Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Full Week Of Half Days!

Hello to the Families of The Brave Artistic Researchers!

Yes, they have chosen their class name!  It was a different experience than any I've seen because  when we went to hone in on the names and wittle it down to a few to vote between, the kids began sharing that these three words need to be involved.  Then we noticed that on the list, we had written it twice, but just with the order of the words different! (How did we not notice this before?!) Then it looked at the class almost unanomously wanted these words to represent them this year.  So neat!

Mistake Message:
We utilize the morning message in many ways, with me doing a different activity around it each morning.  The bigger goal is to lgive consistent practice in investigating language arts skills, putting students in the role of highlighting or pointing out tips or spelling nuances.  The activity that may be the most popular is the Mistake Message.  I wonder why they love it- maybe it's that they love having challenges!  I write on the top right how many mistakes there are and the students take turns sharing what they noticed, or what they think it ought to be.  We honor those who notice that something is wrong, even if they don't know what it ought to be because this is an important skill in their ability to edit their work.  We often need to be able to notice what doesnt seem right, in order to be able to seek out the answer (lately many have been using the dictionary more when editing!) or get help, or get feedback or ideas to fix our work.

This week the students found all but one of the mistakes.  I usually choose the mistakes according to the types of reminders I have been recently giving to students as they write and journal.    Since the class was stumped, we thought we would add this to the blog so that maybe you can together try to find the mistakes, and maybe identify the final (so-far) unidentified one.  Also, since I am human, there may be more mistakes...

As with all homework, please keep in mind your child's needs and learning level.  Some friends benefit from the Mistake Message by hearing the tips as the other students notice or say the correct spelling.  If your child is in this phase of their learning, there may not be a need to take on this challenge at home!  Warning: this last unidentified mistake is tricky because the proximity is not as it usually is.  Also, here is a clue: it is a mistake that many friends often make in their journal writing!
First Grade Spelling:
So much writing this week that so many words came up!

Math Talks:
We use the structure of math talks throughout the week when we run into authentic math problems in our lives.  For instance as we tallied up the mistakes we found, the class enjoyed identifying how many mistakes were left to be found.  Here is one way Lucy explained how she knew that we had 7 mistakes left to find, after we had already found 9.  I am still learning the best possible way to draw or write out their thinking, so hopefully you can see what she explained that she did or saw.  She used her prior understanding of place value and the fact that 16 is made up with 10 and 6.  She then knew that if we were at 9, that there was 1 missing from the 10 bundle (of 10 and 6) so she gave that one missing to the 6 to get 7.  These have been great discussions for the students to see the flexibility we can have with grouping and collecting quantities to work with our prior knowledge or understanding.

This week's math talks involved many doubles.  The students are realizing the value of knowing their doubles, so they can utilize that knowledge to get them up to a quantity or to piece together a quanty.  I am enjoying hearing how their brain works to solve an equation.  

Other Random Math Problems:
(Math is everywhere, and that's the fun of it!)  This week, we were talking about something and a friend jokingly said that we just want to do all our ideas and work 200 hours a day.  Then others said that was impossible since there are only 24 hours in a day.  I pointed out that we actually had less than 24 hours, since we have to sleep.  This brought up the question of how many waking hours we have.  Many friends shared their varying bed and waking times, so they discovered that we might not have the same amount of sleep.  The class wanted to give themselves these challenges as homework:
1)  How many hours a day, out of 24, do I sleep?

2) If you sleep that many hours, how many hours a day am I awake?

There are many ways to tackle this, some students like to use manipulatives to solve things, others like to draw the amount and group in their drawings by circling or using colour.  I also wanted to offer you an image that maybe the students could colour in- to at least help them solve the first question...  You and your child can also write the numbers in, too.
Another homework Idea:
The friends had a great discussion around our library organization work.  We are thinking more about the fact that even when we agree on an organization plan, and every book is put away in it's spot, how can we keep it that way?  What jobs or roles might we need and how would this rotate?  What would the goal be of those with that job?  How will this help everyone feel able to do these roles?
Many friends had so many ideas that we ran out of time.  I asked if friends might want to journal draw and write about how they think this could look.  If your child does this homework, please have them bring in their proposals to share with the class!

Safety Drill:
Today we had an earthquake safety drill.  We ducked and covered, and then walked out to the safety zone to do a roll call to see if everyone was safe before we got the "all clear".  The important part with this is to remain quiet so that everyone can hear any directions or words the teacher might need to give in an emergency.  We are practicing walking in a line of twos so that our line is not long and we are all close together and everyone can hear my directions or safety calls.

Thsi might be an invitation for you as a family to talk about making or reinforce your own family safety plan.

I am working on a page about this!  It was neat to see how vested the students were and how excited they are to be doing this with a friend.  They are practicing note- taking skills, and also how to make thier paper usefull for when they do their presentation about that person.

This Week's Journal Topics:
Texas research- depicting what we learned
Halloween Party Planning Proposals- what new ideas can we come up with?

Open Choice Work:
Estimation Jar- grouping and assessing quantities to make more educated guesses
Surveys- what new info can you learn from making a survey and documenting in on a graph?
Story editing and organization
Seed pods- why are each plant's seeds different?
Social Studies- Texas, Australia, China, Isreal
Message Writing- practicing the skills we worked on last week on your own!
Cuisenaire Rods- Organizing your equation to be readable and correct
And so much more...
Here is a glimpse:

Thank you so much to all you families for coming to make the Student Led Conferences so special.  Each of your children has done such an honest and thoughtful job of created goals and sharing their work.  I feel so lucky to know your children and you dedicated families!  Have a fun three day weekend!  I am off to Goleta to visit my family and especially see my 3 nieces and 1 nephew.  They are growing so fast!  I may also get to the thrift store to find the dress I need for my Halloween Costume!  Exciting!

Love, Jennifer


  1. Thank you The-Brave-Artistic-Researchers' teacher!
    It is amazing how much they are learning in a single week!
    Hope you enjoy the time you spend with your family this weekend! You definitely need the rest!

  2. Hi Jennifer. Veronica says, "I love you Jennifer. I hope you have a good today tomorrow with me." We found the missing error in your morning message. The T in Today should be capitalized. Also, Veronica sleeps 11 1/2 hours per night, therefore, she is awake 12 1/2 hours per day.

    Sounds like you had a busy week even though it was short. We can only imagine how much you all will get done next week!