We also shared two more Peter Reynolds' books that are a part of his "creatrilogy" called Ish and Sky Color. Like The Dot, these books encourage kids to be brave and creative, to recognize that their ideas are special and important. They inspire children to try and remind them not to worry so much about making things perfect. Peter Reynolds really emphasizes the process not the product. His message supports our own thinking about teaching/learning and his books are very appealing to young children. We plan to read more titles in the coming weeks.
Be sure to stop by to see your child's "dot" on display outside of the classroom. We used this project as an opportunity to introduce the iPad and a few apps, Drawing Pad and Percolator. The children learned to create and save and image in Drawing Pad. Then they opened that same image in Percolator and transformed it into something magical. Finally, the children learned to email their final image to Ms. Harrison from the iPad for printing! Now that we've learned so much, we will have to start fresh with the new iOS 7 features. We have no doubt the kids will pick things up quickly and will probably teach us a thing or two!
During our Reading time this week, we practiced the third way of reading a book - Retelling the Story. The old, but well-loved tale of Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf was the perfect book to introduce this comprehension strategy. We read the book, then retold the story with only the pictures. The children quickly fell in love with Ferdinand and as a treat, we watched the 1938 Disney classic Ferdinand the Bull. This cartoon can be found on youtube if you'd like to watch it at home again.
We also learned how to Read to Someone by sitting EEKK! That means "Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee with the book in the middle, so we both can see!" According to Gail Boushey and Gail Moser in their book, The Daily 5, "Reading with someone helps readers, especially developing readers, become more self-sufficient and less reliant on the teacher for assistance. Research shows that taking turns while reading increases reading involvement, attention, and collaboration." Children will not only read to a friend or classmate, but they will discuss their understanding of the story, make observations or connections, and have fun reading to each other!
Many children and parents have been asking when or if we will have "Show and Tell" in our class this year. We call this time Sharing and it will take place during our Morning Meetings. We will introduce Sharing this week and the children will be able to sign up for a turn in the next few weeks after we have done some modeling and practicing. Stay tuned for more details in the next newsletter.
We are looking forward to our apple picking field trip on Wednesday. Specific details (and driving directions) were included in the email announcing the posting of this newsletter. Here is some general information to prepare you child for our day at the orchard:
- Please pack a snack, lunch and beverage securely in a paper or plastic bag (labeled with your child’s name) so it can be disposed of easily. No plastic storage containers please. All of your child’s lunch should be disposable. Don’t forget to make sure snacks and lunches are peanut/tree-nut free.
- Be sure to have your child dress for a day outdoors. Gym shoes are the most appropriate footwear. Sunscreen should be applied before school. Your child should also bring a manageable backpack to carry his/her lunch and belongings. At the end of the day, the backpack will hold all the apples your second grader picks! Backpacks with wheels are not recommended.
- The children may bring books to read, notebooks for drawing, Mad-libs, strings for the cat's cradle game,etc. We ask that toys, Pokemon cards, electronic devices, etc. be left at home. Thank you!
On Friday, we introduced the story of the amazing attempt to save the endangered whooping cranes by establishing a new eastern flock. The departure date is set for tomorrow and we are crossing our fingers for good weather. We hope to tune in live via the crane cam tomorrow morning and maybe we will see them fly!
Our second graders will track Class of 2013 birds as they begin their first migration south to Florida. The current Class of 2013 (learning to migrate following the ultralight airplanes) is a small one with only eight chicks. Seven other chicks are a part of the DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Program. These are captive-born chicks that have been released in the company of older, wild whooping cranes. The older birds will teach the younger birds the migration route. We will also follow their progress as we receive updates from Operation Migration and Journey North.
Stay tuned and if you get a chance, check out the live crane cam early in the mornings after sunrise. You might catch a glimpse of take off! Below is a video showing what the early morning departure looks like. Here is a brief description of whooping cranes' story:
On the brink of extinction, a flock of only 15 wild migratory whooping cranes remained in the early 1940s. Since 2001, with ultralight aircraft leading the way, a new wild flock of migratory whooping cranes is being reintroduced to the eastern U.S., once part of their historic range. The goal is 25 breeding pairs from 125 birds in Wisconsin by 2020. The new flock has had limited success in nesting, and the fragile migratory population still has a rocky road ahead. Thanks to the efforts of Operation Migration there are now just 101 wild adult Whooping cranes in the new flock migrating in eastern North America. Each year, new crane chicks are raised in captivity, trained to migrate with the ultra lights, and added to the new eastern flock. This year's new flock members are called the "Hatch Year 2013" birds, or the Class of 2013. These birds hatched in the spring of 2013 and have been training in White River Marsh, Wisconsin all summer.