified or flipped images.

Each child utilized the scientific method to learn, hypothesize and predict, experiment and collect data and conclude what the results mean based on their knowledge and understanding.  Whew, there it is, the scientific method.  Let's see how they did!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Curiosity Club

A Day of Data

Today's theme at Curiosity Club was a hit.  Real scientists collect data so they can record their results.  This week the students used stopwatches, rulers, tape measures, graduated cylinders and balance scales to record their very own data.   We learned about multiple trials and using different measures.

Station 1:  How much liquid can a diaper hold?  Way to go Pampers!

Station 2:  How far and how long can a marble roll after coming down a ramp?
Station 3: Can a fan blow a tissue or a paper towel further and longer?

Most data was accurate and well organized; as with anything, there were a few bumps in the road; however, the multiple trials demonstrated when mistakes occurred.  

Now the children will be ready to plan their own measurement for their data results.  Can't wait till next week's process.

Build a Budget

Our latest math exploration is building a budget.  The children decided what they want to be when they grow up.  They took this information and figured out how much their yearly income would be.  Then they had to:

Watching the children conquer this dilemma was impressive.  They determined both the state and federal tax rates.  They slowed down once they got the answers, not sure exactly what to do next.  Suddenly I heard, "What?!"  Mystery solved, taxes take about 1/3 of our income right off the bat.  Yuck!

To stay stay true to our learning, I asked the students to determine their weekly salary after taxes.  They had to remember that a year has 52 weeks.  This was met with more apprehension.  "Really?"

Our final reality check was the idea of bills and expenses.  "What do you mean a list of expenses?"  

Just wait til they have to use the circulars to determine the groceries, the Sunday paper to buy a car (and gas prices), as well as rent or a mortgage.  We will be sure to keep you posted!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Math Post 2/7/14

Over the past few weeks, we have been multiplying and dividing decimals.  Do you think you can tell us when you would divide or multiple with decimals?  Write your explanations in the comment box below.  Make sure you put your first name at the end.