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Time for Reflection (and for bouncing)

Between snow days and professional development on Friday, our week was just two days.

On Friday, Morgan, Theresa, and I did some trampoline bouncing because we all know that we can learn better when our kinesthetic needs are met. Also laughing with your colleagues is a key part of staff development. We spent the afternoon watching a TedX talk about reading instruction, reflecting on our literacy program at Country Classroom, and doing a careful examination of NY State's Next Generation ELA Standards for grades PK - 8. It's useful to have an understanding of how the standards build on themselves over the grades and to share ideas about useful lessons and methods for teaching the content. I am grateful for this time for us to reflect and grow.

Morgan's PK and K Class

* Worked with "shine a light" books - ask your child for an explanation if you don't know what that means!

* Explored look and find dinosaurs books.

* Worked in our writers' notebooks.

* Helped clean the incubator for hatching chicks!

* Identified the different parts of a chicken and built our chicken vocabulary.

* Explored slime, "foam beads", chalk, play dough, green water and droppers.

* Played in the snow with spray bottles, water and food coloring.

* Played with our letter of the week with "Andy Apple" and talked about the sounds "a" makes along with how to write upper and lower case Aa.

* Made bookmarks for our friends and family members.

Tracy's 1st-3rd Class

In math, we watched a time lapse film of bamboo growing and answered questions about how fast bamboo grows (1 to 3 feet a day depending on different variables). All the classes continue to work on place value and thinking about numbers in terms of a certain number of tens and one (and hundreds and thousands). The third graders are working on different strategies for subtracting three-digit numbers and checking their answers against an estimate.

In writing, children are finishing up their first drafts of their stories. We have been sharing different strategies to help us get started, and then hopefully, stay on track while writing.

In reading, we have been talking about what makes a book particularly enjoyable to read: elements of humor, surprises, interesting characters, etc. As we read the work of favorite authors, it gives us a place to reflect on our own writing.

Theresa's 4th-6th Class

Your kids have written stories! They are long, and wonderful, and (after some careful editing) grammatically correct. Please join us on Monday to celebrate the learning that they have done.

The 6th graders took a test, and they rocked it! All of them know how to define a variable, solve algebraic equations and manipulate equations with the distributive property. I am so proud.


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