Sunday, November 26, 2017

Happy Thranksgiving!

Hello Families!


I hope that you have found time to enjoy and connect with family this weekend. Things in the Abbott household have been a little chaotic, as we work through allergic reactions and try to make normal. Wow, what a weekend!

I would like to apologize for the relative lack of updates over the last few weeks. November has been a blur of activity from the power outage to conferences and now through Thanksgiving. During all of this, it's been busy times in Room 103 at Yarmouth Elementary School, so here are NINE videos showing what we've been up to! Thanks for your patience!

(Apologies if these are out of chronological order. November has been a bit wild!)

(Post-finishing-additional-apology: there's LOTS of great video here! I hope you enjoy and share with your family! Enjoy!)



We turned our attention to multiplication. In particular, the notion of Perfect Squares: multiplication arrays that have the same two factors. From these facts we will later explore "on-off" facts that are one factor away from perfect squares.




We also investigated the world of fossils with Guest Lecturer Deb Landry. Together with Mrs. Wetmore's class we looked at fossils and where they fit into the history of the Earth, proving that the Earth has changed (drastically) over time.




Don't think it's all work at YES! To get up and move we've spend lots of time "GoNoodling" our bodies into new and fun poses. So far we've maxed out TWO characters, including Bart Reynolds, and are now working on our third. Beep Boop!




We also found time to do a classroom-swap with Ms. Frame around Halloween. While Ms. Frame did a Halloween Breakout, Mr. Abbott did our first HexaFlexagon training of the year. We started with "simple" tri-hexaflexagons, but hope to move into hexa-hexaflexagons before long. Ask your mathemagician about the Tuckerman Traverse!




We're also big on Growth Mindset and Grit in third grade. We won't all be jugglers by the end of the year, but we will have all tried our hands at it! Soon we'll be collaborating more with Mrs. Ney's class and Mr. Arno, who are both much better than I am!




With the help of our volunteers Mr. Hayes, Dr. Advani, and Dr. MacVane, we were able to have an amazing day of Math Explorations! Lots of work on area, which we will explore more in the future.



We've also spent some time looking at subtraction and addition through expanded place value. Remember how you learned to carry and borrow and all of those fancy algorithms? Well, we're just taking it step by step to show how those things work, hopefully deepening our understanding of place value and mathematical thinking as a whole.




Another way to work on place value understanding is by playing a game called "Shuffle to 100." See if your Mathemagician can explain to you the strategy behind this deceptively simple add-to-100 game.



And finally, a little quiet introspection as we say "Thank You" for all the amazing things we might otherwise take for granted. I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving Weekend, and I look forward to seeing you soon in YES or around town!

Take care,
Todd

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mt. Apatite Farm

Hello Families!


November really came in like a wrecking ball. I think we have to hand the "win" to Mother Nature this week. I'm ready to get back to normal next week, and maybe even get back home with electricity soon!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little bit about our field trip to Mt. Apatite Farm today! Mt. Apatite Farm is run by Carol Segal, who is kind enough to open the farm and her own personal mine to us every year. It's such an amazing experience, as you'll see below. This year she surprised us by setting up tables and chairs for everyone to eat at in her amazing barn! Not only does Carol open her land up to us as a school, she also hosts individuals and small groups, so if you're looking for a place to go mining, see some amazing gardening, or go sledding in the winter, please give her a call or email. She'd love to see you!

We toyed with the idea of postponing until next week, but decided to give a try this week instead, and we got super lucky with the weather! A hearty thank you to all of our volunteers today! Trips like this wouldn't be possible without all your support and time. Thank you!

If you've noticed that the blog is slowing down a little, you're correct! I've been getting more familiar with Seesaw and posting work and videos there, so if you're not on Seesaw yet, please contact me so we can get you connected.

Stay safe and have a great weekend,
Todd


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Tasting!

Hello Families!

It's in! The video from the Book Tasting at Cafe La Frame is in! Enjoy!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Summer in October

Hello Families!


It seems like Summer is never ending! We had another exciting week in Room 103. I apologize for the spottiness of updates in Seesaw so far, I'm still kind of wrapping my head around it. I think there should be a couple of fun geology updates there this week, though, so if you haven't signed up yet, please do!

On Wednesday we were sharing work on the projector and working hard in our Student Math Journals while using the iPads to access the online Student Reference Book for math. You can see that the kiddos are enjoying seeing themselves live-streamed onto our screen!



Then on Wednesday afternoon, we had the rare opportunity to visit Cafe La Frame, hosted in Ms. Frame's room, for a book tasting! The reports are that it was even better than its reputation. I wouldn't know, I've never been able to go, since I am usually entertaining guests in our classroom at the time. On this occasion, Ms. Frame's students were learning how to play Tapple and Tsuro in our room, but The Chef assures me that there will be video forthcoming of our class at the book tasting. For now, here's Ms. Frame's kiddos!




On Thursday we got to have Mrs. DiRusso join us again for Mindfulness. This week we talked about finding our anchor spot for anchor breathing:



Our final video this week shows us playing math games on Friday. This week we learned Blokus, which hones our geometrical spatial thinking, and requires some pretty agile thinking around numbers and probability:



You also may have heard about our flexible seating options. We not have four different seating options available: yoga balls, wiggle cushions, stools, and rockers. I think we tried to introduce them too quickly, so for now we've got a schedule of who gets to use which ones on certain days. We'll try it this was for a while, and see how things go. Eventually, it would be nice to move away from a schedule and towards more autonomy to know what's best for each learner.

Math Unit 1 assessment will be coming home this week. The kiddos did a fantastic job! If you're wondering why there are multiple colors of pen on your child's assessment, I use one color on the day of assessment to help guide our Mathemagicians to the right answer, reminding them of strategies we've learned along the way. When I "grade" them, I use a different color, so you can see how much your kiddo can do on his or her own and how much still requires some scaffolding.

We've also started reading Because of Winn-Dixie in our reading unit on characters. It's a good one! Today we talked about having empathy for characters. India Opal is quite a character.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. If you haven't signed up for conferences yet, please take a few minutes to confirm your spot.

Take care,
Todd