Today we were fortunate to learn more about water from oceanographers Sabine Mecking and James Girton (from the Applied Physics Lab/UofW). We learned that the earth's oceans and other bodies of water are made of salt water and the amount of salt varies from place to place. The variations depend on the amount of evaporation and precipitation in the given place. The water in our neck of the woods is less salty than in warmer climates because it rains more here. Water evaporates quickly in hotter places leaving behind more salt in the water.
We sampled Puget Sound water and ocean water. Well, not straight from the source but tasted the amount of salitity there would be in each. We also learned that we would die if we only drank saltwater. This is because the salt dehydrates you. Good thing we had fresh water to quench our thirst afterwards.
We then took part in an experiment that demonstrated the weights and properties of water that is cold, warm, frozen, fresh and salty. As your child what he/she learned!
We prepared for our guest presenters by reading the fascinating book Life in the Ocean. It is a story about the oceanographer Sylvia Earle written by Claire Nivola. Sylvia didn't just wonder about the underwater world, "her heart fell in the ocean." She has spent over 7,000 hours underwater. She helped design submersibles, lived in an underwater sea lab, and would spent up to 12 hours a day exploring sea life during the day and at night. A commonality with many inspirational people we have been studying is that they were curious and inquisitive at an early age. Nivola writes that Sylvia was a "biologist and a botanist before she knew what the words meant". Looking at our group of kids, I'd say our future looks promising. Where does your heart fall?
I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you for meeting with me during conference time and for your partnership raising such incredible children. This time of year leads me to reflect on many levels and I am grateful to be amongst a dedicated community.
This week the beloved BINGO Reading & Homework sheets are back! I am also sending home a word wall we use at school that can serve as a resource at home. Your child should be spelling sight words with more accuracy and checking the word wall for correct spelling.
In PBL we have started working in our expert groups around five essential questions that I blogged about in my previous post. Students are getting enthralled with their topics and have been bringing in research done at home. Check in with your child about his/her topic and share this learning experience together. I have encouraged the class to interview adults about what they know about their topic and perhaps they might make a connection with an expert that can lead to futher investigation. If your child finds information at home that can be shared with their groups in class please either save documents on a thumb drive, email it to me, or print it out. As one of the final projects we will be creating a digital presentation. We welcome donated thumb drives if you have some for school use!
Our zen master Mrs. Skoog has started Mindful Mornings on Tuesdays. The class will meet in the (portable) gym from 9:00-9:25, to start the day with yoga, meditation, breathing, and/or movement. This is open to students, teachers, and parents of QAE. It is NOT a club; it is free. If you take part, please arrive on time so that the practice can be uninterrupted.
Dust off some glassess because this Friday's spirit day is DRESS LIKE MR. ELLIOTT day. Does this mean the dresser or more casual Mr. Elliott? I'm excited to see this!
Happy December and tis the season of believing!
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
Our field trip to the Gates Foundation was an example how we can make a difference in the world. It supported our PBL project with the driving question: How Can Everyone in the World Have Access to Safe Water?
The Foundation opened our eyes beyond water and focused on global and local health and development. Under this umbrella of a driving question, our class has broken up into five expert groups addressing the following essential questions:
1. In places where people have to walk for water, what impact does this have on those communities? (education)
2. Why don't some people have safe water? (development)
3. What happens when people don't have safe water? (health)
4. Where do we (Seattle) get our water from? (water cycle/water treatment)
5. Why do we need to conserve water? (conservation)
Your child will be working with his/her group to research, plan, and create a project teaching others about their topic. When we return from Thanksgiving break we will be gathering as much information as we can. A few very self-directed learners have already done some research at home. Students are encouraged to interview adults or experts, gather books, articles, and web print-outs and bring notes and resources to school.
Look for PBL developments on the PBL page
on this website.
Our next field trip is soon approaching! On November 21st we will go to the Gates Foundation Visitor Center and focus on the water exhibit and experience the foundation's global efforts to help all people live healthy, productive lives. Permission slips went home today but I may have missed a few students that didn't have their orange folders to place them in. Please let me know if you didn't receive one. We will be traveling by Metro and the cost is $2.50. This is a correction from the permission slip, I forgot to factor the cost for round-trip, although weather permitting, we may walk on-way. We will need five chaperones for this trip from about 10:30-2:00.
Spelling Words that focus on our water PBL words
We are saddened to hear that Mr. Elliott lost his father this morning. He received a call shortly before the school bell rang and some teachers gathered around to support him. He is in California with his family and we are sending loving thoughts from Queen Anne.
