I hope everyone is enjoying this blustery weather! It is really feeling like fall. I can't wait to get the Turquesa kids outside this week. Last week, I was happy to notice students using our covered patio and bistro table as fresh-air work spaces and places to relax. There is a tremendous amount of focused, concentrated work going on in the classroom, and it is a joy to help children notice their need to get up and go outside once in while.
I have a couple of quick pieces of information to bring to your attention.
First, homework includes Wordly Wise Lesson 4 Reading Comprehension and preparation for the vocab test on Friday. I highly recommend that all children practice their vocab words throughout the week in order to be ready. You can go to http://www.wordlywise3000.com/ for practice games. Other homework includes lit book reading, spelling practice, Rocket Math practice for 5 minutes a day, and selecting a new Choice Book.
Next, on Friday, October 31, we will have class and individual pictures. There is information about this in your child's homework folder. Friday is also Halloween. We do not have candy or costumes at school. However, we do have Spooky Lunch. This year, a committee of students is in charge of planning and decorating for Spooky Lunch!
Also, as a class, we have decided to acquire 2 rats as classroom pets. We are in the middle of discussing how to raise the funds we will need to buy the habitat and equipment. We decided that it will feel really good to raise money through our own effort to get what we want. The students talked about the difference between "want" and "need." This is an amazing opportunity for the class community to set a goal and work together to achieve it. They children will a profound sense of pride and accomplishment when they earn the money they need, and will feel an overriding sense of ownership and responsibility for our new pets. Stay tuned for more information!
hope you are enjoying the rainy weather! We are certainly dodging raindrops here on campus this week.
We are having a fun week in Turquesa. Yesterday, the Pacific Science Center brought their Rock-n-Roll exhibit to Indigo. We had a fun hour exploring all things related to rocks, minerals, plate tectonics and volcanoes. I personally was amazed to see fluorescence in rocks - some minerals glow under a black light! Yesterday’s experience was brought to us by the Parent Association and we are incredibly grateful!
On Friday, we are doing a cooking project. We’ll be making pumpkin soup. Tomorrow we are going to roast our own small pumpkins and we are looking forward to our scrumptious fall pumpkin delight. We will also be making crostini (crunchy baguette slices). Karolina, Iza’s mom, is shepherding us through this process and we are so grateful! We would love for one or two children to bring in baguettes. If your child would be able to do that, please let me know.
Everyone in Turquesa is working hard to complete their history research. We are living in a world populated by Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Jutes and Franks. The students are digging deep into our resources in order to gather information and understanding about these cultures that form the basis of modern Europe.
In geometry this week, the Fourth Graders are playing around with equivalence, congruence and similarity using the constructive triangles. After yesterday’s lesson, I asked them what they wanted to do for their follow-ups. I asked, “How do you want to deepen your own understanding and what sounds like fun?” They all decided that they will re-present yesterday’s lesson to a Fifth Grader. They are so excited to become the teachers of their elder peers! As a teacher, I’m thrilled for the Fourths and also for the Fifths (because a bit of review is always a good idea!).
The Fifth and Sixth Graders are continuing their geometry work on area. Yesterday, we started to explore the idea of how to understand the area of a triangle. During the lesson, it became apparent that each of the students is a little hesitant in their ability to name triangles by sides and angles. So we put the area work aside for a week and we’ll be focusing on triangle work instead. In effort to help the students get energized and excited about triangles, I told them that next Tuesday we will have a triangle quiz. We rarely have quizzes, so it can feel like a fun and interesting format for the students. It also gives them a glimpse into a different style of education (they’ll get to visit a traditional classroom for 20 minutes). I gave them all kinds of ideas and tools for how to practice and review the triangles. This will be an interesting experiment of sorts. And I’m excited to hear from the students about their experience with this alternative format.
In homework this week, your child should be completing Part 1 of Wordly Wise Lesson 4, reading their lit book assignment and thinking about a new Choice Book for this month. In addition, daily Rocket Math practice makes a huge difference and spelling practice too!
hope you've been enjoying your weekend! HarvestFest was really fun, and it was such a pleasure to see so many of you there.
