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Spring Changes

The first little leaves are starting to unfurl on a few of the bushes and groundcover around the school. New birds have joined the outside chorus. The kids have been noticing the changes, and we have been talking about their changes too as writers, readers, and thinkers. We can celebrate all that they have accomplished so far and set some goals for the rest of the year.

Morgan's PK-K Class

* #18 and how many ways to count to it

* made a caterpillars with bingo dabbers for 1-10!

* the letter Ii (uppercase and lowercase)

* contact paper and tissue paper to make sun catchers (they loved the sticky contact paper and ripping the already small tissue paper)

* talked about the different types of bugs and birds that we see in the Spring

* made a "store" outside using rocks, pinecones, moss, sticks on the bench and leaves as our money

* practiced our letters and fine motor skills with geo-boards

* dressed up

* learned how to type on a typewriter!

* started planting zinnias

Tracy's 1-2 Class

In math this week we worked on adding and subtracting tens from double digit numbers. Our second graders started working with double digit subtraction requiring borrowing. For all of this we use the tens blocks to represent what is happening, so that as we practice the methods, we have a meaningful physical representation for the process. Older students paired with younger students to visit our "school store." They each had a certain number of each coin that they could use to buy items and practiced counting coins and making change.

In writing, most of the class is working on final drafts of our animal diaries. As we edited them this past week, they offered suggestions for improvement to each other like adding more detail to create a fuller picture. They are using their "Writing Words" books to develop more standard spellings and noticing phonics rules across words.

Theresa's 3-5 Grade Class

Our students have been working on a history report in writing class which has to focus on some aspect of the Civil Rights Movement. This week, the kids made a plan for their writing, and submitted an outline. They then calculated backwards from April 13 (the due date) to determine when they would have to be done with editing, revisions and a first draft. With the older kids, we want them to see all of the steps that are involved in creating a big project. We want them to know how to break things down into smaller steps and do each part in order.

The kids got really excited by an article on Lantern Moths, which are an invasive species. They read about them, told the rest of the school about them, and posted pictures of the offending insects. They are all on the lookout for them in our area. There was even an attempt at Lantern moth origami!

Theme: The Civil Rights Movement

While Theresa's class are continuing their projects, we finished our theme time work with the Civil Rights Movement this week. We read If You Were a Kid During the Civil Rights Movement, Claudette Colvin Refuses to Move, and Let Freedom Sing. We sang "This Little Light of Mine" and "We Shall Overcome." They talked about how many different people are needed to make change happen - how we need speakers, writers, cooks, drivers, singers, lawyers, and supporters. We also did an activity called "Take a Stand" where the children got to determine if a given policy was fair or unfair. There were some well-argued positions, and some serious discussion about how equal is not always fair. I was proud of the way they listened to each other and were sometimes willing to take a new stand on the issue.


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