Sunday, February 22, 2015

Microscopes, A Concert and Necessities!


This week we started with an exciting moment of using the digital microscopes with our 8th grade buddies.  It was intereting to see how things looked so different when you look at them close up.  Items like the sea sponge really looked crazy!  Some things looked totally different.  Which item did your child thing looked the most interesting and why?

That day we also cleaned up the front of the school so that our heart decorations didn't just become litter.  Once we took them all off, we counted them as a group and then I posted a real world math problem:

We talked about making an educated guess, instead of just a random guess.  You see on the board what they came up with and the math behind their thinking.  This goes with one of the math talks strategies we have worked on, which is finding a "friendly number", or a number nearby that you can more easily work with to do some estimation before, so that you can know if your work makes sense, as your outcome has come close to the number from your estimate.  You can see that their estimate was in fact the correct answer!  (With remainders, in this case)

This week we also looked at a little of the history of the Balboa theatre before we went on our exciting and special field trip!  It was interesting to see the images of when it was first built, as one had cars and a man in the clothes of the time. We discussed how this was different back then.  I learned more about the history, too!  It was especially cool, because they happen to have large images displayed in the loby right now, to show more about the history of the building, which we got to see when we were there!

The field trip was a nice one- it always is so special to be able to see live music. This year there were many instruments to watch and we were able to hear three types of saxiphones, one quite large and heavy!  I hope you can take a moment to listen to some of Scott Joplin or Duke Ellington's work, as those are two of the composers we were able to listen to!

Thank you so much to all the families who came on the trip to make it so safe and special.  Other years there have been so many classes coming and going, that I always appreciate so many adults on the trip!  We were lucky to have all of you with us!

This week we also worked on steps for our next project- helping others in the world.  We have been researching organizations that offer help for certain needs and then we chose four to look into and decide from.  The four are: Clean water or food, electricity, school supplies and loans for mothers to start their own company to support their family.  The class discussed the reasons to support each cause, and also who would ultimately benefit.  We began a chart to collect their ideas, and will continue this discussion before voting to bring it down to the two causes we will support.

We have many steps to go in this work, but the students are very interested and feel excited to be making these big decisions.  Below, you also see the kids' papers on necessities, which correlated with our study to help others, as well as this month's song, The Bare Necessities, by Louis Armstrong.  I hope you can come in to see these on the walls, in class, and discuss it more with your child!  (See this week's reflection page and one I am working on for next week, too!)

Journal topics- A story prompt: A teacher who lives in a Marshmellow Factory
Persuasive writing on which causes we ought to support
Reflections and memories on our field trip

Our spelling word wall this week included many shorter, but high frequency words that I included as a challenge so that we can get these correct, since they are words we use so often.  ***Please take a chance to talk as a family about the strategies that are and or are not working and make sure you have a system in place to help your child follow through with their personal agreement to work on the spelling words at home!

Also notice that our list of words that sound the same, but have a different spelling is growing!!!  More on this soon...

Thanks for waiting for this blog post.  My back is still bothering me way more than usual, and I may have to go in to see what is up. I never know what I might have done to cause it, but I try so hard to be careful with my crooked back!  ;)  I did get to a knitting group that I have missed for months, so that was something special!

Have a great day, Jennifer


  1. I LOVED that some of the kids wrote "love" as a part of their bare necessities list.

  2. Thank you for the update! I loved going through all the bare necessities / extras, they show how thoughtful and precious these kids are.
    Hope your back gets better soon.

  3. I love you jennifer and I like the picters uv the bernusesdys and the extra and the electersudy and hou you can mace mun for her famly and her self and the wun waer the clyn woter. (Veronica)