This was the first week of the new grading period, which meant that we were able to begin new units. And since it was Halloween, we also were able to have a little fun with spookier things.
In reading, we began reading Sign of the Beaver. This nine weeks, we will read it separately, and then discuss a group of chapters together in a literature circle.
To prepare us for this, we discussed inferencing–using the context clues to read between the lines. We watched the opening montage from Pixar’s Up. Though that scene has absolutely no words, we were able to use the given clues to discuss the characters and what was happening within the story. The children had some wonderful comments and observations.
On Thursday, we began our literature circle with roles. We first started by going around the circle and saying what we thought of the first few chapters. The children were commenting on each other’s comments to the point that we were unable to really go into all the roles. I was proud as they really thought deeply about the book expressing expectations for what would happen next. I’m excited to hear what the students have to say about the rest of the book.
In the Spirit of Halloween, we put some words in the grave—blah words, words that are boring, dull, and really tell our reader nothing. In their place, we used thesauri to find more vivid, descriptive synonym survivors, and we wrote them on the tombstones of the blah words.
This week, we also had a special visitor join us in the classroom, a published author (also known as our dear principal Mrs. Stephens)! She went over planning a narrative with the use of the skeleton story structure which includes the author knowing from the beginning an obvious and a hidden need for the main character and what was going to happen. We also translated into this with a flower that blooms. The children were so excited to have a visitor teach the class.
Today, we also took our first field trip; we went to Triple R Ranch where we got to learn more about animals. Our first stop was the Nature Hut where we were guided by Nature Josh. We saw turtles, snakes, an iguana, among other creatures.
It’s feeding time!
After the Nature Hut, we took a hike through the woods looking and collecting things that bees would use. Look at all the cool things we found!
We then took our treasures to beekeeping where we learned all about bees, how they make honey, and how to keep a hive. We even got to try some honey from the hive just a few yards away.
This is the type of tree that bees from around here use to create honey; it’s a type of poplar.
Our final destination was the pond to look for animals by swiping the bottom of the muddy banks with nets and putting what we caught in buckets. Nature Josh demonstrated how to use the net and then the children were able to explore to find various animals including fish, ghost shrimp, crayfish and others. We then discussed food webs and characteristics of the animals.