I hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving and that everyone enjoyed their breaks. We have three weeks until Winter Break, and we’re going to be really busy!
It will feel really good to get in the groove with our routines this week! In history, the children are presenting their Explorers Timeline Team Projects today. Tomorrow, we will be formally launching our study of Colonial America. In language arts, we’ve been examining the parts of the paragraph while also enjoying sentence analysis. In geometry, we have several different groups of students who are learning about different aspects of geometry including the relationships of lines, intensive study of circles, and equivalence.
This week, in a rare group math lesson, we will be learning about data collecting and graphing. The children are going to track their own time commitment to their math studies, and graph their results. From these results, we will draw conclusions about how much time is being spent daily and weekly on math in our classroom. It is important at this stage in the year for children to hone their self-awareness and make decisions based on information instead of vague notions. This graphing exercise will offer an important opportunity for meta-cognition.This is real-life word problem work!
In other math news, we have a new math practice program that we are using to assess students’ math fundamentals and mastery in order to effectively target review and practice work. Most Montessori Elementary students enter Upper El with a firm, reliable foundation of skills that helps them progress rapidly and confidently through math. However, some students need a bit of extra focused support.
The practice program is called Symphony Math. At a school in New England where he worked previously, Mr. Robin was closely involved with the beta test of the program and is guiding our exploration of it. It is a diagnostic tool and also targets practice activities to specific individual math concepts if there are areas of weakness in the child's understanding. It is a web-based program that children will be able to use at home for 20 minutes a day if necessary. We will be in touch with each family to share benchmark information and recommend at-home practice if necessary. So far, students are enjoying their work with it. It is possible that we will consider replacing the paper math homework packet with Symphony Math for a handful of students.
In other essential work, we are formally launching our basic needs drive for Mary's Place today. Turquesa students will be creating posters and banners for the campus, and passing out flyers. We are excited about supporting Mary's Place, and we're hoping you get a chance to talk to your children about their service learning work. Elementary-aged children are really capable of hard work, and can change lives! On Dec. 17, we’ll be delivering our collection to Mary's Place in Seattle.This will be a voluntary going-out experience for the children (they can sign up to help out with the delivery), and we'll need parent drivers whose vehicles hold lots of cargo.
In the coming months, we have a number of important dates for you to keep in mind, and I want to make sure you get them into your calendars as soon as possible.
Dec. 11: Nutcracker Field Trip
Dec. 17: Delivery to Mary's Place (please let me know if you can drive and look for a Bloomz sign-up too)
Dec. 18: Pajama Day in the Elementary Classrooms! (more info is coming soon)
Jan. 22: Early Bird In-Class Curriculum Event - Join us from 9-10 as the children display and share their Colonial Collages
Feb. 25: Upper Elementary Colonial Feast at Beaver Lake Lodge - 6-8 pm
Please stay in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.
Ms. Nicole & Ms. Alyx
El Salon Turquesa Co-Lead Teachers