Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Rolling...

Welcome to Pumpkin Soup Day!  We read the book Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper:  

We had a lot of fun chopping up the ingredients and preparing our soup.  We used Sweet Potatoes:  

We cut up garlic and onions---which had a few of the kids tearing up!

And we chopped up pumpkins.  I don't really think "chopped up" is the right word here.  These pumpkins were NEARLY impossible to cut!  We tried several knives and ended up relying mostly on strong muscles to get into them.  It was unbelievable just how difficult this step was!We also peeled the sweet potatoes.  
 Then we chopped our sweet potatoes.
 And we scooped out the pumpkins (once they were open).
 Then we softened the sweet potatoes in the microwave and mashed them a bit.

 While the soup cooked in the crock pots, we went outside to work on our science experiment.  We rolled three different sized pumpkins down the playground slide.  We guessed that the largest one would roll the furthest.

 We tried each of the pumpkins three times and measured and recorded the data.

 Can you believe that the small and large pumpkin BOTH rolled the same distance?
 We tried it again just to be sure.
 Yep.  It was VERY close each time.
 When we returned to our room, the soup looked like this:
 So we had to use the blender to puree it:
 And then it looked like this:

 When we tasted it, some of us added a dollop of sour cream to it.  And others added a teaspoon of brown sugar.

 Several of the kids liked it, but many did not.  We talked about the fact that sometimes you have to tweak a recipe to make it better.  And we also talked about the fact that our taste buds change as we get older, so we might like it today, but sometime in the future, that could change.  All in all, it was an extremely busy and productive day!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Mosaic Work...

Today was "make your own" mosaic tile day!  Each child was able to put their knowledge about this art form to work to create their own individual stone.  We used cement, glass beads and stones for this work.  They even brought one for Mrs. Nations to make!  Enjoy the pictures of this fun and ongoing art lesson.  

And in other news, we have really been working on story sequencing this week using fiction books.  Today we made our first B,M,E (Beginning Middle and End) retelling page.  

Here is an example from The Runaway Pumpkin:  

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Blog Post is SO "Last Week"!

Can you tell I have teens in my life by me giving this post THAT title?  Seriously, I have been trying for nearly a week to do a blog update and it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.  So, I thought the title was very appropriate, because it's QUITE true!

Still, our learning last week was important and FUN.  I don't want to miss sharing it with you.  Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom so you can see every bit of our busy week (well a lot of our busy week).

Our mosaic project with our Ringling Art Students continued last week.  Students painted their own stones that will be used in the garden stones we are making to leave here at Southside.

 Some of these stones even say "Yea!" on them because we say "Yea for YEA!"  This has been an amazing project and SO CONNECTED to our thinking and learning!  I can't WAIT to see the finished products.
 Did you know that almost every single day your child meets in a small guided reading group?  This is a time when we read and think our way through text that is at an appropriate level for your young learner.  It's fun to watch them navigate new texts.  This week we will begin more writing in response to this reading and more word work where we are digging into words, how they sound and what they mean.
 With the Fall has come MANY favorite read alouds.  I think this one will remain at the top of our list for a while.  It's a fun innovation on "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly".  We read it, talked about the characters and made a character map to go with our story.  Here's our character map:

 Part of the task with this project was to put the characters in order and work together to spell their names.  We used this as both comprehension and guided writing.

 And here are our completed stones for our mosaic tiles:

 Check out our bats!  This was a fun addition to our room for "bat week".
 Then the students created their own paintings during one rainy recess last week.  The only requirement was that there was a bat or a spider somewhere in the picture.  They are GORGEOUS!

 As we learned about bats, we found out that one bat can eat about 600 mosquitos in ONE HOUR.  So here we are creating a visual so we can see just how many bugs that is in our cooperative groups.  Everyone cut and everyone glued them to the plates.

After seeing our visual, we decided that we are quite thankful for bats!!