Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Latest from River Class


This week's Big Fish


Design and Engineering



Students are working in pairs to design, build, and test a hand pollinator for a model of a specific flower utilizing the results of tests they conducted to determine which materials were best at picking up and dropping off pollen.

Children are using their knowledge of pollination, materials and their properties, and the Engineering Design Process to design and improve their hand pollinator for their model flower.

Students are engaging in activities where they: 
  • brainstormed ideas for their hand pollinator designs 
  • were asked to consider the design constraints imposed by different model flowers 
  • created and tested their hand pollinator designs
  • analyzed their hand pollinators for strengths and weaknesses based on observations made during testing 
  • imagined ways to improve their designs and implemented some of their improvements
Students are learning that:
  • engineers use a series of steps to find solutions to design problems
  • a human-made design (technology) can help to solve a problem within the natural world
  • a tool designed to solve one specific problem may not be successful in solving another similar problem

Monday Mélange



This week's Monday Mélange was about the Jewish celebration called Hanukkah. A River parent and student (pictured above) shared about the history and traditions of Hanukkah. We learned about the miracle of the oil, the lighting of the Menorah, the symbols on the dreidel, the various spellings of Hanukkah, the direction of Hebrew writing (right to left), and why latkes are eaten during this time of celebration. 


We learned about the Hebrew symbols and meanings.


We feasted on delicious potato latkes.


Yummy!

Dreidel Math



This week's math lesson was focused around the game of Dreidel. Children worked collaboratively in groups to play the game of Dreidel and to record their spins. We learned about the various dreidel symbols of gimel, hay, shin, and nun. Children then had to guess which symbol would appear the most times. 


First, the children played the game in order to become familiar with the various symbols on their dreidels. Secondly, River students began to record their game in their math books by means of a bar graph. The team members of each group worked together to ensure that they all had the same results. We ended the activity by tallying up the results from each group.