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Inventing Insects

"These are the eggs. This is the larva. They're both green like the leaf of the plant where they live. This is the pupa - it makes a chrysalis. And this is the adult butterfly!"

All of our kids are pretty excited to share the insects they are inventing. The above words were from a third grader, but even some of our PK kids were talking about metamorphosis and adaptations! All of the kids drew their insect's life cycle, and then used modeling clay to make a 3-D model. Many of the older kids did some research to see if their insect was more likely to have a complete (4 stage) or incomplete metamorphosis (3 stage) based on their general type (i.e. butterflies, beetles, wasps, etc.). We even delved a bit into root words as we looked at hemimetabolous and holometabolous. I love when all of this learning happens in the context of a project that generates so much excitement. We'll be sharing all of our insects either at the talent show on Friday or next week at our end of year celebration.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Used stretch bands to see how far they could make the bands go.

* Worked with watercolors and used straws to blow the paint around the paper to create interesting pictures!

* Read bug "look and find" books.

* Explored different types of slime.

* Made bracelets with beads and pipe cleaners for friends and families.

* Worked with clay, crayons, oil pastels, dry grits.

* Collected bugs in nature jars then drew what the bugs looked like in little books.

* Made cupcake liner bugs!

* Worked with pattern blocks, wooden blocks and dominos.

* Had week 2 of mini courses.

* Letters of the week I and K!

* Explored kinetic sand, vinegar, and baking soda.

*Started talking about things they are excited about for Summer.

Tracy's 1st-3rd Class

In math, most of the kids are working on individual math projects and continuing to practice a few key concepts. Projects this past week included coming up with a yearly budget for dog ownership (figuring out the food cost presented some particularly fun math challenges), tessellations with pattern blocks, and building bridges and seeing what sort of coin load they could carry (and then modifying them and trying again and again). A few of our students are still working through their math workbooks, completing the last few lessons.

In writing, we finally got to use our nature journals, and then the smoke rolled in, and we had to put that on pause for the rest of the week. We did some free writing, told a few group stories, and played the Writing Drawing Game. If you've never played it, ask your child to introduce it to you. It's a great one for intergenerational gatherings (if you have any non-writers they can always team up with a writer).

In reading, we are working to finish all of our chapter books by the end of the year. We have really been enjoying Ryan T. Higgins' "Bruce Books" during our read-aloud time with Morgan's class. It's fun to see how an author can develop characters across multiple picture books.

Theresa's 4th-6th Class

How to end a year?

With the things that we love.

In math, Theresa has been teaching everything that she has not had time to teach yet this year, as she was trying to keep up with the pesky textbooks. She invited the third graders in for the day to do a class on wealth distribution. Did you know that the top 10% of the US population controls 70% of the US wealth. They also did an activity to understand how the population of the world is distributed. The kids were surprised to learn that the US comprises less than 4% of the world's population.

In writing, the kids were given one direction: Make a plan and stick to it. One child is writing a play. Several are working on fiction. A few others are writing letters to their favorite stars.

In reading, we are finishing up Tuck Everlasting, The Twits and Number the Stars.

It has been lovely!


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