Our Week – December 12

We can certainly tell the holidays are coming – and yet despite the tired excitement, lots of things are going on in 3E.  We have continued to read a variety of fables and many of the children have written first drafts of their own.  We are reading about different places around the world and learning about mapping.  We are extending our measurement unit to include metric weight and volume.  And of course we are hoping for less rain and more opportunities for running around outside.

SEL – Learning From Stories

Here are a few of the morals the children have chosen to teach through their fables:  Don’t be mean about what you have. Never give up on your dream.  Never fight, just talk it out.  Follow your dream.  Think of others, not only yourself.  The other morals in the list are just as poignant and the original fables they are being taught through are thoughtful.  The writing shows effort to follow the fable format:  short, mainly animal characters and a lesson.  In addition, the writing shows attention to the elaboration strategies we are learning to use:  description, dialogue, inner thinking and action.  Our next step will be using the morals to actually guide our choices and behavior, and to help us consider others before we act.

We are looking forward to illustrating them with collages and turning them into short animations when we return in January.

Learning About the World

building mapsThis week we have read and wondered about how life is both different and the same on each continent.  It has been surprising to the children that weather and water really affect how people live all over the world – monsoon floods in Asia, rivers through most major cities in Europe and deserts on all of the continents but Europe. (Surprise – they can be either cold or hot!)  It makes sense, but is also surprising to learn there are large cities on most continents – even Africa.  The final surprise was that every continent is diverse – none are the same from North to South, East to West.

We also read books helping us think about all the things that are the same for people no matter how different they are – celebrations, families, favorite foods, pets and games to play.   We look forward to learning even about more about our world.

There Are Many Ways to Measure

The children understand more about how time passes.  They are better at solving time elapse problems.  Problems like Timmy went skiing at 10:00.  It took him seven minutes to ski down a blue trail.  He skied doe that trail five times.  What time was it when he finished his fifth run down the mountain? are much clearer now.  Even problems like  Nick was riding his bike.  It took him six minutes to ride to the end of his driveway and back.  He rode the loop six times and then went into his house.  The clock read 3:50.  What time was it when he started riding? are easier to solve.  We’ll continue to work more with time but we can tell from comments and conversation in the classroom that telling time and keeping track of time are familiar  – though not always easy – now.

We have created some kilogram weights with ziploc bags, rice and beans.  We discovered how many groups of a hundred grams there were in a kilogram, as well as tens and singles.  We are comparing this model with the place value model of thousands, hundreds, tens and ones and working with addition and subtraction.  Our eventual goal is to gain comfort with the standard algorithm, trading and regrouping.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Many new blog posts have been made on the individual student blogs and are awaiting comments!
  • We have a challenge with Mr. Caron on Tuesday, December 16.
  • Secret Friend Projects are due no later than Wednesday, December 17.
  • Our Secret Friend Celebration is on Thursday, December 18.  We’ll be having a Pizza Party lunch in our classroom.  (Children are welcome toportalsplanning a fable bring their own lunches if they don’t care for pizza.)
  • We are nearing the end of the lower case cursive alphabet.  The children have been assigned letters they are to write for an alphabet model in our classroom.  They have to write the letters both in manuscript and cursive, select something in the school to photograph and label in cursive.  Ask your child what he or she did – some of them need some suggestions as well.  Thirteen letters are in the works.  We hope to complete the second half of the alphabet next week.  And then we’re on to upper case letters and the completion of our alphabet model.
  • We are also nearing the end of Nuts To You.  The three friends plus one are back in their home woods and are trying to convince their families and friends to move before the danger comes.  You might want to ask your child how “Move” is going.

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