Native Nations Wraps Up
We will be finishing our Native Nations reports next week. On Thursday we’ll celebrate with a special art project and learn to play children’s games from different tribal peoples.
Often, indigenous cultures are presented with a focus on traditional, pre-1900s lifeways. While that is a part of our research, I’ve also been sharing “today” stories - current news stories about issues and events that affect tribal people. We’ve talked about modern stickball leagues in Texas and a museum honoring Navajo code talkers that’s being planned in New Mexico. In coming days, many of our news stories will center around the different water issues facing tribes.
Finally, happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 10!
Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 20. You are invited to join your child in the classroom for curriculum sharing either from 3:15 - 4:15 or 6:00 - 7:00 pm. Your child will be your tour guide to the classroom and show you some of the work that they've been practicing. Please make plans to join us!
Let’s Talk About Thinking
Rich, academic talk is part of our daily experience here. I want students to be able to explain their strategies, justify their opinions, give examples, and build on other students’ thinking. We practice this all the time - in morning meeting, in math lessons, in our engineering projects, and in our writing. Kids who develop the habit of elaborating, explaining and connecting their ideas orally are ready to use those same skills when they write. Here are the phrases I hear that let me know rich talk is happening:
Adding on to what they said, I think…
I know that the answer is 12 because…
The strategy we used was to…
I disagree with that example because…
We learned lots about how Oregon’s first peoples engineered tools and technology when we got a visit from educators from the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Today we spent the afternoon getting some hands-on practice as partner teams engineered shelters using only paper clips and index cards. Kids got to experience the engineering process and found that many, many tries were necessary before they created shelters that met our criteria. I loved seeing them persevere and encourage each other through many, many attempts before coming up with a sturdy structure.
Reading fluently includes a lot of skills. Early readers might struggle to decode words and then go back and read the whole sentence more fluently from the beginning. Later readers can practice “reading the punctuation,” making their voice show the pauses and inflections of commas, periods or question marks. As students gain proficiency, they still benefit from practicing reading expressively out loud.
We’ve introduced partner work into our daily reading practice time. Students take turns being a reader and a listener, and often are able to help each other with fluency skills. Kids who aren’t partnered up now can look forward to getting paired up later on.
Help us teach courtesy and keep our tables clean by sending in a cloth placemat/napkin/clean dish towel with your child's lunch. Thank you!
Reminder - No School October 14
Enjoy these photos of our MNCH visit. I will send more photos - of our own engineering projects and of reading practice - tomorrow.
Room 4 Gathering Sunday
Jenny Noyce, our class parent, is organizing a get-together on Sunday, from 1:00-3:00 at Tugman Park. Come play, rain or shine. Bring the whole family if you’d like. Jenny’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had the happiest birthday this week! Thank you for all the thoughtful cards and gifts. It really made my day.
As promised, here is another batch of photos. Carmen took pictures of our engineering project, singing at morning meeting, and reading partners. Enjoy!