Friday 9/8/17

Here are a few highlights from the past week:

  • You can click here for photos from the first 2 weeks of school.
  • It was a short week due to Labor Day !
  • We spent more time reacquainting ourselves with each other, the class, and the school. Sometimes it may seem like we do "nothing" the first few weeks of school and 5th and 6th graders feel like they already know all the rules and expectations, but EVERYONE needs opportunities to relearn and practice, plus it is such important work to build the foundation and positive climate for the rest of the year! We spent time this week on: more class and school routines and procedures (with lots of time for practice), class jobs, more of my expectations, morning meetings, sharing, listening, acceptable use of technology, math and other games, personal learning styles, cooperative group work, earning bear paws, etc...
  • We spent a good amount of time this week discussing our brains and learning about how working with a growth mindset (especially during challenging tasks) can help us become even better learners! For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of growth mindset, you can find out more here:
  • All students are enjoying their independent reading books. They get time to read in class each day after a mini-lesson from me. They all know they should be reading each night at home too. More to come on this.
  • We began work in our writing journals, focusing on our hopes and dreams for the year. This was brainstorming work, next week these will be more articulated.
  • On Wednesday we were able to spend the afternoon in the gardens, learning about plant parts and which parts we eat on different plants. We picked and ate some of the carrots that our class planted in June in one of the raised beds. On Thursday we compared the two different varieties. We will be using these carrots over the next few weeks to introduce and work on the following topics:
        • Scientific observation and data collection.
        • Importance of precision in data collection.
        • Scientific drawing.
        • Data distribution and charts.
        • Independent Learning about carrots.
        • Independent and/or group projects with the carrots which may include cooking and eating!
        • And more!
  • We began our first read aloud book: Wonder, by RJ Palacio. It's about a 5th grade boy who has a severe facial deformity and is headed to school for the first time in his life. The book has some wonderful lessons about acceptance, different points of view, and choosing kindness. It's one of my favorite read alouds to start the year.

Some upcoming dates, important notes, and things to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • Woodbury Open House- Thursday 9/21/17 5:30-6:30pm
  • All School Hike- Friday 9/22/17 Roughly 10am-1pm
  • We will be doing more work on growth mindset- specifically in math! We will be using lessons from YouCubed- which comes from Jo Boaler, a professor of math education at Stanford University.
  • We will pick the carrots in the raised bed and do more carrot work- See above.
  • We will be generating ideas for writing in writing journals.
  • Sharing memories and using those for a first short writing piece...
  • Heather Carpenter (K/1 teacher) and I are hoping to begin our Little/Big Buddy program sometime in the next few weeks, once she gets to know her students a little more and they get more settled into the school!