Sunshine Math Rap

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read All About It...Summer Practice is Online & Free!!!

Are you nervous about the end of the school year? Are you wondering how you can help your child continue to learn and grow over the summer months? Then you're in luck...besides the math games and flashcards coming home this week, you'll want to check out this valuable online tool, offered by the district. Visit the link to find out how you can have your child participate in a free, online summer reading, math, and technology program!

P.S. And don't forget that about all the convenient Jacksonville Public Library locations, that offer free library cards and many engaging summer reading/craft programs!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Chet's Memorial Day Adventure

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend trip.

First we went to Sumter, SC, and stayed the night with our Aunt and
Uncle and had a nice visit with them. The next day, we went with them to
the Iris Festival at Swan Lake. The Irises and the swans were beautiful!
There were also fun rides, playhouses, a playground, good food and

Later that afternoon, we drove on to Columbia, SC, to A.'s
grandparents' house. Several of A.'s uncles, aunts and cousins also
live in Columbia, and it was wonderful to see every one again. We also
got to meet a new cousin for the first time -- 8 week old Ansley. (She
is probably the same size as Chet, but we bet she
eats more). We all went out to dinner that night to a Mexican
restaurant, and we're not sure if Chet liked the food because he did not
eat much, but he did seem to have a good time.

The next day, A.'s Uncle took us boating. We went across a big lake
called Lake Murray and played for hours at a beach. Every one had a
great time. Chet was very good about wearing his sunscreen and his life

Chet loved driving the boat, although he did tend to take us in circles.

We all thought the geese were cute, especially the babies.

Chet and A. LOVED jet skiing!!! (Editor's Note: A. would like
for you to know that we did not actually get Chet wet on this trip and
honestly, we did not allow him to jet ski, although he wanted to - he
took it well).

After a full day on the lake, the kids and bear still had energy to jump
in a jumpy house!

We started out Memorial Day with a trip to the local park.

And we all wore our red, white and blue, including Chet.

The weather had seemed kind of iffy on Memorial Day, but when it
cleared, we headed back to the lake. Chet liked watching the boat
getting fork-lifted from the dry-storage into the water.

Chet wasn't sure he could watch when A. went out on the tube, but we
assured him she would be fine.

A. loved tubing. And Chet loved watching Ashley have fun.

Gosh, the weekend just went by too fast. The next morning, we packed up
and drove back to Jacksonville. Another Memorial Day weekend over
--until next year! Thank you for allowing us to share it with our
special friend, Chet. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

From Blog to Glog!

We've traveled a long way with technology this year...from blogs to glogs!!! Take a look at our bully busting glog that won us a surprise pizza party today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Habitat, Sweet Habitat!

In science, we are learning that scientists use the term "habitat," to refer to the place where an animal or plant can best survive, or live.  In order to survive, plants and animals have to be able to meet their needs.  They need food, shelter/space, water, and air.  As we move into the lab portion of this unit, you may want to refresh your memory about your favorite habitat.  If you'd like to do some individual research on your favorite habitat, plant, or animal, check out the link.  It has bookelts, facts, coloring pages, maps, information about adaptations, and much more!

P.S. Which habitat do you like best so far?  Why?  

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Comparing Characters

Our study of Tomie dePaola has led to some great, in class discussions. Students have held whole group and small group discussions about Tomie's books, characters, and story themes. Guiding questions included:

What is your favorite Tomie dePaola book? Least favorite? Why?
Who is your favorite character? Least favorite? Why?
What character do you most relate to? Give examples.
What character would you most want to be friends with? Why?
What is the theme of Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs? What evidence supports your interpretation?

Our discussions about characters led to a more focused conversation about the characters Big Anthony and Strega Nona. These characters appear in many of Tomie's books including Strega Nona, Big Anthony, Strega Nona Meets Her Match, and Strega Nona's Magic Lessons just to name a few. After much discussion about the characters, students were asked to list five character traits that best represent each of them. The results of their lists have been compiled in the Wordles below (click the Wordle for a larger view). The larger the word, the more often the word was seen on students' lists.

Our first Wordle represents Strega Nona:
Wordle: strega

Our second Wordle represents Big Anthony:
Wordle: big anthony

Take a look at the largest words. These were the most popular traits according to our students surveys. Do you agree with our interpretations? Let us know! We can't wait to hear from you as we continue to explore Tomie dePaola!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Tomie dePaola Author Study

We have begun our author study of the wonderful, Tomie dePaola. He is the well known and loved author and illustrator of over 200 children's books! Some classic favorites include:

We are so excited to explore the worlds Tomie dePaola creates in his many books. We have already discovered that Tomie's books fall into a variety of genres including fantasy, realistic fiction, folktales, legends, and memoirs. We are anxious to discover the crafts Tomie utilizes as an author, and see if we can apply those crafts in our own writing!

