Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beary Fun Math Work!

Math in Mr. Bruff's class is always a thinking process.  Some days students work together on math challenge problems that require students to plan and try out multiple steps to come to a bigger solution.  The students learn persistence, how to explain their thinking and that there are many ways to solve a problem.  When students are involved in the "discovery" of strategies to solve problems and test out various strategies to learn figure out more and more efficient strategies, they learn to be flexible in their thinking about the unknown.  For Bowman students, this growth mindset, "I haven't figured it out, YET", allows them time to work on truly challenging work and to see the value in practice of things like math facts - so that they can spend their time in the thinking challenges, not get bogged down in the calculations.

Practice can also be fun...

Students and the Big Bear are playing a game called Multiplication Wrestling to use their math facts and the partial product method to figure out double digit multiplication problems easily and without a calculator.
 Can you see the strategy that is being used to solve this multiplication problem?  Using a strategy like this one helps reinforce place value understanding as well.  Our Star Student Bear learned to multiple the old-fashioned way and struggled with understanding the place value of the digits.  Back in fourth grade again - she is beginning to understand HOW & WHY multiplication works.  Smart Bear!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Bowman Star Student Bear Returns to Grade 4

Happy Fourth Graders escort the Bowman Bear back down the fourth grade hallway!  Mr. Bruff's students won ownership of the bear this week for their outstanding hard work on their "Book Trailers".  Not sure what those are?  Be sure to ask one of the Brufftopians about these special ways to get others interested in a book that you have read.

It is great to be a well-loved bear.  Even more exciting, what will the Brufftopians do to help the Star Student Bear learn about fourth grade.  We can't wait to hear more!

With the children off for the weekend, the Big Bear is hard at work helping Mr. Bruff keep track of all the children's work.  The Star Student Bear thinks that teachers have the best job EVER!  And that maybe they might work just a little too long after the kids go home...

And the Big Bear knows that it is important to make sure that she keeps track of all the work that students are doing.
 It is a busy life for a bear.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Star Student Bear Interviews one of the Bowman LEF Trivia Bee Teams!

Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Kearns, and second grade teachers, Mrs. Sawka and Mr. Curhan are preparing for the LEF Trivia Bee competition on November 9, 2016.
The Big Bear took a break from second grade today to try his hand at being a reporter.  Keep reading to hear how these hard working teachers benefit from the LEF...

Team Name?:  Beary Brilliant Bowmanites
Teachers?:  Curhan, Kearns, Sawka
How long have you been competing in the LEF Trivia Bee?:  This is our third year.
What are your areas of Trivia Talent? Guessing
How has LEF supported you and your teaching?:  The Second Grade team has all benefited from a grant that has supplied a class set of iPads.  It has allowed us to try on a number of different technology innovations and to work with coding using Scratch, Jr.

Thank you LEF!

A Writers Life

Friday afternoons are great for writing.  Second grade students use post-its and jots to help gather ideas about reading and for longer writing.  Our big bear is wondering about what it might be like to be an children's book author when he grows up. He could use some help from others about what kinds of books he should write...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LEF Trivia Bee Bear...

The Bowman Star Student Bear is VERY EXCITED that he is being featured on the Bowman LEF Trivia Bee stool.  He hopes that all students can come join to the Trivia Bee on Wednesday November 9, 2016 at Lexington High School.  Stay tuned for the Star Student Bear's interview of our Bowman Teacher Trivia Teams...

An Educated Bear Returns to Second Grade

Mrs. Matthews' class is the happy recipient of the Bear for this week.  On his first day in the classroom, the Star Student Bear was thrilled to be part of School Pictures!  He got his photograph taken as part of the class picture and had an individual portrait taken as well. Lucky Bear!

Second Grade is working on automaticity in math facts.  One strategy that the bear is practicing is to learn doubles facts first, and then to use what he knows to do one more or one less.  If you know, 6+6=12, then its easy to do the one more fact of 6+7=13.
Games are a great way to practice our facts while having fun at the same time.
Here the Star Student Bear is helping two students with combinations of 10.  Ten is what we call a "friendly number", when you know all the combinations to 10 you can use these combinations in a variety of ways to help figure out much more complicated number problems.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Portrait of Mr. Waters' Fifth Grade Class

It is always hard to say good-bye.  For our Star Student Bear, these days in fifth grade will always be special...  And she can't wait to find out where she will end up next.

 And so she is "on the road again"... can you guess which classroom will be her home next week?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fifth Grade Authors Share Narratives

The Star Student Bear had a great time listening to authors share their personal narratives.  She figures that by the end of this year, she'll have so many great experiences she can write about.  Ahhh the life of a school bear!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fifth Grade is all about becoming leaders!

The Star Student Bear is thrilled to learn more about how to be a fifth grade leader.  Whether he is a member of the class engaged in morning meeting or participating in fifth grade leadership seminar, he is an active member of the class.

Morning Meeting is a community building time when students all come together, learn about the day ahead, and greet each other.  It is a time for discussion, a time for building a strong positive classroom culture, and a time for problem-solving.  All classrooms have a morning meeting, and the Star Student Bear has been fortunate to be a part of several classrooms during morning meeting so far.  Being a leader is more than just telling people what to do.  It is about building relationships, taking turns and listening.  What a lucky Bear!

Another place that the Big Bear learns about leadership is in the Fifth Grade Leadership Seminar.  This is a special time when the entire fifth grade gets together and learns about the qualities that make for effective leadership.  Today in Leadership, the bear and students practiced working in collaborative teams to use their bodies to recreate pictures.
 After watching fifth grade teachers model, students and the bear needed to try to organize themselves and become a picture in just one minute.  This task required teamwork, collaboration and a willingness to go with what other members of the group suggested.  One student helped add to a Leadership poster by sharing something she had heard... "You have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk".  Students in her group decided that sometimes the leader was not the loudest one, but the one who could read the needs of the group.
 At the end of each Fifth Grade Leadership Seminar, students join in a leadership song led by Mrs. Glick!  What a wonderful thing it is to be the Star Student Bear!

An Educated Bear!

The Star Student Bear is thrilled to become an educated bear.  He is having a great week in Fifth Grade in Mr. Waters' room.  He joined a book group gathering "noticings".  "Noticings" are the tracks of your thinking that you leave on post-it notes as you read books.  In book groups you choose the "noticings" that you feel are most interesting or powerful to share with others.  Other times we use "noticings" as ways to start even deeper thinking and writing about the books.
 Writing all those notes on books is hard work for a bear...

The Star Student Bear is loving science too!  Here he is working on making a scientific drawing of a plant.  Learning to observe and record like a scientist in both illustrations and words is an important skill for a budding scientific bear.  

Exciting times in the fifth grade!

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Star Student Bear Goes to Fifth Grade!

For the next two weeks the Star Student Bear will be visiting fifth grade.  He is very excited about seeing what fifth graders do each day.  He is pretty sure that they must be really good at doing things that fit the Star Student Motto....
S - Safety always!
T - Team Work is the way to go!
A - Achievement comes from hard work!
R - Respect for all!
He has heard about Fifth Grade Leadership Seminar and cannot wait to see how that works.  Our Star Student Bear really wants to be a leader...

He loves the welcoming he got on Friday from Mr. Waters' students