### October 2015 archive

To kick off unit 2, in which students begin to explore counting in three-digit numbers, we introduced a counting project this morning in which students worked together to count a large collection of BEANS!

It was a greater endeavor than Ms. Romero could have ever possibly imagined. Our prediction (Ms. Romero included) of how many beans in the bag were at first no greater than 1,001. Well our predictions were off. As we counted students changed their predictions as we continued to count, first grouping beans into groups of 10 and then into hundreds, and finally into thousands.

Our final count: about 3,521 BEANS!!!

We Leaping Lemurs are lucky to have Madame Melady in our classroom into early next week! Today she led our children in some french energizers (with the assistance of the lovely Amelie who is lucky enough to be one of her french students afterschool!).

Today the Leaping Lemurs built a 3-D model map of the classroom using none other than legos! Each group was given a 10 inch square Lego platform and, as a group, collaborated on what was important to include in their model. Throughout “construction” (as Ben named it) students discussed what was important to include versus not to include, the relative size of objects, the purpose of the map, and engaged in all-around collaborative decision-making. Groups de-briefed by discussing the process (difficulties/successes) and presenting their models.

Students used mapping skills and vocabulary they have been using in social studies to think about their model: legend/key, scale bar, compass rose, cardinal directions, symbols, and landmarks. This activity will be a scaffold into designing a 2-D classroom map in the next few days.

The Leaping Lemurs kicked off this year’s second science unit on Structures through the Structure Challenge!

Each group of students was given 60 cm tape, 30 straws, a pair of scissors, and a ruler. The challenge, you ask? To work with groups to build one “free-standing structure” that is at least 25cm tall.

The Leaping Lemurs used incredible collaboration skills to build strong, sturdy structures! But the question Mrs. Choi posed at the lesson’s end was this: Could your structure withstand a hurricane or an earthquake?

What changes might you make so that it could?

Yesterday the Leaping Lemurs had the opportunity to learn about the rich history of New York City’s secret garden: The High Line. The Leaping Lemurs learned about how the High Line, once a station in which cargo trains crossed delivering items along the Hudson River, became a park.

With the help of two wonderful tour guides the Leaping Lemurs found remnants from the site’s abandoned past, explored design features inspired by the High Line’s roots, and even designed their own section of the park!

Needless to say, it was a wonderful trip!

Our Bridges math curriculum has given “math games” a whole new meaning! They are now known as “work places,” and our children enjoy them greatly!

This week students played “Turn Them Over,” in which students take turns rolling two 4-9 dice, adding the numbers on the dice, and then turning over two or more of their cards that have the sum. They continue to play until one student has turned over all of his cards or both students are unable to use their remaining cards to make any sums. The first student to turn over all of his/her cards or have the lowest remaining sum wins!

From a teacher standpoint it is always incredible to see the wonderful mathematical thinking that comes as a result of these work places!

..you bring them to class for all to share!  Thank you, Luca and Jackson P, for the delicious apples.

Here’s a poem for all you apple pickers out there:

Red Apple
By Anonymous

A little red apple

Hung high in a tree

I looked up at it

And it looked down at me

“Come down, please,” I called

And what do you suppose

That little red apple

Dropped right on my nose!

Math lessons are always enjoyable, but the most memorable learning occurs when the Lemurs share what they know- and explain how they know it!  We have some budding mathematicians in our midst who are always eager to share their mathematical thinking and understanding.

Be sure to ask your Lemur what we’ve been learning in Math and Number Corner this week.  The Lemurs can look forward to a fun family game for Math homework next week.

The Leaping Lemurs had a blast on their first 2nd Grade field trip the the Queens Museum.  The purpose of the visit was to view the Panorama of New York City exhibit as part of our Social Studies curriculum.  We were greeted by our guide, Susan, who first explained the conception and history of the Panorama.  She ensured that we knew all 5 boroughs- which we did!

The Leaping Lemurs greeted the Panorama exhibit with a choral gasp as we had not anticipated the sheer size of it – 9,335 square feet!  Susan led us around the Panorama, stopping to outline each borough and discuss its features.  We all tried to find our favorite buildings and Packer- we even tried to locate our homes!  Susan helped us name each bridge as we moved around and discussed where the bridges would take us.  Our knowledge of navigating the 5 boroughs was tremendous!  The Leaping Lemurs were full of interesting questions and enjoyed sharing their first hand experiences with famous landmarks.  However, the most memorizing feature was the tiny airplane on a pulley that ‘landed’ and ‘took off’ from La Guardia airport!

After viewing the Panorama, we moved to the education center where we were divided into 5 groups- one for each borough.  Each group had to use the materials inside their bin to recreate their borough, this was a lot of fun and showcased our fantastic mapping skills (hurrah for map day!).  For our last activity, we each drew a favorite part of the New York skyline.

Our journey back on the bus was rather long, but we made the most of it by having fun with our friends- some Lemurs even enjoyed buddy back massages!  To ensure we all return with our families, Susan has given us free family passes to the Queens Museum.

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Did you know that the bess beetle has remarkable strength and is able to pull many times its own weight?! Just how much weight the beetle could pull was the question the Leaping Lemurs were trying to answer during today’s science experiment!

First the students made predictions, estimating how many paperclips the beetle could pull. After making their predictions (which varied from 13-100 paperclips) students watched attentively as Mrs. Choi tied one end of a string to the abdomen of a bess beetle and the other end to a petri dish. She then dropped paper clips into the petri dish, whilst the students observed if the beetle was able to move.

Although we had only reached 26 paper clips by the session’s end, the students noticed that the beetle was lifting the petri dish off the ground.  Perhaps it’s still able to lift more? Ask your child if his/her prediction has changed!