Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tomorrow's forecast: Sunny with a chance of wildlife.

We had another very full, eventful day today in classroom 110. We are currently living in the shadow of some monumental events, namely the math test and the field trip, that overshadowed almost everything else today. I finished responding to math questions, and we had our practice quiz after recess. I am pleased to say that the results were very good, which took a lot of stress of of the students' shoulders. They took these quizzes home with them, to serve as a guideline of any things they might need to review.

We also read ahead in our Science books, in an effort to cover more ground on adaptations, habitats, food chains and other details before the field trip. We put a particular focus on Newfoundland species, both native and invasive. We talked about why the look and act the way they do, and how this might be special adaptations to allow them to thrive in our climate and geographical area. I asked them to think tonight about how many different species they have ever seen in Newfoundland.

We are also moving ahead in Religion. Today the class started learning about Islam, primarily in the context of how it is comparable to other beliefs, practices, organizational structures and values we are familiar with. We are lucky to have a wide variety of faith, geographical and family backgrounds in the class, which affords an opportunity to explore many different points of view. This also tied in to an exercise in Art, which was the examination of totem poles as cultural symbols. We talked at length about the significance and role of symbols in our lives, and the students began to draw their own.

The few science projects I have seen so far look great, and the kids seem to be very proud of them. I will need all of them to be in school by Friday, so we can conduct the next stage of the experiment together. If this is the first you have heard about the project, your child can certainly fill you in. It is part of our Habitats unit, and involves creating a simple environment in a 2L pop bottle.

I decided to wait until Friday to send home instructions for beginning Book Reports, because I think the class is busy enough right now. I will be giving them 8 choices for how they want to present, and would welcome any type of literature as their source material. We will also (finally) be using the recipes the class brought in at the beginning of next week. I plan to start grouping the class more, in an effort to have them become "experts" at certain tasks, then share them with the class.

Here is a link to a virtual tour of the Biodome in Montreal. Madamoiselle Natalie is using it to teach Habitats in her class, and since I haven't had time to do so I thought I would at least make it available to the class. It has a huge variety of amazing interactive features, only several of which we will be able to explore in class. I would encourage you to sit down with your child and explore it if you get a chance, focusing particularly on the adaptations that different animals have in order to survive in their habitat. Also, an added bonus is that it is also available in French! (Make sure you have the volume on!)


Also, here is a link to the Home Page of the Biodome site. Be sure to check out the fact sheets and other links in the bar at the top of the page.


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