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Reflecting on Our Learning

This past Friday we had conferences with all of our families. For the first grade through sixth grade, this was a student-led conference. Going through this process with the children is always illuminating for all of us. When I sat down with my class to list all the topics we had covered this year in math, they were shocked and impressed with how much we have done. When they looked back to the beginning of the year, many of them could tell how their writing has improved. "I can write so much more now!" "My spelling is so much better!" We also had some good reflection about the things that are challenging for us, goals for the future, and some of our strengths. It's gratifying to hear them reflect on their learning and think forward to next year as well.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Enjoyed working with fake flowers to create lovely bouquets using a strainer, tall cups and vases drawn on cardboard with holes. Some of the comments were "If I close my eyes, the flowers have a nice smell," "These are like my flowers at home", and "Some flowers have pokey wires".

* Created different types of castles and barns with blocks.

* Walked up and down the stream looking for bugs, salamanders, fossils and clay!

* Worked with play dough, chalk, shaving cream, foam, slime and kinetic sand!

* The children were excited to bring the bubble machine outside. Some children like popping bubbles with their hands while others would run from the top of the hill into the bubbles!

* The sand box was opened up this week. Some children took their shoes off to enjoy the sandy texture with their feet. Some kids were saying "I feel like this is the beach," "The sand tickles my toes," "I like how soft the sand is." The children made sandcastles, dug for treasure and took turns hiding things in the sand for others to find.

* The children also worked in their writers' notebooks and some of the children worked in their handwriting notebooks.

* We listened to stories about India and created our banyan trees using watercolors!

Tracy's 1st - 3rd Class

In math, our first grade class is exploring 3-dimensional shapes like cones, cylinders, prisms, and spheres. Our second grade class was measuring to the nearest half inch and reviewing expanded form (ex: 274 = 200+70+4). They worked on two different techniques for subtracting, using base 10 blocks and using expand and trade. Our third grade class started to develop their understanding of factors. They also reviewed what they have learned about fractions.

In writing, we were doing a combination of finishing our nature journals, preparing for our conferences, and free writing. We talked about hitting the balance as writers between just getting our words down and taking enough time to make sure our ideas flow in a logical way.

In reading, I spent much of the week assessing phonics knowledge in our students. The assessment I use includes lots of imaginary words (like vog) that let me know if a child understand the underlying rule (CVC words have a short vowel sound).

Theresa's 4th - 6th Class

This week was spent preparing for our student conferences. Students are at all different levels. Some of the eldest students created and organized their own reports independently! Other kids created their report with assistance, and others summed up their year by answering questions on a form. Wherever they are, I am proud of the work they have done and the progress that they have made.

In math, the eldest kids were introduced to spreadsheets. The younger kids are continuing their progress to the end of their books.

As our year winds down, I am looking forward to making sure that I can fill their last month with joy. We will be taking more walks, having more talks, and enjoying each other's company. On Thursday, we walked to Stewarts for ice cream. Next week, we will go to the cemetery.


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