Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Feast for the Ages - The Middle Ages, That Is...

The Navigators have a lot to celebrate!
We have been on a Great Quest to 
the Medieval Period.

After several months of questioning and
discovery, we now know and understand:
  • the feudal system
  • the daily life
  • knights and chivalry 
  • coats of arms
  • castles
  • literature
  • art and architecture
  • famous people
  • important events
  • and much more!
And so we invite our families and friends to join us for (and bring the food for 😄) a Medieval Feast to celebrate and to share our newly discovered excitement for the Middle Ages.

Getting ready--making costumes and goblets.


  The room is decorated:

The food is ready and the table is set:

The guests arrive:


 Time for a toast to Queen Wollum and Lady Price:

It's time to eat!


 We have a time of merriment. Here are a few of the jokes:

What king of Medieval England was famous because he spent so many nights at the Round Table writing books?
~King Author!

Why were the early days of history called the Dark Ages?
~because there were so many knights!

Who invented King Arthur's round table?
~Sir Cumference!

Where did people in the Middle Ages park their camels?
~in Camelot!

Everyone, young and old alike, added a sentence to make a Quest Story starting with

 "Once upon a time, in a time long, long ago, in a place far, far away, there was a castle....

and ending with "and they all lived happily ever after!"

A fun, festive, merry time was had by all. Thank you families and friends for supporting us, for celebrating us, and for feeding us! 


Lady Towne and the Knights and Ladies of Seabury!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

STEM Engineering Challenge #2: Build the Tallest Castle Tower

With only 2 feet of tape (your choice of tape - masking, blue painter's, or scotch,) cardboard scraps, and as many toilet paper tubes as you'd like, can you build the tallest castle tower?

Only two feet of tape? This calls for planning and cooperation!

What can we do with these cardboard scraps?
(Each group could choose three items from the scrap heap.)

We've run out of tape. Now what?

Time to "circle the wagons" and find out what's working and what's not working. 
Any ideas to help make this tower stand straight?

This design has some great ideas. What is working here?

This is an interesting way to give a tower stability.

Ah....we discovered a way to add tubes without using tape. 
Good thing, since this group has run out of tape!

Notice the schedule on the board. 
Fridays are wide open for big projects like this one. 

Time to measure. What should we use to measure with? A measuring tape!
(We always have access to different math tools in the classroom.)

And now, an important step - our STEM lab report.
Unsuccessful attempts are just as important as successful attempts.

As we say in math, 
Mistakes are expected.
Mistakes are respected.
Mistakes are inspected.
Mistakes are corrected.

What was the most difficult part of the challenge?
Arguing (or is it agreeing?)
Students are allowed to suffer through not only the engineering challenge, but also the collaboration challenge. A necessary skill for 21st century jobs!

Differentiation in action
Even beginning readers/writers can express their ideas. 
Invented spelling and dictation are par for the course. 

Recognize this design?

How about this one?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

10-10-17 First Day of the Global Math Project Challenge

The first and second graders participated in 
the Global Math Project today. 

Its goal is to do what the Hour of Code did for coding, but for mathematics. 

The goal is to reach 1,000,000 students across the globe to do Exploding Dots.

So we took on the challenge and did one hour of Exploding Dots. 

Watch the video linked below and see if you can figure out how it works.

We figured it out and added 11 "kapows" to the worldwide total. 
The last count was 109,638 "kapows" in the United States, 225,357 "kapows" in the world!




Who Knew Writing a Sentence Could Be So Much Fun?

We have been learning the basics of writing a sentence:
  • It must have a noun (who or what the sentence is about.)
  • It must have an action word (the verb.)
  • It can have other words to finish the thought (when, where, why, with, etc.)
  • It must start with a capital letter and end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point. 

The Navigators were given the task of writing two sentences. Here are some samples:

M. rides the bus.
A tornado destroyed the city.
Mrs. Towne rode eight ponies.
A magikarp evolved into a gyrodor.
J. plays with Nerf.
S. loves math.
A man took his son fishing.
My dad is sitting on the couch.

They were surprised and delighted when their sentences were put in a book and they were able to mix them all up. 


Next on the agenda?
Write a five sentence paragraph with a topic sentence, three details, 
and a final sentence to wrap it up like a bow. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

To Infinity and Beyond - Differentiating in Math

One of the first things we study in Math and one of my favorite things to teach is place value. It's foundational to many aspects of math and  once a student gets it, they can go "to infinity and beyond," as Buzz Lightyear says.  

Perfect for differentiation, a hallmark of Seabury School 

The foundation: base 10
Playing "Race to a Flat" using Base 10 blocks

Directions: Roll a die and add that number of units.
Trade units for longs (10), longs for a flat (100) and win!

Next level:
Play "Race to Zero," starting with a flat 
(Same game except practicing subtraction.)

Once there is this basic understanding that each place has a value of ten times the value to the right, the student can move on to using different bases. 

Next level, do the same thing using other bases.
Base 7 uses only the digits 0-6 so trading happens when there are 6 units or 6 longs. 
Each place has a value of seven times the value to the right.

This student discovered he needed two place value mats
 to keep track of all the trades he was making using base 2.
The computer geeks among us loved this one.

Several students were able to record their answers in a variety of  bases.

We're looking forward to participating in Global Math Week next week. 

Click here to learn more about it and to and be sure to scroll down to see the Exploding Dots video. 

Can you figure out what's going on?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Grandparents Love STEM, Too

The 2017-2018 Grandparents and Special Friends Day was one for the memory books. Our guests experienced what we do here at Seabury School - an Engineering Quest

We were given craft sticks, rubber bands, plastic lids, a plastic spoon, and a container of glue.

Our goal was to make a catapult that could launch a marshmallow the farthest. 

Some even used the box they received to hold their supplies.

Everyone had great ideas and were ready to figure it out. 

So fun to see our guests embrace the Quest.

Such concentration.

Testing the catapult.

We had quite a variety of catapults.

This one became a work of art. 
Plus we discovered that the higher up the catapult is, the better it launches.

This one launched a marshmallow 331 1/4 inches, the farthest of them all!

Thinking like a scientist: post engineering quest lab report. 

This student's idea of "making it spin" was really a good idea!

Lab report sketch

We hope our guests enjoyed their visit to our class.
We sure learned a lot and hope you did, too!

Raven and the Box of Daylight at the Museum of Glass

What's inside that strange looking building in Tacoma? The Museum of Glass's hot shop and lots of cool glass art!! ...