Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Do Humpback Whales Really Eat?

I am so intrigued by whales and their secret lives in our oceans.  The latest Humpback Whale story circulating the Web is certainly one to think about the next time you are swimming in the ocean!  

Check out the short article on, learn a few things about whales, and then watch the video of some boaters and a surfer who had an unexpected visit with a Humpback.

You can read the article and see the video here:  

Word Study Unit: Compound Words and Prefixes

Dear IMA Families:

In Word Study, we are working on a vocabulary unit.  We are learning about compound words and prefixes.  Students are dissecting compound words and understanding how 2 base words are joined to form a new word with distinct meanings.  Students are exploring how the meanings of words are altered when prefixes are added to words.  At the beginning of the unit we will look at the prefixes: un- (unable),  re- (reboot), and dis- (dislike.)  Here are resources that your child can use at home to extend his or her understanding of compound words and prefixes.

At our Spelling City website:
I encourage students to play the vocabulary games because this unit of study focuses on the meaning of these vocabulary words.  Students can practice spelling these words but will not be assessed on spelling compound words. They will only be assessed on their abilities to define compound words.
•    Unit 7 lists: Compound Words
•    Prefix lists

Word Study Wonders:
•    Explore the resource links at our website.

Students are enjoying the exploration of vocabulary words that help them become better readers and writers.  Happy Learning! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another New Resource To Share!

 Hawksbill Turtle

A BIG THANKS goes out to Nick, one of our IMA students.  He discovered a FANTASTIC website called, Wild Facts.  The writer's mission is interesting.  His goal is to write 1,000 posts about animals with the hope of educating his readers about the natural world. You can read about his mission here:

Each weekday, the website creator and naturalist-writer introduces readers to a unique animal and highlights interesting information about the daily animal.  The videos are secured and child-friendly.  The website's index will help readers locate animals of interest.  We are so excited to explore this site!  Thanks again Nick-you discovered quite a treasure!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Calling All Nature Lovers!!!!!

The Wild Classroom is a website I just recently discovered.  This is an amazing resource for you nature lovers and science learners!  Are you interested in exploring the various habitats and ecosystems that create so many special places on the planet?  Are you looking for a great website to help you learn about the various plants and animals that make our Earth a special place?  Then this is the site for you!  
Follow this link:
While you are there, meet the scientists that founded The Wild Classroom and their mission as scientists and educators: 
Happy Exploring!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Gift of Choices and Opportunities

Poetry Friday supported and honored the work of our Veterans.  We discussed how soldiers, both past and present, served and currently serve the citizens of the United States, working to protect the freedoms and choices our society values. It is because of these freedoms, each person can contribute to our society and make the world a better place.  

We started with a childhood favorite, the beloved author, Eric Carle.  The kids wondered why I was sharing such a primary book called, The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse.   

We looked at the special message shared by Eric Carle and how a teacher preserved his choices and imagination as a developing artist during World War II.
 Once we explored the importance of choice and freedom, we looked at one aspect of such gifts:  the choice to bring joy to our world.  We explored a new poet named Alan Katz and how we can make a difference in our world using the talents we possess.  Alan Katz' main goal and purpose as a poet is to bring joy and laughter to a serious world.  A message that all of us need to hear!

We also explored his new book of poetry available for partial viewing at the publisher's website:

We also explore what it is like to be a poet and author with his interview videos on the same page as the poetry book available for preview.

Finally, we enjoyed a fun sing-along poem available in another beloved Alan Katz collection.

You would have been proud of your children.  Visit our IMA Kidsblog and see how they explored the idea that they can and do make a difference in the world!

Veterans' Day Celebrations

We cannot believe that a month has passed since our last blog post!  So much learning and so many celebrations occur in IMA that we need to take time each week to post the news to our families.  Consider this an early New Year's Resolution.

Veterans' Day is a tricky celebration with younger students.  As their knowledge of wars, soldiers, and service is within the childhood experience, we decided that we could honor our veterans while building an understanding of what it means to serve one's country.  Here are a few of the experiences shared on Friday's Veterans' Day by our IMA students.

Starting with a video selected by Mrs. Marlatt, students explored why our service men and women are valued.

Then students had a chance to visit and explore a day in the life of different soldier and veterans serving various communities.  A nurse, a helicopter pilot were just a few of the people shared in the presentation.

You can revisit the sites here:

After learning about many different lives in the military, students worked as  History Detectives.  Research teams used a variety of artifacts and learned the identity of a World War II veteran.  

The photos show the variety of artifacts used to explore and discover the identity of Mrs. Marlatt's father.

The students truly enjoyed using the real-world artifacts to explore the life of a soldier.

To find out more about our further studies for Veterans' Day, read the next blog post and find out how Veterans' Day and the value of choices and freedom were explored during the literacy portion of our Friday.