Sunday, February 23, 2020

Dr. Charles Drew

We researched an important scientist this past week - Dr. Charles Drew. The children and I spent several days reading, illustrating, and writing about this amazing person's life and work. Finally, on Friday, we were ready to make a time time for Charles Drew, from birth to death.

We've noticed so many timelines in the books we've been reading lately - it was interesting to make our own; making sure we had the correct dates and that we placed our drawings in chronological order.

IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW: Dr. Drew developed techniques for blood storage and developed large-scale blood banks early in World War II.

Unbelievably, when he (and other African Americans) went to donate blood to save other American lives, it was refused. Finally, the U.S. military deemed it acceptable, but only if it was segregated away from "white" blood.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Valentines for the Birds

                                    I gave a hundred Valentines.
                                    A hundred, did I say?
                                    I gave a thousand Valentines
                                    one cold and wintry day.
                                    I didn't put my name on them
                                    or any other words,
                                    because my Valentines were seeds
                                    for February birds.
                                                                                Aileen Fisher

Our Environmental Superhero project for February coincided with the 100th day  of school, which was lovely. A cold and brilliantly sunny day made it even more lovely. This morning, I made a big batch of hot cocoa and used my jumbo thermos to keep it nice and warm. This afternoon, the children made cereal hearts and seeded pinecones, and then off we went to find our perfect tree.

There it was, just where we left it.

The 100th Day of School is Here!

Today is a special day - it is the 100th day of school! We celebrate it in a special way here at S-K. As you know, we've been bringing in items of non-perishable food items for WEEKS in hopes of reaching 100. Today, we finally got to make a final count. Children got into teams and bagged food by multiples of 5 - then reported their totals to the team who recorded the information by tally marks on a big white sheet. Finally, Mira counted all the 5 bundles to see if we made our goal - the room was silent...

But NO! We didn't have 100 cans of food.

We had 196!

(and we still need more grocery bags, if you've got 'em.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Our Work Continues - Roles are Selected

Today during project time with Tate's class, we gathered into our larger systems teams to share research notes and sketches. We also discussed in more detail the different roles/jobs within each team - doctors/specialists, nutritionists, and athletic trainers. Our final project, the Learning Clinic, each expert will be able to share information about their specific job - for instance, the nutritionist in the skeletal system team will able to prescribe a healthy diet for strong bones.

Here we are in action!

How to Apologize - The 4 Step Method

Have you ever caught yourself saying to a child "Say you're sorry!" to another child? I think most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another. Unfortunately, this is usually a meaningless exercise. The child apologizing may not mean it, or may not even understand why they are apologizing. The child being apologized to usually feels frustrated because they don't feel that it was sincere. No one ends up feeling great about the situation, and - beyond that - it doesn't keep future mistakes from happening.

In our classroom, we now have a couple of How to Say Sorry posters for reference. We spent some time first thing this morning going over these 4 steps and then doing some role playing. The first rule is to stand face to face and look each other in the eyes. The second rule is to be sincere when talking.

Here are the 4 steps - we'll keep practicing at school, and you may like practicing them at home, too!

1. I'm sorry for:

+ list specific actions - It's much better to say, "I'm sorry I said that no one likes you and you can't play with us," rather than "I'm sorry I was mean."

2: This was wrong because:

+ say why it was wrong, and not because you got caught or got in trouble. "I can see your feelings are hurt and it was a really unkind thing to say."

3: In the future I:

+ tell what you will do, not what you won't do. Saying "I won't say that again" is less effective than "I will include you when you want to play and I will say kind things."

4: Will you forgive me?

+ This last bit is important. Sometimes you are not quite ready to forgive, and that it's okay to take some time.

Monday, February 17, 2020

New Money Unit - What's in YOUR Wallet?

Today we have started a new unit in my math class. This will culminate in a fantastically fun yearly event called Flea Market Math. Fingers crossed, Irma might make an appearance as cashier, and may even be joined by another bargain-lovin' store keeper!

To start us off, we will be playing many coin puzzles I call What's in YOUR Wallet? Each morning, we will take turns asking riddles using real coins - an easy example being:

I have 4 coins. They equal 61 cents. What coins do I have?

Before that, however, I thought we could do a different type of math activity and try some origami. This morning, each child made and decorated an origami wallet, in which to hold their coins.

Two pockets!
If your child would like to make some more, here is the youtube tutorial we used as our guide:

Not only was this a good math lesson, but it was a wonderful lesson on perseverance. Many, if not most, of the children wanted to give up after one try. I spoke to the group about the value of not giving up, trying again when it seems difficult, and so on - and finally convinced them all to take another piece of paper and keep going. Although it was challenging, all are very proud of their paper wallets.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Parent-Teacher Conference Schedule for Spring

Please email your first and second choices - I'll keep this sign-up sheet updated.

Monday, March 2

7:40 - 8:00 a.m.     Alex
8:10 - 8:30            Evan      

Tuesday, March 3

7:40 - 8:00 a.m.
8:10 - 8:30            

11:40 - 12:00    
12:00 - 12:20

Wednesday, March 4

7:40 - 8:00 a.m.
8:10 - 8:30          Finley      

1:30 - 1:50 p.m.    
2:00 - 2:20
2:40 - 3:00          Lynn
3:00 - 3:20          Augustus
3:30 - 3:50          Mira

Thursday, March 5

7:40 - 8:00       
8:10 - 8:30         

11:40 - 12:00         Graham
12:00 - 12:20

2:40 - 3:00         
3:00 - 3:20              Livia
3:30 - 3:50              Lawson

Tuesday, March 10

7:40 - 8:00 a.m.
8:00 - 8:20              Kalyan         

Wednesday, March 11

3:00 - 3:20             Emma