Our scientists helped solve the mystery of the missing cargo on our recent visit to the MathScience Innovation Center. We even investigated and evaluated methods of clean up from the oil spill. Hands-on and minds-on learning is the best!

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Great Minds Under Construction

As our campus begins changing with the renovation, the new year gives us a chance to “reconstruct” our mindsets, as well. In E15, our focus is on the power of positive thinking and facing challenges as opportunities to grow and improve ourselves. We are learning to change our inner talk from statements like, “This is too hard.” to “This will take some time and practice.” and “I don’t get it.” to “What’s a different strategy I can use?” Students are beginning to set their own learning targets and sometimes even celebrate finding a mistake, as a stepping stone to success.

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What’s Old is New

We were “rocking it old school” during rainy recess this week. I brought out my “antique” toys – Spirograph, checkers, Fashion Plates…yes, we were able to have lots of fun without any batteries or electronics…just like in the olden days. 🙂

In order to better understand what we read, we have been analyzing the organization of texts. We ask ourselves, “Is the author comparing and contrasting two items or ideas? Is the author introducing a topic and then describing it with details?” If we know how the text is structured, it helps us understand the ideas the author is sharing. We learned about peregrine falcons and eagles, and reviewed types of rocks, and ocean characteristics.

We read My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza and are using this as a mentor text (“writing coach”) to help us develop funny and entertaining persuasive writing. Look for Thanksgiving turkey stories with a twist next week.

Our class is moving right along with decimal computation – adding and subtracting decimals and solving single and multi-step word problems. We will continue next week with multiplication and division (dividing decimals by whole numbers only). Look for opportunities at home to show how decimals and problem-solving are part of everyday life, for example, prices, gas mileage, and weights.

It’s all coming together in science! What we’ve learned about solids, liquids, and gases, weather, the water cycle, patterns, tides, geography…All this background knowledge helps us understand the motion of the ocean – currents, tides, and waves. Miss Palanca helped us realize that wind causes waves with her hair dryer demonstration and discussion. We explored the impact on the Gulf Stream on our weather and climate. We also started building 3D models of the ocean showing animal life in each zone. Next week we will play 3D Bingo and further explore ocean characteristics in stations that allow students to create deep water currents and learn more about adaptations necessary for animal and plant life.

Look for report cards to come home on Monday. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday! School is closed from Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Nov. 27.

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A Week of Deep Thinking

We began our unit on oceanography this week, building on and connecting to prior knowledge (animal life cycles, rock cycle, water cycle) and exploring our questions. What does the floor of the ocean look like? What natural patterns exist in the ocean environment? Why is the ocean salty? Students created models of the ocean floor, investigated water pressure, and explored the characteristics of salt water. Next week, we will further our “deep thinking” by discovering how the ocean moves (tides, currents, and waves).

In language arts, we have been using Easy Two Column Notes as a strategy to identify the main ideas in nonfiction text. This builds on prior learning about locating and summarizing supporting details. After we identify the details in a paragraph or section of text, we ask ourselves, “What connects all of these details? What do they all have to do with?” Learning how to find the main idea and details helps us with our overall goal of understanding and enjoying what we read.

We are nearing the end of the Global Read Aloud 2015 and our book, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. We cheered and clapped when Ally won the election for class president. We are so happy that her friendship with Keisha and Albert and her work on reading skills with Mr. Daniels has given her the confidence to stand up to bullies like Shay and Jessica. We wonder if Ally’s brother, Travis, has dyslexia too. We will find out next week when the author herself reads the last chapter and answers questions about the book.

Our math successes this week are quite noteworthy. We had an 85% pass rate on our Patterns quiz and 100% improvement from the pretest! We will continue to use our knowledge of patterns as we round decimal numbers to the tenths, hundredths, and thousandths places. Then we will move on to practical problems involving decimals which builds on our previous word problems unit. Daily work on and discussion of problem-solving strategies is really helping us learn how to select the right operation or operations.

Finally, we are starting to use daily reading time, not just for novels and kids’ magazines but also for researching topics that interest us. We will be deciding on ways to share what we’ve learned – orally, graphically, digitally – whatever best suits our learning style and our content. We are also eager to share our classroom book talks with the school via the morning announcements. Stay tuned!

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Welcome to E15!

See what the fantasticos were busy with this week.

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Happy Spring!


Enjoy your Spring Break! See you back here on April 13.

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Learning Matters / Matter Learning

During our study of matter, we created common compounds.  Creative chemistry!   Make a Compound Mar. 2015

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Diving into Oceans…

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this with 3D Bingo! Does the glass sponge live in the midnight zone or the sunlight zone? Our models help us answer this question and more.

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Let’s Play Ball!

Our new team is in place and ready to hit the field. The 2014-15 season is off to a wonderful start, thanks to a great group of students, who are already using teamwork and hard work, and our terrific assistant coach (student teacher), Ms. Hummel. We hope to see everyone on Thursday night, Sept. 18, at 6:30 pm for Back to School Night.

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Mystery Skype 2014 by:Mackenzie and Jordyn

A mystery skype is when we get on the computer and talk to another class and try to find out where they are and they have to try to find out where we are.
Everyone was so excited before and after the mystery skype. Mrs. Mothershead stopped by to see what was going on in our classroom.

Joy and Andrew were keeping track of the questions.

This was our mappers they were in charge of making up the questions, and giving them to Jesse.

Hunter, Chris, and Davis were sitting at the computer at Mrs. Batkins’ desk to ask the questions. The class that we skyped with did very well.They found out where we were and we found out where they were. We want another mystery to solve!

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