Diving in deeper means...
- Through our Social-Emotional curriculum Positive Discipline, students have been creating and practicing guidelines for a safe learning environment and an enriching school year. Over five days, students collaborated in groups and as a whole class in order to determine our "non-negotiable" guidelines and how they would function during our everyday classroom activity. For the best possible school year, the Islanders committed to being kind, working together as a team, being self-directed learners, finding solutions, and having fun!
- Beginning-of-the-Year Reading Workshop has been all about setting the tone for a year of "wild reading habits." Students have been building a culture of reading through "Shelfie" posters, Book Graffiti, Book Commercials and Daily Status Updates. Students have begun documenting their reading lives through Reading Notebooks and keeping track of books they have read and books they want to read. This week we started discussing our year-long "40 Book Challenge" and the characteristics of the various genres that we will be exposed to. Most importantly, students have been getting sucked into awesome books everyday during independent reading time. In fact, Reading Workshop ends each day with a collective groan of Wild Readers who could on keeping reading for hours!
- In Writing Workshop, students have launched their Writing Notebooks with tried-and-true strategies that help all writers brainstorm ideas from our lived experiences, feelings, and interests. Writing about the world starts with us! This week, students used the "Best List" and "Worst List" strategy to think of the best and worst times of their lives before picking one idea that they could flesh out into a story. After drafting, students shared stories in small groups of supportive peers.
- In Math, students spent the last two weeks participating in inquiry-based mathematical exploration through Youcubed's Week of Inspirational Math (WIM). Students were challenged to make sense out of puzzles, identify visual and numerical patterns, and use mathematical language and reasoning to provide evidence for their theories. In the end, WIM provided us with a lot of "take-aways" that will guide our thinking as mathematicians this year: making mistakes means that your brain is working and growing, math is about deep thinking and not rapidity, and all people see and understand mathematics in entirely different ways -- to name a few of the critical lessons we learned.
- Over the last two weeks, students had a chance to embark on their first "mini-PBL" of the year with an iPad challenge-- to create a presentation that explains and teaches some aspect of Queen Anne Elementary to Ms. Goldman. In partners and trios, students used their "Explain Everything" app to create slideshows with visuals and interviews regarding a variety of QAE-related topics -- the Talent Show, Jog-a-thon, P.E. Class, Halloween at QAE, Mrs. Meck's class, just to name a few! Stay tuned for student work on our website!
- The Islanders are lucky enough to be buddying up with Mrs. Meck's first graders this year! For our first get-together, 5th grade and 1st grade Buddies collaborated to create a "getting-to-know-you" presentation using the EduCreations app on their iPads. In partners and small groups, Buddies discussed and shared their interests, similarities, and differences. It was incredible to see the students working together and learning from each other across ages and grade levels and, in the case of the 5th graders, to see the older students stepping into the roles of leaders and role models. I can't wait to see what comes out of our classroom partnership this year!
- The Islanders started thinking critically about online communication and, specifically, how to comment appropriately when using mediums such as classroom websites, Blogs, and Twitter. This year, the Islanders will comment with "C.A.R.E." When responding to someone online, students will always consider whether their comment is Connected, Appropriate, Responsive, and Edited. This week, we had the opportunity to practice as a whole group when responding to the wonderful and thoughtful comments and questions posted by our broader classroom community of parents and even grandparents! Thank you for taking the time to model positive online communication with your child's classroom!
There is so much learning and growing happening already in the Islanders' humble abode of Portable 2. I am looking forward to discussing so much more in person this Wednesday, October 7 during Curriculum Night.
Please enjoy a photo slideshow of our adventures in learning: