K/1st: Week of Sept 5

This week in Alpha…


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After 3 weeks of construction, catastrophe, and collaboration, an Alpha Paper Tower withstood Tropical Storm Ms. Kim (aka a hair blower)!!!

Alphas shared their Travel Buddy Adventures with the class and shared some fabulous information about how they take care of their brains!

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What’s Inside Alphas THIS WEEK!

OUR Bones!

We investigated our skeletal system and learned that there are two different types of bones – the protectors (axial) and the movers (appendicular). We celebrated the beauty of our craniums by creating Dia de los Muertos Skulls, playing with the symmetrical nature of our bodies and using symmetry to decorate our skulls.

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A few of the questions we asked ourselves this week…

What do our ribs protect?

What do our spines protect?

Which bones do we think support the weight of our bodies when we stand? or when we throw a ball?

On making Dia de los Meurtos skulls Gabriel said, “I want to put it on so it will look like my face fell off.” So we ALL put them on!

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Model of a bone (spongy layer inside the compact layer)

We then discussed the amazing design of our vertebrae, how the 7 bones in the cervical section are smaller in size than the 12 in the thoracic section and then become even larger in the 5 vertebrae of the lumbar region. See how we made models to demonstrate how the spine is separated into these 3 parts…

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After that we looked at the difference between axial and appendicular bones. We became aware that they were different from the protector bones in that they are more the “mover” bones of our bodies giving us the ability to reach, to pick up, to bend our knees, etc. We used our appendicular bones to transport legos with our toes.

And we made our own moveable skeletons connecting them at the joints.

On Thursday, we finally took a look at the chicken bones experiment we had started last week. We were super surprised to find that those hard bones had turned soft and bendy. A couple of us already knew that there are 206 bones in our bodies, but no one knew that our bones at birth are more like those vinegared, gelatinous chicken bones and that over time, with activity, our bodies create the compact bone layer that is so strong. By conducting a ‘bread smash’ we could see how compact bone is created with impact.

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Bread smash to demonstrate how compact bone is created

We looked inside our big bones to see that beyond the compact layer is spongy bone and inside of that is the marrow where a blood factory lives (more on that next week!)

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Our theme reflection journal entries

Cooking this week: Sky Blue Table made and served “Magic Cookies” with those calcium building nutrients chickpeas. See recipe if you’d like to make these at home. They were a huge hit!

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This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s Group…

This week we noticed something changed in our room – our CALENDAR! We made our own September calendars and learned that a very special thing happens on September 21st: we get a new season.

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We did a fun demonstration to help us understand how seasons change with our globe, tilted on its axis, revolving around our candle-sun.

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Alphas even got to act the part of the Earth by taking a ride around the sun, tilted on Ms. Kim’s moving dolly! We learned that on September 21st that both the Northern and Southern hemispheres (or upper and lower parts) will be the same distance from the Sun, and our days will be the same length as our nights, and our season will change to Fall! We realized that our seasons were also a pattern!

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Alphas sorting season-scenes…

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Alphas add a summer scene to their time-patterns circle…

Using our number sense skills, we tried our hand at an open-ended math story and shared our thoughts…

Ms. Eliza’s Group…

We continued our exploration of the 100 chart.

Look anywhere you find numbers at home and reinforce the vocabulary we’re using by knowing numbers can also be called digits (how many digits are in that number?) and where that digit is located creates its value.

23 = 20 + 3. (What is the value of that digit?)

Reinforce this concept when playing the Superhero game. We’ve found that it’s important in conversations about math that students explain their thinking and strategies. Here’s a short video to share: Place Value to 10’s or Place Value to 100’s We’re also practicing our addition math facts and we played Race to 100.

This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Eliza’s Group…

Letters S and A were the focus of our week. We’re learning the difference between upper and lowercase letters, that the letter a is a vowel, and how words add more to the illustrations we see in picture books. We started our Writing Workshop drawing and sharing what we did before we came to school…we discovered that some of us did the same thing like we ate waffles or we were having dreams before we woke up.

Upper and lowercase matching

Ms. Kim’s Group…

This week we read Zathura, by Chris Van Allsburg. We discussed ways it was similar to the other fictional stories and ways it was different. The previous two had stories we could easily relate to, while this one started out that way, it quickly became out of this world! We learned a new fictional genre called Science Fiction!

Alphas had fun creating settings for one of the books we read.

We unscrambled sentences and practiced our handwriting too!

Sharing our P&P!

Two of our classmates gave martial arts demonstrations