K/1st: Week of 4/22

This week in Alpha…

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All shirts are potential AHB shirts!!!

Around the World in 60 Days…

This week Alphas visited the second largest continent in the world: AFRICA. We plotted our maps with climate information and topography – we plotted the world’s longest river, the Nile, as well as Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro. We learned that Africa is called the birthplace of humanity – so all the Paleoindian people who inhabited North America, had ancestors that originated in Africa. The original humans lived in Africa for thousands of years. They didn’t create boundaries and borders of Africa’s 54 countries – Europeans did! The boundaries often divided ancient tribal lands – which STILL causes LOTS of problems for the indigenous people.

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We learned that art was not a personal expression – many tribes used art in order to communicate. We learned that the Massai and Zulu tribes wore beads that could tell people who they were, what tribe they belonged to, and perhaps some information about their status or position in the tribe. Alpha table teams had to decide what THEIR tribe colors were going to be, and what those colors were going to represent.

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Can YOU tell who is on the same table team by the colors in their collars?

We learned that some tribes use symbols and colors in their weaving to communicate. We learned that the kente cloth from Ghana is woven by the men in the village and they teach their sons how to weave from a very young age! Here’s a link to a short video of a boy weaving Kente cloth. https://youtu.be/_o68hQB9rm4

The child in the video made weaving look so easy! Some of our second year students remembered how difficult it was to weave paper last year, but they were determined to see if they could manage it better with a year under their belts…

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This week our visitor, Ms. Liz (Beo and Pippins’ mom!), came to share her knowledge of Africa. She lived in Tanzania volunteering with Doctors without Borders as a nurse. She has gone back with her family too. She helped us see how differently people lived there, and how difficult it can be to get basic food, water, and shelter. She also told us how skilled and self-sufficient people in Africa are. They use and reuse things they have. She told us how they don’t throw away old motorcycle tires – they turn them into shoes! She told us that where she was, it was the women in the villages who built a family’s home. Men don’t even know how to repair a leaky roof, because they have never had the experience of doing it. She told us that her son Beo thought of all the things the Alphas should learn about Africa, he felt that the most important thing to learn was that we should consider ourselves very lucky to have been born in such an affluent country. Through no fault of their own, many African people face hardships we cannot begin to imagine. We are very grateful to Ms. Liz for sharing her knowledge with us this week, and rumor has it, she’s been to Australia…stay tuned!

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Sky Blue Table was COOKIN’ this week…

They cut up oranges, apples and dates, grated cinnamon and added a pinch of coconut and brown sugar to make African Fruit Salad. To have with that, they made South African Yellow Rice known as Geelrys with spiced turmeric and cinnamon. A common side dish for families.

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Click on this link for recipes…African Food

This week’s Reflections…

This week our Travel Buddies helped our friends reflect on times we use patience at home.

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This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we practices our subtraction skills with a really wild twist: a treasure map! This challenge not only helped us with our computation skills, it also reinforced our map knowledge, and introduced us to graphing grids! Ms. Kim thought we might work on this all week, but the Alphas were so into it, we completed an entire treasure map in one day! These Alphas’ stamina never ceases to surprise Ms. Kim!

Alphas ROCKED Guess my number this week!

Alphas solved the mystery in only 5 questions!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ms. Eliza’s group…

After our past two weeks studying time we’re now exploring how measurement is applied to height, length and width.. We started by exploring estimations and learned that estimations are educated guesses. How far do you think you can jump? How many doors are there in the AHB hallway? Were some of the questions we asked ourselves.

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We then worked in teams to measure using units of different sizes…


It wasn’t enough to measure how many domino units 11 rulers add ups to…

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we had to measure how many kid lengths too!

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This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Eliza’s group…

Two highlights in our writing and reading practices this week were reviewing sight by playing “I have.Who has?” It was so fun we all want to do it again next week.

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The other is reading and discussing African folk tales. Deepening our discussions

Of what we read includes characters, settings, predictions, schema (what knowledge we use to make our predictions) vocabulary we haven’t

heard before, and retelling what we read or what meaning it has as a folk tale.

One book we read this week was…

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Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we worked on vowel teams “ee” and “ea,” and discovered new homophones! We wrote, and wrote, and wrote this week!

We shared our “Scariest Memories,” and we read a fictional story that was pretty fantastical, but it also contained some very real feelings of loneliness, fear, and loss. We talked about how the author may have experienced similar difficulties as the boy in the story, but wrote a very creative story using his imagination to free everyone from rotten situations. Our imaginations can help us rise above the problems we find ourselves in.

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In other news…

We dodged the rain and had a fantastic time at Shipe Park!

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Because our instructional time in math and ELA is shortened on Shipe Park days, we combine our 1st and 2nd year classes to share our expertise by playing math games!


Speaking of “fantastic,” Alphas made some awesome fans!

STEAM Projects are collaborative, self-directed, creative, LOUD, and MESSY. We wouldn’t be Alphas without them!

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