We are all settling into our new classroom and are enjoying its newness. Thanks for all of you who helped move in--we couldn't have done it without you!
As some of you know, we are spending this Friday morning exploring the geology of Chautauqua Park. Drop off is at 8:45 at the ranger cottage at the park and pick up is at 12:15 at 1816 Mariposa (home of the Weavers). IMPORTANT: Please let me know if you want me or Pam (Kea's mom) to give your child a ride back to school.
Yesterday we watched a few political advertisements and critiqued them. Were they positive, negative, neutral (meet the candidate in nature), biased, etc? As part of this week's homework, your child will ask you and other adults about their views and opinions of the political ads that you've heard or seen.
We have finished registering many of the students in our school to prepare for the Horizons presidential election on November 6. Later this week, we will prepare the ballots and construct voting booths. We are part of a larger kids voting project:
Today I launched our writing unit on the literary essay: writing about reading. In your child's personal narrative, many wrote about lessons they learned from people and/or experiences. But writing also helps us learn from characters in books we read. "Just as writing allows us to pause in our hurried lives and really notice and experience and reflect on things that have happened to us, so, too, writing allows us to pause in our hurried reading and pay attention to the characters in
our books." (Lucy Calkins) In upcoming mini-lessons, I hope to have children experience the texts, dream the world of the story, walk in the shoes of the character. Reading actively and combining this with imagination and empathy will allow students to write inside the text and create engaging literary essays.
This week we are integrating our coverage of the elections into math. For the next week or so, we will examine data and interpret and construct bar, circle graphs, and scatter plots. On election day, we will tabulate the results from the school and create appropriate graphs to display the results.
Some students are working on order of operations for homework. I've given them some problems that might be a stretch for them since we have not covered decimals and fractions yet. You may help them with this or have them check in with me if they have any questions.
Your child started the third of four science rotations. They are with Lauren for the next 10 days learning about the sun, moon and the
Tomorrow, Kara will be working with the kids on self portraits.
Over the past two weeks, we've had PhD. graduate students from CU in the classroom introducing hands-on activities with the children. They are part of CU's science outreach program--Science Squad:
Erin Leckey, a paleontologist and ecologist, demonstrated how we can use rocks to tell the time period in which organisms lived. "Fossils tell us a lot about the biology and ecology of past organisms, but they are also important in determining the ages of rocks. By using differences in the types of animal and plant fossils that occur together in rocks, scientists can understand the age range of rocks and put relative ages of rocks in a sequence. In this lab, students examine fossil assemblages and use them to date rock sequences. Students learn about groups of fossils from different times in Earth's history and discover which fossil groups might have coexisted."
The following week, Katya Hafich, a hydrologist, showed how glaciers can affect the landscape. "Glaciers are the celebrities of climate change, and we have some of our very own here in Colorado! They are frozen rivers that move through time, changing the landscape as they go. Students will learn about how glaciers move and change by observing how a 'flubber' glacier slides down a tiny mountain valley. While honing their observation skills, they will learn how slope and basal conditions affect glacier movement."
Jeff Dillon, the superintendant of the City of Boulder Parks and Planning department, Nick DiFrank, landscape architect for the City of Boulder, and Kate Armbruster, an Environmental Design student at CU and a Growing Up Boulder intern, worked with the kids today and plan to be here next week to lead a design workshop to create the first phase of new playground area (the site that will be available when the portables move at the end of the month). This interactive activity will also integrate what your child is learning in our science rotation about landforms.
This website is updated daily to reflect what the class and the Make a Difference class is doing to contribute to the understanding and design of the area surrounding the school including Thunderbird Lake.