Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Nation of Immigrants...

Mrs. Udell's class celebrates their Social Studies Unit about immigration by giving the bear a pretend interview and inspection as if he had just arrived at Ellis Island. Inspectors check for the Big Bear's name on the ship's manifest and a translator assists.

A Traveling Bear Explores Maps with Mrs. Udell's Class

The Big Bear likes to travel around Bowman. Any traveler knows how important a good map is! The bear is studying all types of maps - physical, political, rainfall and more. To read any map, you need to understand the key which explains the meaning of colors and symbols.

On this map, students have color coded yarns to represent all the countries from which their ancestors came. Wow, what an international class we have!

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Well-Read Bear...

Book Clubs anyone? The Big Bear joined 4th grade friends to discuss historical fiction. The bear listened as this group discussed "A Lion to Guard Us" by Clyde Robert Bulla. Students had already read the entire book, and now they were puzzling over the significance of the brass door knocker. Could it mean home? Family? Being reunited with family? Did the door knocker guard the main characters.....or did they save themselves?! A-ha!  The group concluded that the theme of the story was that "Persistence helps you overcome challenges."

Measuring Up with Mrs. Udell - Math Explorations!

Measurement fun in Math! The students have been exploring both Metric and US Customary Systems of measurement. We are practiving converting between units. Big Bear, how many milliliters in a liter?

Using personal body references to estimate the bear's height. (Estimation is so important in Mathematics to check if your answers are reasonable.) We think he's 2 meters tall. Let's find out.

 Then checking with a meter stick. Yes, our actual measurement is close to our estimate! 1 meter 55 cm from ears to toes.

So many tools to use in math. The balance was the bear's favorite. He likes precision and patiently added tiny grams until both sides were level.

Investigating Graphic Novels in Grade 4 with Mrs. Udell

The Bear has joined Mrs. Udell's 4th graders for a mini-unit on Graphic Novels. First, the class listened to a Scholastic Skype interview with 2 graphic novelists, learning about the writing process. They plan, draft, revise and edit, just like we do!

Here the bear enjoys the book "Bone", noticing character, setting, problem and solution.

Students used an online tool for creating a graphic novel page. The Bear gave feedback to his writing partner.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Mrs. House's Class says Goodbye to Big Bear

It is always hard when a friend has to leave...  Mrs. House's class will miss the Big Bear and are excited that she will visit them again soon.  

The Bowman Star Student Bear will continue her rounds to other classrooms and locations at Bowman.  What a lucky Bear!

Persuasive Writing in Third Grade

Mrs. House's class is beginning a unit on persuasive writing. Today they put their persuasive writing skills to work by showing what they know about making a claim and supporting ideas with evidence to make a convincing argument. Throughout the writing process, writers plan, draft, edit and revise, making their writing the best it can be.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Morning Meeting in Mrs. House's Third Grade

Today during morning meeting, the Big Bear took place in our daily greeting during morning meeting. Every day Mrs. House's class starts off the day saying good morning to one another with a positive attitude and smiling face. :)

Morning Meeting is a structure that is present in ALL Bowman classrooms.  Morning Meeting comes from our Responsive Classroom - Pro-Social Classroom program.  In the Responsive Classroom structure, morning meeting is a time to create a positive and inclusive culture, to greet others and share about the day and to establish norms and expectations for how we will support each others' learning. New students are welcomed in and learn others' names, class routines and rituals through a series of different kinds of greetings and activities as well.  Some classrooms use morning meeting as an opportunity to check in with each class member on how they are doing as a way to build empathy and support for students who might have questions or concerns.  

The Lexington Public Schools provides in-depth training for teachers on the use of Responsive Classroom methods.  The Star Student Bear thinks it is pretty cool that teachers get to go to school too!  Teachers learn about all different subject areas and topics through a range of exciting professional learning opportunities after school, and throughout the year. The Big Bear loves learning!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Third Grade Week (or two)!

The Star Student Bear is starting back in Third Grade this week.  He is the lucky guest of Mrs. House's team.

Today during social studies Big Bear and the class learned about primary sources by investigating artifacts from the Wampanoag tribe. By looking closely at artifacts and thinking about how early Wampanoag might use these objects, the Bear and the students were able to begin to infer what life was like during this time period in Wampanoag history.  

Big Bear is wondering what it is like to be a member of the Wampanoag tribe now?  

Friday, January 13, 2017

And on Friday in Kindergarten...

