On Tuesday my class had their weekly reading session with younger class partners. I walked around the room observing the wonderful connection that these students have with each other. This is such a beneficial activity for both classes.
This week we will be only four pages away from finishing our ecosystem project. I have offered our review of all of this work as an idea for a group of students to do as additional independent project work. This review could take the form of a game or a television quiz show. If no one takes this offer, I will work on this myself. All students are continuing to work on their independent projects with J and K starting daily presentations of technology and the most evil people. K is continuing his presentation of ducks and J has completed his daily fish presentation. J illustrated and researched more than 50 fish! Please help me by encouraging and checking in with your student on their progress.
This week we read a Scope mini play together and each person read several articles.
Our writing this week was about how we spent our break, and our schedule also included personal quiet reading times and math work book pages,
Two animals keep showing up in our lives this year – the chihuahua and the manatee. I found two articles on the manatee which I shared with the class. One was from the New York Times and one was from National Geographic. Both articles connected with our ecological studies of how humans and animals constantly have a direct effect upon each other. I also found a wild statistic in New York Magazine that said that the Empire State Building now that it’s outside lighting has gone LED computerized has gone from 10 color changes to 16 million. We quickly figured that was a1.6 million percent increase!
We saw a video on the Brooklyn Bridge and did two Brooklyn fact sheets in preparation for our next class trip.
Sara starts her second round of food preparation with this week’s group making pasta sauce/baked ziti on Friday.
Following is the itinerary for our upcoming trip. We will take the train from Middletown Station and arrive at Penn Station where we will take the subway to the Brooklyn Museum. We will have lunch in the museum courtyard and then go in the museum where we will see the permanent collection as well as special shows like El Anatsui Gravity and Grace. This monumental work of metallic wall hangings made out of stitched together bottle caps found at a Nigerian distillery and various other art pieces is truly amazing. We will be in the museum for two hours and then walk 20 blocks to the restaurant. Our restaurant is an Irish Pub/Restaurant called Mullanes. We are having an early dinner to allow for our long walk to and over the Brooklyn Bridge (45 blocks). Once we arrive in Manhattan we will take the subway back to Penn Station. There we will have Krispy Kremes and board the train for home. Our 5th New York Trip will be in June.
It is so nice to be back from the break. Everyone was excited to share accounts of their experiences while they were away. We jumped right back into gardening-raking, watering our wintersowing seeds, cleaning up the front of the building and “roping” off garden beds to protect the bulbs that we planted in the fall which are valiantly trying to come up despite being trampled and eaten by the rabbits. Please keep in mind that we will be outdoors in the sun most days and getting dirty so old clothes and sunscreen applied in the morning are best.
We have been reading and writing poetry about animals, working in small groups to create estimation activities, and getting ready to make large cut-outs of the animals we have researched and finishing our Fibonacci books. Apps we have been using this week include Amazing Earth and Merriam Webster Dictionary.
There has been lots of discussion about how little time we have left until the end of the year. We will begin planning which will include a day trip to Kateri for frogging, egg babies, microsociety which will be about the earth’s biomes and native peoples and possibly doing an extended day or one night sleepover at school.
We have had a good week back. Everyone was very excited to see each other on Monday, they couldn’t wait to share their stories from vacation. We also began a new project this week on the water cycle and how this affects the food chains of larger predators. We will be looking at how rain waters plants, then evaporates and goes back into the clouds and turns into rain again. As a part of this project they have begun designing their own imaginative flowers that we will turn into sewing projects. We will also do environmental poetry, art work, and plant seeds to watch the germination and growing process. They all seem excited about this project so far.
We have also started training for the Great Mile Walk by increasing our post lunch walk at the park from 4 laps (1 mile) to 6-8 laps. My class is taking this seriously and is hoping to set the record for the most laps walked by a class!
We welcomed Z into our class as an official New Schooler this week. As part of his initiation, we went over indoor and outdoor rules. One rule that initiated a lot of discussion was about cleaning up snack, especially when it falls on the floor. We were talking about food attracting pests, and I was informed much to my surprise that bears are a real possibility if we leave food out in the class. I learn something new every day!
We’ve enjoyed having three visitors in the class this week and hope to make them permanent additions in the fall.
MUSIC WITH HELEN:
Younger class – this week we are learning a new song in Spanish and English.
Middle Class – work continues on Bebop with Aesop but we really need parent’s help to get the costumes done.
Older Class – we worked on a music/rhythm piece this week which will be part of the end of the year project and next week we will finish that up, and start our variations on a theme.