Friday, November 29, 2013

Interactive Social Studies helps us with the CCSS!

Our school celebrates Veteran's Day every year with an outdoor concert! This year was perfect! The weather was absolutely beautiful! 73 degrees no rain in the forecast.

The real fun begins after the concert is over. The children are all pumped up from being outside, they are still singing patriotic songs and BAM! Welcome back to reality kids, it's time to learn about Veteran's Day (I know I am late in posting this but better late than never)!

The first thing we do is make a list of the qualities of a Veteran. Who are they? What do they do? Then compare and contrast ourselves to a veteran.

Using words to describe veterans helps us increase our understanding of exactly what a veteran is and does. Here you can see we came up with the synonym and antonyms of words to help us remember.

Since we use interactive journals everyday in Reading and in Math, making the jump to Social Studies was easy! They knew the format, they already know how to cut the graphic organizers to function in the journal. I love teaching this way!

How does this activity help us with the Common Core Standards? They have to write to learn. They
participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners in small and large groups. They  use foundation skills to apply phonics in their writing, they get to integrate their knowledge with graphic organizers to help them understand  the text and concepts presented.  The rigor is at an all time high, and I can honestly say with rigor their is less time off task!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Visit from the Morse Museum

The Morse Museum came to our school. I love it when field trips come to you, and it was FREE!
Every year  The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art AKA the Morse Museum comes to our school and presents an art lesson to our classes.
This year we were introduced to the  tsuba. The tsuba is usually a round or occasionally squarish guard at the end of the grip of bladed Japanese weapons, like the katana and its various declinations (tachiwakizashi etc.), tanto, or naginata. They contribute to the control of the arm (the right index of the fighter typically touches the tsuba), and to the protection of the hand. (Swords of Might)
The children were given a little  lesson about the history of the museum and a lot about the tsuba. Then they were given directions on how to use the materials to create their very own tsuba.
As you can see, the museum comes prepared with touchable artifacts and a lot of bling!

My kids were amazing, in less than 20 minutes they had created the loveliest tsubas I have ever seen!

Oh myyy, I need a pedicure, please don't judge!

In addition to the FREE visit, the Morse Museum also leaves us with a family pass. This admits one family to the museum for FREE! Are they great or what? The Morse Museum houses the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort  Tiffany. You remember him, the leaded-glass lamp guy!

In case you are wondering, the tsuba's are made out of thick black construction paper, a little thicker than cardstock, but not as thick as corrugated cardboard. We used metallic Sharpies and Crayola Model Clay with jewels. The kids went wild for this!

Look closely at some of the tsubas, I think there are a few bees in them!