4th/5th: Week of Sept 18

General News

The week flew by again! The hands-on labs make theme so exciting, and we are seeing much cooperation and flexibility from the Gammas. During unstructured times (like lunch and recess) we’re working on helping Gammas practice ways to handle interpersonal conflict for small issues using strategies we discuss during morning meetings. Gammas have been very responsive to this work and have kept a growth mindset and collaborative spirit!

Reading/Writing Update

This week we created and anchor chart together to get a solid understanding of the key components of a biography and to make sure we have something to reference back to as we write. We then set out to interview our classmates to write short biographies about each other. Kids had a lot of fun interviewing, writing, and sharing about themselves! Later in the week we started drafting our own autobiographies and discussed how we will organize them. This will be a quick assignment! Next week we will start typing, editing, and experience the full publishing process in quick and fun way! Some gammas asked if they could put pictures in their autobiographies and that is a definite YES. If you have any pictures they’d like to include please discuss with your child what they are covering in the autobiography and which pictures might be a good fit. You can email them to me or your child’s AHB email address and I will teach them how to pop them into their document next week.

Math Update

This week in math we continued to work on multi-digit multiplication. Year 1 students learned (and practiced) the standard algorithm for 2 x 2 digit multiplication. (If your child needs a refresher on this often clumsy-at-first skill you can head to Whippermathers!) Year 2 students practiced the standard algorithm for multiplication with decimals–with an emphasis on estimating BEFORE solving to see if their answers are reasonable. We also made some decorative “flags” from more-middle-school-ish order of operations problems. We ended the week starting our new math projects: both groups will be designing a candy shop! This will be a really fun way to practice multiplication skills while flexing our creativity muscles, too! We’ll design logos/marketing materials later in the project as a way to talk about financial literacy terms (ie, profit, gross income, etc.)

Theme Update

This was a busy week in theme with different labs and experiments every day! We returned to some previously covered concepts like buoyancy and pH in the early part of the week and explored polymerization on Wednesday and Thursday. On Monday we did a floating egg experiment with salt water and discovered that saltwater and eggs have the same density, allowing the egg to magically float in the water. On Tuesday we did an invisible ink experiment drawing on a paper with one chemical and making the image magically appear by spraying windex on the paper. On Wednesday and Thursday we made slime and bouncy balls with glue and other chemicals from our science kits to learn about how molecules attach to each other to create a chain of molecules. Messy, chaotic, and fun! As we’ve been saying in class when things go awry or get messy: that’s science, baby!

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