We are just finishing our first week in our new classroom and new building. There are many wonderful things to celebrate this week. Our new Turquesa feels open, big, and bright. The children are learning all the ins and outs of how to use our new space - where they enjoy working, the quiet spaces, the social spaces.
We are enjoying the feeling of community with Morado, and figuring out how to synchronize our schedules and our auditory needs. The Morado students and teachers are lovely neighbors, for sure!
We are also exploring how to use our new enrichment lab, called El Salon Cafe. This week, we used it for art with Ms. Michelle, for quiet work space, and for science project presentations. Next week, we'll try it out for cooking too!
In terms of learning, this week had many highlights. We enjoyed getting back into our regular math and lesson routines. Everyone received a handful of math lessons. All of the Fourth Graders are now working with multiples and factors. The PA gave a $200 grant from our classroom's SEED involvement. I used that grant to purchase second algebraic pegboard for the classroom. This is a material that children use to investigate factors, multiples, square roots, and much, much more. It has already been wonderful to have two pegboards! I am sure that Turquesa students will be demonstrating math lessons using the pegboard at Math Day in mid-March, and you'll enjoy seeing it in action. We are so grateful to the PA and our parent community for the gift.
In geography this week, students presented their three Volcano Investigations components. In our earth science/geography during the first semester, we've been focusing on plate tectonics. This led naturally and excitedly into an independent study of volcanoes. We offered a menu of nine different options that ranged from "Create a list of serious interview questions you would like to ask a scientist about one type of volcano," to "Write a diary about an imaginary trip around the world that involves stops at volcanoes on 5 different continents." Each child selected three components, used the Smithsonian Dynamic Planet website and the USGS to conduct research, and then presented their finished work to the assembled class. This kind of independent, but shared, learning experience inspires children to ask investigative questions, share expertise with one another and gain the skills and confidence for more complex projects.
In our history studies this month, we are focusing on Ancient Egypt. We began our study with the Nile River and its central role in the history, life and ethos of Ancient Egypt. Next week, children will select a topic to focus on for their Ancient Egypt Projects. We'll let you know all about it next week.
In homework this week, everyone received their Choice Book Project Guidelines. This includes the cover page that lists all of the contents. Please make sure that your child brings their Wordly Wise, lit book and journal, homework and Choice Book Project to school next Friday. Every Friday we have lit circles. Also, on Fridays with vocab tests, we always do a review session before the test and each student needs to have their Wordly Wise workbook with them for that session.
We have a lot of exciting plans at the end of January and February. Be on the lookout for Continental Breakfast on Jan. 31 and week-long theatre residency with Book-It Repertory at the end of February. Expect more news next week!
Please let me know if you have any questions.