Archive for March, 2012

Happy Spring Break to You!

March 31, 2012

spring has sprung on the playground at Murch

Now that was a BIG Morning Meeting!  You were part of a school-wide event!  What fun joining everyone at Murch for a happy, friendly Good Morning!  Daphne and Lauryn taught us our dance move for the Greeting which you did perfectly.  Some of the other classes were hilarious.  Tell an adult about the dances and other parts of Morning Meeting you liked.

            Everyone is learning how to follow rules and agreements. We made a new chart to help us give everyone equal turns at holding the door and leading the line.

This week you learned that planets “rotate” or spin, and they “orbit” or go around the sun.  The ones closer to the sun go around quickly.  The planets that are far away from our star take much longer to orbit.  This is true.  We talked about facts.  When you know something is real or true, it is a fact.  When you see facts, sometimes you find a pattern.  When you have a pattern, you can make predictions.  You know spring follows winter.  You know now is a good time to plant seeds because it will gradually get warmer and warmer so the plants will grow properly.  So we went out and planted radishes in the school garden.  Mr. Welsh talked about the tilt of the earth and its orbit causing the seasons.  Remember the video from last week’s blog?

You played an “orbit game” in which the sun (played by first Gabriel and  then Ellie) closed its eyes and had to guess where the sneaky planet (Mr. Welsh’s orange) had moved or orbited around the rug.  One of you had it secreted on you.  How do you all look so innocent?  You also did a “rotate” greeting.  You spun around once and then shook hands and said hello.

Scientists do like to argue!  They even argue about the facts sometimes, such as how many planets are in our solar system.  You saw three different amounts written in three different books.  One book said 9, one said 8 and one said 13??? The debate, or difference of opinion,  came down to whether ‘dwarf planets’ really are planets.  What do you think?  Then scientists argue about predictions that are not so easy to make.  You predicted and then changed your prediction about which ice cube would melt first.  We had to do the experiment more than once because we were not in the classroom one of the times when the ice finished melting.  We will do it again in the hotter April sun.

B-10 game

penny-dime game

You played number games this week.  You already knew Subtraction Race.  You learned B10 and Penny/ Dime.  In each of those two, you roll a die and take that many ones.  When you get ten of them, you trade them in for a ten counter.  Tell an adult what the ten looks like in B10.  What is the name of the ten coin in Penny/ Dime?  Counting, adding and subtracting are all First Grade skills.  Good for you.

You have done many pages in the Handwriting Without Tears workbook.  In April you will start forming the Lower Case letters. See last week’s blog for the chart with all the letters.  Your hands are getting stronger and your letters are looking like the big kids make them.  The First Grade teachers will be very pleased.

 You have been writing sentences in Writing Workshop.  Sometimes you wrote two or more sentences.  You have been Word Building too.  You have gotten really good at reading words after Mr. Welsh changes a letter in the word.

There is no homework during the spring break. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.  Many of you saw, and liked  this picture Mrs Marcus took a few weeks ago in New York at the Metropolitan Museum. It shows patterns too…

window reflection in water

this is the inside pool

Big Morning Meeting and More

March 24, 2012

morning meeting in the gym

You went to a BIG Morning Meeting!  All the First Graders were there.  All the Kindergarteners were there.  All the Pre-K kids were there!  There was a greeting called ‘left side, right side’: you shook hands with a child on one side of you and then with a child on the other side.  Mr. Cebrzynski shared.  He gave “Shout Outs” to people who had done good work.  He said Mrs. Hettipola the aide in Ms. Selzer’s Pre-K  had a wonderful after school art class and worked hard for Murch.  He praised several other people too.  We all applauded for them.

Mrs. Miller sang a song in “Call and Response” with you.  You copied her.  That was nice (and very loud). Here is a small part of it as a video.

Ms. Werner read the Morning Message.  It was about expectations for Morning Meetings.  It was a lot like our Agreement.  Listen and be polite were a big part of how you should join the Morning Meeting in our classroom or with the big kids.

You played “Subtraction Race” during Math Time each day this week.  Tell an adult how you use the die and the 12 cubes.

You were playing Word Building or writing with Mr. Welsh this week.  You will do more Handwriting Without Tears next week.  You will be forming the lower case letters. You can use the chart below to practice more at home. The more you write and use the letters, the easier it will get!

alphabet used by handwriting without tears

You did an experiment with ice cubes this week. One cube was under a clear plastic cup and one was not.  Our hypothesis (a hypothesis is what you think will happen)  was the one under the cup would melt slower than the other ice cube.  You said it would stay colder because the air would be cool from the evaporating water that was caught in the cup.  You were correct!

Our next experiment will be almost the same.  However, this time we will put the two ice cubes by the window on a sunny day.  You said your hypothesis this time changed.  You thought the ice under the cup would melt first.  You said the ice under the cup will heat up faster because the sun will heat up the ice and the air.  The air cannot escape or blow away like the air around the ice cube with no cup.  There was some disagreement about this and some of you wrote your thinking at Writing Workshop.  We shall see…

Earlier this week you made patterns by drawing them and clapping them.  Mr. Welsh said scientists look for patterns.  If you know a pattern, you can predict what will come in the future.

You have been hearing and learning about the solar system. Some of this information you learned in Pre-K, but it is good to hear it again and refresh your knowledge now that you are older. Scientists know about how planets orbit (orbiting is going around on a set path) the sun by careful observation.  Even the ancient Egyptians and Mayans observed the stars and planets very well without telescopes!  Making predictions or hypotheses is fun.  Maybe scientists have more fun than the rest of us!

You recently memorized several good poems: “The Little Turtle” and “The Folk in Backward Town”.  Poems you wanted to hear again included “Transparent Tim” by Shel, “Honey I Love” by Eloise Greenfield, “Clouds” by Christina Rossetti and maybe because we miss winter “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost.  We read many good books this week and Mr. Welsh even sang you an Irish story!

In Health this week Mr Berger noticed you already know lots about what good nutrition is! He taught you about healthy food and junk food. He also shared a video about nutrition  from the ‘brain pop’ website.. It has lots of information and useful videos for you. Devan said he looks at brain pop every day.

The Smithsonian Channel has released some of the videos about the TITANOBOA!  Here are some of you in 2 separate clips. Thank you to Mr Poe, DJ’s dad,  in Ms Fitzpatrick’s class!

The cherry trees planted all around Murch School are in full bloom too. If you look carefully, you can see the parts that make up the individual flowers.

cherry blossoms at school

Homework for the week of March 26, 2012

Monday: Tell an adult about what we did in the garden. group 1 shares.

Tuesday: Do something new with a ball and come to school Wednesday and tell the class what you did. group 2 shares.

Wednesday:  Write a sentence about the ball trick you did.  Bring it to school Thursday. group 3 shares.

Thursday: Tell an adult what games have you been playing this week at Math Time. Reminder: it will be a 1/2 day tomorrow! group 4 shares.

Friday:  Have you gotten your own library card yet?  Been to the library lately?  Read the blog with an adult? Have a good spring break!

Remarks: The Spring Break commences on Friday March 30th at 12:15pm. School will resume on Tuesday, April 10, at 8:45 am.


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