As part of our unit of study around nonfiction, we read an amazing biography the other day called Snowflake Bentley. Snowflake Bentley is the story of Wilson Bentley, a farmer born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont. Bentley loved snowflakes more than anything else in the world and used a special microscope/camera to capture images of snowflakes and document their great beauty and variety. The story was a great example of one of our class mottos: Never give up! In first/second grade we also worked very hard to create our own very complicated snowflakes out of paper to decorate our classroom. We also watched a slideshow of some of Bentley’s snowflake photos, which you can see here.
In first/second grade students are working on addition and subtraction by playing a fun and very useful game in math called Close to 20. You can play this game at home with your child using a standard deck of playing cards (designate jacks as zero, aces as one, queens as 10 and kings as wild cards). Students pick three numbers from their hand of five cards to add together. The object of the game is to make each play add up to as close as 20 as possible. Students “earn” a point for each number they are away from 20 in their number string and the player with the lowest score at the end of the game wins. Enjoy!
In this week’s Mystery Science lesson, first/second grade students discovered more about melting and the solid and liquid states of matter. For this exploration, students learned why and how plastic was invented and then worked as teams to test the “meltable” property of different types of candy (since we did not want to actually experiment with melting plastic in the classroom!). Click here to see the links we shared about people melting glass, metal, and wax. Next week will be our final week to focus on properties of matter. First/second grade students will learn more about how new materials are invented and they will create designs for inventions that use a futuristic material.
After several weeks of practice and hard work, students in first/second grade shared their class play, The Ugly Pumpkin, at our school-wide assembly this afternoon. They really worked together as a team and did an amazing job! Click here to see the actors of first/second grade in action.
Students at SES celebrated SPARKLING vocabulary words on Friday by dressing up in costume and labeling themselves with one very descriptive and interesting word. Words in first/second grade included imperturbable, imaginary, desirous, infrastructure, dazzling, and stealthy. Click here to see more photos of first/second grade students in costume.
In first/second grade we have been learning all about matter and the different ways to categorize and describe matter by various properties. In our first science mystery challenge, Why do we wear clothes?, students explored the different properties of materials used for clothing. They were told that they had landed on a deserted tropical island and were asked to select materials they needed to construct a hat that protects them from the sun. In our second science mystery, Can you really fry an egg on a hot sidewalk?, students will consider the insulating and conducting properties of different materials. They will test different materials to determine which material is best for making oven mitts. We’ll share our results after we finish the experiment on Monday!
First/second grade students had some special guests visit our classroom this afternoon to teach us sign language. We learned the alphabet and how to say “How are you?” in sign. We also learned how to sing a beautiful song about sunshine. Thank you to our very special guests; please come back and teach us more soon!