Our trip to the Cleveland Aquarium was a huge hit Friday! Due to a wonderful aquarium guide, helpful parent chaperones, and enthusiastic children, the trip was a success. Before we left for the trip, the students were briefly told of the animals they would see there. The point of the trip was for each child to pick one animal to research. They will be spending the next few weeks learning more about this animal. However, we wanted the start of the research to be a close up encounter. As we walked through the exhibits, children selected animals they were exceptionally interested in. They were then given a clipboard and a paper to write and draw about their animal. Children picked alligators, nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, moon jellyfish, stingrays, and seahorses.

On Tuesday morning, we will begin talking about what it means to research a topic. We will pose questions we want answered and spend some time looking in nonfiction animal books. With one on one teacher assistance, children will also be conducting online research. Thus, our writer’s workshop for the next 2-3 weeks will focus on this type of nonfiction writing.

Expanding the students interest in sharks, we began an “SH” word list. We began by writing “SH” very large in the middle of a poster board. Then children had the chance to generate words that began with the “SH” sound. At this stage of their development, most children have a very difficult time distinguishing between the “ST” and “SH” beginning sound. Generating this list of words really helped the children begin to make this sound distinction. After I wrote the words the children told me, the children had the chance to illustrate them.

In math, we continued to work on measurement. Many of the children have begun to master nonstandard units of measure. We have done measurement with sticks, worms, connecting cubes, unifix cubes, and one inch blocks. Then we moved into some standard measurement by working with rulers. We built lego towers and measured how many inches tall they were. Of course, the children enjoyed anything that involved working with legos!

UPCOMING: We have our 100th day of school coming up. If you did not receive the directions for the project in your child’s book bag, please let me know.

VALENTINE’S DAY: Our next holiday is quickly approaching. Please do not waste your money on store bought valentines. Instead, each child is encouraged to MAKE their own valentines to hand out to their classmates. I will be sending home class lists within the next few weeks. We will also be having a holiday party. Let me know if you would be interested in joining the fun!!