Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wonderful Winter Solstice!

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the coldest season of the year. 
It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator - marking the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. 
Some animals hibernate. The only plants that grow and remain green are evergreens. 
People protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor winter sports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 


We started off our winter break with a wonderful party where we decorated delicious cookies, crafted super snow globes, and worked our way through word scrambles!

Our Holiday Party 2010 on PhotoPeach


What do you enjoy most about winter?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Special Visitor!

Recently, Natalie, a special friend of Mrs. Welti, came to visit 
Mrs. Ranney's and Mrs. Yollis' classes.

Our new friend, Natalie

Natalie has traveled to and volunteered in Uganda! 
We were so excited to hear all about her journey and her experiences.

Natalie told us about the people she met in Uganda.

Some of the children Natalie worked with

Natalie shared with us about her experiences as a volunteer at an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda.

She also told us about Beads of Hope, an organization that she works with
to raise money for widows and orphans. 

The women make beautiful jewelry from beads that they have fashioned out of paper from magazines. 

Beautiful handmade jewelry

Beads created by rolling colorful strips of magazine pages and dipping them in laquer    


What did you enjoy most about Natalie's visit?

What facts that she shared were most interesting to you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Superb Sentences!

We recently worked on a lesson about plural nouns. 
We learned that often when a word ends with f or fe
we need to make the f a v and add -es.

For example:

thief becomes thieves 

bookshelf becomes bookshelves

leaf becomes leaves

When completing a worksheet on this skill, 
we not only practiced with plurals, we took very simple sentences
and created high-level


Instead of:  One thief ran away...

Carly wrote: Two monstrous thieves dashed away with the heroic men chasing them to the Houston, Texas, police station.

Kevin wrote: Four thieves in black coats raced away from the police after robbing a rich bank.

Gal wrote: I spied two huge thieves, and they trotted away to the park.

Edo wrote: The ten scary thieves sprinted away into the house, and I spied on them.


Instead of: The bookshelf broke...

Jamie wrote: While my class was reading, the feeble, unique bookshelves collapsed 
in the ancient library!

Jordyn wrote: One afternoon, the tremendous bookshelves fell apart in the colossal library 

Mikayla wrote: Three unusually hollow bookshelves shattered in my pink and cozy room.

Jack wrote: Two ancient bookshelves snapped and dented the floor in the library!

Emily wrote: In the museum, the special hand-made bookshelves crashed right to the ground, and the 100-year-old books all ripped!

Ariel wrote: In the library, the colossal monster crashed the bookshelves, and the heroic boy came to stop the creature!

Shawn wrote: In the library, two colossal bookshelves crashed with a thump.

Justin wrote: In the family room the feeble bookshelves collapsed when someone tried to put an enormous book away.

Aidan wrote: Three tremendous bookshelves collapsed in the ancient library.

Rachel wrote: The one-hundred-year-old bookshelves tumbled over and were demolished!


Instead of: I see a green leaf...

Grace wrote: At 2:00A. M.,  I spied long, green leaves on a scratchy bush at the gigantic park.

Leah wrote: I peeked at a collection of green, glowing leaves in my colossal, grassy backyard.

Philip wrote: I spotted lots of red, orange, and yellow leaves in my precious, white bedroom.

Ella wrote: On Monday, I spotted one hundred bright green leaves in my wide backyard.

Sydney wrote: I spied pretty, green leaves on a maple tree in my own backyard.

Tristan wrote: I checked out smooth, red and green compound leaves in the colossal museum.


How did you like our sentence gems?

Which vocabulary words were you most impressed with?

Do you have another sentence gem to share?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family Month Blogging Winners Announced!

Custom Glitter Text

On November 1, Mrs. Ranney announced that it would be Family Blogging Month!
 The project generated lots of enthusiasm and family participation!

In fact,  
over 100 comments
  were published over the last four weeks!

And the winner is... 


Aidan, with 20 incredible comments!

Our top four commenters are....
 Carly with 18 terrific comments, and Jamie and Ella with 10 wonderful comments each!

Each student received a certificate, won a free meal a Kings, and was given an opportunity to publish a free-choice post on our classroom blog!

Congratulations to our top bloggers! We will be running another Family Blogging Month in the spring! Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends for your participation!
We hope you will continue to participate in our learning community!


What did you like most about Family Blogging Month?

Which family members left comments, and 
how did that make you feel?

How did your family enjoy the month?