Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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Phases of The Moon

In order to understand the lunar calender we must first understand the phases of the moon. In our classroom we have been reading many books about the moon. We have studied why the moon looks like it changes shape by using a flashlight, a globe, and a model moon. We have also learned to name the phases of the moon and practice this in our phases of the moon work.

The cycle begins with a new moon.
When the moon looks like it is growing we say it is in a waxing phase.
From the new moon it continues to grow into a
Waxing Crescent, Waxing Half Moon, Waxing Gibbous, and finally reaches a Full Moon.
When the moon looks like it is shrinking we say it is a waning phase.
From the Full Moon in continues to shrink into a
Waning Gibbous Moon, Waning Half Moon Moon, and Waning Crescent Moon.

FYI: Gibbous is derived from a Latin word that means oval.

Happy Lunar New Year!!!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Lunar New Year!

The new moon this Monday, January 26th 2009, marks the beginning of the lunar new year. 2009 is the year of the Ox. The new year celebrations last for 15 days from the new moon until the full moon.

Chinese people all over the world follow similar New Year's traditions. Traditionally, Chinese people clean their houses sweeping out the old year and making room for the energy of new year. Families also get hair cuts and a new outfits for the celebrations and to mark a fresh start for the new year.

Flying kites and lanterns are used to decorate homes symbolically scaring away dark energy or bad luck. Oranges are given to friends representing wishes for good fortune. Noodles are eaten to represent long and happy lives. Children are often given red envelopes containing good luck money.
Here are some of our lantern, kite, and snowflake decorations.

We've been reading lots of books about preparing for and celebrating the Lunar New Year.

Here are some more of our decorations. Red and gold symbolize good luck and prosperity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History In The Making....

Today we had a special assembly in our classroom. We ate lunch early and the toddler class joined the primary class to watch the inauguration live on the Internet (PBS). Since we rarely use a computer in the classroom and have never had a TV in the classroom this was a big deal, even before we turned it on. The children watched and waited eagerly to see Obama. When he walked on stage to take his oath of office he received a standing ovation from our class and cheers of joy were shouted by everyone. History and the future met in our classroom today. There is greatness in the spirit of each of these small individuals. It brings me much hope to see their passion, enthusiasm, sense of responsibility, and respect.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So Glad To Be Back

A Busy Start to the New Year

Busy hands building scooping skills... concentrating on pouring without spilling a bean...
assembling a structure from fish interlocking blocks...

checking out the new home for the newt tank....thanks Stan...

learning to use a funnel...