We explored the Northeast Woodlands Region of the United States. The lands of deciduous forests, rivers and the Great Lakes are rich with natural resources. It was also the birthplace of one of the world’s oldest democracies. The beautiful book Hiawatha and the Peacemaker guided our discussions this week. It is the story of the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) comprised of five tribes, Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, and the Seneca who agreed to end warfare among their people. The agreements they made with one another still stand today as a model of “Peace, Power and Righteousness”. The Wampum belt is the symbolic and integral part of the treaty between nations and later became the symbol of agreement between Europeans and the Woodlands people.
The cylindrical wampum is made with beads crafted from the quahog (clamshells) and whelks of the North Atlantic. It is very time consuming to craft – one row could take a year to make.
As table teams we became our own nations and created our own wampum belts. We talked about what it means to keep our agreements and how we build trust by keeping our word and our promises to one another. We used the color of our table team and then collaborated on how to choose the second color. Then we practiced designing our own 3×3 design before we decided on the one that we would add to the Wampum belt. We thought about what agreement our team would bring to the Alpha Nation just like the 5 nations embedded in the Iroquois Treaty.
Power & Respect
Power & Respect
Respect, Attentive Listening, & Power
Peace, Kindness & Respect
Peace, Love, Grace & Kindness
We revisited The Three Sisters corn, bean and squash agriculture which were important crops to the Woodland Nations just as they were to the Southeast. We used the seeds to create gorgets, medallions to wear proudly as a member of the Alpha Nation.
We’ve received more state park packets!
Maine’s Acadia Park
Liberty Bell Pennsylvania
California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park
Collector coin from Minnesota’s Gooseberry Falls Park
Lewis & Clark Trail map from Iowa
New Mexico’s White Sands
Florida’s Everglades National Park
Ms. Kim’s group…
We really dialed down on the operation of subtraction this week. Our initial challenge was to subtract the dots on dominoes. Each Alpha chose a domino and wrote a subtraction equation for it. We came back to our big group to share our number sentences with each other. We brought out manipulatives to test our equations. We found out that if you have a domino with 4 dots on one side and 7 dots on the other that you, in Alpha ;) , cannot take 7 away from 4! We practiced domino-subtraction using vertical alignment. We practiced our subtraction famth facts by playing Subtraction Boxes, AND we had a fantastic time playing math games with Ms. Eliza’s Math Group on Thursday!
Ms. Eliza’s group…
We’ve been wrapping our minds around several concepts. We’re learning how to write equations vertically and using place value as a tool to solve problems with 2 or 3 digits without regrouping. Just learning how to organize the numbers and order of operations takes time down to even the simple fact that the symbol for equals changes from = to a line underneath.
So that writing them transforms from first attempts…
to this understanding…
At the same time we’re diving into subtraction concepts learning all of the vocabulary related to it – most importantly that it’s a “difference” between numbers. It can also be taking away, less than, etc. In the Subtraction War game this weekend the amount you can take away from the kitty is the difference between the two numbers. Drawing that amount out of the kitty gives us the opportunity to visualize what the difference is between the two numbers. We talk about word problems every week and how to solve them.
Ms. Eliza’s group…
We were busy bees this week working on the letter’s X, J and U. We learned how to draw Jellyfish, played Build the Tower with the first sounds we hear in a word and unscrambling sentences that include our sight words. We also played letter sounds, sight word bingo. Practicing these skills is improving our abilities in writing and reading.
We have our own Reader’s Notebooks to practice reading to ourselves.
This has become a favorite activity as Alphas are excited to find they can read!
Ms. Kim’s group…
This week Alphas read another type of nonfiction writing that looked a LOT like fiction: memoir!
We started learned to make more complex sentences by using “conjunctions.” Alphas came up with some fabulous ideas to explain why their teacher was so happy:
- …because she could see the stars and drink hot cocoa
- …because she can go out and play Ava-ball
- …because she got up at 5 AM and got traded by Kobe
then we got even more complex with…
The teacher was so happy because her kids love her, but they did not love her cat.
The teacher was so happy because she was going to dinner with a friend, so she drove fast.
The teacher was so happy because she got new school supplies, but she had to go to school.
With Ms. Eliza out of school on Thursday. Alphas worked on Language Arts and Math as one big, happy class!
The second year Alphas taught the first years how to play some of their awesome math games.
In Language Arts, Alphas worked in table teams to help create one non-fiction book about cats.
Each table team had to cover a particular aspect of what makes a cat so unique
We talked about ways to the teams could work efficiently by giving each person a role to play- each table had a scribe, a speller, idea people, and illustrator(s).
We’ve worked on so many projects this quarter that we needed to have time to continue crafting some of them this week…
Great Plains’ Parfleches
Northwestern Formlines and life-size animals…
South Eastern Rattles
Early finishers do “copy-work” and practice Handwriting skills using “crazy paper”