Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What do Art, Turkey, and Dreidels have in common??

Today's post is a tribute to traditions, and we all hope everyone enjoys some restful time with their families this Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

First, we just have to brag a little about our cafeteria's Thanksgiving Feast for lunch--we wonder if other schools have similar meals before Thanksgiving, too?
Can you find the following traditional Thanksgiving feast items?:
green beans
mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce
sweet potato pie
Which is your FAVORITE? 
This next part of the post is actually part of another Art Link project through Creative Connections. The students depicted (do you like our new 3rd grade word for "drew"?) a food-related tradition that is important to them, and described (in writing, on a sheet attached to the back) what is happening in the scene. 

We will then exchange art with a class in Nepal who is creating art on the same theme of a food-related tradition. This allows students to reveal and gain new insights into each other's cultures in a new and fun way. Several students chose to depict something about Thanksgiving this year! Here are just a couple of examples: (The captions are extracts from their descriptions.)

"Me and my grandma are cooking outside under the stars. Then
we are waiting for the Thanksgiving food to cook, so everyone
can eat. 2 hours later, the food is ready, and we have a good time!
I value this because I love to spend time with my grandma."

"This is a turkey. It is a speicchle (special) animal we
eat for a season and this is the name for it Thanksgiving.
We eat it inside or outside. It is import(ant) to me becus
it makse us srvive."
"This is me, my brother, my sisters, and my mom. We are making
jelly donuts and latkes for Happy Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the
same day as Thanksgiving now. We have a menorah and dreidels."
By the way, this is the first time in 125 years that the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. We heard on the radio that such a thing won't happen again for 70,000 years!! Can that be true? Do any of our readers know?

And if YOU had to draw a food-related tradition, what would YOU draw??

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Gettysburg Address according to kids

"Why is it important to treat each other equally?" was the question posed to my students this past week, in light of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

It was a much shorter lesson than I wanted, but I still felt it was important that they be exposed to this information and try to understand it enough to make a connection to their own lives.

First, we read through the actual speech with partners, to see what they could decipher on their own. We then listened to the speech from this youtube clip as we followed along while re-reading.

After listening to it, we talked about some of the words which they had questioned: consecrate, dedicate, fourscore and 7 years ago, forefathers, and the concept of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

Then we read through a paraphrased version of the Gettysburg Address, from this site:
Gettysburg Address for Kids which prompted more discussion on how this still has meaning for us today.

After all of this, we actually watched the above video, with helpful visuals to ground what they had just begun to understand about the scale of the fighting, and how it looked back then.

Many of the kids related the concept of not treating each other equally to bullying, and to an extent, began to realize how small disagreements can lead to something far bigger. It was interesting to see the range of understanding, evident in their short-answer responses.

"I(t) is important important to treat each other equally becuse many years ago
the slaves were not treated equally. That caused civil war and ma(n)y people
died. Abraham Lincoln made a speech so we can treat each other equally." J.V.

"It is important to treat each other equally because 150 years ago the South
and Noth had a civil war. Abram Lincon was giving a speech to honor alot
of men and women who fought for life and died. Today, if we treat people
equally, we help them."  by: Rossilyn
How do you think the Gettysburg Address is still important today? Do you agree with these responses? Can you add more?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I Learned About Leaves

Leaves make food and roots suck the water and bring it to the leaves. The leaves need air,water,sunlight to make food. Leaves bring the food down to the roots. They change color from the sugar in the leaves.
Does anyone know how the leaves make food? What kind of leaves and trees do you have in your community?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Sign of the Times

I love when my kids have the opportunity to use visuals in class, and 
part of their word work usually entails creating a picture for each of the given words. 

Here's one to represent "apple". 

 I so want to frame it. 

Never underestimate the insights a visual can provide.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Seeking a global smartypants!

Ok, stage 2 of our mystery project is in its throes....We're not finished yet, but we want to put it out there for you to think about...we're seeking a global smartypants. :)

What do these pictures, a rubik's cube, a magic trick, and the time of 3:15 have in common?

A film director/ videographer?

Trick-or-treating and falling in love?

A ninja and a detective?

Using the map to find all necessary locations...(and our
clock hands slipped slightly past 3:15...)
Hmmm....what do you think? Any puzzle solvers out there willing to take a guess at one of our current projects? This one is a "first timer" for us...but stay tuned! It's gonna be fun!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Geo Detectives on the Loose!

"X" might mark the spot on your handy treasure map, but today marked the day of our crew's very first #MysterySkype. Oh, what fun! Take a peek!

Our detective skills were primed weeks ago, when we started learning about maps. We learned about different types of maps, including globes, world maps, our country's map, and even treasure maps! Then we went on a hunt to find countries whose names start with each letter of the alphabet--we thought about putting our list here, but then figured our readers might want to try it, too. So, you get to go on your own hunt! :)

Once we understood where WE are compared to the rest of the world, we brainstormed some questions to ask others--and how to talk about where we live WITHOUT giving it away!

The Greeters introduce our group, after listening to our mystery
partners...unfortunately our video wasn't working so we didn't
get to see each other, but it was awesome listening practice!
(I think it made my crew less nervous, too!)

The State Seeker, narrowing it down..."Are you west of Missouri?"...

The new Globe Master--she was figuring out their clues! Our
partners didn't live in a state, but they lived in North America!
One of the Greeters asking more questions about their weather,
what they are famous for, and what languages they speak.

The Atlas Readers get a little help from the Globe Master.
Looks like they narrowed it down...our partners lived in a
province famous for maple syrup and hockey. And near a lake,
but not an ocean.
Double hmmm...


(The kids guessed Ontario, but Ms. Rachamim's class helped us with the city--and guess what we found in our atlas! A picture of their famous landmark, the Canadian National Tower!)
Thanks for a great first MysterySkype!

For their ticket out the door, I asked the kids for one thing they learned:

D-"that they are famous for maple and hocky"
A.L.-"that they have the tower"
J.A.-"that they had differet selprashons" (celebrations)
M-"they live in ontario"
J-"they have a school and in school speak English"
Z-"it was cool because they told us meny questions it was cool"
L-"we can learn new places"
A.S.-"it was great"
J-"they have a school and a different name and speak English and france"

To our new friends in Canada, thank you again for sharing your time with us! 

For our readers--what are your experiences with Mystery Skype? What are some jobs that your students have during the skype session? And do you have any fun stories you can share with us below?