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Delta Week 4!

Hi everyone!

We had an awesome time in our class this week. Our students are growing, and we are very proud of them!

 

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In Theme:
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We learned all about galaxies and what’s inside them (eg, planets, stars, comets, meteoroids, etc.). On Monday, everybody brainstormed about what they thought galaxies contained, and by Wednesday we all knew so much more. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Deep Impact Experiment, where we were able to show the physical impact of meteoroids on earth. We used bowls full of flour to represent our planets, and potatoes to represent our meteoroids. Here are some pictures from the Experiment below!

 

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In ELA:
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We continued with our read-aloud of George’s Secret Key to the Universe; we are now halfway through the book, and everyone is excited to see what happens next! We also finished up learning all the Six Traits of Writing (see this great writeup for parents on the 6 Traits for more information), and are almost finished filling up our graphic organizers to outline our stories.  Once our narrative graphic organizers are complete we can begin to write our stories.  It is great to see our students seeing the value of learning how to write in the products they are creating!

 

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In Ms. Ruchi’s Math Group:
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We learned about how to scale/resize numbers by fractional value, ultimately leading up to creating a blueprint of our classroom on Thursday. In the process of learning how to do this, we reviewed concepts we covered in previous weeks (including multiplying and dividing fractions, and comparing how big fractions are relative to one another). Everyone was happy to see the application of the concepts to creating a final product. We all look forward to digging into more about fractions next week!

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In Ms. Kirsten’s Bridging Math Group:
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We practiced using drawing to solve multi-step word problems involving fractions, using letters to represent unknown values in equations with fractions (e.g.  10 – a = 6 1/2;  a = ?),  and assessing the reasonableness of our answers using number lines and cubic centimeters to test our answers.  For applied activities related to these objectives, we read Pat Hutchins book When the Doorbell Rang and for each pair of pages, mapped out the new fractional distribution of cookies that the characters were receiving (lots of fun!); spent a lot of time w/cubic centimeter blocks to ‘see’ and manipulate mixed numbers; and, lastly began a fractional word decoding mystery!  Huge progress made this week and even more wonderful to have the kids be able to articulate that themselves!

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In Ms. Kirsten’s Proficient/Connecting Math Group:
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The Stranded!  teams continued in the Design and Research phase of their A Storm is Approaching!  challenge, guided by the wonderful Mr. Scott!  The scale models are beginning to be drawn out and materials readied to begin the building of our scale models.  Each model will have to withstand wind (fan) and rain (spray bottle) as well as space (can we all fit into it?) tests when complete!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed January 30th, 2015.

Q3 Week 3!

 

Hello, all! Though it was a shorter school week than most, it was full of learning and fun. We suspended Theme, and instead set reasonable, attainable goals based on our Reading and Writing continua. It will be great to accomplish them by the end of Q3!

 

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In ELA:
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We worked on our spelling and sight words (and the whole class will be having weekly spelling check-ins every Monday), in addition to continuing with delving into the Six Traits of Writing. This week we covered Traits 4 and 5 (Word Choice and Sentence Fluency). We worked on various exercises to show that we understand how to use and dissect the traits in our writing. We have really enjoyed reading more of George’s Secret Key to the Universe, and are all looking forward to finding out what happens next!

 

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In Ms. Ruchi’s Math Group:
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This week, we covered multiplication and division of fractions. The students enjoyed these topics better than addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators. It was great to see everyone excited while working on a wide range of exercises, ranging from Math Mammoth to NASA Spacemath, and ultimately culminating in word problems using all operations related to fractions. We also began sharing and working on problems that students created for their PnP due this Tuesday–always interesting and fun to work on! Fractions Jeopardy should be fun for all to play for this week’s PnP. Next week, we will be working on resizing by fractional value.

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In Ms. Kirsten’s Math Groups:
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Bridging Group – We began the week with a quick check-in on what we know about Fractions to date t0 help us with both planning and assessment.  Following that we started making Fraction Towns – a main street w/various streets off it (2nd, 3rd, 4th,..) and then put houses, trees, cars, etc. on 1/2, 2/3, 1/4 and other fractional values along the various streets.  The kids had to measure, divide, and apply their fraction knowledge to the project – and all had a lot of fun figuring out both how to tackle the project and seeing it through.  Please check out their creations in the hallway by the closet next week!

