Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stella Gazella O’Malley McGee

Presley is getting a baby sister!  She will come home in mid-February.  It’s going to be interesting to see how our sweet princess handles the news.  She’s pretty used to being the center of attention.  Our hope is that she will enjoy the company and will teach Stella everything she knows (except barking at absolutely NOTHING).  At some point she will visit the classroom, but she will need to have shots first!  YAY!

We finished the first part of PLTW and they are now working on CODING.  I love watching them!  There is an app called Tynker that is used to code and kids love it.  Ask your kids questions about what they are doing!  We spend 5 hours a week (until mid-February) doing PLTW, so there’s a lot to talk about!

They are doing a tremendous job solving partial product problems!  The biggest stumbling block for some of them is that they don’t know their facts well enough.  We played Spiral Multiplication this week and I loved how they were all helping one another so much.  Playing this game is a great way to practice facts.  They can even play with a younger sibling – who has a copy of the multiplication facts to use. 

We continued to work on our MLK projects this week.  We read the book Sit-In How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Pinkney and kids wrote short summaries about the book.  We continue to work on our summary writing skills – in PLTW and while reading books.  Figuring out the important parts of something can be tricky, so we spend a lot of time practicing.  We are also still really working on punctuation for every piece of writing we complete.  Checking for capital letters, if the sentences make sense, and if we’ve ended our sentence with a period, question mark, or explanation point is still something they need to work on. 

I’m still learning how Twitter works, but I find it interesting and love things that I encounter while surfing.  I found a painting, done by a 13-year-old last weekend that I couldn’t get out of my head.  I ended up having a conversation over Twitter with the artist and showed it to your kids on Tuesday.  We talked about what the painting meant to them, who they thought created it, and words that came to mind while looking at it.  They were amazed by the artists age and that spawned another great conversation about how powerful kids are – no matter their age. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Morning Meetings

What do you need to do to complete the circuit?  
I missed these over break!  I love our morning meetings and it’s fun to get to know everyone throughout the school year.  We used our light stick to further discuss circuits, along with “connecting” with our neighbor as we passed the stick.  Super.  Fun.  They told everyone something  they wanted their classmates to know about them – trying to share something new with one another. 
Book Groups
In the next few days, we will start reading biographies.  Everyone will choose their own biography to read (it’s fun to watch them “shop” for a book!) and write a report (in a fun, non boring way!) about who they chose. 
Until then, we continue to work on our various books.  We are focusing on vocabulary and ways to use the new words we learn in our own writing. 
We have also started working on inferring again (we work on this throughout the entire year to different degrees). 
  Making inferences about the setting to help in understanding the story
  Infer character traits, feelings, and motivations from what characters say, think, or do and what other say or think about them

  Infer complex relationships between and among characters by noticing evidence in their response to each other