Sunshine Math Rap

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!