K/1st: Week of Dec 4

What’s Around Us?!

This week in Alpha we learned more about Europeans that made first contact with indigenous people in North America.

People have been living in North America between 13 and 40 THOUSAND years. The first Europeans to land on the continent were the Vikings and they got the idea to go west from stories they hears about strange fishermen in small seal skin boats landing in Ireland who indicated that they’d come from the WEST. The Vikings had the best technology for sailing so they set out about 1000 years ago and settled in Iceland, Greenland, and New Foundland…they left after about 300 years. Then the Spanish, about 500 years ago bumped into the Caribbean islands, Florida, Texas, and Mexico on a search for a quicker route to the far east. The French hung out in Canada trapping fur to send back to France a few decades later, and the English – well they knew about North America, but it took them about 50 more years before they began traveling there in earnest.

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Here, the Lego Boats mark the landing of ships carrying the first colonists to the New World.

Colonists got tired of the way the British expected them to work and pay taxes to a government that didn’t listen to them. They liked the way the Iroquois Indians created their confederacy that unified 5 Indian Nations and gave all the people a say in how things should run. It brought peace and prosperity to all. Alphas chose a representative from each table team to go to a coucil meeting to let the representative group know what their team wanted to do for our end-of-semester celebrations…

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Alphas choosing representation and discussing party preferences…

The votes are in: Popcorn Party it is!

The colonists decided to break away from Britain. One of the first things they did was create a flag. Alphas did too, only ours contains the cool things we learned about our country.

We learned that our Constitution explained how this new country was going to govern and it proved to be an inspiration for many countries throughout the world! France was especially grateful for the inspiration, and to say thanks, they sent the U.S. the Statue of Liberty!

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Alphas work hard to make their own rendition of the Statue of Liberty…

Alpha table teams final project this week was to create a Great Seal that would contain visual symbols and words to express their team’s values – just like the United States’ Great Seal was designed (over SIX YEARS!) to express our values of equality, strength, and peace.

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All team mates pitched ideas for symbols, then they came to an agreement about the images, words, colors, and layout; then every member helped complete their seal.

Alphas have been busy putting finishing touches to all artifacts related to our learning this quarter!

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This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we learned how to use a numberline in order to find the difference between two numbers! Sometimes we take-away, but sometimes we just want to compare amounts. Alphas are learning that sometimes it is easier to “count back” to find the difference, than it is to subtract and amount.

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And we did a little “A-mazing” addition to sums of seven just to keep those chops up!

Ms. Eliza’s group…

We continue our investigation into the ways place value helps us to solve larger number addition and subtraction problems. We’ve been thinking about and practicing how adding and subtracting by tens also helps us to solve mathematical problems. It’s been an ‘aha’ week for some of us as we apply these new skills. We’re down to the last clues in our mystery math and we can’t wait to see who done it or where the treasure is buried as we solve more math challenges to get our clues. The language of math is important to us as we learn to apply differences, sums,take-away, all together, comparisons, etc.

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This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Eliza’s group…

We’ve almost made it through all 26 letters of the alphabet – practicing them phonetically and in handwriting. This week our letters were v, w, and y. Our sight words were big, with, and go. We’ve been playing with beginning and ending sounds, counting syllables, and more unscrambled sentences as well as writing about the Winter Fair in our journals. We read more Kevin Henkes books…Chester’s Way and Chyrsanthemum. The lives of the kindergarten/first grade mice give us many ways to make personal connections.

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Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we continued using conjunctions in sentences, we practiced “CVCe” words, FLOSZ words and played “Spell it Keep it.” We talked about writing a nonfiction book together as a class and everyone thought working together would not only mean it could get completed faster than something we wrote on our own, it would also be really fun. Students asked that we let our choosing stones decide the partnerships. We talked about how important it was to not leave your partner hanging by not doing your P&P and everyone agreed it should be pretty easy to get the writing done by Monday. We also practiced illustrating dogs – which are the animals we are researching!

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Alphas practicing graphomotor skills!

Thursday Activities…

Prepared for whatever paint explosion may happen!

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Kai giving a workshop on Pokemon turtle art

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A spontaneous sing-a-long of County Roads in the middle of our day

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Hangin’ (literally!) at day’s end!

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