Last week in Upper El, after sharing our history stories and completing the first project of the school year, we turned our history studies eastward toward Europe. We are only taking a brief respite from North America in order to prepare the stage for the Age of Exploration. Last week, we looked at the cultural, religious and economic forces that propelled the Europeans across the Atlantic. This week, we will look at the advances in shipbuilding that made transoceanic travel reliable. Towards the end of this week, I will introduce the second history project of the school: a team-based project to build a timeline of explorers. Throughout our studies, we will continue to connect the arrival of the Europeans with the impact to the indigenous peoples. This is a complex year of history work for us, but I can see that the Turquesa students are hungry and curious and unstoppable!
In science last week, we began an energetic study of fungi with a great Ted Ed video (see the link below - we watched until 3:51) and an hour-long fungi hunt on the hillside behind our building. We were so dirty and so excited to see the incredible variety of fungi! We brought many carefully extracted samples into the classroom to examine under microscopes and hand lenses. We also made a variety of spore prints. In essence, we covered the different parts of fungi and their functions, while also looking into reproduction. We will continue to delve into this life science work throughout the month.
This week we are beginning sentence analysis lessons, continuing geometry work with both equivalence and the Pythagorean Theorem, and conducting mini-vocabulary investigations called Etymology Projects.
In homework this week, every student has a lit book reading assignment and should be reading their Choice Book on a daily basis. Also, students with Wordly Wise should be completing the first half of Lesson 2.
I hope you'll join me next Monday evening for a parent education night that is all about Upper Elementary Math!
Please let me know if you have any questions.
P.S. Here's the link to the fungi video: http://ed.ted.com/featured/u5TXiYXi