This is a poem we have been studying this past week that seems to resonate with the loss of a loved one.
maggie and milly and molly and may
maggie and millie and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and
millie befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.
The FACT is we all have our opinions. Some topics can hit a hot button while other topics are fun to debate. Marley thinks gymnastics is the best sport while Nicholas thinks it’s swimming. William is sure that Canlis is the best restaurant and Esther believes people shouldn’t have weapons that harm one another. We have launched our opinion/persuasive writing workshop unit!
In class we are discovering and reading reviews. Reviews are everywhere! We lean on reviews to find the next movie to go to, where to eat, and what to buy. Help your child identify and collect reviews to bring to class. When our young critics are out in the world, they can jot down opinions and record facts just like real critics do. Be sure to bring in your field notes to enhance the writing we do in class.
For a review of the restaurant my husband and I own, click here
How can we make sure everyone in the world has safe water?
This is our driving question for the Project Based Learning Unit we are diving
This week we have tapped
into what it means to be “concerned, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.” (QAE’s third pillar).
After eliciting prior knowledge about what we think we know about water, we are expanding our global awareness that it’s not as easy as turning a knob to get a drink of water or draw a warm bath in all parts of the world. We joined Martin on a typical start to his day where he had to go to fetch his water from a well and heat it up by fire and take a bucket-bath before school. This is a boy our QAE teachers have gotten to know through our partnerships with Dwankhozi Hope Basic School in Zambia. Click here to meet Martin
We are beginning to understand that although 70% of the earth’s surface is made of water, less than 1% of all the water on earth is fresh water
that we can actually use.
We are discovering that through the water cycle, we are using the same water that has been on earth since the dinosaurs roamed. This is the water that we all share on earth, all 7, 100,000,000+ of us. Soon, we will better understand that we live much differently than densely populated, water-scarce environments. All areas have their water issues and some are more life-altering than others. While we are just getting our feet wet
, in the next several weeks we will break into expert groups to research water issues. If you have a connection or expertise in this area you would like to contribute, please drop
me a line!
Have your child sing you the song we learned about the water cycle! Water Cycle (Sung to the tune of she’ll be coming round the mountain’)
Water travels in a cycle yes it does,
Water travels in a cycle yes it does,
It goes up as evaporation
Forms clouds as condensation
And comes down as precipitation
Yes it does!
A Scholastic book order went home today. Books make a great gift anytime of year, especially during the holidays. If your'e interested in ordering books it's easiest to do so online. You can also fill in a paper order and send in a check. Click here view/order online. Our class code is JQVFD.
The Bounce Test: The spongy wetland made a fun trampoline. We could even make the tree move without touching it!
With the fresh smell and feel of nature amongst the red and golden leaves, we had a nice end to our science soils unit. All three second grade classrooms ventured to Bellevue for a day spent studying in the education lab and hiking in the wetlands and forests of the Mercer Slough.
A HUGE thank you to all the drivers/chaperones including David G, Meg F, Erin K, John R, Heidi R and Kristi B.
Here are a few pictures of the group I had the pleasure to join. If you have pictures from the field trip or from Halloween, please send them my way!
We had a packed week! We investigated a “mystery soil” in science, planted peas and a ground cover in the QAE garden, and in class we planted seeds in sand, clay and humus to see which component would grow the healthiest plant. William traveled around the sun eight times during his birthday celebration and we had a farewell toast for Isabella on Friday. Starting the week with a field trip and ending it with mustaches created an energetic vibe around here!
On Nov. 1 we will wrap up our soils unit with a field trip to the Mercer Slough. Please let Ms. Heidi know if you are able to drive and chaperone this trip. Be sure to dress to get wet and muddy and to spend the day outside! A sack lunch will be needed for this trip.
I will link some games we learn at school under "Classroom Information" / "games and activities." Be sure to check out this resource throughout the year. Here's a link to an addition game we played this week called Cross-Out Singles
We will be celebrating Halloween with costumes, a parade and a classroom party. Kids can change into costumes after lunch. Masks, weapons, and gore will need to be saved for after school hours.
Questions you “mustache” your child (don’t shave it for later!):
- What is a near double?
- What numbers are multiples of 10?
- What was in your mystery soil and how did you know?
- What does "improvise" mean?
- Explain the difference between there, their and they’re
Thank you to:
Christa Brown and Anna Booth for taking on 75 second graders to plant in the garden.
