K/1st: Week of Aug 28

What’s Inside Alphas!


This week we learned about how different parts of our brains keep us alive, safe, and healthy. There is one part of our brain we cannot do without – our medulla oblongata. It does a lot of things like keeps our hearts beating, lungs breathing, and organs running. It also receives messages from ALL over our body through our senses. Alphas explored the various ways our brains get information via our skin, eyes, mouths, noses, and ears.

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Testing our sense of sight…

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Testing our sense of touch…

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Testing our sense of smell…

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Testing our sense of hearing…

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And finally, the best part…

Testing our sense of taste!

We learned that those messages travel deep inside our brain to something called our limbic system. This is where we judge whether this information makes us feel good or bad. YES- those are emotions and our limbic system is not only in charge of emotions- but those emotions get stored in areas of our brain that store our memories. We can remember the good and the bad so we can use that information the next time we encounter the same stimulation! The limbic system also helps us recognize emotions in other people so we can learn from others whether something makes a person feel good or bad. Alphas had a lot of fun playing Emotion-Charades. We also made some groovy hot-emotion/cool-emotion colored portraits…

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We met another very important part of our brain called the amygdala. That little almond shaped thing keeps us safe from danger and will hijack our whole brain when it thinks something could hurt us; it tells us to either freeze, fight, or flee! Alphas learned that their neocortex brain is where some real critical thinking comes in and if their brain is hijacked because it thinks it is in danger when it was only your BFF that grabbed a toy away from you…or maybe a big old tree roach walked across the floor…Alphas learned that one way to clear the amygdala-chemicals out of the brain is to take some long deep breaths!

We challenged our frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes with some activities that made us look, move, and actively think about solving a problem!

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“Frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal….THAT’s my Neocortex Brain…”

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Pitching cards into a bucket takes a LOT of parietal brain work to adjust our aim with our muscle memory of space and force!

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Certain odors can trigger old memories.. Alphas are capturing them on our memory graffiti paper!

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Pao refining his movements to leap across both bucket and rug…

Alphas did a lot of reflecting in their journals too!

Since our Brains take such good care of US, we learned some things we can do to take care of IT:

  • Give it lots of air through exercise and deep breathing
  • Since it is made mostly of water, we need to give it water!
  • It is also made out of fat, so we need to give it special fats to keep it healthy
  • We need to give it brightly colored fruits and vegetables – those foods are high in antioxidants- they help replace tired and worn out electrons that can cause inflammation!
  • We need to give our brain rest so our medula oblongata doesn’t have any distractions and can repair all parts of our bodies!

The Yellow Table Team’s job this week was to make a treat for the class that would feed our brains and here is our recipe:

Brain Pops!

  • Any combination of fresh berries (we used black, blue, and straw) in order to get loads of antioxidants
  • Add some nuts or seeds that are high in omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, flax, hemp, pumpkin, or chia (we used chia)
  • Add some milk (we used almond/chia)
  • Add a bit of something sweet (we used a tinch of agave)
  • Blend it like you would a smoothie
  • Pour into an ice tray and stick some popsicle sticks in each section
  • FREEZE (ours only took about 4 hours)

In preparation for next week, we added a few chicken bones to some vinegar. We’re curious to see what will happen to them!

This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s Group…

This week we shared our P&P – What awesome Family Sorts! We learned about a new pattern: Symmetry ! We went on a little walk around the campus to look for symmetry in nature as well as man-made symmetry.

We played a symmetry game and learned the addition pattern of “one more” and practiced it with our “One More” dice game!

Leo hides his eyes while Graham adds a shape…

Finding the symmetry in this picnic table would be a LOT cooler if it were COOLER out here!

Ms. Alexa’s Group…

This week we used the number charts from last week’s P&P to look for patterns in numbers and to practice counting on from a given number. We have become experts at counting by 10! We practiced identifying which digit in a two-digit number is in the ones and the tens place and we continued to use tens and ones blocks to represent numbers (some of us are venturing into the hundreds!). Knowing how many tens and ones are in a number helps us to compare numbers quickly to see which is greater and which is less. We played a lot of games this week to understand these concepts.

Taking turns rolling dice to make 10. Blue plus pink equals 10 in each column.

Matching different ways to represent the same number.

Draw a number and compare it with your partner’s card.

Making and comparing numbers in the 100’s.

This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Alexa’s Group…

Every student in our group has had the opportunity to be our student of the day! We talked about our names – how many and which letters they contain, and we learned a little about each group member. We practiced writing our names again so that we could use our best handwriting to make our new bookmarks for independent reading.

Each week this quarter, we’ll be focusing on one or two letters of the alphabet. This week we talked about the letter M. We brainstormed lots of things that begin with the m sound and then we learned the proper way to write the letter m. The group worked together to make a letter m book.

In Literacy, we discussed books with illustrations, but no text. We “read” several stories about a dog named Carl and we had fun finding the cat named Spot in his adventures around town.

Ms. Kim’s Group…

This week Alphas shared their P&P…

We explored a new main character from the book The Name Jar…

We talked about how authors and illustrators can give us information about a character by the way they look – their “outside traits,” and they use action to let us know what is motivating a character – these are “inside traits,” the things we can’t see right off the bat.. We made a diagram of ourselves as characters with both inside and outside traits.

We used our powers of deduction to unscramble sentences…

We practiced our handwriting of all letters that contain a magic letter “c”

…and we practiced how to read to ourselves…