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Striving for Depth of Knowledge

Often at the elementary school level we find ourselves focusing on skills (reading comprehension, phonetic awareness, double digit addition). These are undeniably important, but we really strive to teach these skills while delving deeply into topics. We can check for grammatically correct sentences as we look over your script about a day in the life of a child in India. We can talk about main ideas as we take three different books that include sections on games in India and look for the overlapping information. When we do it right, the skills are gained along with a depth of knowledge that hopefully helps expand the worldview of our students.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Spent a lot of time outside! The children were busy looking for bugs, flowers, fossils and enjoyed reading outside.

* The children came up with new games while outside that they all helped to shape by adding ideas and checking for fairness.

* The children enjoyed water play and water games.

* They explored kinetic sand, fake flowers for bouquets, paints, and water in the sink.

* The children also worked in their handwriting notebooks and finished their India books.

* Everyone started a new round of mini courses on Friday.

Tracy's 1st-3rd Class

In math, most of the class is finishing up their workbooks for the year which sets us up for a little extra practice on some of the challenging concepts and some time to dig into some bigger math challenges and questions. On Friday of this past week, they worked with a partner to build a bridge across a one-foot gap between desks. Our first grade class is solving number grid puzzles and adding or subtracting tens from two digit numbers. Our second graders are continuing to work on partitioning rectangles and practicing double digit addition and subtraction. Our third graders are solving lots of multiplication and division problems.

In reading, we are reading our last books of the year: A Dog's Life, Clubhouse Mysteries: Lost in the Tunnel of Time, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, and Pizza and Taco. We have also been reading some nonfiction articles to work on our fact gathering skills.

Theresa's 4th-6th Class

Things are finishing up, and somehow, we are in the last 3 weeks of school!

Last week, many of the kids made presentations of some aspect of Indian Culture. Tracy and I split up the classes in different ways during this study, and it was a pleasure to work with the younger kids. It was an ESPECIAL pleasure to see my students mentoring the younger kids. We have raised some good ones!

In reading, the eldest readers, who are continuing Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babitt, read by themselves each day, and then came to our group ready to talk about the text. We then read a chapter or two together. The younger readers are enjoying The Twits by Roald Dahl and Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.

In math, we are enjoying the accomplishment of so much of our curriculum and are having fun exploring. I am making time to share with them the math that I find interesting and exciting. We are going to work with population models and worldwide distribution of resources.

India Presentations

This week we learned about Indian holidays, toys, games, food, traditional dress, and what a typical day for a kid might be. The children learned how to wrap a sari, tasted mango lassis, and played Kabbadi. I had one of our younger students ask at the beginning of the study if we could travel to India on a field trip - we didn't get to do that, but we certainly did get to know the culture a little better (and even did a little time traveling with one of the groups).

A New Round of Mini Courses

Thank you to all of our teachers of this last round of mini courses. Kids chose from: Macrame, Fun Physics, Slimy Science, Nature Art, and Movie Making Fun.

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