Over the course of this last week, our students had the opportunity to listen (and dance) to Niamh, our piano teacher, as she made notes gallop into our school. They created songs on their computers. They built fires, dug holes, and climbed trees. They experimented with new methods of printmaking. I am so very grateful to the greater community who helps provide all of these rich experiences for our kids, and I am grateful that we have the flexibility and freedom to linger in some of those moments when they happen. Yes, we have a schedule, and yes, routine is helpful for all of us. But it is also a gift to be able to stay and listen to the whole song or take a litte more time around the fire.
Morgan's PK and K Class
*Worked on our Valentine's Day bags and talked about how excited everyone is for the upcoming holiday.
*Enjoyed the older kid's science projects!
*Used our fine motor skills to play with light bright.
*Worked on beginning reader books.
*Sang many songs and learned new finger plays.
*Explored paint, coffee grounds, shaving cream and oobleck!
*Made collages out of different art materials such as magazine pictures, colored paper, oil pastels and tissue paper.
*Experimented with markers and water droppers on coffee filters to create tie-dye like designs!
*Did a look and find with the letters for "February."
*Played many rounds of alphabet and number bingo!
*Enjoyed Wiki Sticks and making things like bird nests, rainbows, letters, flowers, etc.
Tracy's 1st-3rd Class
In math, we are continuing work on many of the big ideas of math like place value. Our first grade class is working on measuring and noticing the differences between using a single unit (where we need to continually "mark and move") versus using multiple units. Our second grade class has been doing lots of word problems and developing strategies for double digit addition and subtraction. Our third graders are developing their understanding of fractions, adding fractions and renaming them (ex: 4/12 and 3/9 are other ways to write 1/3).
In writing, the kids are finishing up their research and figuring out the best way to share their findings. They could choose between doing a book, a poster, or an oral presentation. Almost all of them are choosing books. We have been talking about paragraphs and how we decide where they go in a piece of writing.
Theresa's 4th-6th Class Reading has been, up until know, making sure that the kids are able to decode and make sense of a text. Now that my students are fluent readers, it makes sense to ask them to begin to look at texts independently. This week, the kids had independent reading assignments, and questions to answer based on their understanding of the text. It was insightful! We are going to be working on making sure that our answers are rooted in the text. In writing, most of the students are finishing up research reports, though there are a number of other creative projects occurring, as well. We are going to publish them all this Thursday at a morning Publishing Party. Math continues to progress steadily. My eldest students are solving equations by isolating a variable! It is very exciting. The 4th and 5th graders are working with measurements and conversions.
Theme: Science Experiments and The Erie Canal
We finished off our posters for our Science Fair this week and shared our findings with our greater school community. It was yet another time when I was grateful as I listened to grandparents, parents, and siblings ask thoughtful questions to our scientists. Some of the kids had to try a few times to come up with a workable procedure, and not everyone got conclusive results. That was all just part of the learning process.
We're starting our Erie Canal study, and we did a first reading of our play. Everyone should have a script starting tomorrow, so please help your children to learn their lines. I would be grateful.