Happy day, friends! I just wanted to quickly stop by and share an amazing way we’ve started doing research this week, as well as some ideas for learning about penguins, polar bears, arctic, tundra, and all things cold.Please note, I do understand that penguins and polar bears reside on different continents…as do my kids. We’ve looked at the World Map, we’ve talked about the differences. I know. But with the 100th Day next week, then, MLK the following week – we’ve run out of ‘winter weeks’ to learn with. Therefore, penguin and polar bear week it is! 🙂
Laying Our Foundation
We started our week with a quick pre-assessment. Split into 5 groups, students visited each of the questions (set on a table) and wrote/illustrated their ideas about the true/false phrases below. At the end of the week, we revisited the assessment and corrected our thinking!
Integrating Our Learning
Hands-On Learning: How Does Blubber Protect Animals?
Throughout the week, we were amazed at just how cold the North and South Poles can get. Living in Kentucky, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine what -76 degrees feels likes, and even more difficult to imagine living there. Over and over, I heard – how can animals live in such cold places?? Therefore, a blubber experiment was in order! To make the experiment manageable, a parent volunteer joined our class, so we could split into 2 groups. Thank goodness for volunteers!
We started the experiment by placing our hand in a bowl of ice water for 5 seconds (long enough for students to feel cold but not long enough to hear complaining). We then went back to our desks and wrote about about the first phase using a recording log from my Tundra Resource.
Now, this experiment answered just one of our questions about all things cold and we had MANY!
So, we made our 1st venture into research. This is a Common Core skill for 1st graders, but one that it really hard to put into practice….I mean our kids are 7. Still, it needed to happen, so this week I channeled my kids’ curiosity. Knowing that my friends were not ready for prime-time research, we used QR Code research mats. Using 6 websites and videos I pre-read and pre-watched, I linked them on the below mat. Then, using iPads with a partner, students explored the resources I included and took notes about their learning.
You can grab these resources from Drop Box by clicking photo below. Honestly, it was a SMASHING success…smoother than I could have ever imagined – for real! I really feel like QR Code Mats are the way to go. It gives students the independence of research and exploration, but in a very safe and manageable way. We’ll definitely make this a monthly habit for the remaining year!
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