To learn more about Tomie dePaola, you can visit his website.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Powers of Persuasion!!!

This month, our class explored the world of persuasive reading and writing. We began by studying and creating printed advertisements. Next came commercials. After thorough research in class and at home, we began crafting our own commercials. This activity fit in perfectly with our most recent Book of the Month, Big Chickens, by Leslie Helakoski.

Students worked in pairs to choose a persuasive topic based on the book. Topics ranged from persuading the audience to read the book, to persuading characters within the book to make certain choices. We are pleased to present a few of our commercials for your viewing pleasure, but we warn you, our powers of persuasion are strong!

Poffersons Persuade the Big Chickens from Lauren Morgan on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

America's Biggest Bedtime Story

Today we helped donate books to kids in need. We did it without even leaving our classroom. Would you like to know how? All we did was visit the Book It! homepage to read a bedtime story with John Lithgow. When we got there we saw that it was more than him just reading us a story. When you sign in, you tell the website how many people are in the room watching. If more than 60,000 people tune in, then First Book will donate $10,000 to kids who need books.

The story was really funny. We even got to sing along with him! That's right...sing! If you want to hear the story at home and sign a bedtime story contract with your parents, go ahead, but be sure to post a comment and tell us all about it. In fact, you can watch the story and sing along as much as you want...just be sure to do it before the 21st. That's the last day it will be available. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TOMS Shoes...a chance to help those in need!

Once upon a time there was a guy named Blake who decided to try to make a difference. He had traveled all over the world, but could not forget about the children he saw in Argentina. They were sweet and kind but they had a big problem...they didn't have any shoes. Maybe you're thinking this is no big deal. Maybe you're thinking, "Gee, I would love it if I didn't have to worry about wearing time wasted tying those pesky laces...I could run around the yard and feel the grass between my toes...that sounds nice."

The thing is...these kids didn't have shoes at all. Ever. But they still had to walk miles to get water and food and do other chores. Sometimes they were walking on nice soft grass...but they also walked on mud and sticks and rocks. It hurt their feet and it even made them sick.

Now, this guy Blake just didn't like this. In fact, it bothered him so much that he decided to change all of that. He started a company called TOMS Shoes. He made a rule called "one for one." You're probably wondering what that means. It's like this...he designed some simple shoes in lots of colors and if you buy a pair, he gives a pair to a child in Argentina who doesn't have any. Then, they can go to school (you can't go barefoot) and do their chores and play, without getting sick.

And Blake doesn't just mail the shoes down or drop them from a plane and let the kids fight over them. He gathers up groups of his friends and other people who just want to do something nice, and they go down together and meet the kids in the villages. Then they help them find just the right size and put the new shoes on their feet.

So far, Blake has given away over 140,000 pairs of shoes, but he wants to give away a lot more. In fact, he made a goal to give away over 300,000 just this year! But he needs our help. Maybe you can't buy a pair, but you can do something. You can come to school with SOCKS and shoes on Thursday, April 16th...then slip your shoes off in the classroom for a day without shoes. We can support the cause by letting all our friends and family know about this special opportunity to make a difference in South America.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Rocky Friendship: Chet's Rock Collection

Even though I'm in Pakistan with Rida right now, I'm still trying to keep up with all the things you're learning. I heard you were learning how to classify (sort) rocks based on their properties or characteristics. You guys sure are learning a lot of new science words. It's hard for me to keep them all straight. I had Miss P and Miss Hoffmann send me a list of the new vocab words you've been using to discuss rocks and I'm a little overwhelmed.
I have a bunch of pet rocks in my collection, and I'm working hard to classify all the rocks I see according to the following properties: color, texture (ex. rough, smooth, bumpy), luster (shiny, dull, metallic, glassy), density (heavy or light), hardness (how solid is small pieces crumble off on your hands...what would it take to scratch your mineral), and streak (by rubbing your rock across an unglazed piece of tile, does it leave a streak mark...what color is the streak). I am having a lot of fun sorting the rocks based on one or more properties at a time. It's just like "Guess My Rule," from Math Workshop.
I also heard that you learned about the three types of rocks: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. I have a favorite rock over here. It's very small, but it has different shades of brown in it. It looks kind of like the inside of a candy bar. A dark layer, then two lighter layers, and another dark layer. When I'm really hungry, it's hard not to take a bite! Good thing Rida is here with me to hand me a real candy bar instead, so I don't ruin my teeth! Being the geologist in training that I am, I was hoping you could help me figure out if it is Igneous, Sedimentary, or Metamorphic. Which one do you think it is?

