We have had a wonderful beginning to the school year! Our first few weeks were spent gaining a foundation in resources, including the difference between renewable, non-renewable and perpetual resources. We did various simulations and labs to focus on the key point of how resources can be used and misused and honed in on the point that it is up to us to make sure we are both conserving our resources, and making good choices for the generations to come! (Instagram captured our pistachio-simulation where students modeled barbecue cooks from various generations, and the pistachios represented COAL use. ) Students acted as environmental scientists when they conducted the OIL SPILL LAB and read various fictional stories that deepened concepts of the affected lives behind the actual oil spills around the world.
In conjunction with our new initiative this year around the theme of HOMELESSNESS, students participated in our first service learning trip to COMMUNITY FIRST. To connect with what is happening in the classroom, we began our tour learning about all the ways that COMMUNITY FIRST is sustainably using resources and students had an opportunity to reflect on the progressive building structures that are being built to use for future residents (rain water collectors, geodomes, wind tunnels, solar panels, etc.) Then students began working in rotations around the property, doing jobs from helping to harvest basil, to learning about proper ways to cut and care for greens, to helping clean and maintain the chicken coops. Jobs will grow over time, and studies will also parallel the learning of our classroom! I am excited to see what is to come!
Reading and writing are an integral part of our classroom! We have already read our first class novel, ORDER OF THE TREES, where the kids worked on practicing connecting to text (text to self, text to text and text to world), reading to create meaning and learning how to read with a partner, while holding them accountable for the text (For example, why do you think the character made the decision to doÃ¢â‚¬Â¦?)Students worked together to locate answers, as well as worked on using textual evidence to support their thinking. Read-alouds and picture books focusing on themes of homelessness have also been introduced, enabling students to see how homelessness can be seen through various lenses. Students use these texts to read for meaning, and also write to tackle various essential questions.
To connect with our new service learning project, our first writing project was a creative piece that revolved around the theme of HOME. After brainstorming about the difference between a home and a shelter, students created a sticky note compilation of what made a good story, along with learning about how to peer edit and use a rubric to meet the criteria of a paper. Check out their first stories, showcased in our classroom when you first walk in!
In helping to solidify meaning within our classroom, we have begun making vocabulary squares, as a way to grow our vocabulary. We will use this technique throughout the year, to help in using context clues to make meaning as well as help through more difficult text that we will read this year.
Within our new Everyday Math Curriculum, students have been working on spiraling concepts from last year, along with learning about various strategies to finding volume, finding ways to connect mathematics across themes. We will continue to work in volume, and seeing the bigger picture of these math concepts used in the real world!
In the weeks to comeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦COLONIZATION and PERSONAL NARRATIVES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF COLONIAL CHARACTERS, BOOK TALKS and CREATIVE PROJECTS ON COLONIAL NOVELS, EXPONENTS-THE POWER OF 10, PLACE VALUE, ENVIRONMENTAL SHELTER CHALLENGES with 3-D PRINTING and much much more:)
Thanks today and always- Peace and Love in Learning,