This page contains weekly updates for learning at home during Mosier School's pandemic-related closure.
Week of April 8th, 2020
Good morning! I hope to see you all shortly at today’s Virtual Morning Meeting. Once again, thank you to all who have sent pictures, emails, and letters!
As Superintendent Bonneville’s email said, teachers will be assigning work on Mondays starting next week, April 13th. (I know it’s switched twice already -- we’re all very new at teaching remotely, and we really thank you for your patience!) I have just established a Google Classroom for our class. Contact me for login information. Starting next Monday, I’ll post work on Google Classroom and I’ll also continue to email parents.
Here are this week’s suggestions.
- Odyssey Book Shop Writing Contest. Write a story to enter into the Odyssey Book Shop’s Spring Contest! The prompt is as follows: “One day you wake up and realize that you can talk to animals! Maybe you were part of a science experiment or given the gift by a friendly animal you saved. What animals do you talk to? What do they say? What happens next because of this new power you have?” Submissions are due on April 24th; more details are on the website.
- Tin Foil Boat Engineering Challenge. Take three sheets of aluminum foil and design and build three different boats. Then, do an experiment to see how much weight each boat can hold! Gather a lot of pennies (or paper clips, legos, or some type of countable weight). One at a time, put each boat in a tub of water. Adding one penny at a time, count how many pennies the boat can hold before it sinks. Record your data! Once you’ve tested all three boats, write about which boat was the sturdiest, and why you think that is.
- DIY Cardboard Fraction Bars. We’ve used plastic fraction bars in the classroom - they help kids see and feel the size of different fractions. To make your own, start with a sheet of cardboard (one side of a cereal box should work).
- Cut it into at least 6 equally sized whole rectangles. (You can also go all the way up to twelve!)
- Color each rectangle a different color.
- Take the first rectangle and label it 1 (one whole).
- Take the second rectangle and cut it into 2 equal parts. Label each part ½ (one half).
- Take the third rectangle and cut it into 3 equal parts. Label each part ⅓ (one third).
- Continue until you’ve cut all of the rectangles into unit fractions.
- You can use the fraction bars to write your own math problems, make patterns, build a fraction creature, and/or complete worksheets like this one (from the shared Google Drive).
- Try SplashMath or Prodigy. Both are online math games that present concepts beyond simple math facts.
- SplashMath (or SplashLearn) is accessible through the Clever platform. I’ve assigned two short assessments (Place Value and Fractions). Kids have to complete the assessments in order to unlock new games.
- Prodigy is another math game, but for some reason it’s not accessible to our class via Clever. Instead, go to prodigygame.com/play.
- Email me for class codes.
- Read a book, then turn it into a comic. Choose a book from your home, or find a digital book on Epic. After you’ve read it, pick one section. (I recommend that you choose a part with a lot of dialogue.) Draw out some boxes for the different frames of the comic, and then retell that part of the story as a comic. Try paraphrasing the author’s words (or, use quotation marks if you’re quoting word-for-word from the book.)
One last message: our class pet is on the move again! As you probably know, Mini-Milk is our plush cow. Students will take turns hosting Mini-Milk at home for about a week at a time, and they’ll write about their adventures in the accompanying journal. At the end of Mini-Milk’s stay, here’s what I ask:
- Wash and dry Mini-Milk
- Put Mini-Milk and the notebook in a bag
- Coordinate a date with the next family, and drop off the cow and the notebook at their door.
If you and your child are interested in hosting Mini-Milk for a few days, please reply to this email with your mailing address, and I’ll add your child to the list. This is completely optional.
Week of April 1st, 2020
Happy April Fools’ Day to all. I hope that the kids were able to enjoy the teacher’s parade yesterday, and that not too many conference calls were interrupted! Remember that tomorrow, Thursday 4/2 from 9am-9:30am, we’ll try our class’ first Virtual Morning Meeting. Contact Ms. Lam for the link. I recommend downloading the Zoom app, but it’s not necessary. Hope to see you!
Here are activity suggestions for the week:
- Write an April Fools’ Day story. It can be a fictional story (the wilder, the better!), or it can be a true personal narrative story. If you’re doing any pranking in real life, remember our classroom rule: if you make a mess, clean it up.
- Invent some new math fact rhymes. (We could especially use rhymes for division facts.) You can also make a poster to illustrate them. Please share them with me, so I can pass them on to the class! For inspiration, here are the ones we’ve already invented:
- “6 and 8 went on a date, in a Chevy ‘48.” (6 x 8 = 48; by Anthony)
- “I ate and I ate, I got sick on the floor, I did 8 x 8 and I got 64.” (by Seth)
- “6, 6, 36, I’m gonna eat a piece of Twix, 6, 6, 36, that’s how you get to 36! (by Sienna)
- I think there’s one about 7 and 7 scoring a touchdown… does anyone remember that one?
- Watch A Butterfly is Patient. There are activity suggestions for writing, science, and art at the end of the video.
