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

Monday, October 9, 2017

October: Week One

Hello Families!


Another exciting week has finished up at YES. Everything felt a little shorter than usual, since we only had four days, as will this coming week, starting from Tuesday to Friday. A few videos from last week, and then an exciting note about the upcoming week.

Wednesday was the annual YES Walking School Bus. Despite organizing this event at YES for years, I somehow managed to miss the start. Luckily, our new principal Mr. Gleason leaped into the breach and took over! I met them coming up West Elm on the way to the walker's path. We had fantastic weather!



We also had our first Mindfulness Minute with Mrs. DiRusso. We're lucky enough to have her join our class for ten to fifteen minutes a week to teach us about Mindfulness. We started this week with finding our mindful bodies: still and quiet. Looking forward to lots more relaxing fun with Mrs. DiRusso!

We also got down to some serious writing this week, finally choosing a seed idea to develop for our personal narrative. We've worked on lots of strategies to tease these moment stories out into longer pieces like developing a lead, retelling as storytellers, and showing instead of telling. We're on our way!



We also finished our first unit in math, and will be starting unit two on Tuesday, look for the family letter coming home along with Tuesday night's home link.

On Wednesday, Ms. Frame and I will be switching students, as Ms. Frame has invited our class to a Book Tasting at Frame's Book Cafe and Wonderporium. We did this last year, and the readers LOVED it. Can't wait!

Finally, this week we'll be adding some additional options for seating in our room. Extra ball seats and wiggle cushions are in, as we start to increase the options available to find our best learning postures. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this from your eager learner.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please get in touch. I will be sending out dates and times for fall conferences this week, as well!

Take care,
Todd