Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sharing . . .

Ella made some Native American moccasins.

Sharing . . .

Ella shared some things she learned about Native Americans. She attempted to weave together strands of grass to make a basket. She did a tremendous job.

Updates . . .

It has been a while since I have been able to send out some updates. I apologize for that but as you know, we will be sending narratives out next week. Narratives take a long time to put together but they are a labor of love.

Last week we took a math test that covered addition and subtraction, median, mode, and range. Today, we spent some time going over that test. The point of going over the test is to reflect on what we did correct and what we need to work on. When you receive the test back, please do more than just look at the number correct. Take the time to ask your child if they understand why they scored the points they did or ask them if they understand why they may have marked an answer a particular way. I find this to be the most valuable part of taking any kind of test. When children get a wrong answer, sometimes they can't get pass the fact that it's wrong. We do this as adults. I believe it's important that children reflect on   a particular incorrect answer so they understand what they did wrong in order to make adjustments the next time. This reflect and adjust is an important skill that will benefit your child in numerous ways beyond math.

When you receive the test, please take a look at it, let your child explain how they did, sign it letting me know you looked at it, and return with your child's homework on Thursday.

Scott Johnson

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Yesterday, one of our butterflies emerged from its chrysalis. This is a picture of the butterfly before we let it go.


Frogs by Breize and Madi

Football - Defensive Positions

Defensive Positions by Colby and John

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Curriculum Night

I'm sure you have all received Center Connections by now but just in case you haven't let me share a few things about Curriculum Night. Curriculum Night is this Thursday, October 11 from 6:15 pm to 7:45 pm. The structure of the evening has changed so this is important. Grades K through 2 will meet from 6:15 to 7:00. If you are attending one of these grades at this time, drop off your 4th grader in our class (Mr. Johnson). We are trying to minimize the amount of running around and noise in the gathering areas as well as cutting down on the amount of children coming into each room.

At 7:00 pm until 7:45 pm, Curriculum Night will begin in our classroom. I do not plan on having students share. Since this is our first Curriculum Night together, I view this time more as you getting to know the workings our class. I want to spend time talking with you about our classroom structure, classroom expectations, homework, my expectations for your child, etc. If there are other things you would like me to address, I am open to suggestions.

Scott Johnson

Classroom Events in Pictures

We have been using observation as a prompt for writing. This means we have been observing these plants and writing down what we notice. We have done this on several occasions and each time we observe the plant our noticings become and more sophisticated. For instance, during the last observation, students noticed that plant looked like concentric circles (a term we learned in math) and that the plant seemed to grow from the middle outward. This made us believe the largest and most outward part of the plant is the oldest. This also made us believe the smallest and middle part of the plant was the youngest.
Resurrection Plants in windowsill

Several weeks ago a couple of caterpillars were given to our class by Mr. O'Keefe's class. We have been watching the caterpillars form into a chrysalis. This one turned into a chrysalis about a week ago so we assume we may be seeing a butterfly pretty soon.

Chrysalis in net

This caterpillar escaped from the net above. We couldn't find it until someone turned our worm viewer around and discovered the caterpillar must have climbed the styrofoam and formed it's chrysalis here. We all noticed that while the above chrysalis was green, this one was brown.

Chrysalis on worm viewer

Several weeks ago I brought in some mosquito larvae I found in the backyard. I placed them in this mosquito larvae viewer and we have been watching the larvae turn from creepy looking things floating in the water to mosquito. I think everyone was just as fascinated with the viewer which have led to several discussion on old fly catchers. You never know what direction a discussion will take us and that is the beauty of our talks.

Mosquito habitat

Last year my MAT introduced me to this book called On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. This book is about a girl who noticed a flower growing in her yard, decided to rope of an area around the flower, then noticed that as she let the area remained untouched and not mowed, animal life began to move into the protected area.
On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole

Over the last year, I have tried to protect this area outside our classroom in hope of letting the grass grow back and observing insect life coming back to this area. It hasn't been easy since the yard people continually ignore the signs I put up. So far it has been un-mowed for a week and have introduced our first big log in the hope we can observe the log decay and insect life use it for shelter. This is a long term observation we will observe and write about on a monthly basis.

Large log outside classroom

Friday, October 5, 2012

QR Codes

In preparation for next week's Curriculum Night, most students have finished what I call their "Me-Bricks." This refers to one of the bricks on the wall of the classroom acting as a palette to display information about that child. Besides the child adding items to their brick which reflects who they are as individuals, each brick contains a QR code. This QR code provides more information about the child and what is on their brick.

While some may not know what a QR code is, you have probably seen them. A QR code is a type of barcode in the shape of a square and contains a complicated pattern of blocks and squares. These blocks and squares contain information such as text, a website, phone number, or whatever you would like to add. When read with a camera and the right software, the QR code will display the information contained in the QR code. Some phones contain QR code software while others you need to download. This website has a several links to QR code software for iPhone or iPad (this one is my favorite and have found very successful). This website has several free QR code readers for Android. Any other phone and you may have to do a search online.

Scott Johnson
Here is a presentation by Miyah, Julia, and Ainsley.

Polar Bears

This presentation was created by Helen, Jasmine, and Mykaela.