- Take a nature walk, and look for producers, consumers, and decomposers. Producers are plants; they produce food for consumers to eat. (Examples: grass, berries, skunk cabbage.) Consumers eat the plants, and sometimes they eat other consumers too. (Examples: squirrels, cardinals, foxes.) Decomposers break down the dead stuff and bring nutrients back to the earth. (Examples: mushrooms, earthworms, mold). Take notes and make diagrams. What do you observe? Some decomposers are small or hidden. Can you find any rotten wood or broken-down plants? You’ll know that decomposers have been there! (This website explains more, and there’s a whole lesson plan here.)
- Do a socially distant good deed for a neighbor. This one will require some creative thinking! Maybe you can drop off a drawing or a card. Maybe you can make a maze or share a puzzle or toy, so your neighbor won’t get bored. Wash your hands thoroughly as you work on this project! (And definitely don’t cough or sneeze on your gift.)
Families, please remember that these are optional suggestions; I just hope to help kids stay active and engaged. Take care, be well, and stay in touch!
Week of March 23rd, 2020
Hello again! It’s been great to hear from many of you. Keep the notes and photos coming!
One question for families: is everyone able to access the Clever login page? Let me know if you’d like for me to look up your child’s username and password. This week, I recommend that you add Type to Learn (typing practice) and Storytime Online (read-alouds) to your daily routines. I believe that I’ve also added DuoLingo to our Clever page. We already have one student who’s been using DuoLingo to learn more Chinese -- it’s a very cool app! I’m not positive that I added it successfully, though; can someone let me know if it works?
Here are suggestions for the week.
- Keep on reading every day. This week, choose a book and write a letter to me about that book. What was the book about? What was the genre? Did you make any connections while you were reading? Would you recommend the book? You can email me the letter if you like. Or, if you’ve written it on paper, you can even mail it to me! I'd better not post my address online; please get in touch with me if you'd like my mailing address.
- Write a fanfiction story! Choose a familiar character or two (Matilda? The Trunchbull? Ms. Jeepers from The Bailey School Kids?) and write a new story using those characters.
- Do a survey. Choose a question (ex. What’s your favorite season?). Then, ask that question to as many people as you can. Call people up on the phone to get their answers! Take notes when people tell you their answers. Then, use your data to make a bar graph or a pictograph. You can also write questions that can be answered by the graph (ex. How many more people like spring than summer?), and you can give those questions to a sibling or friend.
- Make an invention to solve a problem. What materials inside your house can you use? For inspiration, you might watch this video about how 5th graders in Taiwan created a lego robot to dispense hand sanitizer.
- Make cards for senior citizens - people you know or people you don’t know. Write a bit about yourself, share a riddle or a joke, and let the person know that you’re thinking about them. Use your best handwriting, and write larger than you would normally write. If you’d like to send a card to a stranger, you can mail them here: Love For The Elderly, P.O. Box 24248. Cleveland, OH 44124
Stay healthy, stay active, and keep in touch!
Week of March 16th, 2020
What a week it’s been! I hope this message finds you healthy and in good spirits. We’ve got a long stretch of unanticipated vacation ahead of us, and I told the class that they better not squander it away watching YouTube! So I’m writing to share some ideas for continued learning at home.
My biggest advice is to establish a weekday routine and stick to it! My suggestion is:
- Practice the US states and their capitals once a day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSvJ9SN8THE)
- At least five minutes of math facts practice every day
- At least twenty minutes of reading every day
- At least one project every day
- Go outside and exercise every day
- Consistent limits on screen time
Routines are a huge part of school, and it’ll help so much when we eventually come back to school. And if your kid is resistant, please feel free to drop my name as an incentive and/or threat! I may even call students during the week to ask them if they’ve been practicing their math facts :)
Here are my ideas for projects this week:
- Collect seeds outside and then make a poster! (This is the activity I originally had planned for Monday.) We read A Seed is Sleepy last week - see the attached image. Students can draw, write, collage, paint, and even practice their cursive with this project!
- Try and sprout or grow some of those seeds that you found! Try folding a wet paper towel around some of the seeds and putting it in a container or plastic bag. Try planting some other seeds directly in soil. See what happens!
- Read a new book, and then give a book talk with a relative or friend. Many students have given book talks in class already this year. A good book talk describes what the book is about, and explains why someone might like that book. Don’t spoil the ending! You could even make a video of your book talk and email to a friend or relative.
- Write a fictional story about an animal. Think about the animal you’ve researched, and include some facts in your story. You can always do extra research about your animal or any other animal, too.
- Use a ruler to measure things or people in feet and/or inches. (Last week, each of the students did a long jump, and we measured their jumps to the nearest ½ foot.) Record your measurements. If you can, make a graph or line plot to show your measurements.
Yesterday, students took home a note about how to log on to the Mosier School clever badge page. Their username is [first initial] [middle initial] [last name] . Their password is [first name] [lunch number]. For example, my name is Myra An Lam, so my username would be MALam2029. If my lunch code was 99999, my password would be myra99999. If you have technical difficulties, let me know - I may be able to help!
Please stay in touch over these next few weeks - I’d love to hear about the work your kids are doing at home. Let me know if you need more suggestions or inspiration. I don’t have work, so I’ll be looking for things to do as well!