Ask Your Expert!

Ask Your Expert!
Posted on 02/19/2019

Ask Your Expert!

Family Questions From Your Mustangs’ Lessons This Week

Preschool: In the afternoon preschool class we are continuing with our Animal Domain. This week we expanded on animals’ basic needs by discussing different ways that animals protect themselves. Ask your expert: How do some animals protect themselves from cold and snow? (They have fur coats.) What is the word for animals that blend in to their surroundings for protection? (Camouflage.) Fun game this week: Duck Duck Goose, but instead of “duck” and “goose,” we use compound words and tap the players’ heads while saying the word parts, then when you choose the person to be "it" you say the whole word. For example, “Sun, shine, sun, shine, sun, shine...sunshine!”

Kindergarten: We are continuing our Weather Domain this week. Ask your expert: What is a shelter? (A place that you can go to that gives protection.) What does a thermometer do? (Tells us how hot or cold it is outside.) What is a meteorologist? (A person who studies and predicts what the weather is going to be like.) When you are our classroom meteorologist, what is your job? (I pick weather words that describe the weather outside, and the class tries to guess what words I picked that describe the day’s weather.) Can weather change throughout the day? (Yes.) Kindness Challenge: Since the beginning of the year, we have pulled kindness challenge notes out of a bin and learned different ways we can practice kindness. Now, it is the kiddos’ turn! Each week, as a class, we will brainstorm different ways we would like to be kind and each week we will come up with a new kindness challenge straight from the brilliant minds of your kinderpumpkins! This week we voted on this challenge: Invite a friend over for a play date and play a game that they choose. Why is this kind? How do you think they will feel being able to choose the game? How will you feel letting them pick?

On Beyond Program:
Third Grade On Beyond projects: Math Extension students have been applying their artistic talent to create unique two-part symmetrical fractional designs that we pieced together into fraction quilts. They also had to explain the steps in the process from start to finish for creating each of the three types of quilts:  1/2, 1/4 (3/4), and 3/8 (5/8). Language Arts Inquiry students are in the process of reading the touching Kate DeCamillo novel The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which tells the life adventure of a china rabbit. To help process the sorrowful death of a character in the story, the kids used watercolor to paint meaningful pictures they believed that character would enjoy. The only guidelines were to express their feelings using color and images from their own imagination while listening to the sounds of a gentle waterfall.



First Grade: We had a super busy week! We finished our History of the Earth domain, celebrated the 100th Day of School, and had our Annual Tea Party for Valentine's Day! Ask your expert: What kind of dinosaurs did you hear about this week? (Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, etc.) What is one theory about why dinosaurs are extinct? (Debris from a giant meteor.) What was your favorite part of the 100th Day of School? What manners did you use during the Tea Party? What was your favorite part of Valentine's Day? 

Tea Party

Second Grade:
We are learning more about the expansion of the United States to the west. Who was Sequoyah? (A Cherokee Native who invented a writing system for his language.) What was the Trail of Tears? (The removal of Native Americans from the southeast to Oklahoma. It was forced on them, and they walked the entire way with the army escorting them.) What are ruts? (The deep grooves in the ground where wagons had passed heading
west on The Oregon Trail.) What was the Pony Express? (A venture of delivering the mail using horses and young riders.) Where did it begin and end? (It began in St. Joseph, Missouri, and ended in Sacramento, California.) Did this last? (No, telegraph poles and wires were built and put the Express out of business in 18 months.) What has been the best part of Westward Expansion so far? Would you have wanted to live during this time? (Answers will vary.)

In Music class this week, second graders are working on playing chords. The goal right now is to get comfortable jumping around with root position triads, but there are a number of scaffolding strategies for getting there! Some students are playing 2-note chords, and some are using two hands. More advanced students are experimenting with inversions. Everyone is getting the chance to improvise their own rhythmic patterns. Pictured,, AJ, from Ms. Whipkey's class rocks out to Ronson's Uptown Funk, playing d minor and G major chords.

boy playing piano

Spanish: 3rd-, 4th-, 5th-graders are learning Spanish dramas and dialogues. In kindergarten, first, and second grades, among other topics, we are learning feelings and emotions in Spanish, numbers, basic questions, and answers. Children are interacting with Pedro the Fish and María the Monkey. These new friends help your learners begin to talk about themselves in simple ways, including greetings and exchanging basic information, like name, age, likes, the month, and the days of the week.

Fourth Grade: We have erupted into our Geology domain.  We have learned about plate tectonics and how plates movement shapes our earth with earthquakes. There are earthquakes on continental and oceanic crust, resulting in tsunamis. Ask your expert: What is a tsunami? (Gigantic wave of seawater.) Why do tsunamis happen? (Tsunamis happen because the seafloor shifts due to an earthquake occurring in the oceanic crust.) How fast does a tsunami travel? (Up to 500 mph.) 

Fifth Grade:
We have chosen our topic questions for Science Fair. Ask your expert what they chose and why!

Physical Education: We have finished up our basketball unit and will be starting our floor hockey unit. If you get a chance, get out and play a little basketball with your youngsters. Our 3rd-5th graders would probably be up for a challenge in a game of Around the World, a game of 21 or a game of Horse. Lots of fun and easy basketball activities for the whole family! Even some kindergarteners, as well as 1st- and 2nd-graders, should know how to play horse as well!


Third Grade: We are now the experts on space travel. Ask your expert about the first craft sent into space! (Sputnik 1, first satellite sent into space by Russia, in 1957). How about the first living being? (Russia sent Laika, a dog, a month later.) Who was the first human being to go into space? ( Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, in 1961.) Who were the three astronauts the U.S. sent into space in 1969? (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.) What were Neil Armstrong's famous words when he stepped onto the moon? ("That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!") We’ll see everyone at Planet Manitou, Thursday, February 21, from 5-7p.m. See the flier below for more specific information.

TEAMS: For the last few weeks, fifth-graders have been working on a small write-up for their Ancient American Civilizations masks in Art class. They chose a mask that inspired them and created it themselves in Art class. Students then wrote about their masks and created a QR Code for other students or visitors to view the information. To incorporate their Spanish skills, the students wrote about the colors of the mask in espanol. The masks will be displayed in the skyway gallery very soon! Second-, Third-, and Fourth-graders continued to explore another avenue or "language" of coding. In addition to exploring, the students created a game with the Spheros (a spherical robot that is able to be programmed by an iPad). Students dragged and dropped the correct blocks to code the game with pieces that look like puzzle pieces that fit together so the Sphero knows what to do. Questions to ask your expert: What does looping mean when coding your game? (It means we program it to repeat something.) What are some of the different blocks you used or new coding terms you learned? (Loop forever, LED lights, stabilization, accelerometer.) For fourth-grade experts: What is g-force? What did we program the toss game to do when it is greater than 3 g's? (Gravity force. The Sphero made an animal noise when the Sphero was tossed greater than 3 G's.)

Art: Third-grade artists are preparing for their space night at the Space Foundation—“Planet Manitou”--by designing and creating their own space t-shirts. Students are learning about the process of creating designs that consider perspective, organization, material use, and art as function.  Please encourage your child to wear their t-shirt on Thursday, February 21st, for their night of space celebration.

space art

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