Proficient/Connecting Group – We began the week with an overview of the Engineering process in preparation for our first Stranded! Design challenge which is to build a scale model of a shelter we would need to survive an impending storm on our deserted island.  We spent a couple class periods building boxes to discover the scale ratio between them and are now starting to find the scale of sides to base area to volume.  Once the work w/the nets and boxes is complete we will start on our actual scale shelter models.

Filed January 22nd, 2015.

Week 2 Delta Update

Hi all!

This week, we covered a lot of interesting material, and had a great time along the way. It was Civil Rights Week at AHB, and we did our best to integrate this into Theme, math, and ELA! We ended the week with Pies for Peace with the rest of the school, where each class (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta) got to present what the students learned in relation to Civil Rights this week. Students also got to partake in eating a variety of pies–a yummy treat for all!

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In Theme:
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Our focus was how we see objects in space (optics, telescopes, spectroscopy). We learned about Hertzsprug-Russell diagrams (http://lcogt.net/files/styles/fourcol-image/public/spacebook/HR%20Diagram.png), which brought up a lot of great discussion among students and teachers. We did fun activities to show how light diffracts and how mirrors focus light. Thanks to Mr. Scott, we also got to play with a model planetarium and view constellations–very cool!

 

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In Ms. Ruchi’s Math Group:
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We learned how to add and subtract fractions with different denominators by multiple methods, including using the Least Common Denominator/Least Common Multiple. We continued to work on NASA Spacemath problems, and the students especially enjoyed the worksheets integrating chemistry and math. We will use this resource throughout the quarter as much as possible, since it makes math come alive for the students. Our Deltas also really enjoyed creating their own problems and exchanging them among each other to solve, so we will have a similar PnP activity due on Tuesday (since Monday is a school holiday).

 

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In Ms. Kirsten’s Math Group:
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We began the Building Math (http://www.mos.org/engineering-curriculum/building-math) Stranded program!  First did we did a “Shipwrecked” team building activity followed by officially started the Stranded program by trying to find out where our crashed airplane landed in the Pacific and what islands our rescue raft could have landed on.  Lots of algebra, map reading, critical thinking, team work and computation was required but the teams loved it.

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In Ms. Kirsten and Ruchi’s ELA group:
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We continued our read-alouds and learning about the Six Traits of Writing (we’ve covered the first three traits so far–Ideas and Content, Organization, and Voice). It has been a challenge for everyone to integrate these traits into stories that they have written in class, but we are progressing! We also worked on spelling, vocabulary, and parts of speech–all important items to learn and master.

 

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Filed January 16th, 2015.

First week back for Deltas!

Welcome back everyone!  It’s been great to see everyone’s smiling faces.  We also want welcome Ms. Ruchi to her first full Quarter at AHB.  She’s been doing a wonderful job and the kids are really into her lesson plans and activities.

Now that we have our awesome new co-teacher, all three of us will be sharing Theme, math and ELA duties, so the blog will of course include comments from everyone.

Here’s a few pics from some fun activities we did this week…. we made sundials in Mr. J’s math group.  In Theme, we created a scale model of the solar system using toilet paper (!) and worked a lot with measurements about the solar system in general. We have gone through a thorough introduction to astronomy and why we should care about it, and learned about the scale of distance and astronomy-math connection. We did some challenging, yet fun, astronomy-related math problems in Theme this week, which everyone seemed to enjoy.

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Thursday was also Math Pentathlon Day.  We always have a blast!

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In Kirsten’s Math group:

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We have practiced fraction addition, subtraction, multiplication & division w/a Math for All Fraction Tic Tac Toe ‘game’, solved lots of fraction word problems from NASA Space math and the Astronomy chapter of Edward Zaccaro’s Challenge Math book and practice mental math and memorization (including, of course, fractions).

Lastly, as a group we chose to do a STEM project called Stranded from Building Math which we will start beginning next week – look for more info on that coming soon!

