We focus this week's reading time on the study of news articles. We talked about specific features like the publication source, information in the title, photographs, captions, bold words, and the importance of numbers in an article. We studied the PBS Newshour article about the new Titanosaur.
The students started by working together to "notice" features of the text before reading it. We call this "surveying the text".
We spent the week reading the article in our small groups. We also spent time reviewing the names and purposes of the features in a news article.
From there, we spend some time in a different reality... Virtual Reality!!! Mr. Bright, my husband, was doing a bit of gadget research (as he often does) and asked if our classroom could use a Virtual Reality viewer. Of course, he knew the answer to that before he even asked. So, Room 200's newest learning tool was put to work this week. We used it to walk through the Smithsonian Museum and study the huge T-Rex Skeleton on display. Be careful... you don't know exactly when he's going to pop up.
We also walked across the Golden Gate, Brooklyn, and Manhattan bridges during science. It was interesting to see what materials were used and how they were constructed. The students will be building and testing bridges this week.
We also used Google Earth to view these amazing structures.
It was really fun to get up close and personal with objects that are so far away.
That wasn't our only fun experiment this week! One of our small groups finished up a book on volcanoes so we celebrated with one of our own.
Lastly, we continued our focus on learning styles and student choice. Each student learns differently and has a different comfort zone. This is why I feel flexible seating is so important. I couldn't sit quietly in one space all day so it doesn't seem best for me to ask the students to do it. So, our room has many options that the students can choose from throughout the day.
We have several standing desks on wheels:
A standing/sitting desk with a moveable foot swing for extra movement time:
Single desks for a quiet learning experience and bean bags for a bit of lounging time:
The students seems to really enjoy the choice and it creates a much happier, calmer, and more functional classroom environment.
Stay tuned for more about the room. The students did a bit of rearranging on Friday. They will show it off a bit later this week.