Thursday, October 20, 2011


From the simple

                                                                  all the way
to the extremely complex...

all students are about to embark on a study of this magnificent art!

For the next 4 weeks, all students will be exploring the art of paper folding, learning how to read origami diagrams, creating their own folded masterpieces and connecting the process to math and social studies skills and content. They will be using ALL of their smarts during the study and I encourage you to explore Origami in your own home
Here is a short overview of the unit:

Inquiry Activities:
Accurately and precisely create an origami figure. How many geometric shapes can you create?
Content Understandings:  Geometry, Two and Three Dimensional Shapes
Standard Connections to Math:
PK.G.1. Describe, name, and interpret distance and position in space; understand and use positional words.
PK.G.2. Recognize, name, and describe simple two- and three-dimensional shapes.

K.G.1. Name shapes of pattern blocks (e.g., triangle, square, circle).
K.G.2. Describe attributes of two-dimensional shapes (e.g., number of sides, number of corners, size, roundness); sort these shapes.

1.G.1. Describe attributes and parts of two- and three-dimensional shapes (e.g., length of sides and number ofcorners, edges, faces, and sides).
1.G.3. Identify symmetry in two-dimensional shapes.

2.G.2. Classify familiar two- and three-dimensional shapes by common attributes such as shape of curved and straight lines, number and shape of faces, edges, and vertices.
2.G.3. Match and construct congruent and symmetric shapes.

3.G.1. Compare and analyze attributes and other features (e.g., number and shape of sides, faces, corners, rightangles) of two-dimensional geometric shapes, especially the attributes of triangles (isosceles, equilateral, right) and quadrilaterals (rectangle, square).
3.G.3. Identify angles as right, acute (less than a right angle), or obtuse (greater than a right angle).

4.G.1. Compare and analyze attributes and other features (e.g., number of sides, faces, corners, right angles, diagonals,and symmetry) of two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes.

5.G.4. Identify and describe types of symmetry, including line and rotational.

What is Origami?
Origami, the Japanese name for the art of paper folding, compes from the Japanese verb oru  (to fold) and the noun kami  ( paper). A finished origami figure is called a model and instructions for a model are called a diagram.. The art is over 1000 years old and while it originally was used in traditional Japanese ceremonies, overtime it became a family pasttime passed down from one generation to the next.

Did you know?
An origami artist is usally called a paper folder. Leonardo da Vinci , renaissance painter, also studied the art when exploring the velocity of paper! Friedrich Frobel, the educator who founded the kindergarten system, used origami to introduce geometric shapes to children. Lewis Carroll, a mathematician and author of Alice in Wonderlan entertained children of royalty with origami. Harry Houdini, most famous for his work as an illussionist, wrote one of the very first English origami books in 1922!
Ready to try some with your family?
Don't hesitate to explore this art at home. Check out the links under "Think Tank at Home" and have a great time exploring! All you need is a piece of SQUARE paper. Only have rectangular paper such as magazine pages, construction or printing paper? NO PROBLEM! Simply fold and cut your rectangluar piece of paper.
( Of course, in an effort to be truly inquiry based, have your child figure out how to get a square from a rectangle!)

Finally, check-out origami books from the library, visit the sites listed on this page, pick up a packet of diagrams from the "TAKE HOME" folder on the Think Tank Bulliten Board or just make your own. Please send pictures of your beatiful work to me so I can display it here.
In the meantime, stay tuned to this blog for pictures of your children's accurate and precise work!

Until next time...
Mrs. Ford

Monday, October 17, 2011


Please ignore the spelling error in the signature. This letter was not proofread :)

Our beautiful friends were sent on their way to Mexico on October 12, 2011. In a wonderful send-off ceremony on a dreary day, each Monarch flew off to make it's way on the long journey south. It will take our  Monarchs almost TWO MONTHS to get there, but when they arrive they will be with millions of their friends. Beleive it or not, one tagged Monarch as flew 265 miles in one day!

Thank you to a wonderful Hill mom for coming to Maury on send-off day even though her children are not yet Maury students! The pictures below document our day so well!

It has been such a wonderful experience and we look forward to raising the GREAT-GREAT grandchildren of this year's batch next fall.

Until next time!

-Mrs. Ford

Monday, October 10, 2011


Our beautiful Monarchs have started emerge. It has been spectacular to watch the entire process and the fact that the students are witnessing each step live makes it truly special.
5th graders watching as their Monarch is minutes away from emerging.
5th graders watching as their Monarch is minutes away from emerging.
The 4th grade chrysalis in the forefront, the almost emerged 5th grade in the back.

So far, 9 Monarchs have emerged, and we expect the rest by Wednesday of this week. Until then, they reside in our main lobby in a beautiful butterfly tent where they can dine on the nectar of sweet flowers and prepare to fly to Mexico.

                                     Ms. Scott's class waves bye as their Monarch joins its "friends" in the lobby tent.
We will be having a big sendoff on Thursday. Please stay tuned for the time and location. In the meantime, please take a moment to watch these clips about the Monarch migration with your child. Students ( and to be honest, some teachers!) are getting a bit sad as their class "pet" is getting ready to fly south.

Thanks to Maury grandparent, Francis Royce for these pictures of what the migration looks like on the other end. When she visited Monterey Mexico, one of the mountain regions where the Monarchs winter, she took these pictures. They are AMAZING!

What an amazing experience this has been!!!!


Until next time....

-Mrs. Ford aka "The Butterfly Lady"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maury Think Tank is Famous!

Thank you to Maury parent  Robert S. Pohl for writing the great review of Maury's Think Tank program in this month's Hill Rag (page 126). As of tonight, it isn't available online, but will be soon!Your children are truly participating in something innovative and exciting. If you have not done so already, please stop by the Learning Lab or take a moment to check out our Inquiry on Display on the 1st floor. There are a few places for you to interact with our work. Please do so!

Here is a glimpse of last week's Inquiry before you read on to find out what is coming next!

5th Grade students create and use their Interactive Notebooks, a way that they will create portfolios throughout the remainder of the year.

Ms. Overby, School Counselor, works with 2nd grader from Ms. Mallaney's class to determine where his fingerprint best fit.
 PreSchool and PreKindergarten students put their creative minds to work by making "It's Not a Fingerprint!" books. Stop by their class to read them!

Ms. George's 3rd Grade made a bar graph showing the number of people in each of four fingerprint categories. They then used their picture smarts and number smarts to complete mini-posters like the one below. 

 Second Graders complete their "It's Not a Fingerprint!" individual books and investigate, then graph their fingerprints.

So what's next you ask ?? 

Stay tuned for information about the next challenges tomorrow!

Until next time...

Mrs. Ford