Across the board, Gammas gave wonderful effort in all content areas this week. Especially during theme, where the content is a bit “meatier,” the students displayed wonderful willingness to attempt tasks that required kids to push past the proverbial comfort zone.
Sidenote: The Austin Animal Center is looking for handmade snowflakes to help decorate the dog rows for the holidays. We’re paying $1 per snowflake if your child wants to earn a little weekend Gamma cash! Snowflakes are due by December 5th.
This week Gammas had a chance to show off their reading and executive function skills with our novel study! Gammas read 2 – 3 chapters between Monday and Thursday at their own pace and came prepared for discussion on Thursday. We also talked about ways to make sure you get the reading done in time (aka executive function skills). Classmates shared strategies they use to make sure they get work done like: not having screen time right away when you get home, know the times of day they like to read, make a schedule, use work time efficiently at school, and more! We answered comprehension questions to practice writing in complete sentences and had a whole class discussion about characters the chapters for this week. We also worked on drawing beautiful family trees for the main characters in the book and continued with typing up our biographies (almost done!).
Both groups continued to crunch (and crush!) more fraction work. Year 1 students did a variety of activities aimed at refreshing and applying fractions skills (decomposing fractions, converting between mixed numbers and improper fractions, and addind/subtracting fractions with like denominators.) Students completed a “riddle race” and explored an arctic pond via an interactive escape room. Both groups finished up making our “fraction of a name” art displays where students used fraction know-how to create riddles to spell their own names. Year 2 students began adding mixed numbers, and finished the week trying to find the sum of mixed numbers with unlike denominators with regrouping. This can be a scary skill, and all students handled the leap so gracefully. They were hardworking and resilient throughout all of our practice.
This week we traveled to South America to learn about Mesoamerica. On Monday the Gammas completed a research webquest about three main Indigenous societies of Mesoamerica: Inca, Aztecs, and Maya. On Tuesday we completed a compare and contract between the Inca and Aztecs. On Wednesday we read four articles about Aztec innovations in partnerships. We learned that the Aztecs created floating gardens, soccer, red dye, and universal education. On Thursday we took a virtual field trip to Mexico City to look at current day structures and ruins of the Aztec city of Tenochitian. We analyzed a letter sent by Spanish explorer to the king of Spain about the city to learn more about how ancient Aztecs lived.