It's one of those phrases that I've been reading and hearing more in the world of elementary
education. There are studies that show that children who are exposed to ideas about saving, budgeting, and spending money are better able to manage money as they become adults. It makes sense that this is not an intrinsic knowledge but something that is gained through experience. A trip to NBT Bank and a program with Jamie Casterlin, the bank manager, seemed like a great opportunity to start to build this understanding. Jamie showed us all around the bank, including the process for making a deposit, the vault with its massive door, the safe deposit boxes, and the drive-up window. Then we went to her conference room where she taught a lesson about how making choices that are good for the environment can also help us to save
money, like using a reusable water bottle and lunchbox rather than their throw away counterparts. When we got back to the classroom, the children crafted a thank you note for Jamie, and one of the most important parts for them was asking the question, "Can we come back to visit you again sometime?" I call that success.
Theme: The Haudenosaunee
I was lucky enough to watch another talented teacher and master storyteller work her magic with the class on Wednesday. Nancy Payne has spent 30 years working at Five Rivers Educational center and kindly shared some of her wealth of knowledge with us (http://nancymariepayne.blogspot.com/). While her tale of how the stars and moon came to be is not a Haudenosaunee legend, the children noticed some great parallels between this story and some of the Haudenosaunee stories we have told. This week we learned about The Boy Who Lived with Bears, The Woman Who Fell from the Sky, How Buzzard Got His Wings, Raccoon and the Crayfish, and The Star Dancers. We continued to add to the L (what we learned) in our KWL chart. We searched for information from pictures, diagrams, and text about the foods the Haudenosaunee gathered, hunted, and grew. One child asked about how they got the seeds to grow corn which led to a really interesting discussion about how and why plants were domesticated. They had some interesting theories, and everyone agreed we're lucky to have so many foods that we know we can safely eat.
"Tracy picked 8 carrots from the garden, and then her bunny ate 3 of them. How many were left?" For those of us who are fluent in math, this hardly presents a challenge, but number stories are a big part of our elementary math curriculum. Different students are ready for bigger numbers or problems with multiple steps, but all the children have room for learning around these stories. Sometimes I challenge them to solve the questions mentally, and sometimes we use our lap chalkboards. This sort of practice is great to do all the time. I ask them questions about how many boots are in our line, how many more chairs we need to provide everyone with a seat, and how many more children have oranges than apples for lunch. This is a great skill to practice at home or in the car in small doses.
Enjoy your 3 day weekend!