4th/5th: Week of Jan 15

General News

Look for an email describing the students’ at-home theme project: collecting and describing 15 rocks over the course of the quarter. We held off on sending them home on Monday so we could model/practice with students before they started working at home. (Your child should be bringing home a supplemental resource packet to help with identification!) Next, if you are able to help with transportation on Tuesday, February 13th to InnerSpace Caverns in Georgetown, we’d love your help. Fill out this form if you are able to come along!

Reading/Writing Update

A weird week for ELA because of the delayed starts but we managed to launch our new unit on Thursday! We weill be writing narrative memoir stories over the next weeks. Kiddos will have the option to make a picture book or write long form essay. We started our unit reading the mentor text A Different Pond by Bao Phi and making heart maps and/or mind maps about special people, places, and events in our lives that might make good stories. We talked about some of the characteristic of a memoir: it’s okay to bend the truth a little, they have dialogue and detailed descriptions, and they tend to stretch out small moments. Memoir can be a tricky unit but the Gammas seem excited to write these! Kiddos often feel like they haven’t “lived enough” to write compelling memoirs but I know they have lots of exciting stories to tell so start reminiscing at home! Fun vacations, silly stories, and family lore make great memoirs!

Math Update

It was almost a math-free week due to the winter weather, but our plan was to continue practicing long division–first year Gammas would practice their moves with one-digit divisors, year two students would dive into long division and learn how to turn a remainder into a left-over. We were able to get a math lesson in on Thursday which went by so quickly but we were able to get in a little practice! Both groups will be starting a new project next week called “Friend Fest!” It’s a chance for kids to get real-world experience going out with friends and splitting the bill. Division is a tough skill, but the Gammas are handling it with grit and grace!

Theme Update

This week was all about rocks! We started the weed reading Bryd Baylor’s fantastic book Everybody Needs a Rock to launch our rock collecting. We then learned about the rock cycle by moving through stations where they experienced the dramatic and chaotic life of a rock. We did dramatic retellings of our journeys afterwards that we a lot of fun. On Wednesday we did three labs to see the rock cycle in action. We melted metamorphic rock (chocolate chips) and turned it into igneous rock. We then applied heat and pressure to sedimentary rocks (kit kat bars) and turned them into metamorphic rocks. Finally, we attempted to create sedimentary rocks with metamorphic rocks collected from outside with pressure and time (dictionaries and some elmer’s glue). That experiment is still drying over the weekend so we’ll see how it worked out on Monday! On Thursday we had an “open book quiz” where kiddos could use their notes from the week to check in on how much they learned about rock types and the rock cycle and we did our first entry into our rock journals all together with some rocks from Ms. Ansley’s collection.

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