Also, if you have extra time, enjoy this game about rocks and solids. Just follow the directions to grab a rock and drop it on the tester. Then make a mental hypothesis about whether it will sink or float and watch what happens! Let me know how it goes. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Head in the Clouds...

Hiya fellow meteorologists! Chet here to remind you of a special extra credit opportunity. Today we talked about Cumulus, Cirrus, and Stratus clouds. We read descriptions of them, looked at pictures of them online, and made sketches of them. We also looked at our previous cloud drawings and observations to practice classifying clouds. Tonight, take a moment to pull out your cloud booklet and read it with someone in your family. Then, take a walk and look up at the sky (try to do this before sunset for a better view). Talk about the clouds you see and what type you think they could be. Have an adult sign your cloud booklet to earn an extra credit point in science.

When you're done, try this cool game! Leave me a post to let me know how your cloud walk went...or what cloud you drew in the game. I love sitting back and relaxing outside, gazing up at the sky, looking for fluffy cumulus clouds that look just like me..."beary" cute and cuddly.

So long for now...

Chet Bear

Monday, February 23, 2009

Whether it's hot or cold...Be prepared for the Weather

I am so excited about becoming a meteorologist in training...I can't wait until March when we put our Weather Logs to use, recording the temperature, precipitation, wind, and cloud cover each day. It's all so exciting! I know I am preparing by curling up in front of the television each night and watching the Weather Channel for just five to ten minutes. I am making close observations of how information is presented. I am starting to notice a pattern, like how they always show the high temperature for the day, followed by the low.

Have you watched yet? What have you noticed?

Also, if you have some extra time, play a few rounds of this helps you to review what kinds of clothes are required for different weather conditions. You could also play this game to dress me for the weather! We know from our class discussions that being prepared for the weather is an important safety issue.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Presenting Prefixes

Chet here, boys and girls! Let me tell you, I was a little worried when I heard the word prefix. It sounds like something a doctor uses..."Nurse, hand me the prefix!" Well you know me, I'm a curious bear, so I did a little research and guess what?!? They are not scary at all. It turns out, prefixes are certain letters that can be added to the beginning of a word to alter the meaning. Here are some common prefixes you guys have probably already seen:

dis (not): dislike, disagree, disappear
im (not): impolite, immature, impossible
in (not): incorrect, incomplete, inappropriate
un (not): unplug, unsure, unaware
re (again): rewrite, retell, return
pre (before): preview, pretest, prehistoric
mis (wrong): misspelled, misunderstood, mistreated

Hope this is helpful! Remember, you can't just add a prefix to any word you want. They only make sense in from of certain root words! Don't use them improperly! ;)


P.S. Check the Skills Help section for games to practice prefixes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Leveled Books Online!

Hey guys! It's me, Chet! I was surfing the net last night in my den, and I stumbled across this really great resource I think you should know about! I'm sure you're all aware that each night, for twenty minutes, you should be reading a book at your independent reading level. Sadly, I heard from Miss P and Miss Hoffmann that sometimes you guys forget your leveled books at school and are unable to complete this assignment at home. Well, thanks to my sleuth work, that problem is solved! By clicking the link, Education Place (located under Duval County Resources), and logging in, you will be able to read leveled books online! There are many exciting options on the site. You can read the books independently, books can be read to you, new vocabulary is featured, and some books already have comprehension questions so you can quiz yourslef after you read! Reading levels are broken into groups (if your independent level is J, you will be in the Jaguars, if your independent level is K, will be in the Katydid group, etc.). The letter of your independent reading level is the first letter of your group! Miss Hoffmann and Miss P will be putting your username and password in your planners so you can begin using the site pronto! I suspect we will all be doing a little more reading at home now that we have this awesome site at our fingertips! Let your teachers know if you are confused or have any questions! Well, I'm off to start reading some of my leveled books! Catch you later!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Destination Success

Our blog now conatins a link to the Duval County supported website, Destination Success. By clicking the link and logging in, you will gain access to many games and activities focused on developing your reading and math skills. This site is provided to our school free of charge, and we are encouraging everyone to utilize it!

To login:

Username: firstname+lastname+264 (all lowercase and no spaces)
Password: 2 digit birth month+2 digit birth day

Good luck explorers!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting some ZZZ's!

Hello. It's Chet. Catching some serious zzz's. Plan to return to school Friday.

What is that called when animals sleep during the winter? I know it's a big science word. Geez, I can't remember it...too tired to think...must try to....zzzzzzzzzzz