Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Native Plants and Camp Cispus

Not only is it Native Plant Appreciation Week, it is the week before we go to Camp Cispus. Click the link (below) to visit a great website. You'll find a list that contains links to photographs and descriptions to some of the more recognizable native plants of Washington. Next week at camp, the kids will go on a scavenger hunt to identify the plants we discussed in class.

Washington Native Plant Society

Speaking of Camp Cispus, it's finally here! They have worked hard to sell candy bars, magazines, and ran laps during the hottest day of the year in a fun run in order to pay for four days and three nights of outdoor fun (and learning)!

Read below for 4 important reminders. 

1) Mr. Beasley and I will be at the school till 5:30PM on Monday if you'd like to drop off luggage or  any non-perishable donations. Perishables and luggage can be delivered Tuesday morning from 8-8:25AM. 

2) Pack your child a sack lunch for Monday. I MEAN TUESDAY!! OOPS. :( 

3) It looks like rain next week! The kids need jeans and sturdy shoes, and options for drizzly days. They aren't allowed to wear shorts when we are tromping about through the woods. They need sturdy shoes for being out on the trails. 

4) If you are going to meet us at Mossyrock Park on Friday, May 9th, I've listed the park information here for you. We will be there around 11:30 and will leave for Adna around 1:15. (Times might vary slightly!)

DIRECTIONS FOR FRIDAY: Drive east on Highway 12 for approximately 21 miles. Turn right on Williams Street (flashing yellow light). Continue several blocks on Williams Street to a "T" intersection in the town of Mossyrock. Turn left onto State Street. Outside of town, State Street becomes Mossyrock Road East and then Ajlune Road. Ajlune Road leads into the park.
Mossyrock Park
202 Ajlune Rd
Mossyrock, WA 98564

Photo taken along the waterfall hike May 2013. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Studying Salmon

Because we are going to the fish hatchery May 6, we are spending this week learning about Salmon! 
I've chosen some pictures to show off my teaching methods, and linked some websites for you to enjoy from home (or in case a student has been absent, they can view them from home). 

First, we played Balderdash. I introduced words like estuary, alevin, and anadromous. The fake-out vocabulary game was a lot of fun, and the kids got to at least test out the new words even if they aren't able to use them fluently yet.

Second period science. Adding their answers to the poster
before rotating to the next question. 
Next, we did a "what do you know" activity in a carousel fashion. Kids shared what they already knew about salmon habitat, life cycle, etc.,  in small groups. They wrote their answers on a poster that then was rotated around the classroom to all the other groups. It was a quick way to see prior knowledge, and fun for the kids to work cooperatively. Their posters will be a an easy way to gauge progress over the course of the next two weeks. (I learned this carousel strategy at a monthly training I attend called Rural Science Teaching Project- funded via University of WA.) 

Currently, we're reading an article about the life cycle of Pacific salmon. Students are trying a new comprehension technique. I call it Reading With the Pencil. In the photo below, you can glimpse the notation key. The goal is that students are THINKING while they are reading! (By the way, Reading With the Pencil is another new technique I learned at another recent training. I hate missing a day with the kids but it's great to come back with worthy new teaching strategies!)

Below are some videos and websites that we are using in class. And in a few weeks we will see a salmon hatchery "in real life!" 

Sockeye's journey, video: