What’s New With the Beta Crew?!

This week we have continued on with our journey through the six

Simple Machines!

The wonderful Wheel & Axle, the stupendous Screw, and the wacky Wedge!

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A wheel and axle are two objects joined together at their center.  When one rotates, the other does too.

It’s fun thinking about what life was like in the past.  But can you imagine living before wheels and axles were invented?  We wouldn’t be able to ride a bike, or drive a car to school.  How would we open a door, or turn on the water?


After checking out some examples of real life wheels and axles (like door knobs, rolling pins, etc.) and discussing how they work, and how they make our lives easier, we partnered up to explore and create some wacky vehicles.  When they were complete, we had a challenge– who’s car will go the farthest?  And why do you think it did?  Did the size of the wheel and axle make a difference?? 


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 A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a shaft.  It allows the screw to move in a circular pattern and pulls one thing toward another.

Screws, clamps, cork screws, light bulbs, drill bits, propellers- the beta’s were on a roll naming many different examples of our next simple machine- the screw! It’s so cool to take a moment and think about all the ways we use, and are dependent on, such a simple concept!


Check out this amazing artist and what he can create with the simple screw.  It’s pretty darned cool.



The Wedge has one or two sloping sides ending in a sharp point.  It is used to lift or split an object.  A wedge either moves an object or stops an object from moving.

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A doorstop is a wedge.  So is an ax.  And a zipper.  We even have wedges on our bodies- Teeth!  Can your foot act as a wedge?  How?


Top 10 Unusual and Thinnest Houses

This is “The Wedge” and is officially the UK’s thinnest home!  And with a thin point at just 6.7ft it really is a tight squeeze, and it is also in the Guinness Book of Records for having the narrowest recorded frontage of any house in the world.

 What did the coat say to the zipper?

If you want to know the answer, ask Ms. Kelly or Ms. Courtney on Tuesday!

Next time you enter the Beta classroom, check out our Simple Machine wall.  It has all sorts of examples of the machines we have learned so far!


Lovely Language Arts

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We practice reading in many ways- manipulating letters to spell common word families, practicing diphthongs, and reading with our book club groups.

What’s a dipthong you ask?

A diphthong is a sound made by combining two vowels, specifically when it starts as one vowel sound and goes to another, like the oy sound in oil. Diphthong comes from the Greek word diphthongos which means “having two sounds.”

And now you know! ;)


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Our class is brimming with excitement while creating and writing about their very own candy making machine, for their very own candy they have invented.

We sure love to see how they can take the concepts of the simple machines and use them in their inventions and writing!

This is only a sneak peek!  Much more to come in the following weeks!!


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We had a special treat this week- The Gammas stopped by to share their wonderful stories with us.  We so enjoy seeing our friends from next door!


Magnificent Math


When is lunch?  What time does morning meeting begin?

Ms. Kelly and Ms. Courtney think it is time to learn a bit more about time!

So over the next two weeks we have telling time boot camp!

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These guys are getting so good, they will be able to answer “What time is lunch?” all on their own!

Think your kiddo needs extra practice with time?  Just ask them what time it is!

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And of course we continue to keep our math brains super engaged and active with our Math Pentathlon games!


Coming Up

January 24th- Skate Fundraiser- 10-noon

January 29th- Spring Parent Night- 6:30-8:30

February 12th- Friendship Day

Filed January 23rd, 2015.