Turquesa is truly feeling settled these days. One of our more exciting undertakings last week involved our weekly geology lesson. As you may know, we are learning about rocks and minerals. Last week's lesson focused on the difference between rocks, minerals, and crystals. We are following a specific sequential curriculum sequence that is completely hands-on and investigatory. Geology lessons happen with small groups; every student belongs to a team of 4-5 people that they meet with weekly for a lesson with me and then share follow-up work with teammates. During our first geology lesson, each team gave themselves a name. Our teams are Mineral Miners, Gem Miners and Group Geode. I recommend that you ask your child about their team and their geology experience.
In other learning news, we formally began our Nanowrimo preparation lessons this week! For more information about Nanowrimo (in case you missed curriculum night on Tuesday), please go to: http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ or send me a quick email. This is a huge undertaking and we are pretty excited about it!
This week, there are a small handful of logistical things I want to bring to your attention...
First, we have a library trip this Wednesday from 9:45-11:30. Please send your child to school on Wednesday with his/her library books and their library card. Before Wednesday, please go to http://kcls.org, use your child's library account number and pin to sign in, then check to make sure that their account is in good standing. If you would like to drive us to the library on Wednesday, we would be excited and grateful for your support.
We will have our Spelling Pre-test tomorrow, Monday and your child will bring home new spelling words in their homework folder tomorrow. We will have the weekly Post-test on Thursday, as usual. I strongly suggest that you help your child practice spelling words daily using one or more of the fun games we have provided over the last month in the homework folder. Spelling words are rapidly becoming much more difficult at many different spelling levels and dedicated practice is essential.
Last Thursday students brought home their Choice Book Project Guidelines. This book project is similar to a book report, but with a variety of fun options to choose from. Over the course of the last three and a half weeks, students should have been reading an independent book of their own selection. This is considered their Choice Book and it is the basis for the project. Projects must come to school on Friday morning to be presented to the whole class.
Speaking of projects, on Thursday I introduced students to the new in-class history project on the Early Middle Ages. I will be handing out the project guidelines on Monday afternoon, and I will email them out to you then as well.
Thank you for the continued support!
Last week was incredible in Turquesa. It felt good to get back in the groove after IslandWood.
We extended our trip to IslandWood this week by spending as much time outside as possible. One morning, we started class with a visualization of a walk in the forest, then we took paper and pencils outside to write about trees. On a different day, a team of interested students created veggie salad with a giant tomato (thanks KT Eisler!), and a whole variety of herbs and assorted bounty they picked from our MCH garden. Continuing the theme of meaningful experiences with the natural world, Ms. Amy held music class on the Nature Trail on Wednesday with an introduction to Pete Seeger. The class explored the ways in which we, as humans, connect deeply with the world, the universe and ourselves when we are alone in the woods. It is completely wonderful to return from IslandWood and continue our work in such effortless ways.
Speaking of our amazing trip to the School in the Woods, I will have the pictures from IslandWood ready to share with you soon. I'm pulling them together from several different sources, so that you can see the complete collection.
In the classroom, I found that the students of Turquesa worked peacefully together as a community this week in profound ways. One of the intangible and priceless benefits of our beginning-of-the-year excursion to IslandWood is a deep sense of belonging and connection that the children bring back to the classroom. I see it every day from the way they cheerfully help one another to the calm assurance with which they move from one task to the next.
This coming week, we will be launching our history study of the Medieval World. Students will be creating a Medieval Response Journal in which to record their thoughts and lesson notes throughout the semester. They will also begin their first history project of the school year! I will email the project guidelines to you this week, so that you can fully understand the different aspects of the project.
I hope you will join us on Tuesday evening from 6-8 pm for an exploration of our Upper El approach to writing. Writing is such a fundamentally important and exciting aspect of life for students as they approach secondary education that it is a major focus in Turquesa. We'll have fun exploring the different parts of writing, and talk about our upcoming NaNoWriMo adventures. You are welcome to bring along your Turquesa student, or take them to child care.
In homework this week, students are expected to:
1. practice Rocket Math daily for 5 minutes
2. complete Wordly Wise Lesson 3, exercises A-D only
3. finish reading their Choice Book (project guidelines will be coming home at the end of this week)
4. read their literature book assignment
5. practice spelling words
I also want to say a quick thank you to Karolina, Iza's mom, for her assistance with our Baked Apples cooking project on Friday! Yum!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Ms. Nicole & Ms. Alyx
El Salon Turquesa Co-Lead Teachers