Week 5 Update
The week went quickly in the Gamma room. We took a deep-dive into electricity and circuitry and it was really cool to see kids gravitate towards these topics. We talked as a team how teachers are noticing an end-of-week energy that is leading to students needing more redirection come Thursday. We asked Gammas to see about putting a little extra energy into staying tuned-in to class on our last day of the week together, and they did an excellent job rising to the challenge. Overall, we saw lots of examples of grit and perseverance this week, especially when writing or math felt tough, and we are so proud of our Gammas for pushing through and trying hard things! We promise that effort will pay off!
The Gammas have been exploring “Growth Mindset” this week across all subject areas. (Since Ms. Lorrie was voted “Fixed Mindset Queen of America” for decades, she is especially keen on helping students develop some flexibility!) Ms. Ansley is a great influence on us all! She had the students craft a few special ‘growth mindset’ art projects this week with a bracelet-making activity at week’s end to help students identify their own special strengths. It was really neat to watch Gammas take ownership of their gifts.
Next, Ms. Ansley linked this to character traits in language arts and it was a full-circle activity that took the kids through an SEL and academic activity, both!
In both groups, we focused on multiplication so we were able to do some real-world activities using menus to help students practice. We also took a “Tour of P&P” where students’ pretty work was highlighted for all to admire. The original plan was to just highlight a few examples, but there was so much well-formulated work we ended up taking a peek from everyone’s P&P. It was neat to share each other’s work.. Year 1 kiddos learned the standard algorithm for 2 digit x 2 digit multiplication.. This can feel like a large leap when it’s a new skill and Ms. Lorrie was very proud of the perseverance as we learned a multi-step algorithm. Continuing to work on fact fluency at home would be helpful! (Note: Ms. Lorrie will “pay” students who choose to do the optional fact practice at the front of the P&P.) Year 2 students continued to multiply with decimals and did an excellent job estimating before finding the product.
This week we focused on identifying character traits. Kiddos were given special permission to interrupt during our read aloud of Brown Girl Dreaming to shout “character trait!” when they noticed one. We also dug into our opinion writing and growth mindset work during writing. We drafted two entire paragraphs of our opinion pieces (introduction and reason number one) and also spent a lot of time sharing our writing and getting feedback from each other. Getting feedback and revising is an important part of being a great writer and Gammas were open-hearted and excited to share and learn from each other in this way!
As mentioned, we took a deep-dive into electrical circuits this week. Students explored key vocabulary (namely, distinguishing set-up and properties of series and parallel circuits) and had time to explore via a virtual simulation. Next, we discovered the important purpose of the cheap and flimsy fuse and demonstrated its use using the simulation platform to help us ‘test’ out our hypotheses. Students finished the week with a station rotation on basic circuitry and based on the results of that activity it looks like all of our Gammas had a productive week of learning on this topic.
We know Science Fair projects are probably on top of many a Gamma mind! The teachers pulled students for mini-conferences at the beginning of the week to help Gammas revisit their original Science Fair project ideas to discuss how we could make their original question measurable and testable. We sent our scientific method flipbooks home so that students have a reference as they begin to work on experiments at home.