Saturday, December 6, 2014

December Means Exhibition is Coming!

Hello Families!
Thanks for reading my posts each week and for sharing your children's experiences.  I love reading all your responses and the journal entries.  I appreciate you taking the time to be present in your child's education.

We began a new session of enrichment classes- this term we are in art with Nikki.  This continues to be on Mondays and Wednesdays and this session is in smaller groups, so half of the students go to art while the other half go to PE with Emma, and then we switch.  We are looking forward to shareing more in the coming weeks. What can your child tell you about the activity they did in art this week?

Author Visit
This week we were lucky to have a published author come to visit.  Thank you to Alex, Malakai's mum, for coordinating this for us!  I wrote a page about this, so please read more there.  Henry Herz read a book that is coming out in early 2015- Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes.  He also did an excersize to show us how he plans out a story, before writing (see the board shot for the example we came up with together as a class).  Next he answered a lot of our questions and gave us examples of how he comes up with ideas from looking around the world each day.  Finally, he signed books for the families who purchase some of his fun stories.  The next day, the students shared tips they learned from the experience. Some are on the page I wrote, others I will post here!

Rachel: I learned that there’s a picture on every page of a picture book.  Yesterday he told us, like, how you get a story idea is you look at around the world and you see what you can find, like yesterday I was wearing a scarf and he can kind of make a story about that where when you pull the scarf then I would spin really, really fast and then turn into a superhero.

Piper: What I learned when our author visited that usually in a picture book there’s 32 pages and I didn’t know that before.

Kirana: I learned that the author does the words, he doesn’t draw the pictures.  If you just feel done- if you feel upset at something in it, you can just start another one, and you can just go back when you’re ready.

Katarina: What I learned is you can just write a note down, if you’re gonna forget your idea.

Patrick R: What I learned from the author is that at the end you can put something unexpected.

Clare: Write the words first, because then you might draw the picture first before it comes out in the book, before the character comes out.

Liam: What I learned is that some people can make more than a 1,000 words in a book.  It’s usually a 1,000 words for a picture book.

William: You should always write the words first, so you don’t get messed up so you draw what the pictures says the words.  If you draw and you write the words, and the words don’t make sense, you’ll have to erase. What I  learned about is also you can adlib to the song, like you adlib to the sheep one, he made it like a monster one.

Bayley: I know that in some picture books there’s not any words.  In some picture books there are words.  

Owen: What I learned is if you make a story and it doesn’t’ have humans, and it has something that is made up, it seems more interesting. 

Jack: What I didn’t notice is there’s other ways to pronounce another song in the book.  Like in Bah-Bah black sheep there’s another version.  He made it up. He was teaching us that how he gets ideas and he can look around in the world and sometimes great ideas just pop into your head.

Ethan: You can make a book.

Poster Design
These are going to be such special pieces as they are being so thoughtfully designed.  I created a reflection page on this, please check the class email!  Here is the word web we created to collect the concepts we learned from our research on the internet.  They really connected with some of these elements and I feel each poster is already unique and is showing each student's best effort.  What a lovely gift to their interview partner!

Goodbye Meetings
We said goodbye to Malakai and Alycia, our student teacher who came on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and was so helpful!).  Goodbyes can be sad, but we are learning how they are a part of life.  These students have become so thoughtful in their card writing skills- from the caring words in the detailed notes, to the beautiful and well executed drawings.  I hope they keep this skill of showing others they care, long into their lives.

Math Talks-  Doubles and Near Doubles
The class was practicing how to utilize the strategy of working with quantities you know and familiar doubles.  Then if it is a near double, adjusting accordingly.  We are using smaller, more managable quanities to help us practice the art of explaining our thinking, so that the students can internalize these skills to use when they encounter larger numbers and problems they feel less confident with.

Blog challenge- you will see in the second photo that friends had less options for this one.  The rekenrek is made up of 20 beads in four groups of 5, so how might you solve this knowing how many there originally were on the rekenrek, thinking about what is missing, vs what is there?  Can you go from the whole 20 to find the answer of the drawing ( six beads on top, five on the bottom)?

First Grade Spelling
In the rush of excitement this week, we did not write down spelling words.  If your child can pick some that continue to stump them, that would be very beneficial!  How are they memorizing them?  Any new tips or tricks?   Also BECAUSE has been one that still stumps some students, but they use it all the time!  It's a very useful word!

Greek Play
The sixth grade classes put on their Greek Play this week, and we were lucky enough to be the audience for Rachel's big brother's class' performance.  We journaled about it later, and the Pandora's Box section was a big hit!  So interesting to think about the messages in these stories that have been handed down for centuries.  I hope you get a chance next week to check out your child's journal to see what was most impactful for them!

Well, I will sign off for now.  Thank you so much to all the families who worked hard to get the info we wanted from our country interviews.  The four I have already received are so amazing!  So much info shared and they give great insight on what it feels like to live there.  Next week is going to be very exciting!

Love, Jennifer


  1. I love you Jennifer and I hope you have a good day with us tomorrow. AndI hope you had a good time on the weekend. (Veronica)

    You guys have been doing some great stuff! (Jennifer)

  2. Thank you Jennifer for your wonderful posts and pictures, it is not easy to get a lot of info out of a five-year-old's mouth about what went on at school, you definitely fill this gap, thank you :)

  3. Thank you so much! My son is adjusting, but is benefitting already. Tonight he created his own book and was excited to write in it! I've got some iPad apps to gamily writing and spelling. There is one where you can add your own words. He seems to love it. Will let you know if it helps. Thanks, Wendy