Sunday, March 20, 2016

A busy, fruitful week

Hello Families!

This week was focused on giving friends the time they need to finalize their writing and diagrams to share for Exhibition.  It was so lovely to watch students actualize their best work at this moment.  They are thinking and making choices from what they know and understand, and there were so many moments where I was blown away by how thoughtful about each detail the students were being!  I can't wait for you to see this on Thursday!

I will try to make this entry short, since I used my planning time to get things ready for Exhibition and you coming to matte their work and prepare the classroom to be transformed into a gallery to exhibit their hard work!  I will just pick one thing for each, even though there were so many sweet moments!  One thing I want to make sure to highlight is the experiments you can do at home, so I will begin with that!


We performed or looked at many science experiments with candles this week in continuation of our exciting how-to work.  (Check out the reflection page in your email this week!)

I encourage you to look at these links to share this with your child!  (Spring Break is coming, so there is another great time you might find to do these together!)  Many of these are simple and don't require a lot of supplies, and many are things you probably have around the house.

Again, we began by referencing fire safety- since we learned from Analee's Dad last week, we looked again, particularly about candles.

One on how it works...

A fun family blog about their experiences...

A general candle video...

How to create a vacuum- shown by a student...

The same experiment, but with music...

The clementine candle experiment- it really works!!!

Random how to candle projects at home...

Language Arts-

Our sight words basket is growing to include words we need in our writing.  It has become a spelling source and so many of the students have taken this tool on for their own.  When we are writing or journaling I often see students pulling out a word they need, referencing it and then returning it to the basket, behind the letter it starts with.  So many of them are taking this on themselves!


This is crossing lines here- science, language arts...  I can't wait for you to see their work!  We took time this week to honor the students who had finished, and to investigate what styles and features they incorporated in their diagrams so that the rest of the students who were going into their final stages would be feeling ready after looking at these models.  I wrote a reflection page about this moment, too, so check your in-box!


As we continue to practice skip counting and utilizing a number line, I threw in real world stories to see how this looks in action.  This is the beginning of the concept of story problems, which they will do more with in their mathematical careers.  I took a few images of the table I was keeping for each of the small groups, since students at different learning levels were encountering different challenges.  Examples of this were: I had 2 blueberries and my Mum gave me 3 more, how many do I now have?  or I had 10 friends and 2 moved away, how many do I have to play with today?

This work got the students excited to think about what other real world situations have a mathematical story involved.  Caleb's first thought was cookies!  :)  And my first thought (besides- of course, cookies are tasty!) was, "Would the story be about baking more, or eating them?"  Addition or subtraction- it's important to become fluid and able to do both! :)

Social Studies-
Fire safety was important to discuss last week, and it brought up the idea of making sure your family has various plans for diverse situations that can arise.  This week our school had another Safety Drill, and this one was to practice a lock-down, where we stay in our rooms until Christine and Donna have figure out that it is safe to go out.  We have been practicing the importance of quiet so that listening can happen, so that all students can feel they know the information that Clara or I need to give.  These are not lovely situations to think about, but it can feel empowering for students of this age to know that they are equipped to handle this!
Stay alert and safe and make it a fun game to work on you home safety plans!

Well, I will sign off.  I CANNOT wait to get in there tomorrow to begin transforming the room and highlight the student's plans and work.  They are such amazing people, this will be a special night to show so much!

Thanks for sharing these lovely beings with me!  Take care, Jennifer

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