This week in Morado, we told the 3rd Great Lesson: The Coming of People, and the children got to try out being prehistoric people on our Nature Trail. One pair was consulting the Timeline of Humans in a tree. Some worked together to build a shelter and others pretended to hunt. We completed our first week of spelling tests, had our first art lesson with Ms. Michelle, and talked about “expected” and “unexpected” behavior. These are terms you can use at home. When we behave in ways that other people expect for a given situation, everyone feels more comfortable and can enjoy their time together. When we show unexpected behavior, it becomes uncomfortable for both the person with the unexpected behavior and everyone else.
Some children brought their literature circle book home. We will be discussing the books on Friday, and some wanted to be read to at home. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen a book; most reading is being done at school. These books are not keyed to your child’s reading level, but to their interests. Please do make sure the books come back on Monday!
Friday we are also going to the planetarium at UW. If you would like to go again with your family, the planetarium has open nights the first Friday of every month starting in October. Check their website or Facebook page for the time.
Also next week, parents are invited to attend Curriculum Night on Thursday from 4:00-6:00. Let us know if you will need childcare. We will be discussing the role of storytelling in the classroom and at home.
The children are beginning to get used to our Green School ways of sorting lunch parts. It is complicated. You can help your child by sending reusable containers they don’t need to sort. If you don’t want to use those, please teach your child which parts of lunch can be recycled, which are wet compost, which are dry compost, and which are garbage. (Or ask them, and research the ones they don’t know.) Enjoy your weekend!
I hope everyone had a great time at the Recess Monkey concert on Friday! We have some very energetic dancers in our class.
This week in Morado, we started with the second Great Lesson "The Timeline of Life." Continuing from the previous week's lessons about the beginning of the universe, this lesson focuses on just our planet and its history. The second Great Lesson breaks down the eras of Earth's existence and the different qualities and life forms during that time period. Students got to spread out the timeline and see how long the history of the entire planet has been and that only the very end of the timeline is where human history is.
We started most of our classroom specialists, with students learning about Spanish, song-writing, and practicing singing together in chorus. P.E. will start next week. We also started our Literature Circles by having students choosing 1 out of 6 different books to read over the next few weeks. After they are finished they will meet with other students who have chosen that book and discuss different aspects of literature and their thoughts about the book. It has been great seeing older students help read to new students with the longer books. This week we also began reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe during lunch to prepare for our Seattle Children's Theater field trip next month. Next week, students will have their first spelling pre-test on Monday and will be bringing home words to practice during the week.
Some lesson highlights from this week were a Noun Key Experience, an introduction to nouns and making lists of different nouns in the classroom with Mr. Ben and learning about geometric hierarchy with Ms. Mary and making larger and larger numbers. Some students going as far as nonillion, which is 1 with 30 zeros after it! Also with Mr. Ben, some older students did some practicing identifying different parts of speech in their own writing and Ms. Mary had students make graphs to show how many people are in their family and how old everyone is.
Lastly, we would like to thank Sol's dad, who did a presentation with both the lower and upper elementary students about melting different metals and their applications.
This week in Morado, the children became oriented to the classroom and were inspired by the first Great Lesson, “The Story of the Universe.” You may enjoy watching the “Powers of Ten” with your child as further inspiration:
We gave a variety of key lessons to inspire wonder and further discussion, including an impressionistic experience of the Big Bang (Great Radiance) we call the “subatomic zoo”, an impressionistic view of stellar nucleosynthesis, a demonstration that air takes up space, a demonstration of matter changing state as its temperature changes, the story of Wegener’s idea that became the theory of plate tectonics, and a discussion of the differences between atoms, molecules, and cells. (Not all children had every lesson.) We read some creation myths and told about Cascadia, the piece of land which docked onto North America.
We also talked about how to identify emotions in ourselves and others. Using a curriculum called “Zones of Regulation”, we introduced 4 zones in order to understand how our alertness level interacts with emotions: Green includes emotions that make it easiest to learn such as calm, focused, curious. Yellow includes higher-energy emotions, both positive and negative, that require care if you’re going to learn while feeling these—anxiety, excitement, and confusion, for example. Blue includes low-energy emotions like sad, weary, and bored. Red is the highest-energy emotions, including elation, terror, and rage.
Have a good weekend! We hope to see you at the Back-to-School Barbecue this Friday.
Ben, Mary, and Nune
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary and Mr. Robin
El Salon Morado Lead Teachers