January 25-29

This week we continued our exploration of penguins. After learning about the difference between facts and opinions, we wrote interesting facts about penguins and then turned our papers into big penguins. In science, we did an experiment with blubber and ice. We found out the importance of blubber first hand by testing our hands in cold water, one hand in a layer of blubber and in just water. We also experimented with ice and textures to see how well our slippery ice penguins slide down a slope. In math, we worked on graphing and analyzing a penguin’s favorite snack, fish, (colored goldfish). We ended our unit by making a penguin out of Oreo cookies!


We started our morning with a writing project. Before we started, we listened to the story, Penguins. We reviewed the difference between facts and opinions. Then we listed some of the facts we know about penguins. Finally, it was time to jump into our project. Our job was to complete a are/can/have chart. We had to write two sentences for each category. (Ex. Penguins are birds. Penguins can dive. Penguins have 2 flippers.) We met in small groups with Ms. Torborg, so she could help us out. When everyone is done, we will put them together into a new class book, Penguin Facts.

After recess, we took the Winter NWEA (standardized) test for Reading. It measured things like Foundational Skills, Language & Writing, Literature & Informational, and Vocabulary Use and Functions.

In the after, we were also introduce to the letter Kk. After watching our letter k video, we completed our letter sorting worksheet. We also completed our calendar binders and reading stations.

In religion, we reviewed the story of the Prodigal Son. Then we watched a video, The Friar: The Prodigal Son.


In reading, we were introduced to our 2 new sight words, they & for. Then we completed our sight word worksheets. Next, we reviewed the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Then we were given our new emergent reader, A Penguin is a Bird book. After reading it, we determined it is a nonfiction book because it is full of penguin facts. Then we reviewed some of the penguin facts we already know. During our discussion, we found out that some of things were opinions and not facts. Facts are things we can prove such as Penguins are black and white. Opinions are things we think such as Penguins are cute.

Before we could eat snack, we had a little work to do. We know that penguin eat fish, so today we did too. We ate colored goldfish crackers. Before we couldn’t eat, first we had to create a graph. We each got a handful of colored goldfish crackers. We sorted and counted each color of crackers. Then we colored our graph. After that we had to analyze our data. We each had to state 3 or 4 facts from our graph. Finally, we got to eat all of our goldfish!

After recess, we finish our NWEA (standardized) testing. Today we took the Mathematics test. It measures things like Numbers & Operations, Algebra, Geometry & Measurement, and Data Analysis.

In religion, we talked about St. John (Don) Bosco. His feast day is January 31st. St John Bosco is the patron saint of the youth. He is known as the apostle of the youth because he spent his life caring for young boys and girls. He not only took care of homeless children, he taught them useful skills as he told them about God. We colored his picture in our Saint books as we watched a short video.


In reading, we continued our penguin exploration. We started by reviewing the difference between facts and opinions. Then we watched a couple of videos about penguins. After each one, we tried to identify some of the facts we heard about penguins. We even heard some new facts and interesting facts. Next we started our writing project. We had to write some interesting facts about penguins. When we were writing we had to make sure to use a capital letter to start our sentence and a period to end a telling sentence. Since not everyone could work at the teacher table at the same time, only a few people worked on writing. The rest of the class worked on reading stations. Those friends that didn’t get their writing done today will work on it tomorrow.

Before lunch, we spent some time reviewing all of our letters, letter sounds, and sight words. Then we watched the letter K video before we completed our Letter Kk worksheet.

Our Olweus lesson today focused on being brave. We know that we can be brave everyday even though it is not a dangerous or risky situation. We talked about several different times when we were brave. Then the teacher told us a situation and we had to decide if it was a safe way to be brave or a dangerous way to be brave.

In the afternoon, we completed a couple of different science experiments.

We started by testing out our mittens/gloves. First we tested to see if ice melted faster with a mitten on or without it. We each got one ice cube to hold in our hand with our mitten/glove. After two minutes nothing really happened. Then put the ice cube in our hand without our mitten. It started to melt right away. Next we put one of our warm glove on our right hands and one stretching glove from Ms. Torborg on our left hand. We held an ice cube in our left hand for 2 minutes. Our hand started to get cold pretty fast. Then we held an ice cube in our right hand. We found out that our hand stayed pretty warm after two minutes. We determined that when it is really cold or we are going to play in the snow, it is important to where warm gloves.

