From 11/7/14 Newsletter:
Flying bats, brewing potions and haunted houses took over the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade floor. During this community building event, the students traveled between the classrooms in blended groups (three grades working together as a group) to study Word Problems, Science and Language Arts with a Halloween twist!
Ms. Renner led a Science lesson on the anatomy of bats. The students compared bat wings to human hands. The students were surprised to learn that bats also have five fingers! The students participated in an experiment where they covered their hands with plastic to feel the resistance that helps bats fly. The students flapped their wings in imitation of a bat’s flight. The students drew and labeled diagrams comparing their hands to bat wings. They wrote observations based on their investigation.
Mrs. Parker led a Writing activity where the students created their own potions. Each blended group was led by a third grader. The groups created potions for invisibility, strength and freezing powers. They students worked together to brainstorm a list of ingredients. “I liked working with Luigi and Sophia. We talked about which ingredients should go into our water potion” said third grader Daniel V. They also sequenced the steps to making their potions using the terms “First, Then, Next and Last”. The students came together to share their writing pieces and to compliment one another.
Ms. Ingravallo led a Mathematics Halloween word problem activity. The students reviewed the elements of a word problem (facts and question). They also discussed problem solving strategies in order to select a type of problem to write. Then, we brainstormed Halloween concepts and words that they could include in their problems. After this discussion and modeling, they each wrote their own on pumpkins and haunted houses templates. To end the activity, the students shared and solved the word problems.
This collaborative activity gave the third graders the opportunity to be leaders. It allowed the first and second graders the chance to strengthen their teamwork skills. We were impressed with their ability to communicate within their groups. The students enjoyed working with their past, present and future teachers. This community building activity will be the first of many!
By: Jacquelyn Renner, Stephanie Parker and Nilla Ingravallo (Grade 1, 2 and 3 Teachers)