Last week, we continued our study of snow and focused on the water cycle by reading a few books and one interactive storybook app called The Tale of a Snowflake. We introduced the vocabulary evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.
We also tried a few experiments. During Tuesday's Morning Message, Ms. Atiya introduced the children to an experiment to find out what would melt ice faster. The students made predictions between salt, sand, or warm water. Even though it came very close, it was exciting finding that salt melted the ice faster. Salt had the least predictions with 2, warm water had the most with 12, and sand had 9 predictions. We also found that salt dissolves in water and that the sand sank because sand is more dense or weighs more than water. Salt is more dense than water too, but it is soluable and sand is insoluable.
On Thursday, we had a snowman visitor! The snowman was made of spheres of ice. The children named the snowman and made predictions about what would happen by the end of the day. We recorded the changes and measured the snowman's height periodically. By the end of the day, the snowman had only lost about an inch in height - but its head and body were considerably smaller and it was leaning to the left. During this experiment, we discussed the three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas. Before the children were dismissed, our snowman visitor was placed into a pan and we watched it begin to evaporate and turn into steam (gas)! Yikes! The water cycle started all over again. The children loved this activity and it gave us an opportunity to connect with other classes via twitter. One class made their own predictions and wanted to know which would melt first - the top or the bottom of the snowman. Ms. Harrison will share these tweets with the children tomorrow.
In math, we introduced telling time on an analog clock. We reviewed the second hand, minute hand and hour hand. We talked about 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day with the labels of a.m. or p.m. to show morning or afternoon/evening times. We practiced reading analog clocks and writing the time using a colon. We focused mainly on the hour, half and quarter hour. Many children still confuse the hour and minute hands and we encourage you to work on this at home. If you’re looking for a way to inspire and interest your child in learning to tell time, there are some great, affordable children’s Timex analog watches that include the minute markers (counting by 5s and 1s). They are fun learning watches, have appealing designs and some even have a glow-light for nighttime viewing! Children can also practice their time-telling skills with the app Jungle Time. This app allows children to adjust the level of difficulty and it great for children just beginning to tell time or for those who need more of a challenge.
For children who are already able to read an analog clock, we introduced word problems involving elapsed time. For example, Carrie started building a sand castle at 12:32pm. She finished building at 1:33 in the afternoon. How long did it take? or Rose started cutting her customer’s hair at 11:30 in the morning. She finished at 1:14 in the afternoon. How long did the haircut take?
We encourage you to give your children elapsed time problems (as simple or challenging as they need) to solve about their daily, real world routine, i.e. It's 7:00 a.m. right now. How long until school begins at 8:30 a.m.? During the morning routine at school, children sign in by writing the time they arrive in the classroom. We replaced the digital clock with an analog clock and the children will include the time, along with the date, one each of their papers.
FAMILY MESSAGE JOURNALS
Please respond to your child's letter and return the journal early this week. We will write again on Friday. Thank you.
Although the week ahead looks very cold, please continue to send your child prepared for spending time outside. This may simply mean walking from the Lobby to bus or car. We will ask that children be well-bundled before we dismiss them. Hopefully it will warm up enough for us to safely enjoy recess.
As mentioned last week, we started a new read aloud series called Heidi Heckelbeck. The first book was titled Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret. Heidi is a 2nd grader who starts school for the first time (she was previously home-schooled) and meets a mean little girl in her class named, Melanie Maplethorpe. Melanie turns Heidi's first day of school into a nightmare and makes Heidi not ever want to come to school again. Then she remembers she has a very special secret - she is a witch! Heidi is thinking of using her special powers to get back at meanie Melanie.
We have eagerly started the second book Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell. She has decided once and for all that she will cast a spell to make Melanie Manlethorpe forget her lines in the school play! Heidi is now working hard to get all the ingredients for this spell. We will find out this week if the spell worked! Be sure to ask your favorite second grader what happens.
Here is a link to learn more about Heidi Heckelbeck books, activities and blog. There are many more books in the series and we are hoping that some kids have gotten hooked and will want to read more.
Enjoy the week!