By Erica Schlank
We began the first grade Discovering Justice unit about justice and rules. Students are exploring the guiding questions:
What is a rule?
Why do we need different rules?
Who makes the rules?
What is a good reason to challenge a rule?
We will be learning different answers to these questions. We will be learning rules for our country and about brave people who worked to change unfair rules.
We focused on the meaning of three new vocabulary words: dream, peace, equality. As part of our classroom community, the values of Martin Luther King Jr. are infused in our classroom on a daily basis. In light of Martin Luther King Day, students were actively engaged reading books and asking questions about MLK Jr. Students understand that Martin Luther King Jr. was a very brave, helpful and important person in history. We read many books about him and the theme of equality. We listened and discussed the lyrics to the song, "With my Own Two Hands." We used it as an inspiration to think of how as individuals, we can have a positive impact on the world. Students wrote about ways that they can help at home, at school or in the community.
Listen to the song at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRjDBd6tBBY
Science Sightings “Full of Beans” | Room 217B and Room 225
By Maryellen Collins and Mary Gallagher
All year long the fifth grade students from Room 225 and Room 217B work together during their science inclusion block. This month the students worked in teams using the scientific method for an indoor vertical bean garden experiment. Teams completed a graphic organizer that outlined the steps of their experiment that included the hypothesis/prediction, the one variable to test, materials needed, how to measure and record data of plant growth.
When it was time to plant their bean seeds in their vertical garden the students loved getting their hands dirty! A few times each week these avid gardeners water their plant, chart data on a bar graph in centimeters and sketch observations of plant growth. The students are very curious about several of the plants for various reasons such as, some are growing like crazy, some are not, some give off an offensive odor.
The students share insights with one another about how you can grow beans in January, how you can use vertical space in your home, anyone can grow food in an indoor garden, bean plants can live and grow when “watered” with green tea, black tea, ginger ale, Coca-Cola, or milk instead of water, it's best not to “water” your bean plant with milk unless you do not mind hearing comments like, “Oh, what is that smell?” “It stinks in here.” As always, our science time together integrates academic and social skills that result in positive learning experiences.