We had a beautiful afternoon to enjoy the park and the Children's Garden at Seattle Tilth. First we went on a scavenger hunt with about 27 things to find amongst Meridian Park. From man-made litter to a stone throne, we pretty much found it all. At the garden we rolled up our sleeves and got a little dirty and tasted some delcious and interesting herbs and plants. From oregano to coriander and steevia to borage flowers, we stimulated all of our senses.
A BIG thank you to Ms. Heidi, Ms. Anne Marie, Ms. Jinky, Ms. Ilene, Ms. Roberta and Mr. Daniel for driving and chaperoning and spending your time with us!
This coming week is Isabela’s last week at QAE. She will be moving to California. We will have a farewell celebration for her on Friday. We will keep in touch and will really miss you Isabella!
Thank you for your prompt replies regarding the date change with our field trip. We will be going to Seattle Tilth this coming Tuesday. Please be sure to send your child with a sack lunch (or let me know if he/she will be needing a sack lunch from school) and remember to dress warmly-we’ll be outside most of our day! Jackets, hats, gloves and warm shoes are encouraged! Our next field trip to the Mercer Slough will be on November 1st. Look for the blue permission slip that will go home on Monday.
We celebrated Sydney’s birthday, she has traveled around the sun 7 times in her lifetime!
We took the reading and math MAP tests this past week. Using our “thumbmometers,” most kids gave it a “thumbs up.”
As mathematicians we have been working on addition strategies such as counting on and making 10. We have been looking at patterns in sums (adding 2 even numbers or 2 odd numbers will make an even sum, adding an even and odd number together makes an odd sum and all double facts have an even sum). We also picked a one-digit number to start and skip counted by 5s from that number for the next five numbers. Ask your child the patterns we found. (example: 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28).
In science we examined the three main soil components: sand, clay and humus by doing a ball, smear, and settling test. Next week we will use our expertise to determine what a mystery soil is composed of!
Conversation starters for your child:
- What kind of tests do scientists do when studying soil?
- Can you start at a 1-digit number and skip count by 5s for the next 5 numbers? What pattern did you use to know what comes next?
- What’s happening with Marty Mcguire?
- How do you spell thirteen, eighteen, twelve...?
- When rolling two dice, what sum is most probable to roll? What is the least? How do you know?
Thank you to:
Ms. Celeste for helping us prepare for the day when volunteering before school
Our parents that are driving to Seattle Tilth
Ms. Erin K for uploading lots of great work to our student Weebly sites
Ms. Leland for helping us organize our field trips
I wrote this blog on Thursday. It is now Sunday evening and am just now finding that it didn't get published. Instead of writing a new post, I'll just slip in the announcements and reminders here:
We have our first field trip to Seattle Tilth's Children's Garden
this Thursday, October 17 to learn more about soil from the Tilth education team. We'll leave at noon and will be back shortly before dismissal. We will be eating lunch there, so please send a sack lunch with your child. Please let Heidi Roth or Kristi Barnes know if you are able to be a driver for this trip.
The 2nd grade team is also working on finalizing another field trip to the Mercer Slough
on Friday, November 1st for a wetland hike as part of their "Soil Adventurers" program. We will be looking for drivers for this trip as well. Please stay tuned for more info soon.
2nd graders will be taking the MAP test this Tuesday & Wednesday, October 15 & 16. Please make sure your child gets a nutritious breakfast.
Over several weeks we discussed how we would make this the best school year ever. We decided there are five main ways we will do this-BE SAFE, TAKE CARE OF OUR CLASSROOM AND SCHOOL, TRY OUR BEST, HAVE FUN, and WORK TOGETHER. Then we brainstormed ways to do this and what we might say. These have become our "Guidelines and Agreements" for the year. Each of us signed-off on the guidelines and agree to the norms we created together.
Scientists Hard at Work
We are getting our hands dirty! This week we investigated soil and then its three main components: sand, clay, and humus. Ask your child what he/she learned this week! We will go on our first class field trip to Seattle Tilth on October 17th. The experts at Seattle Tilth will teach us more about gardening and environmental concepts and perhaps let us get a little dirt under our fingernails.
Our morning jokes from the past week...
You'll have to ask your child for the punch lines!
Why was Ms. Leckie running around her bed?
What does a robot frog say?
What is black and white, black and white, black and white?
Why do cows wear bells?
And my personal favorite:
What do you call a bear that knows everything?