This week we learned that the ocean has layers that are divided by how much light is in it. The first layer we explored is called the Euphotic Zone. We learned that most of the creatures in the ocean live in this layer, and just like all living things on land, these creatures require sunlight, air, water, and food to live. Alphas knew that many of the tidal zone creatures had adaptations that helped them capture microscopic food particles from the water, and we learned that those particles were actually living plants and animals called Phytoplankton and Zooplankton. We learned that phytoplankton was responsible for making at least half of the air we breathe on Earth! We also learned that most of the phytoplankton lived near the shore because like all plants, it needs nutrients from the soil, and since it floats, it needs to be in areas where the currents churn up the minerals enough to reach it. Alphas remembered their sand-tray experiments and knew that toxins that get into rivers and streams can eventually reach the ocean – right into the areas our air-producers live! YIKES!
Alphas tracing zooplankton and phytoplankton…
We met another interesting Euphotic-floater that we find on Texas Beaches: the Portugese Man-o-War! It is a cool creature called a siphonophore which is made of a “colony of specialized individuals with various forms and functions all working together as one” (thank you NOAA for that definition!). These creatures float on the water and drag their tentacles below in hopes of running into food. Many Alphas knew people who have experienced the sting from those tentacles!
Man-o-war in the making…
We learned of some amazing habitats in the euphotic zone: The Kelp Forests and the Coral Reefs! Both habitats are teeming with life! Alphas learned about many invertebrates, mollusks, and echinoderms while exploring the tidal zone but the euphotic zone is full of vertebrates too – like FISH! We learned that out of the thousands of different fish, they all have a few things in common: vertebrae, gills, mouths, eyes, tails, fins, and many have scales! We did a fun challenge where each student at their table team had to draw a body of a fish then we passed it to our left and on whatever fish body we had, we had to draw its gill cover…in 5 seconds or less! We drew and passed until we had a complete fish. In years past, this challenge could prove VERY daunting to our Alphas, but not this bunch! They adapted to each new fish in front of them and were able to relinquish their creations and share for the good of the team!
Things are getting a little fishy around here…
KELP PRODUCTION INCLUDES STIPES, HOLDFASTS, FRONDS, AND AIR BLADDERS!
Alphas put their ingenuity, focus, and cooperative efforts into creating coral reefs!
This week in Math…
Ms. Kim’s group…
This week we played “Double Decker Bus” to practice our doubles math facts.
We also met some cool polygons called Quadrilaterals. The thing they all have in common is their 4 sides and vertices. We also learned that within that group there are some special shapes that belong in their own families. We can tell which group they belong to by checking out whether they have parallel lines in them, and whether they have “right angles” or not!
Anna is making a kite out of her kite-shape! Kites have NO parallel lines in them!
Tracing some quadrilaterals…and Yep, Leo- that special rectangle, the square, DOES have right angles!
Cutting and sorting likes with likes…like rhombus, trapezoids, rectangles, and squares…
Alphas make new polygons out of other polygons!
When we put our bodies together, we can make polygons!
Ms. Eliza’s group…
Continuing our study of coins we looked closely at dimes. We discovered that they’re minted with many of the same words as the penny and nickel. Words like liberty and e pluribus unum. When we turn a dime over there’s a torch meaning liberty , an olive branch that is a symbol for peace, and oak leaves that stand for strength and independence.
We spent a good part of our week discussing and practicing fact families.
Ms. Eliza’s group…
Our writing practice this week was spent unscrambling sentences and writing color words, writing about a bat, and creating 2 poems.
We took in the beauty of a pineapple using all of our senses to experience it and expressed our thoughts with poetic words ~ in the end we honored the pineapple with these words…
Ode to a Pineapple
Green wings on your head
Like a fountain of magical sword blades
Glowing green crocodile back protector
Delightful and strange,
Rubber ducky golden sunshine insides…
I love you Pineapple!
Then we created our own food poems….
Watermelon ice cream
Is a fruity red and green ball
On a cone.
Strawberry ice cream
In a can
In my mouth
Sugary bear yum
Ms. Kim’s group…
This week we read Wm Blake’s “Tyger, Tyger” poem. Curiosity is a great tool for a poet. We learned that you can create a really interesting poem just by asking questions. We wrote a poem together about one of the sea creatures we read about: an octopus.
Next week we are going to be using special types of words in special types of poetic forms so we honed down on some basic grammar by acting out nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Then each table team made a list of one of the group-types: one group listed nouns they’d find in a zoo, one group listed verbs they’d use in sports, and one group listed ways to describe garbage.
We randomly pulled a word off of each list and tried to make sentences out of it! We created quite an active menagerie of exotic animals!
Sharing our Riddle Poems. They were fantastic! Great work Alphas!!!
Adjectives and Nouns…
We shook out our silly billies on the rainy days with a lot of wild rumpus acrobatics!
We curled up together to read…
More penguins visiting…
Shared a journal from last year…
Crafted the next part of our self-portrait collages…
Even though our plans for Shipe Park were thwarted, we STILL got to meet up with our Delta Buddies! We were invited to participate in a physics experiment involving TENSION through a couple of rounds of Tug-o-War with and against the Delta Students!
Mr. Steve explains…
Teams get divvied up!
Teams get lined up…