Friday, April 27, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Remember our post about meeting our fifth grade partners and planting the Three Sisters - corn, bean and squash?  Well today we met our 5th grade buddies again and checked on how the plants are doing.  The fifth graders have been watering and weeding since we planted.  We were so surprised at how well the plants are growing!  Do you know which is corn, which is beans and which is squash?

2012 Eric Carle Celebration

Today was Eric Carle Celebration Day!  The children enjoyed working with some of the books of this beloved author as they revisited the stories that they have come to love this last month.
To start the morning we donned out caterpillar shirts and ate some pancakes to celebrate Eric Carle's book, Pancakes, Pancakes. 

Then it was off to make hungry caterpillar necklaces to go with one of our very favorite books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Then we made hats to go with the book The Very Grouchy Ladybug. Did you know that ladybugs are insects and they have six legs?

Next we used tissue paper, just like Eric Carle does!  We used the tissue paper to make a seahorse, just like the author did in Mr. Seahorse.  This was a new Eric Carle book for us.

We finished our celebration by talking about all of the books that we have been reading.  What an awesome day!

Soaring Eagles

Congratulations to our new "Soaring Eagles" for the 3rd nine weeks!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Eric Carle Study Begins...

Today we started studying one of America's favorite authors, Eric Carle.  We began our study with The Very Busy Spider.  The children had a book talk, noticing lots of features about the book.  They noticed that it was a pattern book, that the noises that the animals made were onomatopoeia, that the book was fiction because it couldn't be real if the animals talked, that there was a pesky fly on every single page which must be a clue to the ending, that the setting was a barnyard, that the spider web got bigger as the story moved along, and a hundred other interesting little details. 

Mrs.  Ruark added her Science touch by telling the students that the spider inserts venom into the fly after it wraps it with thread and it's insides turn into a milkshake, so that the spider can suck the insides out, which leaves an exoskeleton!  You can imagine... the children were fascinated!

After talking about the story, the children played a Concentration game that required them to remember what each of the barnyard animals asked the spider to do.  This practice will help them retell the story in the days to come.  Make sure to ask your child all about our newest author and most interesting book!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Planting the Three Sisters

During our Pow Wow unit our little Iroquois talked about how the Native Americans grew their own food.  According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. This tradition of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, was widespread among Native American farming societies.  It was a sophisticated system that provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet. The Iroquois believed corn, beans and squash were precious gifts from the Great Spirit, each watched over by one of three sisters spirits.  Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Bean vines help stabilize the corn plants. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch and discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans.

Today our children actually got to join with fifth graders to plant mounds of the Three sisters.  They planted and watered and will visist the mounds often to watch the garden grow.  What an exciting enrichment for our own Plant Unit!