All life is interdependent and interacts causing change;
Environmental factors impact the survival of all things;
People change through struggles with their environment and culture.
Portfolio Night / Empty Bowls
Thanks again for joining us for our annual Empty Bowls / Portfolio Night. It was wonderful watching your children share their learning with you. Rise Against Hunger was another huge success. We packed 40,000 meals and they went to hurricane victims in Texas and Florida. It is always a special day to watch our school and community come together to show stewardship for others.
English Language Arts
We finished our survival novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Students analyzed Brian's traits and how his character faced different types of conflicts throughout the book. He realized that through positive thinking and perseverance he could accomplish most anything. This is a wonderful character trait for all of our students to emulate. After Thanksgiving break, we will be working on publishing our narrative survival stories, and students will put their writing skills to the test and become an author!
Our focus on Westward Expansion and the Transcontinental Railroad has now come to an end. We have had wonderful discussions regarding the new technology of this time (the telegraph replacing the Pony Express) and have made connections to our modern day (email and the post office). We have also tied in our survival unit as we discussed what it would take to "survive" in the Great American Desert with minimal resources (needs vs. wants). Life was hard and treacherous on the cattle drives and the plight of the Native Americans has also been at the forefront of our discussions.
The students have also been working on identifying the cause and effect of relationships that we've noted during our Westward Expansion studies. They did a wonderful job coming up with their connections and illustrating them! I hope that you got to take a look at them when you were here for Portfolio Night!
Students have been busy exploring different Ecosystems and learning more about biotic and abiotic factors that effect those Ecosystems. Students discovered new information about food chains and food webs by creating their own personal food web and keeping a food log, connecting what they ate to other organisms. Students also examined the Nitrogen and Carbon Cycle and learned how decomposers play a major part in those cycles, as well as how important those cycles are to the production of the food web (even the stinky stuff)! Students enjoyed creating cartoons of either Nitrogen or Carbon illustrating how those elements cycle through our environment and atmosphere. We ended the unit by looking at how human activities have effected those cycles and created issues in our ecosystem, Global Warming! Students discovered the importance protecting our environment by not adding additional materials to atmosphere and recycling in order to keep the Ecosystem balanced!
Students did a fantastic job on their Thanksgiving Dinner Projects. They were asked to plan a Thanksgiving meal for their extended family. Their guests were responsible for bringing drinks and side dishes and students were responsible for providing one 24 pound turkey, 4 pounds of apples, 6 pounds of carrots, 8 pounds of potatoes, and 3 large pumpkin pies. Students used the internet and visited grocery stores to find out the price per pound for their food items and then calculated the total cost of the meal. They were also asked to research how long it took to cook a turkey per pound and to calculate the time they would need to start cooking the turkey if dinner is being served at 6pm. We had a great time discussing how cheap and how expensive the meals were and why. Some grocery stores were having great sales while others were extremely pricy. Students admitted that they wanted to shop at the grocery stores that were having the best sales so they could save the most money. Students were also surprised by how much work it took to plan a big meal. They will most likely be extra thankful this year for their Thanksgiving dinner now that they know how much time, money and effort go into such an event. I'm thankful they were able to gain such knowledge of this real world experience! A shout out to parents as well for taking children to the grocery store to photograph and price the food items.
We have recently had the opportunity to meet up with our new 1st grade buddies! Each 5th grader has been assigned a buddy in 1st grade and they will work together throughout the year on a variety of activities. So far, we have joined them for morning meeting, one-on-one reading opportunities and helped them to organize their recipe books!