Next we worked with blubber. We know that Arctic penguins (and other polar animals) stay warm because of a layer of blubber under their skin. Today we got to “experience” how blubber works. We started with a bowl of COLD ice water. Ms. Torborg had a bag with “blubber” (really it was shortening). It was actually in between two bags, so we didn’t get it all over. We each took a turn putting our hands in the bowl. We put one hand in the blubber and one hand in just water. Our hand in the water got really cold fast and our hand in the blubber stay relatively warm.

Our last experiment had to do with sliding on the ice. We broke up into groups. Each group got a cookie sheet as their “ice”. We needed to figure out how to create a slope with it. Then we got an ice cube to use as our penguin. Our penguin easily slid right down our slope. Sometimes they slid right off our table.


In reading, we continued working on our penguin writing from yesterday. The people who did not finish their writing met with Ms. Torborg and the rest of the class worked on reading stations. When everyone was done, we turned our writing projects into a penguin. The body of the penguin was the writing project that contained our interesting penguin facts. The first step was to lay out the tracing patterns on our paper. We had to make sure all of the patterns fit before we traced the pieces. Then, we cut them out. Finally, we glued them together. We really had to listen to the specific directions Ms. Torborg gave us in order for it to look like a penguin.

Before lunch, we worked with the -an word family. After watching a video about the -an word family, we created our -an flip book.

We started our math lesson by solving different kinds of number stories. First we tried solving some, some more and some, some went away number stories. We had to listen to the story to determine what to do. Then we tried solving some comparison number stories. Next we were introduced to the equal sign (two lines: one on top of the other). Together we made several different examples of equal groups (ie. 2 square = the number 2, 3 red blocks and 3 blue blocks = 6 in a tens frame, etc….). Finally we listened to the story, Equal Shmequal. The animals in the story wanted to play tug of war. First they tried to have the same number of animals on each side, but it wasn’t equal because one side had small animals and the other side had large animals. We found out that equal doesn’t always mean the same number. Then they tried to divide the animals several different ways. Finally they used the teeter totter like a pan balance and made the two sides equal. They tried playing tug war again this time with equal teams.

In religion, we talked about St. Thomas Aquinas. His feast day is today January 28th. St Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint universities. He was a wise theologian who wrote many papers that we still read today. He was very smart, but idd’t want to appear to be showing off so he didn’t let others know it. We colored his picture in our Saint books as we watched a short video.


Our morning started with a reading worksheet. We reviewed words in the -et word family before completing a Secret Word worksheet. All of the word on our worksheet belong to the -et word family. Then we were off on the Blue bus to church. We finally were able to go back to Mass in person. It made it much easier to hear what Father was saying.

Today we got to have a second snack after lunch. This time we had to make our own snack, cookie penguins. Before we got started, we created a list of the different parts of a penguin. Then Ms. Torborg showed us the supplies. We each needed ½ of an oreo with white frosting, ½ of an oreo with no frosting, 2 of the ¼ oreo pieces, 2 mini-m&m’s, 3 pieces of candy corn, and a little scoop of frosting. Our job was to figure out how to turn our supplies into a penguin making sure we had all of the different parts. When we were done, we got to eat our penguin. And boy were they good!

After library, Ms. Torborg introduced us to a new language: code. We started by assigning a number to an action. One means clap, two mean stomp, three means flap, and four means jump. When we heard the code, we had to do it. When we heard 1 2, we knew we had to clap then stomp. Once we got good at following the code, Ms. Torborg got the BeeBots out. Last week, she showed us some of the fun things they could do. Today we got a chance to work with them. Our job was to make the BeeBot go from the starting square to a specific color. Our was to help him get there by telling him what to do. We had to use his code. First, we laid out the route using line. Then we had to write our code down on our programming chart. Next, we had to tell Bee that code using the lines and turns on his back. Finally, we could press go and see what happened. The BeeBot will only do exactly what we tell it to do. If the Beebot made it. We could pick a different color and start over. If it didn’t make it, we had to figure out what went wrong and fix it. After working together as a whole class, we brought up into small groups to work on it. We had fun trying out different routes for the bee to take.