Sometimes as I am bouncing from one group of kids to another, trying to make sure everyone is learning the math concepts we are tackling that day, I wish that I was just teaching one grade. But generally, I enjoy the way our multiage education allows students to learn from each other, practice their skills as they model for others, and make connections across grades. I love how one kid helps to explain the idea of a hypothesis to another or somebody shares a similar experiment they tackled at home.
Lemmings at Work
After weeks of discussions, research, and lots of building time, Lemmings came alive for a few days. They children navigated their clothespin "peeps" through the daily life of a town. Children were picked up on the school bus, people shopped for groceries, doctor visits happened, hair was styled, and a few fires broke out. Luckily our fire fighter got them under control right away. We checked in after the first day to see what was working, what wasn't working, and figure out if we needed to make any changes. The police officer was a little disappointed that he had so little to do, but I took it as a good sign that there were so few disturbances of the peace.
Our New Theme: Chemistry
We talked this past week about how chemistry is the study of matter which basically means it's the study of everything. The kids shared some information they already know about chemistry like the 3 states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. We did an experiment to see if we could take solids and dissolve them in liquids to make solutions. We also mixed a solid (cornstarch) and a liquid (water) to make a very fun non-Newtonian fluid. The kids experimented with different ratios of water and cornstarch to make this very fun substance that sometimes acts like a solid and sometimes acts like a liquid.
Theresa's 3rd-5th Grade Reflections
Your kids are in a groove!
They are all finishing up their first written pieces. We will announce our publishing party before the end of this week. They all seem to understand the necessity of revising, and most of them are glad to try revision strategies! We are continuing to work on the finer points of grammar, but they are making definite progress.
Over the last two weeks in math, we discussed the concept of a formula, and that you can do math with no numbers. They were not very happy with this concept, initially, but soon enough were building shapes out of cubes in an exercise to understand and calculate volume. They have been working with prime numbers and factors as well.
Our field trip last week was nothing less than perfect. The kids explored the Keith Haring exhibit at the Fenimore Art Museum, then sat right down with a drawing pad and markers to create their own imitative pieces. After everyone did their own work, they shared their work and talked about what they liked about the artist's work. We also went to the Farmer's Museums, where our kids met animals, a blacksmith, and a woman cooking on a hearth. Our students asked thoughtful and insightful questions, were beautifully behaved and an entire pleasure to be with.