Friday, April 22, 2016

Coins, India and special notes...


Happy Earth Day!  I hope you are doing something special this weekend to get out and enjoy nature.  Each year I try to think of one new way I can impact the earth less, and by doing this slowly, I have gotten to a place I can be proud of.  But we can always keep doing more!  I would love to hear in the comments if your family is taking on a new challenge to support the environment and lessen your footprint!

This was a busy but special week.  PLEASE make sure to read this week's email, as we had a very special discussion that was too big to be a reflection page, but also a great moment to share with your child. They are such an inquisitive, thoughtful, caring and supportive group of people.  Our discussions always show this!

We are investigating American coins and learning more about their quantities and how we use them.  This week we researched the penny and nickle, talking about what the designs and words on them mean and also the history behind each.  These discussions brought up so much more than just coins, so I hope you take a chance to look at a coin with your child this weekend.  Here are some links of what we looked at.  As usual, we didn't read it all and there are so many tangents this research can go on if you want to continue to explore at home!

A cool video on how the minting process works:

Info about the penny:

Info about the nickle:

I also reminded the students that money- counting and using it is a big concept that will take time to assimilate the many skills. I pointed out to them that they will be practicing with money for the next few years of their lives, so it is okay that right now it seems like a tricky concept!

Earth day!  Check out our page this week written about the students' thoughts on what we can learn from observing nature!

Our new Magnetic Obstacle Course Wall!  We are so lucky to have a cool new piece of equipment in class!  We are the first class to have a turn to use it.  Please check out the reflection page I wrote about their predictions of the problems or ways the ball might work while on a vertical obstacle course wall.

Social Studies:

This week we "went" to India!  It was neat for me to learn more about this country, since it's one I knew less about.  

Here is a slideshow we looked through to learn more about the diverse landscapes you can find in this big country:

Here is a slideshow that we were unable to watch, since the district sensor blocked it.  I was going to stop it at about the 2 minute mark FYI.  The first two minutes are great for seeing so many beautiful landscapes that can be found in India!

Language Arts:

The 3-Clues Mystery Box:  We had a situation where a family lost our box, and I have been looking for weeks for a replacement that would be special and durable and work... Anyway, I finally was able to start this ritual up again.  Analee was the name that was pulled this week!  So fun!  Here were her clues:

The students are writing so much more than they did at the beginning of the year!  We have been talking a lot about the editing step- rereading your work and also identifying spelling words that you are unsure of and want to get right.  The helpful list in the back of their journals is growing and it is personal for each student!

SHHH!  The kids are working on messages for our student teacher, Alyssa, who will be having her last day next week.  It is sweet to see what people are deciding to share with her!  I hope that our practice of regular appreciations and of taking the time to write thank you messages moves forward with them into their whole lives!  It feels special to make a beautiful card, and it for sure feels special to get one!  :)  Here are some that were close to being finished...

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!  Love, Jennifer

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