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All the Bits and Pieces

I found myself getting a little swirly when I sat down to write about this past week. Do I talk about the influx of hairdressers at school and the amazing braids and ponytails being made? Do I write about our first publishing party of the year where we read lots of personal narratives and ate celebratory ice cream (even though it was 8:30 in the morning)? Do I explain the proliferation of secret bases, fairy houses, and other woodsy creations? Do I talk about the loose parts play that has been creating seesaws, bridges, and schools? Or do I share how well our older students have been able to hold their parts when we sing rounds this year, including a Dona Nobis Pacem moment last week that gave me chills? There is so much that happens each week, and it's hard to choose just a few things to share. Hopefully your children share some of their highlights each day, and between their words and mine, you get an idea of the whole.

Morgan's PK and K Class *Worked with Wiki sticks creating stories and used them to shape our letters and numbers. *Learned new songs and finger plays for Fall. *Talked about our 5 senses and how we use them during the fall. We are seeing and hearing the birds fly south for the winter, smelling the changing of the seasons, touching the crunchy leaves, and tasting homemade apple sauce! *We made applesauce as a group. We talked about using measuring cups and compared the shapes, tastes, and weight of the different apples. We also learned how to use an apple peeler/corer! *We made beginner reader books for Fall. *We collected different leaves then separated them by color. Next, we counted each group and made a leaf collage!

Tracy's 1st-3rd Graders

In math, everyone developed a survey question to ask the rest of the school. They tallied and graphed their results. We also sorted piles of money and graphed those results (while reviewing the names and values of each coin). Many of the children also wanted to know how much they had, so they worked to total their coins. In first grade math, we reviewed the combinations that make 10 and used a tens frame to physically represent these. The second graders figured out where numbers fall on a number line and developed their understanding of even and odd numbers. The third graders practiced telling time to the nearest minute and used that knowledge to figure out how many minutes were left in a lesson (as well as elapsed time problems).

In literacy, every child is reading with at least one other child. We are learning to look closely at a word and not just guess based on the first sound. We practiced "r-controlled vowels" (ar, er, ir, or, and ur).

Theresa's 4th-6th Graders

During reading time, these students are reading some very compelling literature. One group is reading about Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Prize Winner for her activism around making sure girls have access to education. Another group is reading The Watson's Go to Birmingham - 1963, a compelling historical-fiction novel about family, racism, and the Civil Rights Movement. The rest of the class is reading The Canning Season, a coming-of-age story that has had this group laughing out loud. In all these groups, we practice finding main ideas, talk about foreshadowing, discuss voice, check for understanding as we read, and build other literacy skills. We also get to enjoy the richness of language and stories.

Theme: Utopia

We talked about rules that we thought we might want in our utopias and finalized our school rules this week. Everyone had worked with a partner to come up with the three rules that they thought were most important for the school. We took the list of all those rules and worked to make it more concise. There was quite a bit of discussion about if nice and kind are the same or different. They wrangled about word choice and if specific examples are important. We role played different scenarios to see how the rules might play out in real life. Eventually they had a list that worked for everyone though many children had to compromise to get there. Everyone signed that list, and it is now posted in the school.

We are collecting shoe boxes and fun objects to use as we create dioramas for our utopian communities. Please let your child raid the recycling, the craft bin, or the junk drawer to come up materials that might help.


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