Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another school year in full swing

Tomorrow is the last day of October.  We have been in school for 2 full months now.  It's the end of the first quarter and, in three weeks, the end of the first specials block.  I have to say, the beginning of the school year has been a blur! So much has happened here that I may have to do two posts to catch you up.

We started off the year with our usual Friday Challenges. This is a great way for our new and returning students to get to know each other. The whole school gets split into teams and they rotate through team challenges.  That was followed by the All School Building Challenge. This year's challenge was to build a structure out of pasta and mini marshmallows. It proved to be very challenging as the kids had to work with a budget.  They found out very quickly how hard it is to stick to a budget...and that things can happen to make you blow your budget!  The kids moaned and groaned a lot and I found myself repeating "welcome to the real world!" :-)

Once we got settled into the school year, the individual classrooms began their own projects. Sboogle learned about Native American culture and created archaeological digs. They used the artifacts they dug up to identify the specific Native American culture those artifacts belonged to.

Team A/A learned about plants, pollinators, and PA history.  The field trip below was to a butterfly garden in Tudek park.  I got to go along on this one!

Team M/K began working on their weather project. They watched Storm Chasers and I even saw them doing some activities outside that had them simulating tornadoes.  At least that's what it looked like from my view! Their students are in training to become weather experts and, eventually, storm chasers.

Team M/R continued with the "building with pasta" theme.  Their class built skyscraper models out of pasta and glue sticks.  These buildings had to have a structure on top to place an egg in. In addition, they had to be built strong enough to withstand the earthquake shake table!  The tallest tower came in at just under 9 ft tall...and almost all of the towers stayed intact during the "earthquake".  We have quite a classroom of architects!
Building a tower

The almost-9ft building

Placing the egg on top ever so gently!

To be continued....