Friday, September 30, 2011

Zoo Trip

I have included a few pictures from our day at the zoo. I had more pictures but I had a new camera which was temperamental at times. We all had a great time exploring the zoo, eating lunch, then off to a class taught by the zoo.

Justin and his Kindergarten Buddy

Shubhanjali and her Kindergarten Buddy

Zoo Class

Petting the hedgehog

Hedgehog looking for food

Everyone looking good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reconstruction Quiz

This is the link so you can take your Reconstruction Quiz. Please click HERE.

The link has now been removed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WLTX News Report

Richland Two Teachers in Oregon

Here is a post to the WLTX news report about our (Mr. O'Keefe, Ms. Breland, Mrs. Vice, and Mr. Johnson) trip to Oregon and the things we learned from our trip.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Class Happenings

This past week we have started our study into Reconstruction. I will be the first to admit my knowledge of this time is limited but what I have learned so far has been fascinating and troubling at the same time. Students have also been fascinated with this time period because they are already making cause and effect type connections between Reconstruction, Civil Rights, and current news they here on TV. This is one of the directions I hope to move towards as we continue studying US History from Reconstruction to current times - helping students make connections between the past and current history. For instance, we just read an article about Cherokees who once owned slaves during the Civil War, sided with the Confederates, and are now denying the descendents of those slaves the right to vote in Cherokee elections (read article here).

We are also continuing to look at probability and dice. We should be winding down by the end of the week. Today we watched a video from Jim Gandy on WLTX. First of all, he was discussing data collection, an area we have studied in depth. Second, he was comparing forecasting much like rolling dice and the probabilities found in weather much like dice. Could the connection be any more obvious? You can catch the video of Jim Gandy's segment of "Climate Matters" here.

We have also started discussing how we can expand our vocabulary. One way to do this is through the study of Greek/Latin root word, prefixes, and suffixes. We have been looking at various root words, and when placed with a particular prefix or suffix, changes the meaning of the word. This has nudged us towards looking at some of the words used in the Harry Potter books. For instance, Voldemort is made up of the Greek/Latin roots "vol" and "mort". "Vol" means wish and "mort" means death. Fascinating stuff!

A little later on I'll share more about our adventures with Dr. Doug, a scientist from USC. I just realized I don't have pictures from our exploration. Ah, shucks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blog Calendar

Just in case anyone is having difficulties with viewing the blog calendar, I have made a few discoveries. Viewing the calendar under Internet Explorer never seems to work for me so I'm assuming IE does not display the calendar correctly. I have had success using Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome. If you are having difficulty viewing the calendar, try using on of those internet browsers.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kitten Attacking Apple

You may be asking why this video is posted on our blog. Mrs. Edwards showed this video in class and everyone in class wanted to see this video again . . . so I'm posting it here so they can access it. I'll admit, the video is quite cute. Enjoy!

Various Bits of Info

Safety Patrol:
Your child should have brought home a schedule for safety patrol. But in case you did not receive one or need another copy, here is a link to download a copy for yourself.

School Planner / Calendar:
Today, your child received a planner / calendar. The planner should remain in your child's backpack so they can bring it back and forth from school. Each week we will add important dates including the due dates for various assignments. These same dates will be included in the calendar posted on our blog.

Scholastic Book Order:
Online Ordering Information
Due Date: 9/16/11
Web address:

Class Activation Code: GPY4P
I am sending out Scholastic Book orders. You will be able to order books online using the web address and class activation code OR you can return the book order slips Remember, any book orders you make online we earn a coupon for a free book. Thanks!

Inquiry into Dice:
It has been a busy and intense couple of weeks. As you may have heard, we started off the year with an inquiry into dice. You may be asking (or thinking) what could we possibly learn from working with dice. We begin each day with explorations, and in that time, students play a variety of dice games. These games include Farkle, Doodle Dice, LCR, Yahtzee, GeoDice, and several other games. Each game involves a certain knowledge of probability, strategy, adding and subtracting large numbers, and a little luck. Based on these games, students have decided to make their own dice games. This has involved understanding the probability of rolling certain combinations of dice, creating rules which make sense, and articulating those directions on paper in a clear and concise manner - creating a dice game isn't as easy as it may sound.

We spent some time researching information on dice such as the dots on the side of dice are known as "pips." More important, they discovered their very brief research into dice involved science, history, mathematics, and even meteorology.

We dove pretty hard into collecting data using dice. We wanted to investigate if different surfaces influence the roll of the dice. We understood when you roll two dice, there are 36 combinations of rolls you can roll with 7 having the most combinations (6) and 6 & 8 have the next most combinations (5). We wanted to know if we rolled on different surfaces (i.e., carpet, tables, concrete) would you get similar results? I have included the results here in case you are interested. By the way, rolling the dice on the table resulted in different results. We are not sure why but students believe the hard surface of the table caused the dice to bounce much more thereby affecting the outcome of our roles.

We are continuing to investigate probability by looking at dice outcomes using 1 - 4 dice. We are taking these outcomes and converting them into fractions, decimals, and percentages. For instance, there is a 6 in 36 chance of rolling a 7 (there are 6 combinations of 7 using two dice). Writing it as a fraction would be 6/36; .167 as a decimal; 16.7% chance of rolling a 7.

As we continue to inquire, I will continue to share what we are learning. THANKS!