Friday, November 14, 2014

Shorter Week=Many Great Topics!

Hello Families,

This week we did the best with the differnt schedule.  It was bizarre for me to feel out what day it is.  Is it Monday?  No, it's Wednesday...  So I will share a bit of what was going on this week!  Make sure you look at the post before this one for the Museum Field Trip photos!

Secret Project: Letters to the student teachers and the Lego Physics teachers, as we will be saying goodbye to them soon!  The students are really internalizing the elements to include to make a letter interesting.  Each one will be special to send out lots of positive energy!

Math Talks:
The students are showing the strategy of getting to a friendly number- for instance moving in their mind or grouping a quantity to get to a number they feel comfortable to manipulate.  This requires them to remember later, as in, if they added one to get to 10, and then later they will need to take that away before finalizing their answer.  It is neat to see how they are each trying out new strategies and then testing ones they have seen others try.

The Kindergarteners started to utilize the Venn Diagram style of chart to collect data for another survey.

Story Problems are a fun challenge for the First graders.  Many of them are encountering ones that seemed so hard, but now they feel more confident to clearly explain and show their answer.  Check out this work in the classroom!

First Grade Spelling-
Our word list comes together in two ways- one is when students ask for words or find a word challenging for them.  The second reason a word might be on the list is that while I am reading the students' work after school, I document those words that are higher frequency usage words that they continue to spell incorrectly.  I challenged the students to look at the words with stars and if there are many they do not know, to try to memorize these, before the others.

Reading with our 8th Grade Buddies-
This week we had a calm and special moment with our buddies.  We also used this time to think about the categories we could create to organize all of our story book section of the class library.  We are mostly thinking about making the system as useful as possible.  For instance, we have been thinking about these questions: 
How do you choose a book to read?  
What makes you decide to read a book?  
Are there common themes in books that you would like to be able to find?  
How will you be able to find books you feel are interesting?

The next steps are to practicing for presenting the information you have discovered about your friend, and also to begin the poster design.  This week I asked anyone if they would be willing to practice in front of the class, and Abigail raised her hand immediately!  This image is her and Lucy showing how it might look, so that the others in the class can get their minds around presenting in front of the group.

For poster design, we have been doing research on composition- from Sumi-e painting, to photography, to graphic design, these all share common tips we wanted to learn.  Next week we will begin the desings, using many movie posters and vintage travel posters as examples for how this could look professional, colourful, artistic and well thoughtout.  Here are a few we read about: The rule of thirds, an oval design, the Z, Using the horizon, repeating elements... We will continue to review these as we discuss the photos we are taking, too!  (Make sure you have sent in your photo card for this!)
Here are a few we looked at, which I found on the internet- Which design features are they employing?  
What do you notice?

Interesting Open Choice Topics;
Story writing- editing, incorporating feedback, writing plans or a storyboard to help you remember the flow of the plot points.
Insect research- Pepper Cockroach, Crickets, and a visiting worm (thought it is not actually an insect...)
Using Rekenrecks, cuisenaire rods and gems to calculate and work through equations and skip counting
Country books- researching and journaling about new places
Photography research- what are some professional tips out there?

Journal Topics: What did you learn on the Natural History Museum field trip?
What did you learn from our experimentation with microphones and the guitar and the theremin

Thanks for taking the time to read each week!

Have a great weekend!  Love, Jennifer

PS I thought I would post this again this year, as it continues to be a beautiful moment for me throughout the week- a simple and lovely nature blog (she went to France this summer if you scroll back, and now it's becoming winter in the Cold North of our country!).  I love the simple comments below each image, too.  Often, it makes me think!  Which post is your favourite visual?


  1. I was glad to see Brianna as an example of math talks. I am not familiar with it. When I ask her about it she doesn't know how to explain other friend's breakdown of the problem. Now that her problem was posted she was able to tell me the steps she did to figure out her math problem. Thanks!

  2. I Love your blog posts! All the these moments strung together, the creativity, exploration and wonder of learning come together to make something beautiful! Just really appreciate your gift :))
    As for the nature blog, it was a Hard choice!!
    Spring Teaser - Asparugus
    It feels like an invitation into something or someplace magical. I did not recognize the plant as asparagus, so I could not automatically place the origin. I was able to use more of my imagination.
    Thank you for reminding me about this blog!
    Hope you had a beautiful weekend!
    Will be asking for Katarina and Analee's favorite as well :)

  3. Katarinas favorite was a hard choice! She ended up choosing the Wild Cucumber Wreath. She sugested it would look great on our door for Christmas :)

  4. Looks like another great week! Thank you for the detailed blog entries! Veronica says, "I love you Jennifer and I hope you have a good time with us tomorrow. And I hope you have a good time making the thing for us tomorrow so we can understand the day and understand what we're gonna do and have a fun day."