The concept of a helicopter has existed for a very long time. Approximately 400 BC, Chinese children played with bamboo flying toys. During 1480 Leonardo da Vinci designed an "aerial screw" flying machine. In 1861 Gustave d'Amecourt demonstrated a small steam powered helicopter made of aluminum. It didn't get off the ground, but it was the first use of the word "helicopter”. Mankind's desire to hover in the air was not made a reality until the technology existed for the first successful helicopter that could safely be controlled in turns, hovering and level flight was developed by Igor Sikorsky in the 1940's. Igor Sikorsky built a helicopter in the US that reached full-scale production in 1942 (131 aircraft built). His design of one main rotor and a small tail rotor became the standard.
Monday –I read aloud the story Color Me Chameleon and asked the students to discuss different elements of the story. The class was asked to color the picture that showed the main idea of the story. We reviewed words with the initial /Oo/ sound. We practiced listening for words that have /Oo/ in the middle. The class practiced using our high frequency words they, you and of. I worked with students individually to see if they could properly decode 10 different words. Each student was asked to read sentences to demonstrate their use of phonics, and knowledge of our high frequency words. Students worked with a partner to create and extend patterns. Report cards went home with students. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call or e-mail me. We used dice to develop the students’ understanding of place value, while they were building and comparing two digit numbers. The class decided to write stories about spring to share with their families.
Tuesday – No School – Snow Day Wednesday – Today is the first day of spring at 7:02 am EDT. At the start of spring (spring equinox), day and night are approximately each 12 hours long (at the equatorial plane) and the Sun is at the midpoint of the sky. Our north pole tilts towards the Sun. Everyone practiced identifying our new high frequency words. Our new high frequency words this week are do, are and that. These words are known as popcorn words because they should just pop into your head. A word like are cannot be sounded out. Everyone practiced reading and going over his or her writing for the parent/ student/ teacher conferences. The students did a great job demonstrating their skills and setting goals for the next trimester.
Thursday –We started the letter Hh week. We practiced reading our reading group books. Our Reading Street book this week is an animal fantasy called Bunny Day. This book focuses on telling time from breakfast to bedtime. This led to an interesting discussion about what types of chores each of us are expected to do at home. We focused on story sequence. The class practiced listening for and producing initial /Hh/ sounds. We practiced blending sounds to create new words. Drew was chosen as Artist of the Week for his detailed coloring of upper and lower case Hh’s that created a double heart. Students worked in groups of three or four to bundle craft sticks in groups of 10. This activity was designed to deepen the children's understanding of place value by using craft sticks to represent tens and ones. Each student group was responsible for bundling, counting and recording the number of sticks.
Friday – The class created a graph to illustrate the most common bedtime for everyone in the class. Most of the students go to bed at 7:30 p.m. Hh is for hibernation. Students created their own interactive hidden hibernation homes. Everyone pretended to hibernate, deep down in the mud. This is a special, very deep sleep. The animals’ body temperature drops, and its heartbeat and breathing slow down. It uses very little energy. The surprise box contained a variety of objects that started with Hh including helicopters. Thanks to gravity, when we threw our helicopter up to the ceiling, it always spun back down. Everyone enjoyed making and flying his or her own paper helicopters. We continue to explore subtraction using a variety of manipulatives. Our penny game had students adding and subtracting to try and get ten pennies to trade in for a dime. I worked with reading groups as students created stories about helicopters in their journal.