This week for Important Talk in Mrs. Kearns' class', Kindergarteners and Big Bear learned about the brave equal rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how he worked his whole life to ensure that all people were treated equally.  We learned poems and songs about peace.  We know that his work is not done yet, and we are committed to remembering him as we continue to work towards a better and more equitable world. 

Kindergarten is a great place for our Big Bear to learn about important people who help make our world a better place.

Next week our Big Bear will head back to Third Grade.  Tune in on Tuesday to see where she ends up!

A Very Busy Kindergarten Thursday...

On Thursday, Big Bear helped Team 17 work on their Personal Narratives.  Just like in reading, Kindergarten writers are saying words slowly to hear more sounds, using their snap words and paying attention to punctuation!   Writers are also making sure their stories have a beginning, middle and end.  If Big Bear were to write a story, it might begin "One day, when I was a little cub..."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

And on Wednesday in Kindergarten ...

In Mrs. Kearns' class we're doing a lot of reading about snow and winter this week in Team 17!  On Wednesday, Big Bear read a Big Book (!) about the best clothes to wear in the snow.  We think she is happy about the warmer weather since we're not sure how she would be able to find snow boots in her size!

The Big Bear knows that Kindergarten children have a Reader's Workshop time every day just like every other grade level at Bowman School.  She is really excited to be practicing her Reading Super Powers with two students.  Today they are practicing pointer power and snap word power.  Kindergartners learn to stretch out words they don't know and to read words they see all the time in a snap! It is so much fun to read every day!

A Kindergarten Tuesday...

On Tuesday, Big Bear worked with Team 17 members on Number Stories.  Students are using stories to help them understand and experiment with addition and subtraction.  If we have 1 Big Bear and 0 more come to Bowman School, how many Big Bears are there?  (Number stories with 0 are especially challenging!)

Mrs. Kearns' Kindergarten Monday!

This week the Star Student Bear is in Mrs. Kearn's Kindergarten class.  She is so excited to be back in Kindergarten.  Follow her adventures each day...

Every day in Kindergarten is full of new ideas, new thoughts and new discoveries.  On Monday, Big Bear helped Team 17 learn an important lesson about being yourself during Important Talk.  Ms. Igho-osagie came to read a story and students shared what made them unique.  We also talked about the importance of "Yet."  We wonder what Big Bear thinks is unique about herself and what she can't do...yet!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fifth Grade Welcomes a New Student

One of the special aspects of Bowman School is our welcoming spirit.  The Big Bear is excited to welcome our newest student to Mr. Studley's room!  Big Bear remembers his first day at Bowman 9 years ago.  It's hard to believe that he's been here as long as our fifth graders!  What a treat it is for the Star Student Bear to welcome a newcomer.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Serious Talk about Classroom Libraries...

The Star Student Bear is helping students read through the literature in Mr. Studley's room looking for examples of diverse characters in novels.  Students are checking out classroom literature to make sure that our libraries reflect our school and classroom populations.  ALL students belong at Bowman School and we want our books and reading materials to reflect all groups of students at Bowman School.

Examining books to ensure that all groups are represented in our reading material is a part of our new "Dismantling Racism" curriculum.  Bowman School celebrates that we come from many different races, religions, nationalities, ethnic groups and genders. Together we will change the world!

Continuing fun with Circuitry

Fifth Graders in Science are continuing their work with circuitry.  Here they are testing out an "quiz and answer box" circuit.  Put the right answer to the question and a light will come on.  The Big Bear is happy to be back in fifth grade to see this project through.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Contexts for Learning in Math in Fifth Grade

In Mr. Studley's class, the star Big Bear is learning about ratios and rates in the Contexts for Learning unit "Best Buys, Ratios and Rates".  Once students figure out what they think will be the "Best Buy", they create posters to share their thinking and methods of problem solving with their peers and then present their thinking to the class.

The Star Student Bear was really excited to be picked to explain his thinking. Students all work towards using effective and efficient strategies and think about how to solve multi-step problems using a range of methods.
 Mathematical thinking is more than just knowing your number facts.  The Big Bear is excited about all the different ways that he is learning to solve real world problems in context.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Returning to School in the New Year!

After a wonderful vacation away at the Cape, the Star Student Bear is happy to be returning to school.  He will be in Mr. Studley's room again this week.  He can't wait to be back at school learning again!
 Thank you, Mrs. Claffey for taking the Star Student Bear on such a wonderful vacation!