Monday, December 5, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That

Things are chugging along in Turtlepond these days! It is hard to believe that we are only 9 school days away from our Winter holidays. How did that happen? Over the last few days I have taken a bunch of pictures that are completely unrelated to each other so I thought I would just share them anyways! So, here goes....

We got mail! Today we got two postcards from Beijing, China! Last week we got a postcard from Texas. If you get the chance to check out the blackboard above our book boxes you will see the map of the world I have hung there with strings going from the places to the mail we have received. We sent off 23 letters to various schools participating in our holiday mail exchange and are hopeful that we will also get more mail from relatives of the students in our class. We can hardly wait to see what comes next!

We have discovered that you can draw a picture with our felt pens and then use water and a paint brush to turn it into a watercolour! This moment of serendipity happened on a day when I just didn't have time to get out the paints during choosing and suggested a student try doing this instead. Tons of fun (and art) ensued!

Four of the boys built this very complex structure during choosing. It is an entire village surrounded by a wall with a blacksmith, horses and everything all made out of Lego. They had me take a gazillion photos from various angles which would take up about 4 pages if I tried to post them all. Cool, huh?

And we have been reading a variety of versions of the Gingerbread Boy story. So far we have read the following versions...

We have been comparing each of the versions to the ones we have read before and discovering many similarities and differences. Reading the Hawaiian version (The Musubi Man) was particularly fun as it ends in an entirely new way from the original. And today we started working on our own class version of the Gingerbread Man story that we hope to finish before the holidays and have our very own "Conan The Librarian" put it in the library for all to read!

In Math Stations we have been working on gingerbread boy patterns, number printing, addition and subtraction games and completing math assessments with me. I am discovering that quite a few of the grade 2's need to work on quick recall of their math facts to 20. We still have a lot of kids counting using strategies like their fingers, objects etc. which is fine as a strategy but really slows down their ability to do math facts quickly and accurately. We are going to be working on place value in the new year and begin doing more column addition with and without regrouping. Knowing their math facts is kind of like knowing sight words. It allows them to spend their time thinking about the question and how to do it rather than having to stop and count on their fingers each time they have to add another two numbers together. A set of math fact flash cards in each stocking this Christmas would be a very good idea!

This Thursday we are looking forward to making Christmas ornaments with our parent volunteers. Before the holidays, we will be doing a scrapbook page about the holidays for our scrapbooks. And next week we are going to be singing Christmas carols in the gym on a couple of mornings. I will let you know which days we are going. Hope that you can join us!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Please let us know I'd love to and need to book time off work and will need some warning to book a morning off!!!