If I had to choose one phrase as a summary of this week I would choose, Learning Community. Our week began with a Trust Fall Challenge with Mr. Caron and ended with a Secret Friend Celebration. At the start of the week everyone took the risk to fall – a first in all my years participating in this challenge. HOW COOL IS THAT! Yesterday we enjoyed lunch together and the sharing of gifts. The time passed in a snap! Thank you for connecting home and school through your conversations and your support of projects that need time and help. Thank you too for your generous donations for the luncheon. I also appreciate your thoughtful emails with questions and concerns. They make me think of ways I can help our class be more successful. I am grateful for your interest, time and attention.
Learning About Metacognition and Mindfulness
We’ve continued having thoughtful conversations about learning and what we can each do to challenge ourselves. We’ve asked a lot of questions. What is learning? How do you know you are learning? Are some things we learn more important then others? Each morning for the past two weeks we’ve been trying to notice and note things that we’ve learned each day. The goal of this process is to provide the children with to opportunity to recognize that they are in charge of their own learning. They can choose how much they invest in their own learning. They can create their own challenges within each task – should I work fast to be the first done or should I think about trying something I’ve never done before? If something is easy, is it worth doing? If something it hard, is it worth doing? I can I turn something that seems easy into something I can learn from? There are no set answers to these questions. And sometimes we’ve been surprised by what we discover in our conversations.
We’ve also spent some time, both in the classroom and with Ms. Vas, learning about mindfulness. Ms. Vas began teaching us some deep breathing techniques this week. We are hoping this practice will help us match our response to the size of the problem more often. We’ll become more focused and be better able to
Creating a Map of Sassafras Springs
We finished reading The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. Eben did find seven Wonders, but he wasn’t able to go to Colorado because of an outbreak of influenza. He did get to go to St. Louis though and he also learned the value of community. In the book Eben thought, “I sat there, thinking about the Wonders as the evening shadows settled over the barnyard. A doll. A bookcase. A saw. A table. A ship in a bottle. A woven cloth. They were all as unimpressive and ordinary as Sassafras Springs, yet each in its own way was a one-of-a-kind marvel.”
And Uncle Alf, the creator of the seventh Wonder reminded Eben, “Now that you’ve found seven Wonders, I’ll bet you’ll notice new ones every day.” We think we could look for Wonders too.
After finishing we decided to build of map showing what we think of as the fifteen most important people and places in the town. We used clothespins for people just like Aunt Pretty did in the story and we used milk cartons for the base of the buildings. We’re adding details to our yards and features to our map. This is an example of the project that is simple, but can be turned into more of a challenge by thinking about how we can add details to make the scene more realistic. We’re having fun following our imagination.
Why is Snow White?
We also revisited angles in math while looking at different snowflakes. There are many ways to look at the angles of a snow crystal. Once you start looking it seems as though you can’t stop.
We also discovered why snow looks white when it is made of something clear. We
had fun discovering how and why something transparent becomes more opaque.
Bits and Pieces:
- Mrs. Hyett visited us on Tuesday to share some Hanukkah traditions. We had sufganyot (jelly doughnuts) and gelt.
- We continued to talk about The Size of the Problem and The Size of the Reaction with Ms. Vas.
- We each selected our country for our global geography project.
- And we hope to collect family stories over the vacation.