K/1st: Week of Feb 19th

Larry Alert! Larry Alert!!!

Our leprechaun has returned with more mischief! It is looking more and more like we are going to have to build some traps again this year. Please bring in any 3D recyclables to help us in this math project! In the past we have appreciated receiving any cubes, rectangular or triangular prisms, cones, and cylinders (oatmeal boxes are AWESOME).

2024 could be our year!

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Larry mixed up our supply bins this week!

Our intrepid early birds put things back where they belong!

This week in the Ocean…

Alphas know that the food chain and webs in the ocean begin with phytoplankton, the tiniest living air producing plant in the ocean. This week we focused on the LARGEST creature to ever live on Earth : The Whales!

We learned that whales evolved from land mammals; a creature that was kind of like a dog but liked seafood so much its body adapted to living in the ocean! We learned that even though whales look like fish, they breathe air like we do, they are warm blooded, have hair, give birth to live babies, and nurse their young like all mammals on Earth!

We knew that whales were deep divers and we knew that fish that lived in the ocean had special anti-freeze in their blood that kept them alive in the freezing waters. Whales don’t have antifreeze in their blood, they have thick walls of fat that insulate them from the frigid waters.

First, we tested the freezing cold water with bare hands…

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Then we tested it in a Blubber Mit, made of FAT! Ahhhh…quite a pleasant temperature!

We learned that there were 2 groups of whales: Toothed and Baleen.

Toothed whales are hunters and aren’t the great travelers their cousins, the baleen whales, they tend to stay in areas where they find their food source. While humans have hunted whales for thousands of years, there is one whale Europeans hadn’t laid eyes on because this whale never strays from the arctic circle: the narwhal. The narwhal is a unique toothed whale because of the long spiraled tooth it sports. Alphas learned that people in Europe found these teeth washed up on shore and had no idea it came from a whale – they thought it must’ve come from a unicorn! They are the unicorn of the sea and WE seet out to build one. Alphas measured out 16 ft of paper for the body, 12 feet for the tooth, and 4 feet for the fluke and flippers. They use “counter shading” or counter camouflage is where the top part of their bodies are dark and the belly part is light so they will blend in with their surroundings no matter where they are, above or below, in relation to their prey.

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Then, we cut out the shape of the fluke and the body and put it together!

We went from 2D to 3D (especially when we stuffed it!)

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Collaborative cutting makes the job go quickly…

Collaborative stapling too…

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Collaborative balling up paper and stuffing mostly hurts our ears, but definitely got ‘er done!

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On Thursday, we looked at another group of whales called Baleen. And if we were going to discuss baleen we first had to talk about a mighty important, but small creature…krill. Only the size of our pinkie fingers, they are the food baleen whales depend on the most and they’re carbon eaters which benefits the entire planet. Inside a whale’s flipper is a hand much like ours. Blue whales are baleen and after we discovered their tongues are 13” long we had to measure the full length of one…

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We stretched a bluewhale-length of yarn that went from one end of the community hall through the kitchen and towards the Library!

We then looked at the size of a narwhal which is sooo huge in our room and compared it to a blue whale. I think we all gasped at the difference!.

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The facts of earth’s largest animal of all time are staggering. They swim over 660, 000 miles in their lifetimes, an alpha could swim through their arteries, their hearts are the size of cars and they eat 4.5 tons of krill a day, but they can’t swallow anything larger than a beach ball.

We listened to whales talking and discovered how different and haunting they are.

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This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

We met cubes from home, made shapes outta shapes (hmmm, it takes a LOT of small shapes to make big shapes, but you can do it!), and finished ALL our Fact Family Castles to 9 this week! Huzzah! Alphas put their work into practice playing Subtraction Crash!

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Ms. Eliza’s group…

Even though we spend a good part of our week building our knowledge of geometry concepts this quarter, we continue to circle around to place value, addition and subtraction concepts and how to make and read simple bar graphs.

numbers exercise by drawing a table.We’re also learning how to organize information like we did with this expanding numbers exercise and writing numbers as words.

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Partners had a great time playing Pig! in class (which is also a great way for us to practice vertical addition).

This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Eliza’s group…

Our digraph of the week was qu…It was fun to recite together the tongue twister from Dr. Suess…”The quick queen of quincy and her quacking quackeroo!”

Our sight words are: this and help

In our writer’s workshop, we chose an animal and wrote a poem using that animal for our subject. We thought about all of the things that make that animal unique.

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by Wyatt

Python skeletons.




They shed skin.



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by Ezi


Slow mover

Hard shelled




Ms. Kim’s group…

We checked-in with spelling, we played a game to help us connect contractions to phrases, we worked on concrete poems, and thought about similes after reading “Harlem,” by Langston Hughes. We read together and pondered comprehension questions.

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In other news…

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Sharing a self-published comic book…WOW!

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…a leprechaun song and dance that ended in a click of the heels!

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AND…we got to celebrate our beautiful, smart as an octopus, and crazy in a good way, Ms. Kim!