Last Friday we had our ES Maker Day. This year, our school goal was to link this day to our unit of inquiry. Our focus for the week in our unit was all about water. Looking at water as a natural resource that all people need. On Wednesday, Mrs. Keri shared with us a story about a young girl she helped while she was living in Africa. This young girl was walking up to 6 hours a day to get clean water for her family to drink and use for cooking. Fatamata was not able to go to school because with all of the people in her family she had many chores. We practiced empathy for what it must have been like for Fatumata to carry the water on her head for a long distance, by doing the same thing but a shorter distance.
On Friday, for Maker Day, we attempted to create a water filter to clean the water for Fatamata. We used a water bottle, rocks, sand, cotton balls, clay to see what combination worked to get the water clean. It was very special to take what we were learning in class and apply it to a real-life situation and to see if we could create something that would help someone else. We used the design cycle to help us- Ask a question, imagine a solution, make a plan, create it then fix it. The one thing we all agreed on at the end, was that it was really fun to try something multiple times and fail. We learned a lot from it, and we want to apply that to all of our learning. Mistakes are good and improving something over and over can be fun and challenging.
Our Reading Buddies from grade 8 came to join us on Monday which was a lot of fun. We took turns reading to each other, and they helped us figure out some difficult words. We also filled out a graphic organizer that helped us activate our prior knowledge about the book, what we thought of the book while we were reading and what we learned from reading the book.
Are you wondering what to get your child as a holiday gift? Books are a great gift! This is the time of year that reading becomes very popular, and it is a good item to travel with Here are a couple of new websites I have found to be very relevant and helpful. Check them out:
A Book and a Hug– offers a whole host of ways to find out good books for a particular type of reader- great book lists for whats new in children’s literature.
Guys Read– this is a site for boys in particular, but some of the books look really interesting for a shared reading with the whole family. The site is under construction at the moment, but some of the links are still active and they are currently working on it, so its one to check back with.
Another really cool website to check out is called Fun Brain. Fun Brain offers read-aloud stories, interviews with the authors, book lists, various games all related to learning in a fun way. Funbrain, created for kids in grades Pre-K through 8, offers hundreds of free interactive games, books, videos, and printables that help kids develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving, and literacy.
Please check back later in the week for some pictures.