How Big is a “Foot”

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Today was yet another cold day at the school with temperatures around -12 to 6 degrees throughout the day. The students were bundled up and made it safely to school. We began the day as usual with DLR and then the students worked on their spelling packets while I went around the room and answered questions. Today’s math lesson was really fun! We learned about how to measure in not only inches but feet as well. I drew a bunch of lines on the board and had the students answer questions about how long each line was in feet and in inches. The students also saw the connection between inches to feet and multiplication, such as 2 feet is 24 inches (12 x 2=24). In their small groups, the students then were asked to measure certain objects around the room and tell me about how long their object was in feet and inches. The students measured the height of the trashcan, length of the bookcase, length of their desks, height of the door and more! Finally to conclude the lesson we lined up 11 rulers on the floor and the students each walked heal to heal beside the rulers to see about how long their “foot” is compared to the 12 inches “foot”. 

For reading, we worked on how to state on opinion after reading a story. The students learned that opinions are usually written using sentence starters such as “I think”, “I believe”, “I feel”, and “In my opinion…”. The students then had to write their own opinion about the Brothers and Sisters story, Abe Lincoln or George Washington and give details as to why that is their opinion. This was a nice lesson for the students as many have not had the chance to state their opinion rather than write what they are told or asked to do for a prompt. 

Later in the day, we began working on our biography timeline project. The students were divided into groups of 2 or 3 and were given a mini biography about a famous person in history. The people the students are researching are: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Alexander Graham Bell, Harriet Tubman and Betsy Ross. Originally they were also going to have Johnny Appleseed as well, but some of the students were missing today so the groups needed to be changed.  As a group, the students had to read their biography booklet and write down 7 events about the person’s life in their notes. Two events were already done for them which were when the person was born and when they died. The students did an excellent job writing down events in chronological order into their notes. Towards the end of the day, I had a short conference with each group and went over their notes. Together each group created a more organized sheet with correct spelling and dates which they will use to actually create and decorate their timelines with tomorrow. In the end, the students will be presenting their timelines to the class and talk a little about what they learned about their person. 

In science today, we went over what the students learned about adaptations yesterday. We talked about how it felt to go outside for a bit without a coat or some without snow boots. The students learned a lot from that experience as today they were able to say that animals need fur, large feet, good eyesight, strong legs and need to be quick in order to survive in a winter-like climate. We also answered some critical questions as a group talking about what the relationship between predator and prey is and why adaptations for both are important. The students realized the trend in wildlife population was that the more predators, the less prey and the less predators, the more prey. They also discovered that more prey also means less resources such as smaller food and water. I think the students really enjoyed the game we played yesterday about predator and prey, even though we went out into the cold. In fact, I think the entire experience all together was a great way for students to not only learn how animals adapt and have predators, but they experienced it as well!

Tomorrow we will work on the actual timelines in English as well as do another math activity that involves estimating. I hope you all have a great evening and stay warm in these cold temperatures!

-Laura Hill

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