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Ecosystems Science Lab
American Revolution Study Guide
The History of Valentines Day
Listen up history lovers. Have you ever wondered about the history of Valentine's Day? Because I haven't, until now. I thought it would be really stupid learning about the day of "love" and all. But it's actually really interesting. It's about a Saint named St. Valentine who has many different stories to how Valentine's Day was created.
There are many different legends of the first Valentine. Legends are stories that could be true. They could also be based on real people. In legends, facts can be exaggerated to make it more interesting.
During the age of the Roman Empire, there was an Emperor. His name was Claudius II. He believed that soldiers fought better when they were single so he banned marriage between men and women. In secret they would, with the help of St. Valentine, conduct the marriages. Saint Valentine was as smart and sneaky as a tiger sneaking yup on its prey, until he was caught and Emperor Claudius demanded he be killed.
One of the other legends of St. Valentine was that he helped prisoners escape from jail. He was helping Christian prisoners escape from Roman prisons He got caught doing that, and he ended up imprisoned He was deeply in love with the jailer's daughter. In fact he wrote the first "valentine" from prison to the woman, and its last words were "From your Valentine."
Thank You Science Lab Volunteers
Proud Moments of an Educator
Learning to Hypothesize
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iMovie Documents the Potlatch
The Science of Dancing
The new Trailor feature on iMovie is amazing.
Ecosystems Science Lab
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A Drama Filled Week
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Student Council Speeches Set the Tone for the Year
Giving Authors an Objective Audience
I wanted the children to have an opportunity publish their writing without the stress of their audience's opinion looming overhead. With this idea in mind I resurrected the idea of the underground newspaper. Completely anonymous, "The Germ" is meant to give the children in our class an avenue to publish with added incentive of being part of something that is secretive and in my opinion pretty cool.
CRCT Review Extension
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Day of Sound
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Collecting Cans Inspires a Tens and Ones Obsession
For the past month the children have been bringing in canned goods to help feed the less fortunate in the Atlanta area. I want to thank all of our parents at home for their donations, and for providing a wonderful learning experience for their children at the same time.
The children took the time over the past two weeks to count out the cans that our class collected. They experimented with many different counting techniques such as counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's. Then I introduced the green place value blocks into the environment to see if the students would be able to represent the number of cans we have collected using the blocks. They were able to master the concept of tens and ones so I decided to challenge them by sharing the number of cans that each teacher in first grade had collected. The children struggled with adding the total number of cans that each of the classes had contributed until they began to join and exchange the place value blocks instead of using the typical algorithm to solve the problem.
This 4 day exploration of place value solidified the very valuable concept in the children's understanding of mathematics. If we had blindly entered into this area of the curriculum without a meaningful reason to incorporate the models that the children used they never would have shown the internal motivation to learn about this concept. I was very impressed with their ideas, and learned a lot from their approach.
Voicethread Opens Discourse in our Community
Our Voicethread has to this point been viewed by over 800 people on the web so far. This type of exposure really gets me excited about the possibilities of this program. Previously our work was only shared and commented upon by the children in our class, and possibly a passerby if something was displayed in the hallway. I am constantly looking for the deeper meaning behind something that a child prepares and it feels good to know that someone else in our community is doing the same.
Motivation: An Author's Journey
Over the past week the children have been following a pretty regimented (for our class) writing schedule. With the introduction of their soon to be published "Young Author's Books," the children have assumed a new role in the classroom as aspiring authors.
We began by relating our stories to a book that we were reading in class entitled "My Robot," which was a fictional story about a young boy who received a robot for his birthday. I posed the question, "What would you do if you were to receive a robot in the future?" Of course the children responded with typical answers such as, "he would cook dinner for my family," or, "he would give me money." Then on the second day of the drafting process I decided to turn their stories on their heads and share with them that their robots were all defective and set up more of a cause and effect story line that the children would have to complete. This was wonderful because the humor that came from these conversations sparked a new line of motivation that I feel had been missing from their writing over the past couple of weeks. Children who were reluctant to put pencil to paper were now very excited about writing about how their robot would, "accidentally burn down the kitchen as he prepared dinner for their family."
I found myself very satisfied as I watched the children create their own misfortunes, all the while laughing while they hurried to write before their idea's would leave them. I hope I can capture this excitement again soon not just for their motivation, but also for my own.