|The Magical Minds||
For homework, the Magical Minds were asked to write and perform a short song using subtraction. At morning meeting we took a moment to listen to everyone's creation.
In our study of energy, we are investigating sound waves. We have discovered that there are different types of waves, and sound waves are called compression/longitudinal waves.
By playing with a rubber band, we discovered that pitch is connected to frequency: the higher the frequency the higher the pitch.
When we explored compression waves with a slinky we also discovered that the more taut the slinky, the higher the frequency.
Last night's homework was yet another inquiry into sound using glasses filled with different amounts of water. The question I posed to the students was, why do the glasses make a different pitch? What is going on?
Parent: "What happened at school today?"
Has this ever happened to you? As a teacher, there is nothing more frustrating than to hear a student say nothing happened at school that day. All the hours of planning and prepping - for what?
Thus the "Ticket Out of Class" was born.
At the end of each day, I ask the students to reflect for a moment on the day. Together, we review the day's schedule, remembering the new things we learned, the fun we had and the challenges we faced. The Magical Minds then document the most important event(s) from their day at school, ready to share something with their folks at home.
This year, Mr. H has added a fabulous extension to the Ticket Out of Class - the Ticket Into Class! The second half of their ticket requires some thinking at home, and conversation with parents. It's a small way to keep the home-school connection alive.
One of our favorite moments of the day was Quiet Time. After hours of absorbing new information, figuring out routines and procedures - EVERYONE needed a break. As you can see in the photos below, even Mr. H needed some down time. Inspired by The First Weeks of School, I mindfully built quiet time packets for each of the kids. Inside they found blank white paper, crayons and a selection of three books. How they used their quiet time was up to them. Some chose to fold paper airplanes, others read while some drew pictures. I, for one, closed my eyes and took several long, deep breaths.
What was your favorite part of the first day of school?
Dear Magical Minds,
I am excited for an amazing first day of school tomorrow. Just like you, I am filled with joy and nervousness. But, I know that when the day is over you will be thinking, Wow! Second Grade is going to be awesome.
Here is a list of the units Mr. H and I have planned for this magical year:
Thinking Like a Scientist
The year begins with lots of experiments while we learn about the scientific method. We will explore how to read and follow science experiments as well as create our own for the Science Fair.
While we are thinking like scientists, we will investigate how rocks are made and how they change over time.
Using cardboard we will build a Medieval Village and learn how people lived in those times.
It's Written in the Stars
Through observation and lots of kinesthetic activities, we will investigate the relationship between the Earth, Moon, Sun and stars.
We will explore the mysterious nature of energy, examine circuits and attempt to create our own energy.
For our research project this year, we will focus on people of importance who have made an impact in this world .
Things in Motion
The year finishes up with a unit on Newton's Laws of Motion and simple machines. Ultimately we prepare ourselves to build complex Rube Goldberg Machines.
Those are our BIG PLANS - but for the first couple of weeks we are going to focus on COMMUNITY. We will learn about each other's interests, families and ancestry. We will explore our school and neighborhood, making maps as we explore our space. We will examine Alta Vista School's vision and inquire into our shared values:
Be sure to leave a comment below if you, too, are excited about starting school.
Let us know what you are looking forward to!.
Tonight the Magical Minds are creating their very own mind maps from scratch. Today in class we created several examples. NOTICE how the subtopics are groups of, or different types of things that fit the big topic. You should use a blank piece of paper to write and draw your mind map.
Below is an example we made together. The blue is the topic, the green items are subtopics (or types of animals), and the red items are details (or examples).
The Magical Minds brainstormed some possible topics for their mind maps tonight:
The Magical Minds are discovering a new way of brainstorming - mind mapping. Tonight fill in the following graphic organizer with details about yourself.
Here is a copy of the mind map we made about Erin today.
About the Author
Erin Mahollitz is an international teacher teaching 2nd Grade in San Francisco, CA.
She specializes in inquiry-based instruction, technology integration and social & emotional education.
This website is a collection of stories, ideas, resources and lessons from Erin's classrooms.
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