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Finding Our Place

Every December we study geography. It's a chance to learn (or review) some basics on maps and vocabulary like peninsula, mountain range, plateau, etc (while modeling them in playdough). This year we're looking at local geography. We used maps of our "blue carpet room" to hide "treasure" for a partner then mark it on the map so our partner could find what we hid. We have been looking closely at our schoolyard to see where the water flows and how it carves into our hillside (and our driveway). We even touched on plate tectonics as the kids worked to understand why landforms like mountains, trenches, and volcanoes form.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Explored a sand and basil mixture, water, Legos, bubble wrap, clear nature blocks, vinegar and baking soda, salt dough, tangrams and our light box, pattern blocks.

* Worked with pom-poms and clothespins to pick up the pom-poms to put in a jar - a great small motor workout. Then compared whose jar had more.

* Made snowmen with the letters of their names.

* Worked on hibernation books.

* Learned new Winter songs and finger plays.

* Talked about different land masses then created their own with playdough.

* Played with our little people school, played with the puppets and put on puppet shows.

* Explored watercolors and white crayons to see what would happen.

* Worked with Kapla blocks, chalk.

Tracy's 1st - 4th Class

In math, our older two classes are working on knowing multiplication facts, and they all were pleased when they did well on their Friday quizzes (despite some nerves about having a test!). The fourth graders are developing their understanding of equivalent fractions - helpful for adding and subtracting fractions as well as for cooking! Second grade math has been focusing on telling time to the nearest five minutes, solving elapsed time problems, and differentiating between am and pm. Third grade math is all about multi-digit addition and subtraction problems and strategies right now.

In writing, we have been working on a series of small projects. Everyone in the whole school used Daniel Pinkwater's The Big Orange Splot as a jumping off point to create a house that is them and looks like their dreams. My class also spent some time last week and this week pulling apart the pledge of allegiance, talking about its history, and working to understand all the vocabulary (pledge, allegiance, republic, indivisible, etc.). Then I asked them to think about if they were making a daily pledge what did they think it should contain. If you missed your child's, please ask them to show it to you. I was really touched by their desires to help create a world that is truly with liberty and justice for all.


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