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Big Ideas

I posed the question this week, "What do all humans need? What are basic human rights?"

"Cars. We need cars." This was the assertion of one of our four year-olds. While some of the older kids were quick to offer why we didn't need cars ("Look at the Amish." "There are buses and subways." "People can ride bikes or walk."), I asked if "transportation" should be on our list. As we talked more, the children agreed that having a safe and reliable way to get to school, work, friends, family, and medical care was important. Some of the groups started with a survival mindset - food, water, and shelter - but many of them quickly went broader to include education, satisfying jobs, working toilets, and electricity. They included money, nature, being and feeling safe, and opportunities for fun. It was a fascinating series of discussions that happened in small and large groups over a period of a few days, and I was grateful to have the time to really let them wrestle with some very big ideas.

Morgan's PK and K Class

*worked on the number 16 *the letter Aa (uppercase and lower) *beginning sounds to words *did an Ivory soap experiment *fruit loop counting *explored Wikki sticks & practiced our numbers/letters *had a bakery shop with play-dough *played in the different weather conditions that we experienced this week! *worked on beginner reader's books

Please check folders each day....thanks!

Tracy's 1st and 2nd Grade Class

Along with the PK and K class, we talked about perspective during our literacy time. As we read stories, we considered who was telling the story and how their perspective influenced what we heard and saw. The children had some very creative ideas for how a story would sound different when told from a different source. When we read A Ball for Daisy (a wordless book), I read the story as Daisy. Children told me how the story might sound from the perspective of the ball or the girl who was Daisy's owner. We also read Snow Dog, Go Dog, Diary of a Fly, and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. All this reading and perspective taking is setting us up to write a diary as an animal. We're imaging possible schedules, what a good day might look like, and what a bad day would be.

In math, we have been working on time. We always look at the hour hand first, but we're working on understanding what the minute hand means and reading it accurately. The red book group has been naming, describing, collecting, building, and drawing solid shapes. The blue book group has been developing their comfort with centimeters, meters, inches, feet, and yards. We make collections of things that are 1 cm (or 1 foot) to help us get a working knowledge of distances and set us up for making solid estimates.

Theresa's 3rd-5th Grade Class

This week was very much for re-grouping. We had a lot of kids who were away, and the rest of us just finished the play, so we are at the beginning of new projects.

We are beginning our month-long study of the Civil Rights movement. With the big kids, we are hoping to marry legitimate studies of primary sources with their general love of learning and knowledge. We introduced the idea of investigating primary sources. We looked at images, newspaper articles and quotes from the Civil Rights Movement. I would like the kids to understand that history is the active process of interpreting information, and ideas can be interpreted and re-interpreted, with different conclusions at different times. History is not dead. It is a continual conversation between sources and scholars, who are still working to understand the past, and thereby understand our present.


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