Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pollination and The Big Easy!

My kids had such a blast pollinating their flowers yesterday!  I have some pictures of the pollination, a short video clip if I can figure out how to put it up, and some writing that showed they really are understanding what we're learning.  This unit is a lot of extra work and expense for me, but it's so worth it when I see the students learning and having fun in the process!

Here's a close-up of a kid pollinating a flower.
A student's description of how to pollinate flowers.
We need bees to get the pollen because if the bees don't, the flower won't make a seed.  But the easiest thing is to get a Qtip and get a dead bee and glue and get a plate and dump the glue in the plate and dump the qtip into the plate and stick the qtip into the bee and when the plant has flowers you stick the bee into the flower and that's the easiest way.

Here's another student's take on why we pollinated our flowers.
We pollinated our flowers with beesticks.  We had to pollinate our flowers because we need the flowers to make new sees for next year's class.  So they can do this too.

And here's a short video clip.  You can hear some of the kids buzzing like bees as they moved from flower to flower.  

Finally, I am on my way to the Plain Talk About Reading conference in New Orleans.  I hope to learn some new approaches to teaching my kids to read, write and spell.  I hope they behave for the sub while I'm gone.

That's it for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flowers and the birds and the bees


We have flowers on our brassica rapa plants!  This week we have learned the various parts of the flower and what each part does in creating a new seed.  Today we dissected Alstormeria flowers.  Here are some pictures of our dissection adventure.
First, we removed the petals.  Then the stamen and pistil.  Then we open the sepal to find seeds.
The finished project.

Here's how our plants are measuring up.  They really do grow quickly!!!

Tomorrow we will be pollinating our flowers.  That meant today we had to make bee sticks.  We use cue tips, glue, and dehydrated bees.  Here are a few pictures of that task.
Tomorrow they'll use their bee sticks to "fly" their bees from flower to flower and pollinate them.  

Here's one final look at one of the plants.

I'll try to update again tomorrow or Saturday.  I am going to the Plain Talk about Reading conference the first part of next week.  I'm very excited and hope to have some new ideas!  

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Popping Adjectives and Plants


It has been a very busy week.  Next week will be even busier as I prepare to go to the Plain Talk About Reading conference in New Orleans.  I look forward to the conference, but not so much the sub plans for 3 days.

I wanted to follow up on a couple of our projects.  We finished our Popping with Adjectives stuff this week.

The students worked in groups to sort the verbs and adjectives.  This will eventually be a center for the kids to do individually.

Students loved making these popcorn bags and choosing adjectives to describe popcorn.
Here's the display that went up in the hall.  I think it looks great!

Plant Progress

We also worked on our plants this week.  The students continued to log plant activity such as watering.  We added measurement into the mix.  They loved using their rulers to measure their biggest and smallest plants.

This is one of our biggest plants so far.  It has its true leaves.

This is more of the average sized plants we had on Friday.

We learned about the jobs of the various parts of the plant.  Our plants are supposed to have some flowers on them this week.  If that happens, we will be pollinating them.  This is a very exciting (and scary for some) day because we use dehydrated bees to "buzz" from flower to flower and cross pollinate the plants.  

Thanks to anyone who is reading this.  I think I need to make some freebies or something to start getting some readers.  I'd love suggestions.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Flexibily, Earthquakes, and Fun with Adjectives

Today was a crazy-busy day.  Our library time was changed 4 times in the last 2 days.  We finally got it figured out.  It was a lesson in flexibility, which isn't easy for me.  I like to have my plans for the day and everything to go when it's supposed to go.

We also had a state-wide earthquake drill today.  My kids did really well.  I didn't have any freak outs and we evacuated in our fastest time ever.  I really hope I never have to deal with a major earthquake when I'm teaching.  I know I'd do okay if I had to, but I'd rather not have to!

The best part of today, though, was using Babbling Abby's Let's Get Poppin' with Adjectives stuff from TpT.  I'm going to try to put her blog link here.  I hope it works.  If it doesn't work and you know how to do this on blogger, I'd love some help.  :)

So, first of all, the kids got to wonder why I was hauling a microwave into our classroom.  That was fun.  Hehehe!  I gave them each a piece of paper and told them to write adjectives that describe popcorn while they smelled and listened to it popping.  Then when the popping was over, each table got a bag of popcorn.  I used this really cool popcorn from Orville Redenbacher that pops in a bowl to begin with.  

The students got to eat their popcorn and were prompted to write more adjectives.  What does it taste like?  How does it feel in your mouth?  How does it feel in your hands?  Here's a couple of the kids' lists.
It smells yummy.  It tastes awesome.  It sounds poppy.  It looks good.  It feels crumbly.

good, butter, yummy, round, fat, poppy, crunchy, oily, salty, slippery, (bubbly?), yellow, cheesy

We used the individual lists to create large popcorn pieces to go on our anchor chart.  

Between earthquake drills, changed library times, and a few other mishaps, this is all we got done today.  Tomorrow they will do centers with popcorn adjectives and verbs.  Then they will make their very own popcorn bags with adjectives to go up on the wall around our big chart.  I'll get a picture of that up as soon as I can.  Thanks again to Babbling Abby for the wonderful resource.  I was excited by some of the adjectives my students brainstormed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Plant Observations and Field Trip Fatigue

The week was a long one. We had a field trip on Thursday and I don't know who was more worn out, the students or me. We had a picnic in the park. It was chilly and overcast, but we didn't get rained on. Unfortunately, the playground equipment area was under construction, so the kids could only play on about half of it. After the picnic, we went to the planetarium and saw a show in the dome. By the time we made it back to school, the students were so tired they seemed to be in a daze. It was so quiet in my room! We are continuing our plant experiment. Our plants sprouted on Thursday and more on Friday. We are keeping a log and writing in journals about the plants. Here are a few pictures of the plants and the journal entries. Here's the cover to our books.
Here's what the logs are looking like. They tracked the day we planted, the days we watered, and how many plants have sprouted so far.
And this is a journal entry describing the newly sprouted plants. We're working on using adjectives. It says "It was little, green, they look like a clover."
This weekend I am busy preparing for more work on adjectives. I'm using Babbling Abby's "Let's Get Poppin with Adjectives", which you can find here I can't wait to try it out with the kiddoes. Have a great weekend! Joell

Monday, April 9, 2012

Planting Day!

Today was an exciting day! We started our day by making observations (and reviewing adjectives) while we explored lima beans. The kids got to feel dry, uncooked lima beans and describe them using adjectives. Then, I presented them with lima beans that have been soaked overnight tricked into growing by being nuked in water for 3 minutes, and sitting out for an hour or so. Each student got a lima bean and used more adjectives to describe it now that the seed was "awakened." We opened the bean and found the three parts of a seed: seed coat, food, and embryo. We discussed what a seed needs to "wake up" or germinate: water, air, and heat. Then we were ready to try planting our brassica rapa seeds. Here are a few pictures of the planting.
The students wrote in their journals, but I was so busy with the planting I didn't get any pictures. I'll post some pictures of journals on a later post. Joell

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hello from Sunny San Diego

I'm enjoying my spring break in San Diego with my friend.  Today we visited the beach.
The surf was pretty high.  The weather was perfect.  The water was a little bit cold.
This seagull found something to eat in the water.
And here I am getting my feet wet.  :)

While I was sitting here looking through my pictures, I saw a post on facebook about a 5 day giveaway by Jenn over at Finally in First.  Finally in First: Giveaway # 2 Spring Break Countdown will get you to the page where you can enter to win a membership to spelling city!

And now, I'm back to my vacation!