Curriculum Matters: May 10, 2015

Elizabeth and Aelwen
Deb, Scott and Laura’s Class
We have been looking carefully at the development of life on Earth using the Timeline of Life.  Tigers are well under way on their big work – redrawing the Timeline.  They are all very proud of their efforts. Most recently, we looked at the Age of Reptile in the Mesozoic Era and the rise of the dinosaurs. Lions have been doing research to compare and contrast a modern-day reptile to one that lived millions of years ago.
After studying the political geography and physical characteristics of Asia, we studied its biomes by creating shoebox dioramas of each area.  We then moved on to the continent of Australia.  Come visit the Great Barrier Reef which is growing outside our classroom.
To parallel our study of the development of life, we began studying invertebrates, like poriferan and mollusks.  We followed this with fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds.  The students have a great deal of background knowledge that they love to share.  Next week, we will begin our study of mammals.
Dawn and Katri’s Class
We continue to travel through time on our Timeline of Life.  We have reached the Paleozoic Eon and the explosion of life on land.  An introduction to fossils has been fun.  Individual research on developing life continues.
We are exploring plants, examining external body parts and the functions of the body parts.  We are noticing how the complexity of life increases with each developement of life.  The lions are looking at the process of classification of life.
We are planting seeds, looking how seedlings grow, what roots do, and how flowers differ with each plant. We will be using our observation skills of the stems, the leaves, and the flowers to identify different plant species when we visit the Mundy wildflower garden in a few weeks.
We have fallen in love with the characters of our class read aloud Gooseberry Park.  Individual literature groups have been having fun with stories in a different way.  The Lions have been digging deeper with the Great Book stories asking questions and discussing the motives of the characters and intention of the author. The Tigers have had some in depth conversations about the characters of Because of Winn Dixie.  The Bears have been enjoying Cam Jansen and her adventures or having fun interpretively reading Reader’s Theater books.
Our writing has been on fire.  Many of our creative writing stories were displayed at the art show.  Others are coming to completion now.  They are as amazing and diverse as our children!
The lions are expanding their writing with a narrative process that helps them describe action, feeling, and dialogue in their writing.  Research writing continues about animals, both past and present.  The children are working hard taking notes and paraphrasing.
Melani and Becky’s Class
We are busy studying life on Earth and how it changed over time, and the types of rocks and how they are formed.
In preparation of our field trip to the Plantations we are examining parts of plants and flowers. Children enjoyed dissecting different kinds of flora.
We are also looking at body functions and the classifications of plants and sea weed.
We will start focusing on fundamental needs and how things change over time.
And, as always, children have been writing voraciously!