We had a wonderful week in the elementary classroom. Students were able to enjoy some snow on Monday & Tuesday, but we were glad to have our leafy playground back by mid week!
We were visited by a group of 6th graders from Freeport Middle School on Thursday. The students are working on a community service project and we were honored to be a part of it. The students picked up trash on our playground and spent time reading to the elementary students – and being read to by the elementary students. They enjoyed peeking around our classroom and were surprised to see that our 3rd & 4th year students are doing some of the same work they are doing in their classrooms. This was a great confidence boost for our students.
Josh visited the classroom to give critiques to the older students. The art studio has a long waiting list most mornings as students work to complete Bargue plates and other drawing work.
In other parts of the classroom…
Allagash (1st Year)
*The first year students began working with fractions this week. We discussed numerators and denominators by comparing them to our first and last names. Everyone in my house is named Langstaff (that’s the denominator), but we all have different numerators. So one fifth, two fifths, three fifths, etc all belong to the same family. Students made fraction books using halves through tenths. One point that the students found interesting was the idea that there is no such thing as a “bigger half”. They tried this theory out during lunch by cutting sandwiches in half (well, attempting to cut them in half).
*In language we continued to practice reading sight words. We looked for this week’s words in some of our favorite books like Little Bear Comes Home and Frog and Toad. Students also created sight word flash cards and read their word lists to a second or third year each day. Students would benefit from at least 30 minutes of reading or being read to at home each day.
*This week we looked at months of the year and seasons. We laid out a giant timeline of the year (the students will happily tell you that is was so big that we couldn’t even use a work mat!). Students looked through a stack of photos and placed them next to the month or season they represent.
*Students continue to work on addition facts. They took their first timed test last week and are already looking forward to the next one.
Moosehead Lake (2nd Year)
*The BC/AD timeline is a big hit every year and this year was no exception! We learned about the terms BC. AD, BCE and CE and discussed how historians measure and define time. We identified the number of years in a decade, century and millennium. Students used labeled pictures of events throughout history to create their own timeline. It was great fun to listen to the students discuss events and people they are familiar with and to hear them identify the events they are most interested in learning more about. Some of the events/people depicted: Abraham Lincoln, the invention of zero, Alexander the Great, Cuneiform Writing, the Pyramids, the first flight, Maria Montessori and Maine statehood.
*In our other history work (which is considerably more ancient) we explored the clock of eras. This very special clock depicts all of earth’s history. We discussed each era and the important events that took place during each. We identified which major event during each era helped prepare the earth for humans. Students drew pictures of what the earth might have looked like throughout history. For parents who need a quick refresher, you can ask your student to tell you something about each era (Azoic, archeaozoic, proterozoic, paleozoic, mesozoic, cenozoic, neozoic). We used our etymological dictionaries to help us remember the eras. Ask your student what ‘zoic’ means.
*In arithmetic students continue to practice subtraction facts. We used the subtraction snake game to create problems this week. Students enjoyed working together on this new & more challenging snake game.
*Students are becoming quite good at identifying angles. Students set out last week to label all of the angles around the room. They were surprised and to find that all of the windows and doors form right angles (as was I, considering the age of our building!). However, using teamwork, the 2nd years were able to find a sampling of acute, obtuse, straight and whole angles.
Acadia (3rd Year)
*In language we began working with the logical analysis materials. Students used prepared sentences to identify the predicate, subject and direct object. They created charts using questions that help us to identify sentence elements. (Who performed the action=subject/What is the action=predicate)
*Our geometry work has been all about angles lately. Last week students drew and measured a variety of angles to refamilarize them with the protractor. This week they each chose 30 figures around the room to trace and measure. They have tested several hypotheses about different figures so far.They found that all squares and rectangles have 90 degree angles and that a good way to check triangle measurements is to add all the angles together to see if they equal 180 degrees.
*We continued our work with the golden bead frame. Students added mental carrying to their work with partial products. They are developing a script in their mind that allows them to work through large problems. Example: 4,378,919 x 267. 9 x 7 = 63, put down the 3, carry the 6 in my head. 1 x 7 = 7 plus the 6 in my head equals 13, etc.
*We did a quick review of the fundamental needs of humans. We looked at our timeline of humans and discussed the different ways in which the early humans met these needs. We looked for evidence of spiritual needs appearing on the timeline. I asked students if art/music/games/religion were always a part of the human existence. Students have been researching the history of each need – material & spiritual. Some of them created comic strips of early humans meeting their needs.
Katahdin (Upper El)
*The Upper El students have been quite busy with language work. They heard a favorite story of mine last week about an unfortunate fellow named “Isamare Waswere.” Ask them to tell you this story, which I used to help them understand copulas and auxilliary verbs. Students used a basket of prepared sentences to identify linking and helping verbs. If they get lost during the story, it might help them to draw the pictures or to hear some of the verbs (is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been, do, does, did, have, has, had, can, could, may, might, must, will, shall, would)
*Students worked with table C for the past couple of weeks. This table used our previous work (tables A + B) and asked students to list all factors for each product 1-100. Ask your student to tell you which products surprised them by having more factors than expected.
*Students are working to create lovely charts depicting life from its largest definition (biosphere) down to its smallest (the cell). Although, students have been debating whether or not the cell is actually the smallest living structure. Next week we will create edible cells. I think we planned to do that last week, but those upper el students never seem to have time for me anymore! Work, work work…
Would anyone like a little extra fiddle practice?
The students are aware that I practice my fiddle every morning before school. On Mondays I practice from 8-8:30. I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to join me …
Anyone who would like to join me for some morning tunes can come on over to the white building at 8am on Monday. Younger siblings can go to Activity Club.
The art studio will also be open at this time for students who would like to work on their Bargue plates or just do some sketching.
I’ll look forward to seeing some students on Monday.
Please remind your student to practice 3 times before Wednesday.
|Exploring the Timeline of Life
|Working with the fraction insets
|I mentioned these flower boxes on our Facebook page, but they are certainly worth mentioning again. Ina (Matt’s mom) has been maintaining these lovely flower boxes all season long (and donating the flowers). Thanks Ina!