Changing skin color is an octopus’s main means of communication. In the wild, it can signal other octopuses or camouflage itself from predators. Octopuses change skin color by opening and closing special pigment-bearing cells called chromatophores in their skin, and the color possibilities are endless. An octopus can actually split itself right down the middle with almost purple black on one side, and pure white on the other side.
Monday – The students generated a very interesting conversation on how friendships change over time. We sang the song, “My Friend”, which used the words gosling, goose, caterpillar, butterfly, reflection and cocoon. We discussed that the use of the word cocoon was incorrect because the caterpillar turned into a butterfly, which means it must emerge from a chrysalis. I read the story Otis about a pig making friends with a frog. Students were asked to remember the plot so they could cut and glue pictures in the correct order to demonstrate the beginning, the middle and the end of the story. The class practiced reading their decodable readers. I worked with students individually as they decoded words and read sentences that required them to apply their knowledge of phonics and high-frequency words. The class played our Money Cube Game to reinforce the names and values of a penny, a nickel and a dime.
Tuesday– We started the letter Oo week. Everyone enjoyed the story Octopus Den that included a stuffed animal and generated a lot of questions. Students learned how to draw an octopus in his or her journal. The octopus videos on the Smart Board demonstrated how an octopus moves, swims, and attacks its prey. Students practiced story sequence in our practice books. Our big book, Seeds, was an informational text that covered a variety of seed dispersal techniques. Everyone really enjoyed connecting toothpicks and mini marshmallows to make two and three dimensional shapes and structures. Our webpage has pictures of everyone with their final construction. In honor of St. Patrick's Day I sent home a leprechaun math game. I hope you enjoy helping Good Gus the leprechaun protect his gold from Nasty Ned.
Wednesday – The surprise box contained feathers, pictures, and my Identiflyer with calls of the Eastern screech, barred, great horned and barn owls. Everyone enjoyed the owl cutting story I did. I read the story Owl Moon as the students created their own owl mask complete with mice or ear tufts. Students wrote different stories about owls. The class created a rubric for the students to be able to check their own writing and illustrations. This was added next to our word wall to assist students with their writing. We added the appropriate prey to our owl picture in our Oh my Oo Book!The students practiced using calculators to skip count by 2’s. This was a great review of the plus and equals symbols.
Thursday – The heaviest member of the weasel family, the sea otter, is also the second smallest marine mammal. Sea otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, ranging from 250,000 to one million hairs per square inch, which insulates them and maintains warmth. Unlike other marine mammals, the sea otter does not have a layer of blubber (fat) to help keep it warm. Videos on the Smart Board demonstrated feeding, grooming, hunting, and the use of seaweed to prevent floating away. Students added the appropriate food and habitat for the otters in their books. Everyone enjoyed creating their sea otter puppet complete with clam and rock. The class worked on writing down facts about otters we learned today. We created a S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) for how students should walk down the hall. Students generated a list of proper behaviors and created a visual reminder next to our door.
Friday – Today we explored the largest living bird in the world: the ostrich. Ostriches are flightless, a characteristic they share with the emu, rhea, and cassowary. Adults usually weigh between 150 to 330 pounds and stand up to 9 feet tall. The surprise box contained an ostrich egg, pictures and feathers from both a male and female ostrich. The class did a good job reading Oh my Oo Book! and sharing all they had learned about each animal. We investigated quarters with magnifying glasses. Students explored the symbolism on a quarter. Student homework for the weekend is to read the Oh my Oo Book! to at least two people and share what they've learned about each of the animals. Remember to spring ahead 1 hour on Sunday, March 10, 2013. During Daylight Saving Time, clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Many fire departments encourage people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks.