Its Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas . . .

Wow! It’s Thursday already. I haven’t written for awhile. It was a bit of a tough getting over the fact that there was no snow day but we soldiered on.

I didn’t get a chance to write about our field trip on Monday. The students behaved very well. I was very proud of them. We had a great time at Granville Island albeit a little short. The orchestra was a lot of fun and we got to hear a nice mix of composers and musical styles one of my favorite being the Aaron Copland piece, “Fanfare for the Common Man”. Copland writes such quintessential and beautiful music that brings pictures to life.

I created an animoto of our day which you can view below.

In Science today, we saw a neat site as an introduction to constellations. It was a nice guide to how to find Orion’s belt and the north star with the Big Dipper as a guide. It also started talking about Cassiopeia but we are going to wait a bit until we learn about some of the other constellations. The site is called “The Night Sky”. The students found it fun finding the constellations in the sky. Give it a try. We also made star finders but did not get a chance to learn how they worked. Once that is done, I will put the website on the blog so they can download and make their own! Once we have learned about a few constellations, we will be having a constellation party but I am not giving any details about that away yet!!! Ah yes, more SUSPENSE!!!!!! Bu-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!

For our problem of the week, we had a bit of a toughy. The question was “A number multiplied by 3 gives 21. The same number added to 21 gives . . .” A.B worked it out though with her usual aplomb and confidence. Here is how she worked it out.

As you may have noticed, there was no spelling list this week and there was no memory verse. Those will be starting again next week. However, we will be having our Mad Minutes. If you would like to practice you can download some pages from the Box.net widget or here (adding) and here (sub).

Starlight, Star – Oops, No Star Tonight!!

One of the students asked a good question today about how our Sun could ever destroy the Earth as it is so far away. Luckily, I had just found a news article about a star that is just now in the process of dying. Well, it’s not actually dying right at this instant, as it takes so long for light to reach us from that distance. We are just now seeing the light from that star.

The dying star is actually fairly close to the constellation Orion, which we have been learning about, though the star is further out than the stars that make up the Orion constellation. The star, name Te Leporis, is about 500 light years away. As it dies, it is actually getting bigger. Down below you can actually see what this means. You can see the comparison of the size of the dying star compared to the distance of the Earth from the Sun. The splotch of light underneath is an actual photo of the dying star with the comparison to our Earth and Sun above it.

Amazing!!!

A reminder that Monday is the field trip to Vancouver for the symphony and Granville Market. We will be leaving here at 8:15!!! Students need to wear Full Dress uniforms.

Science World!!!

bubbleWell, we’re off to science world today. The students are very excited! Please pray for a safe trip and a wonderful learning experience. Students will get the opportunity to wander around the exhibits as well participate in a workshop on structures. We will be getting back a little late today due to the timing of the workshops and the traffic but we should be back at approx. 4:00.

If you haven’t seen the March Newsletter, your child received it on Tuesday. Please take a look when you have the opportunity. If you have misplaced it and would like another copy, please download one from the right column in the box.net box. Simply click on the document you would like and download load it to your desktop. From there, you will be able to open it and read about all the neat things happening in the class.

I will post more information on the field trip when we return this afternoon!!

Have a great day!

Last Few Days

Open house has come and gone. It was an interesting experience for me; this being my first year at Highroad. It was quite strange to keep glancing up as I was teaching and seeing another group coming through the door. However, we made it through and everyone seemed happy and interested in our school.

EasterWe only have a couple of days left and still lots to do. We are leaving for Science World on Thursday and I think it will prove to be a great day. Today we also had a closer look at the physical features of B.C using Google Earth. Our Google Earth seems to be really choppy unfortunately. We also read from Luke and discussed the resurrection of Jesus. We are preparing an Easter project to do with Easter and this was a nice reminder of the true reason behind why we celebrate. I was telling the students that it was hard finding a project to celebrate Easter as everything seemed to focus on bunnies and easter eggs and chocolate. It is very unfortunate. We talk a lot about losing Christmas to commercialism but I think think we also are affected by commercialism at Easter.

It was a good day. Look for some more poetry on the blog soon!

End of a Busy Week

One more week to go! It certainly has been busy around here. We had a wonderful field trip yesterday to the Vancouver Symphony orchestra. It was a nice mix of music and crabdrama which kept the students interested and engaged. We also had a nice visit to Granville Market where we saw a huge crab! It was enormous! The picture does not do it justice.

Our speech meet students also did very well at the tournament this week. We had one student place in second place which is a real accomplishment. The others also worked very hard and got participation certificates. Way to go!

Our poetry unit is going very well and the students are really getting into their poetry. It will be neat to see our published book when it is all done! Please vote on the current poems if you have not done so already! We’ll be adding more next week and we will also have some more guest poetry readings next week. In math we are working on the 6 times tables and will be taking a look at equivalent fractions very soon. In social, we have finished our mapping unit and our look at the provinces and capitals of Canada. We will soon be starting our Space Science unit which I am looking forward to as there are a number of excellent resources available on the internet that will really make this unit an interactive one.

Next week will also be a very busy week for us. Not only do we have report cards going out on the Friday, but we also have a science world trip on Thursday. If you haven’t sent in your money yet, please do as soon as possible.

I also found an interesting article from the New York Times on children and television. It highlights some important information on how televisions in the bedrooms of children can create problems for them. The article is from the March 4, 2008 edition of the New York Times and can also be found here:

March 4, 2008

A One-Eyed Invader in the Bedroom

By TARA PARKER-POPE

Here’s one simple way to keep your children healthy: Ban the bedroom TV.

By some estimates, half of American children have a television in their bedroom; one study of third graders put the number at 70 percent. And a growing body of research shows strong associations between TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.

Children with bedroom TVs score lower on school tests and are more likely to have sleep problems. Having a television in the bedroom is strongly associated with being overweight and a higher risk for smoking.

One of the most obvious consequences is that the child will simply end up watching far more television — and many parents won’t even know.

In a study of 80 children in Buffalo, ages 4 to 7, the presence of a television in the bedroom increased average viewing time by nearly nine hours a week, to 30 hours from 21. And parents of those children were more likely to underestimate their child’s viewing time.

“If it’s in the bedroom, the parents don’t even really know what the kids are watching,” said Leonard H. Epstein, professor of pediatrics and social and preventive medicine at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “Oftentimes, parents who have a TV in the kids’ bedrooms have TVs in their bedrooms.”

Moreover, once the set is in the child’s room, it is very likely to stay. “In our experience, it is often hard for parents to remove a television set from a child’s bedroom,” Dr. Epstein said.

Dr. Epstein and his colleagues put monitoring devices on bedroom TVs and all the other sets in the house. In one two-year study, the devices in half the homes were programmed to reduce children’s overall viewing time by half. (Children had to use a code to turn on any TV in the home, and the code stopped working once the allocated TV time for the week had been reached.)

Although all the children in the study gained weight as they grew, relative body mass index dropped among those with mandatory time limits. The researchers found that cutting into TV time did not increase exercise levels. Instead, the children snacked less, lowering their consumption more than 100 calories a day. The study, published Monday in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, did not break down the data by bedroom television viewing.

But in 2002, the journal Pediatrics reported that preschool children with bedroom TVs were more likely to be overweight. In October, the journal Obesity suggested that the risk might be highest for boys. In a study among French adolescents, boys with a bedroom television were more likely than their peers to have a larger waist size and higher body fat and body mass index.

The French study also showed, not surprisingly, that boys and girls with bedroom TVs spent less time reading than others.

Other data suggest that bedroom television affects a child’s schoolwork. In a 2005 study in The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, researchers looked at the television, computer and video game habits of almost 400 children in six Northern California schools for a year. About 70 percent of the children in the study had their own TV in the bedroom; they scored significantly and consistently lower on math, reading and language-arts tests. Students who said they had computers in their homes scored higher.

Why a bedroom television appears to have such a pronounced impact is unclear. It may be that it’s a distraction during homework time or that it interferes with sleep, resulting in poorer performance at school. It could also suggest less overall parental involvement.

Another October study, published in Pediatrics, showed that kindergartners with bedroom TVs had more sleep problems. Those kids were also less “emotionally reactive,” meaning that they weren’t as moody or as bothered by changes in routine. While that sounds like a good thing, the researchers speculated that having a TV in the bedroom dampened the intensity with which a child responded to stimulation.

Another study of more than 700 middle-school students, ages 12 to 14, found that those with bedroom TVs were twice as likely to start smoking — even after controlling for such risk factors as having a parent or friend who smokes or low parental engagement. Among kids who had a TV in the bedroom 42 percent smoked; among the others, the figure was 16 percent.

“I think it matters quite a lot,” Dr. Epstein said. “There are all kinds of problems that occur when kids have TVs in their bedroom.”

So while many parents try to limit how much television and what type of shows their children watch, that may be less than half the battle. Where a child watches is important too.”

Finally, here is another great video of the cat that made a previous appearance on our blog. Have a great weekend and enjoy your time together as a family!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4rb8aOzy9t4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Spelling and New Poems

Well, it was a good day here in 3B. We got a lot done. With report cards around the bend, we are busy finishing up work and doing a few tests. Students will have a reading test on Tuesday and a Social Test on Weds.

We had another round of our Poetry Tournament today. It was “The Voice” against “Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog”. It was very close today, a nail-biter but Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog came out victorious by 1 vote (10-9).

As for the voting here on the website, it looks like “How to Eat a Poem” has continued it’s winning streak. Today, we have two other poems for you to vote on (vote is actually one of our spelling words today! Cool!).

We have “Squirrels In My Notebook” against “Listen to the Mustn’ts”.

ListentotheMustnts

squirrels

Ms. Cull was our guest poetry reader on Wednesday and gave a wonderful rendition of the poem “Courage”. She used a lot of great expression, fluency and rhythm in her reading to make her poem interesting and meaningful. Have a listen:

Courage

To finish off, I have added the permission form for our trip to Science World in the box on the right side. Simply click on the docuement and choose where you want it to download it.


Spelling

been feel

capture diary

broke history

deed dozen

exhaust sorry

inspect pear

practice criticism

expect else

vote fifth

equip yesterday

Being Flexible!

3B had another busy and exciting day today. We ended the day with gymnastics. It was wonderful seeing how much the students enjoyed participating in the class. They were very excited and bouncy. I myself would not have been able to move if I had tried to do any of the stretches, tumbles, twists or rolls your children were doing. It was a lot of fun to watch.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to do the math quiz today. So the children have another night to practice their 3, 5, 9 times tables. I have told the students that these are easy marks and that, if I was going to just give them easy marks, they should all get 100%. I have given them pages to take home to practice all the times tables. These are colouring pages with the math facts on them. When they are done, they can cut the sides of the page to make flaps. These flaps cover the answers. As they practice, they can open the flaps to see if they got the answer correct.

Tomorrow, students will being starting their paragraphs again and adding in one -ly word per sentence. Today we wrote a paragraph together on penguins adding in the -ly words as we went. I also read them a paragraph I had written on the exact same topic when I was taking the Blended Style and Structure (BSS) course.

Please don’t forget to send in your permission slip for the swim trip next week. If you have not seen it yet, it should be in your child’s planner. If you cannot not find it, simply click on the document in the box.net widget on the lower right side. You can download the form from there.