# Our Week – February 24

Yikes! Where did February go? It seems impossible that another month has come and gone. Time does seem to speed by. It was been wonderful to have a full week of school and to have three days that have followed the normal flow of things. It has felt good!

16 Kids + 15 Countries in 1 Room = Wow!

Thank you so much for making Tuesday a real celebration of learning. The class was glad to have an audience to share their country with. We are grateful to you for sharing your time with us so we could teach you what we had discovered about the world. On Wednesday and Thursday as they reflected on the learning process many of the students realized how much they had learned about the world just be being part of our class. With all the talk about countries and their history and traditions, places and landmarks, the class has become much more curious and aware of the amazing diversity of our world.

Subtraction With Zeros – a challenge to be sure

We have continued working with subtraction. It is challenging. We’ve been using base ten blocks to show how trading works and what the process looks like in reality. Several of the children know about the “cross out the ___ and make it a ___. Then put a one there to make it ___”, but don’t truly understand the amounts the actions represent. We are hoping that seeing how the amounts are manipulated, the class will be able to envision they whole process more easily. We’ve been adding zeros into the mix, and they always make subtraction tricky.

Looking Toward Spring

Our next unit of study in mathematics will be about fractions. If you’re a family that cooks and bakes together, help your child see the relationship between halves, thirds, fourths and eighths. Or if you’re a family that builds and measures, please share that process of making precise cuts. Fractions make so much sense in this way. When we begin to talk about them in the classroom and put them on paper they become confusing – larger numbers represent smaller pieces. When children have a concrete experience to anchor their understanding to, they are less likely to

We’re beginning to explore seasons and learning how and why they occur. This will lead into our new science unit about heredity and traits. We’ll be learning about inheritance and how traits are passed on through genetic code. This is a new science unit for us and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the class. We’ll be exploring the work of Gregor Mendel and his discoveries through his work with peas as we plant and begin our seedlings for the Square Foot Garden Project in the greenhouse. It is exciting to be planning for spring things.

Bits and Pieces –

• Thanks so much to Alison Duffy for organizing our game club. We’ve completed our first 6-week session. We’ll begin a second round after vacation. Be on the lookout for that permission slip when we return from vacation. We’ll be holding it on Tuesday. We are hoping that by choosing a different day other children might be able to join. We hope this day will work for you.
• We’ve completed The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. Ask your child which wonder they were most amazed by. Eben found out that when you take time to notice and collect stories from the ordinary people around you, they can become extraordinary. Everyday things don’t seem as boring as they once did.
• We continue to draft and plan our original fables. We are looking forward to putting them all together into a class book and sending a copy home with everyone.
• We didn’t fit in all of the upper case capitals this week, but we’ll certainly be finished learning all our cursive letters the week we return from vacation. It’s fun to see the fancy writing going on.
• We’ve set the date for the Parade of the States. It will be Thursday, May 25. It will start at 4:45. Please save the date. We’ll send home all the details as the event approaches.