4th/5th: Week of Feb 26

General News

  • Keep up the work on your student Rock Journals (Due Next Thursday–March 7th! Forgive the typo we mentioned via email that showed a Friday due date.)
  • The Gammas really worked hard and had lots of creative output this week. We ended the week on a really high note. We got many different projects wrapped up across content areas but the tone was light-hearted. The days seemed to be filled with a little extra Gamma-giggles, while still getting tasks accomplished with care/creativity.
  • We will send an optional P&P homework next week. To help you incentivize at home, we’ll pay a nice chunk of Gamma bucks for completion. (AND, also support you if you’d like your child to enjoy that lovely AHB work/rest balance and skip P&P altogether! We support you both ways.)

Reading/Writing Update

In ELA this week we continued to plug away at our opinion writing. On Monday we spent time brainstorming a list of things we have strong opinions about. We discussed that your writing will be better and more fun if you pick something you’re genuinely interested and passionate about! Some Gammas picked topics they already know a lot about and some picked topics they will need to spend a little time researching to learn more about. On Tuesday we started writing an introductory paragraph. This introductory paragraph is deceptively tricky! It contains a brief hook for the reader, and thesis statement, and a list of 3 reasons why you believe in your opinion. I think this is tricky because the kiddos are tempted to explain everything right then and there, however that comes next in the body of the essay – which we started drafting on Wednesday and Thursday. As we drafted some kiddos realized they didn’t know enough about their topic, or couldn’t find the right resources, or simply found something they’re more interested in! We love to see kiddos changing their mind, trying new things, and exploring during the writing process!

Math Update

We had a productive week in math class. Year 1 students continued working on geometry, including proving the “magic number” of triangle angle sums by crafting triangles, ripping the corners off and repositioning to make a straight angle (180 degrees!) It’s a really fun, powerful lesson. Next, Professor William taught us how to make “zines” (folded mini brochures) and we crafted mini-books to learn the attributes of six different quadrilaterals. At week’s end, we worked on finding lines of symmetry in different polygons and crafted an art project (using paints or markers) to turn our names into symmetrical art pieces using an art technique taught to Ms. Lorrie by Professor Naomi (Scarlet’s mom!) while she saw Ms. Lorrie struggling with other methods during cold-morning FAF! (Thanks, Naomi!) It ended up being such a fun little project that Year 2 kiddos made one, too! (Those poor kids tried the same activity last year but it resulted in big blobby glue messes…Ms. Lorrie had not learned the new charcoal technique yet! So, it was fun to re-do a flop from last year. It helps show the kids “growth mindset” in action!) Year 2 kids also continued to graph basic linear functions (two-step equations, even!) and they created some graphs for art to hang in the classroom.

Theme Update

We started the week with an ‘egg hunt’ style escape room to help kids review all the major geological concepts we’ve covered so far–earth’s layers, plate tectonics, weathering/erosion. We worried the activity may prove to be too challenging as it was a wee bit above-level (both in text length and comprehension level) so we gathered the Gammas into collaborative groups and they nailed it! All groups stayed resilient and took the challenge in good stride when stuck. It proved to be way too lengthy to finish in one day but by Tuesday it was time to move onward to fossils. We explored fossils via partnered work with several different options available for students to learn the basics (each partnered team selected their activity based on interest and learning style) They took excellent notes along the way. Wednesday students took notes during a short video clip explaining the different ways that fossils are formed and the difficult job of paleontologists to “piece” together evidence found in various layers of sedimentary rock. Small groups were given pieces of a mystery creature’s skeleton to work together to piece together and decide what deductions could be made about the creature’s lifestyle. (ie, large pointy incisors implying a carnivorous diet or sea fossils implying pre-existing water conditions) Thursday, we skipped theme to take a stroll to the park and ended the day with an ultra-satisfying project “wrap-up” session. The Gammas were on FIRE!

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