4th/5th: Week of Apr 15

General News

  • We’ll head to Shipe Park on Thursday, April 25th. (AHB shirts are encouraged.)

Reading/Writing Update

We started the week off with a review of last weeks study guide again and read chapter 13 together. We had an interesting discussion about what Onyeka needs to do to learn to control her Ike that is different from what she has been doing most of her life; she needs to release, feel, and anchor her emotions instead of repress them! We also practiced summarizing events using first, next, then, last with some major events in the chapter. On Tuesday we revisited our super powers project by writing about our Academy of the Sun house from last weeks sorting activity. We wrote these from the point of view of being a student at Academy of the Sun. We had just read the chapter that shared several characters origin stories so many gammas got creative with not only their powers, but also the origin story of when their powers first became apparent. We drafted these in notebooks and then final drafted them with our very best handwriting for display. Their handwriting looks amazing! Finally, we had some fun with art and illustrating our powers. For those that are less artistically inclined we used some how to to draw videos to help with this process. We also have many artists in gamma that were more than happy to give tutorials. Please stop in the hallway to read all of their creative writing and check out their hard work!

Math Update

We had lots of fun in math this week with many hands-on geometry-related activities. We created custom ‘crests’ (geometric designs) that adhered to the rule of having at least one line of symmetry. Kids crafted their designs with various polygons made of iron-on material and we used a heat-press to attach it to a class flag. On the back of each flag, we wrote a short description of the ‘inspiration’ behind the design and then counted and classified the polygons used to make the design. It was a mess of a project, but totally worth it! Year 1 students crafted a miniature version of ‘shape city’ where they were tasked with designing a city structure (hospital, jail or firehouse) and then calculate area and perimeter of the furniture/features. Let’s just say if you ever need a prison built: these Gammas REALLY had some creative ideas for building a city jail. (Think: trapdoors and lava pits!) Year 2 students went back for more practice on a not-always-loved skill: long division. We took it above level by learning how to divide with a decimal in the divisor. When we were practicing as a whole-group, I invented this huge random division problem (a 5 digit number divided by 28!) and we ended up having NO remainders. (Extra weird since 7 is a factor of 28!) We decided it best for me to buy a single lottery ticket with these ‘lucky’ numbers (divisor, dividend and quotient.) The kids had BIG plans for the ways we could/would spend the money. Thursday morning, they learned a great math lesson in probability as our ‘magic’ division problem yielded zero numbers that matched the lottery. (Great life lesson for the Gammas! haha!) Both classes ended the week with geometry-focused Jeopardy games. The sportsmanship and teamwork was amazing in both groups!

Theme Update

This week in theme we got familiar with geography and religion in ancient Africa, particularly Western Africa. This will be extra helpful next week when they start learning about trade routes. On Monday we familiarized ourselves with the different biomes of Africa by labeling and coloring our own maps. On Tuesday we learned all about the Niger river and its importance for life in ancient Africa. Did you know the areas where people lived along the Niger were so densely populated it is thought to have been as twice the size of London at that time?! We had some fun making advertisements for “land for sale” along the Niger to synthesize our learning. On Wednesday we explored Indigenous religions in Africa and compared and contrasted them to what he learned about Indigenous religion in the America. There we a lot of similarities. On Thursday we learned all about a fascinating historical character, Mansa Munsa, who helped spread Islam all across Africa. For some gammas learning about the components of Islam was a fun refresher course from last years world religion study and for some it was exciting new information!

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