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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Friday Fun

Hello Families,


We're officially into October! It's amazing how the time flies. It was a busy week last week, starting off hot and ending on a more rational temperature. In the world of MAP testing, we successfully completed our Math MAP on Tuesday, and then made a valiant attempt on Thursday at Reading before system malfunctions forced us to abandon the attempt. Again: super strong kudos to all the flexible, on the spot thinkers who could move from one activity to the next at a moment's notice. We learned about being flexible, and also about winning at math games. I still fancy myself the classroom champion, but eagerly await my being deposed anytime soon!

We have started writing complete stories in our writer's notebooks. We practiced being storytellers and seeing what that looks, sounds, tastes, and feels like this week.

We are reading with power and strength, and making sure to maintain a mental movie of the book we are reading. Much of the class is reading Bone or Amulet right now, and I can't wait to launch us off into new adventures following these tried-and-true ones.

We delved deeper into the processes that change the surface of the earth, notably volcanoes. We learned the names of volcanoes and their parts, created our own analog volcanoes, and then Seesawed a digital version. I'm still working on making sure you can all see those digital versions, please bear with us as I get used to this!

Finally, on Friday we had to say good-bye to Talia, as she and her family move south. We had a party for her on Thursday (in case she was too busy moving on Friday) and this is how it went:




Talia, we will miss you, and were so excited to do so many fun things with you this year. Now we are excited for all the adventures you will have in your new school. Please keep in touch!

Also on Friday, we spent our Math Differentiation day learning what will become an extension option for the rest of the year: KenKen. Use basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division along with some simple rules and logic to fill in 3x3 and 4x4 squares with numbers 1-3 or 1-4. Later, we'll move on to larger squares! It was awesome. We also learned to play Love Letter, another game of probability and mathemagic:



Thanks so much for following along with us and all the support you give. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please send me an email!

Take care,
Todd