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Meeting the Challenge

"Oooo! I have a skull!"

"I think this is a vertebra."

"Look at this Tracy!"

"I don't think I can do this.'

The responses to our barn owl pellets crossed the full spectrum from utter delight to grossed out with most of them falling on the delight side of the spectrum. But as with all challenges, I encouraged our reluctant scientists to dig deep and do their best. Everyone managed to pull apart a pellet and find a collection of bones. I like to remind the kids (and myself) that we can do things even when they are out of our comfort zone and that often those places are where we have the most we can learn.

Rose's PK and K Class

We made handprint barred owls after reading Owl Moon.

Kids made a felt world on our new giant felt board.

We read adventure books Journey and Quest, then created connect-the-dot owls like the children from the books. 

We passed around random objects and pretended they were something else, and played Simon Says with emotions. 

Kids played dress-up and decorated the playroom with scarves "for Christmas". 

Kids explored dry beans (with or without water to put them in).

Some kids spent several days playing family, both inside and outside. Some kids set up a line mud kitchen and took orders. 

Practiced fine motor skills by decorating Grandma Barb's get-well cards with stickers. 

We took turns making patterns out of pattern blocks and tried to recreate the pattern. 

Played alphabet bingo.

Tracy's 1st - 4th Class

We are writing fiction again. While this class is game for just about any writing, they love being let loose on fiction stories. They needed to tell me their main character(s), a basic plot outline, and have some ideas about a problem or conflict that might make the story interesting. Stories range from a realistic fiction about building a porch to a zombie apocalypse story.

In math, we all looked at a circle and talked about how it contains 360 degrees, then figured out (remembered) how many degrees would be in a half circle or a quarter circle. In fourth grade math, students are working to develop their angle measuring skills and starting to be able to estimate an angle. Third grade math is focusing on liquid volume, getting a feel for some benchmark volumes (What does 10 mL, 250 mL, and 500 mL look like?) and solving volume puzzles. Second grade math this past week focused on double digit subtraction.

Theme Time: Raptors

Everyone started a raptor book where they matched the picture, name, and food for some common NYS raptors. We examined an owl talon from Five Rivers Enviornmental Center and compared a turkey feather with an owl feather. We watched a very short clip from the BBC trying to record owl flight. We read a whole bunch of books about hawks, eagles, owls and other raptors: Dream Flights on an Arctic Night, Peregrine Falcons, The Eagles Are Back, Animal Helpers - Raptor Centers, Owl Sees Owl, Owls, and The Ghost of Donley Farm. After pulling apart their barn owl pellets, the children used a chart of bones to try to tell what their owl had been eating (answer: mostly voles and other rodents). Glenn was kind enough to come in and give all the kids a lesson in spotting birds and using binoculars to see them even clearer.


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