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A Stick is a Stick

The children like to play a game where we pass an object around the circle saying, "This is a _______, but it could be a ____________." If we used a roll of masking tape, they might say, "This is roll of masking tape, but it could be a secret portal that leads to another dimension." It's a game that works across all our ages, and it encourages children to think in different ways.

This week I was noticing all the many ways that our children use sticks. They were saws and axes to help grind down some of our older stumps and help make dirt. Other sticks were swords for some brave defenders of a castle. A number of sticks were used in the wooly bear habitat to help the caterpillars climb from the "bathroom" to the "dance floor," and one was a slide in the "playground." I watched someone use a stick for balance as they worked their way across a log. Someone else "rescued" a friend from "quicksand." Our primitive skills mini course built a shelter using sticks. I know I missed some, but I was struck by the flexibility inherent in a stick. They lend themselves to play and flights of imagination because they can be so many different things.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Explored shaving cream, slime sand, bingo dabbers, foam beads, and stretch bands.

* Worked with real sewing materials!

* Worked with watercolors and tempera paints, then talked about the differences between the paints.

* Worked on human body puzzles and listened to books on the amazing human body!

* Worked with a scale to weigh different sized sea shells.

* Played spelling card and number matching games.

* Played with the puppets, plastic animals and puppet stage to create fun shows!

* Watched one of the older kids do a puppet show about sushi, and then sampled sushi.

* Enjoyed look-n-find books and Nibbles the Book Monster books!

* Worked with geoboards and spider puzzles.

* Learned how to use an apple peeler/corer/slicer, then followed a recipe to make applesauce. They also tasted the apple slices, applesauce and apple cider. Next the children graphed their favorite way to taste an apple! We even let Tracy's class join in on the sampling and graphing.

* Played "Pass the Letter" game.

* Had fun in the mini courses!

Tracy's 1st - 4th Grade Class

In math this week we continue working on place value and fact families. We also worked with polygons and our geoboards. In second grade math, we continue to work on knowing the value of coins and adding them together to make different amounts. In third grade math, we noticed how knowing a certain fact can help us to solve similar ones (ex: 15-7=8, so 45-7=38). The fourth graders were continuing their work with perimeter and geometry (rays, lines, line segments, and angles). They also did some challenging work with factors and multiples.

In writing, everyone is working on a fiction piece after completing their research projects. Each day they have some time to work independently while I conference with individual kids to check-in. We focus on bigger questions of where the story is going and how we are telling it. We also spend a little time together as a whole group, reviewing an aspect of writing. This past week we talked about using conversation and practiced adding quotes and proper punctuation. Our writing block finishes with a little time to share what we have been writing, then take comments and questions from the rest of the class.

In reading, the children looked through their own writing to find words they thought they might have misspelled, and we talked about the rules that applied. Each reading group continues to work through their books, currently The Twits and The History of US. Our youngest readers were sorting picture cards into "sh" and "ch" groups. The also continue to work on CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words and word families.

Theme: The Human Body

We started an experiment with bones to see how they might change after sitting in different liquids. We should have some results to share on Monday. We also did an experiment with clothespins to see how our muscles are impacted by doing the same activity over time. We examined our hair and noticed the overlapping scales that make it harder to run up the hair. We talked about sensory adaptation, and then demonstrated what that feels like by using bowls of hot, cold, and room temperature water. We continue to read through all of our very cool books to learn more about all of the amazing parts of our bodies.

Mini Course Fun


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