Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The State Capitol

On Friday, February 6 we had the chance to visit Pennsylvania's state capitol and state museum. The students of the Bair's Den did an amazing job representing themselves and Elizabethtown, and we learned a lot along the way!

We started in the newly updated Welcome Center at the state capitol building. The kids got to try their hand at voting on a bill, played games to identify many different facts about the state, learned more about the capitol complex, and had the chance to learn about the people and facts that make Pennsylvania unique.

Then we moved on to our tour of the capitol. After an introduction in the beautiful rotunda, we had the opportunity to visit the Senate, the State Supreme Court, and the House of Representatives. We were all very impressed with the beautiful artwork that represents Pennsylvania, and we all wished we could get our hands on some of the gold. Did you know that it would be impossible to build our state capitol today because it is priceless?

After lunch in the capitol, we walked over to the museum. We had the chance to see beautiful artwork by Pennsylvania artists that was put on display for Governor Wolf's inauguration. There were historical villages, cars, and artifacts to see. And we all loved the third floor where we got to see the amazing animals of Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania is definitely a fantastic state, and we are lucky that we live close enough that we have the opportunity to visit our state capitol and see the information we've learned in action.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wait - You Need to Read to Play Hockey

Sometimes we have a hard time understanding how grown-ups use different skills in their real lives. We often think that we're just learning about things because we need to know them for "the test" - GASP!!! But last week we found out that is not the case.

We talk a lot about how our parents use math and reading in their real lives, but on January 22, Connor Carrick, a Hershey Bears defenseman, was here at Bear Creek to tell us that even hockey players have a lot to read. They have many plays that they need to learn, there are schedules to follow, and there are events that they have to go to that require them to read speeches or different books.

Connor did a great job reading the book Snowflake Bentley to us, and he answered many of our questions about his life and playing hockey. While we still know that some of what we learn is for the test, this reminded us that even playing professional sports means you have to know how to read!

Catching Up - Saying Goodbye

It's never easy to say goodbye to a friend, but unfortunately sometimes it happens. On January 15th the Bair's Den had to say goodbye to Kylie. We had a great last day that ended with some tasty cupcakes and a compliments car wash. Each student gave Kylie a compliment to take with her to her new school. We hope that Kylie will always remember she is part of the Bair's Den!

The start of the compliments car wash

Kylie is all filled up with compliments ~ bring on her new school!

The Bair's Den '14 - '15

Catching Up - School Spirit

Nobody can claim that Team 4A doesn't have school spirit. Most recently we won the PTO's box top contest for January. During a month long contest kids from all for classes on our team brought in box tops. We were so excited to try and win the Super Bowl party that we brought in 1,260 box tops!! How amazing is that? For our enthusiasm we were rewarded with a Super Bowl Party on Friday, January 30. We each got a plate of cheesy nachos, some cookies, and a drink. We got to spend some time hanging out with our friends watching Air Bud. It was a great afternoon, and we are very proud of ourselves for the good work we did for our school.

We are not just about box tops, though. Team 4A goes all out on school spirit days, too! Check out the fun we all had on 80s Day!

Catching Up - Holiday Fun

Thanks to some amazing parent volunteers we had a wonderful time around the holidays.

First up Chris and his mom shared their Hanukkah traditions with the class. We were all very curious to hear how the holiday was different from Christmas. We heard the story of why Hanukkah was celebrated, got to hear about some of the traditions and see a menorah and dreidl, and then we got to try some Hanukkah doughnuts. We had a great time learning from Chris and his mom, and we appreciated them taking their time to come in.

Enjoying some treats!

Listening to the story

Learning about the candles and why they are lit

"Gold" Coins

We also celebrated our long holiday break with a fun party. We had Christmas treats for a snack, played some crazy "snowball" games with balloons and cotton balls, and we all had the chance to play the dreidl. Some of us ended up winning handfuls of Hershey kisses! It was a great way to ring out 2014 and get ready for the fresh start of 2015!

"Snowball" volleyball

How many "snowballs" can you pick up with your nose?

Who is the best snow shoveler?

Who's winning all the kisses?

Delicious treats!

Catching Up - Understanding the Government

Wow! It has been a long time since I updated things! Between being sick, the holidays, progress reports, and everything in between, I have a backlog of blog posts. Let's see if we can get everybody caught up on what's been going on in the Bairs' Den.

First of all we learned about the government of Pennsylvania. You may or may not know this, but Pennsylvania's government may not have seemed very unique to your child. Our Pennsylvania state government was actually the model that was used by the Founding Fathers to create the government of the United States! So many of the kids already knew the three branches of government from learning about the United States government in 3rd grade.

What was tricky to understand was the idea of checks and balances. Each branch of the government has special jobs to keep the other two branches from having too much power. To show this to the kids, we played a marble game. The students worked in groups of three to balance a marble on a triangle shaped piece of construction paper. We thought it would be SUPER EASY at first, and we quickly had marble bouncing all over the room! It took a little bit, each group of three soon realized that they had to work together in perfect balance to make things work correctly! Now if we could only get the government to realize that!

Check out the pictures below to see the activity: