Rheems Elementary 2019-2020

  • STEM Bowl Introduction & Postcrossing

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 1/23/2020

    3rd

        I introduced the Mini STEM Bowl competition to the students and we watched a short video on it.  We worked through a few practice problems too.  The Mini STEM Bowl is a quiz bowl style competition where teams of four students compete using buzzers to try to be the first one to get to answer questions on STEM topics.  If your student is interested in participating, we will be taking a qualifying quiz next week during our enrichment time.  We are only able to bring one team of four students to the competition at the IU13, so we need to take the quiz in order to select our team members. 

        Then we registered a postcard we received from Switzerland through Postcrossing.  Everyone was very excited to see that the sender answered some of our questions about their country.  Language = German.  Currency = Swiss Francs. 

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  • Name the Rover Results & Penguin Feeding Habits

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 1/16/2020

    3rd

    We checked the results for the Name the Rover competition.  Unfortunately, our entries were not selected to be semifinalists.  We looked at the semifinalist names/essays from across the country and plan to check back at the end of January to see which ones made it to the finals. 

     

    Then we checked in on our penguins for one final time.  The breeding season is over and Jean Pennycook is traveling back to the United States.  Keep an eye on your mailbox for your student’s postcard from Antarctica.  Next, we finished graphing the penguin feeding habits during the breeding season.  They analyzed the graph, wrote conclusions, discussed them, wrote further questions that they would want answered, and then we discussed how they could go about answering those questions if they were penguin researchers. 

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  • Postcrossing & Penguins

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 1/13/2020

    3rd

    We received a postcard through Postcrossing!  This postcard came from the Czech Republic.  After registering our postcard with Postcrossing, we learned a little about the Czech Republic. 

     

    Next, we checked in on our penguins.  We read the online journal and then checked on the penguin nests.  The researcher, Jean Pennycook, accepted our penguin chick name submission and named Oreo and Cheesecake’s chick Cookie!  Unfortunately, Cookie did not last long in the difficult Antarctic environment.  We were able to look at other nests, though, that have thriving chicks.

     

    Then we continued working on our Penguin Feeding Activity.  We finished counting the types of food found in the “stomach contents” of an Adelie penguin during the breeding season.  Then we began graphing the results.

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  • Penguin Feeding Habits

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 1/8/2020

    3rd

    Today I checked in with them on their reading progress for the Battle of the Books.  Then we checked in on our penguins.  We read through the online daily journal.  I introduced the Penguin Feeding Habits activity where they will be analyzing the “stomach contents” of penguins during the breeding season and creating a graph to illustrate the changes over time.

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  • Penguin Postcards & Postcrossing

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 12/16/2019

    3rd

        We checked in on the penguins today by checking the Cape Royds journal and the Nest Check sections of the website.  Then we finished creating our postcards.  The next time that students see their postcards will be after they’ve traveled to Antarctica and back! 

       Then I updated the students on the postcard that we sent to Munich, Germany.  It made it and the recipient even sent us a nice email in response!  The students were eager to send their next postcard, so we got a new address right away.  This time we are sending a postcard to Moscow, Russia.  After learning a little about Moscow and our new recipient, each of the students wrote 2-3 sentences on a topic.  Then we combined them into a paragraph for our new postcard.  Hopefully we will receive a postcard soon.

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  • Penguin Postcards

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 12/11/2019

    3rd

    Today I showed them photos of our completed Postcrossing postcard that I mailed over the weekend.  Then I introduced them to our next project: Penguin Postcards!  We learned a lot about the Adelie penguins of Antartica and researcher Jean Pennycook.  We checked in on how the penguins are currently doing through the penguin camera, Cape Royds journal, and the Nest Check section of the website: https://www.penguinscience.com/classroom_home.php

    They will be designing and creating penguin postcards that I will mail to Jean Pennycook in Antarctica.  Jean will then individually mail the postcards back to the students through the Antarctica post office!  The postcards will have the Antarctica postmark on them.  We will finish making our postcards next week.

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  • Postcrossing

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 12/6/2019

    3rd

    First, I answered their questions from the “Want to Know” column of our postcard KWL chart.  We looked at a chart with the number of postcards sent in the USA each year from 1926-2018 and discussed possible reasons for changes in the number sent.  We also learned the story behind the world’s oldest postcard.  Then we learned about how the Postcrossing website works and received our first address.  We are sending a postcard to Munich, Germany!  After learning more about our recipient and Munich, we brainstormed what we could write.  Each student took a topic and wrote 2-3 sentences about it.  I compiled all of them into a paragraph and we will soon put it in the mail!  If you are interested in doing Postcrossing with your family, check it out here:  https://www.postcrossing.com/

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  • 12/03/19

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 12/3/2019

    3rd

    They went over their Airbag Landing Systems packets today.  Then they shared their Alien Editions with our group.  Then I began our postcrossing activity by completing a KWL chart (know, want to know, learned) with them about postcards.  We read the book The Day the Crayons Came Home.  Next time, we will learn more about postcrossing and write our first postcard.

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  • 11/21/19

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 11/21/2019

    3rd

    Today I introduced the Battle of the Books competition to the students.  Students read at least 8 books and then answer questions with the help of teammates at the competition in April.  We are only able to bring 9 students to the event and will need to have a qualifying quiz in February for those who are interested.  Please see the letter that I am sending home with them today for more information. 

     Next, we explored a few optical illusions in a classroom book at the request of the students.  Then they evaluated their Airbag Landing Systems as well as how they did during the project.  After sharing their thoughts, we discussed our upcoming postcard project.

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  • 11/18/19

    Posted by Sara Torchia on 11/18/2019

    3rd

    Today we added the balloons and tested the Airbag Landing Systems!  Two of them protected the egg from a drop of 1 meter, but not from the drop of 2 meters.  Everyone modified their designs and tried again.  This time two of them made it through the 2 meter drop.  Then we took all of the projects out to the playground and dropped them from the highest piece of playground equipment that we could find.  All three of the Airbag Landing Systems protected the egg!  Great job!

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