4th/5th: Week of 4/22

General News

  • In the Rainbow room (aka Ms. Ansley’s ELA room) we finally got our TV working! It’s been a failed mission all year and it was very exciting for everyone! We get to bring more variety into afternoons now by sometimes having Theme class in the Rainbow room!

Reading/Writing Update

This week in ELA we explored present-day Nigerian culture in depth. After reviewing our study guide, reading chapter 17 together in class, and having our Monday discussion we moved on to learning all about Pidgin English. We learned the definition of dialect (an accent or language specific to a group of people or region) and watched two videos about Pidgin and Cockney – two dialects mentioned in the book – and explored the history of Pidgin English in Africa. The BBC has a section of their website written entirely in Pidgin and we had the chance to explore and try to translate some articles about Earth Day and sports events! This was a fun lesson and the gammas showed a lot of grit working to decode and attempt to write their own very simple sentences in Pidgin. On Wednesday and Thursday we started researching and exploring Nigerian food! On Wednesday we explored selected blogs, videos, websites to learn more about traditional Nigerian dishes and how they are made. Gammas took detailed notes on dishes and their ingredients, with the focus being on creating a balanced menu! On Thursday we selected from the many awesome templates on Canva to create traditional Nigerian menus!

Math Update

We have WAY more ideas than time at this point of the year, so math class has been an adventure of figuring out which projects to prioritize so we can maximize our enjoyment (and learning, too, of course!) Year 1 kids explored graphing: different types of graphs and their purposes, components of graphs (x axis, y axis, scale, key, etc) We built our own bar graphs and dot plots using data sheets for cats and dogs available for adoption. Year 2 students learned a shortcut for multiplying and dividing with powers of 10. Next, we applied that skill to realize why the whole world is in love with the metric system! We used the famous “King Henry” chart to practice metric conversions with meters, liters and grams. We ended the week with a field trip to outer space–kids selected the adventure(s) of their choice and completed the computation to figure out how much the trip will cost. It was a nice way to spiral in some practice multiplying and adding decimals.

Theme Update

The word of the week was Timbuktu! We explored the history of Timbuktu and the many reasons it became such an important part of Trans-Saharan trade. We explored the ancient city through a variety of activities: short videos, partnered reading, and a creative challenge. Students followed the steps of this interactive image to begin research. They were tasked with taking notes along the way and if you could just SEE the quantity/quality of the notes taken this week it would bring a tear to your eye. It was so cool to witness the stamina growth in the area of research and note-taking. The Gammas did a remarkable job! We continued exploring Trans-Saharan trade through a few articles and a webquest. The students are poised and ready to turn their notes into a short write up that will complement an embroidery craft we will begin next week. We can’t wait to start the art part of this 2 week project!

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