K/1st: Week of Apr 1

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Our Song and Poem Leader helping us singing-to-read…

Around the World in 60 Days…

This week we learned about the continent we live on: North America! Alphas remembered the mountains and plains in the USA, but they learned that when the first people arrived on this continent 30,000 years ago – they didn’t cross through Canada down to Mexico – it was all just one great undivided continent. The Mountains in the west actually continue past our borders, as do our great plains. We noticed that most of our country lies within the temperate zone, whereas, most of Canada is in the polar zone and Mexico is in the arid and tropical zones.

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We noticed that mountains in Mexico on the east and west of the country created a “rain shadow” between them. That meant that the moist tropical air couldn’t reach the land between the mountains, so even though that area was within the tropical zone, it was extremely dry. In fact, only about half of Mexico has access to fresh water!

Alphas acting our the Sierra Madre Occidental and Oriental, while moisture(puffballs) from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific rain upon them – creating a “rain shadow” between them!

We learned about some very cool folk art from Mexico: Alebrijes and Hojalata tin art.

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Creating armitures for our Alebrijes creatures…

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…then covered them with plaster cloth…

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Alphas creating our fourth self-portrait of the year in the style of the Mexican art of Hojalata – bright and colorful tin art…

First we emboss the tin, then outline it…

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Even though Canada has 20% of the world’s fresh water, it is one of the least populated countries compared to its size. Alphas figured it had something to do with it being in the polar region. Way to think, Alphas! Aqua Cherry table made a Canadian delicacy for all to share: Bannock. First Nations people made it out of flour made from whatever was available to them and they fried it in fat and flavored it with berries or maple syrup. You need lots of calories when you live in the cold!

Whipped up delicious bannock…a recipe from our neighboring country Canada…

Thank you Aqua Cherry Team!

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Our chefs of Canadian Cuisine enjoying the fruits of their labor…

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Alphas give Bannock a solid Thumbs-up!

This week’s Reflections…

This week we spent some time getting to know our new table teammates. We talked to each other about the classroom agreement that meant the most to each one. We learned a LOT about each other!

We also practiced attentive listening by trying to remember a fun thing that each table mate did over the weekend.

This quarter, we are really practicing what it takes to do our personal best. For some it means slowing down to make our handwriting neater, for others, it means moving away from distractions during instruction time. Doing one’s personal best means pushing yourself to improve a skill a little bit at a time. It’s about being in charge of your own growing!

This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we reviewed grouping “tens,” as we played “Collect the Most.” We filled out over half of our 99 Chart, and we had some fabulous discussions about finding commonalities between numbers on it!

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Each student was responsible for a column of numbers that increased by ten – whoa…the number in the ones position always stayed the same!

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Shopping for 1’s and trading out for 10’s…

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Finding patterns in a number chart…

Ms. Eliza’s group…

We applied our new knowledge of fractions into an art project. What can you make out of one circle if you partition it into halves, quarters, thirds and even eighths? And as a group we solved a variety of fraction problems and played fraction games.

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This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Eliza’s group…

Writing Workshop is a big part of our learning this quarter. We started our week by sharing our ‘Memory Jars’. There was a special mouse, a smooth rock, a fossil, a ticket to the Nutcracker, graham, ellie, gabe and then we brainstormed how to create simple sentences to write about them. We also wrote about a friend, and our homes.

In phonics we continued our study of blends. This week it’s blends that start with

c… cl, cr ch. When reading with your Alpha, point out when you see blends in their practice. Talk about what new sound the 2 letters create. With sight words, we’re not only recognizing them, but we’ve added the additional practice of how to spell them as well. Knowing how to spell sight helps with our writing practice.

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Ms. Kim’s group…

We rocked our spelling check-in this week! We practiced “or” words (Alphas LOVE word searches), read and answered comprehension questions, read biographies, listened to when I was Young in the Mountains, and talked about the similarities and differences between it and Roxaboxen, AND we shared our “Just the Facts” P&P with each other – then played “Who’s the Baby?” using the baby pictures everyone brought from home :)

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