4th/5th: Week of Oct 16

Reading/Writing Update

This week we got busy with researching for our biography writing projects! Gammas chose their topic (person) and were provided with printed information about them to peruse and highlight. Some Gammas realized that people they were interested in are very private (the creator of Fortnite) and therefore might not make for a compelling essay. Other Gammas realized that sports figures in particular have a lot of tedious information about their sports careers to wade through. All in all, this has been a great lesson in how to digest information and think about the reader you are writing for! We ended the week by reviewing the sections we’ll be covering and putting bullet pointed facts from our research into our writing journals. Bullet pointing the facts is very important to make sure our research gets rephrased into our own language – it is very tempting to just copy someone else’s words!

Math Update

We started the new quarter diving into new skills for both groups. Year 1 students began exploring the wonderful world of fractions: we started with vocabulary and moved onward to naming fractions and creating equivalent fractions using the “big sister/little sister”–whatever you do to the numerator, you must do to the denominator. (Otherwise known as the “do-do” rule!) We did a hands-on activity using pattern blocks where kids could better explore how the size of the whole and the pieces determines the fractional amount. Year 2 started the week off with factorization. We made factor rainbows (to find all the factors of a number) and learned how to identify prime/composite numbers. Later in the week, we played with divisibility tricks to make next week’s prime factorization a little easier. Both groups worked on their covers/branding for their multiplication candy shop projects using AI-created images in Canva. They are coming out filled with lots of imagination and creativity!

Theme Update

We launched our new Theme unit on Tuesday and the Gamma’s were curious, engaged, and already asking so many questions! They are incredibly excited to learn about different cultures and ways of life. We started off learning about pre-contact/colonization ways of life. Hierarchies, ways of being in community, family structure, and economic structure were covered. We learned that Indigenous Peoples had no form of money and instead used a trade system to make sure everyone had the goods and services they needed. Gamma’s learned about common items that made daily life possible and spent a delightful day crafting their own items. Food, decorative items, weapons, and even toys for the children were made. We then had our very own trading market where we tried to make even trades based on effort, usefulness, and the purpose of the item. It was a huge hit and tons of fun!

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