 

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In Kirsten & Ruchi’s ELA group:
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Our read aloud book is

George’s Secret Key to the Universe

and we have read the first 5 chapters as of this week!  The kids are taking notes as we read aloud to answer the 5 Ws – in as few sentences as possible – this works on summary and reading comprehension skills.
For writing, we are learning the 6 Traits of Writing – so far have begun to discuss Trait 1 (Ideas and Content) and reviewed the meaning of the words plot, character, 1st person narrative and 3rd person narrative. See

http://www.literatelearner.com/6traits/page_template6t.php?f=main

​for some ​basic info on the 6 Traits.    We worked through some focus areas to work on with  Trait 1 which include:
Getting to the point;
Uses your Senses;
Paint a Picture;
Details over Generalizations;
Narrow your topic;
Observe & Tell
Lastly, we did some spelling, vocabulary, root word practice with Words Their Way with words having the prefixes of mono, uni, bi, and tri.
Look for vocabulary, spelling, and sight words to be part of next weeks PnP!
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In Ruchi’s Math Group:
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This week, we have been working on what we remember about fractions, in addition to going over new material (including adding and subtracting fractions). The students have really been enjoying NASA Spacemath problems, so by popular demand we will continue to work on that throughout the quarter whenever applicable! I have been very happy with everyone’s progress in class, and really enjoy working with this group as both a teammate and a coach. One great thing I have noticed is that the students love helping each other–a wonderful trait that I will always encourage! The PnP due Monday will be something that the students themselves create (3 word problems related to fractions and astronomy), and then circulate among each other to solve next week. I look forward to getting to know everyone better and helping them refine their skills!

Filed January 9th, 2015.

Happy Winter Break from the Deltas!

Hello Delta Family,

What a great way to end Quarter 2 with such a wonderful POP presentation.  Thanks to Ms. K, Ms. Ruchi and all the parents who volunteered to make it a success.

The highlight was of course the Puppet Show, followed by some amazing biographies, artwork, playdough fungi and bacteria and a wide variety of examples related to Life Cycles.   Check out some of the pics below…

For next Quarter we will focus on Astronomy, so any independent research over the Winter Break will be greatly appreciated.

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Filed December 21st, 2014.

Delta week in review

Hi all,

We had a great week and are so glad to have Ruchi with us!

In math, we continued working on our math games, got most of them finished up and were able to play both the completed ones and Math Pentathlon! The kids really wowed the visiting parent tour on Wednesday with the professionalism and content of the games!

The Stock Market Game students did both a self reflective and group evaluation exercise after the 1st semester game ended last Friday at close of market.  Overall our three teams had strong showings for first time players – out of 64 teams we placed

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17th, 19th and 46th
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It was also wonderful for me to read the (confidential) evaluations and see fairly consistent assessments across the group.  The Spring semester game starts in February and teams will be reassembled into new configurations based on the student’s feedback.

 

In Theme we discussed the human life cycle and worked our way through giggles, gasps and a few good questions about our bodies and how they change. It was most helpful to be able to frame the discussion against the other life forms we have studied though even that did not prevent some kids from needing to close their eyes while I was talking!

Language Arts:  Another fun week of wrapping up our wonderful biographies!  The Delta writings have improved immensely and I think every parent will be extremely proud of the work their kids have created.  We are shooting for a lot of these to be completed by Monday, typed of course.  If you need more time then we have until Thursday for POP presentation.  Keep on working!

German was a blast again as we worked on including adjectives in basic introductions.  Oh course, we are still working on making everyone have fun during our sing-alongs!  Haha….

Keep up the great work everyone!

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Filed December 13th, 2014.

Delta Update…Week of December 1st

Well well well December is finally upon us and as we prepare for another wonderful POP here’s how things are shaping up.

Language Arts:  Worked on comparing and contrasting scientists.  It was interesting to see students reactions to things they found in common.

German language class was a blast as we learned numbers and simple introductions, oh and of course we had to sing!  Fun times…

Finally, we had a fun research project yesterday(see pics below) where students had to find an article in a current newspaper that reflected the contribution(s)  of their scientist in today’s world.  Lot of great responses and each student had to present to the class and have a short reflective Q and A.

Our biographies are coming along, keep up the great work!

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In Theme we continued working on our Science Fair, CCA and independent projects – all work is coming along and thank you to all parents for supporting, encouraging and participating with (as needed) in the projects – the class has made  a lot of headway since the beginning of the quarter!

Math time included work on math games (can’t wait til everyone can play them! – maybe we can have a school wide game time?), life cycle math, the Stock Market Game, checkbooks and Math Pentathlon.

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On Wednesday our visiting guest teacher, Ms. Ruchi, talked about metric (SI) vs. customary (standard) measuring systems and did a couple fun activities with the class.   As of this writing, we are very happy to announce that she will be our 3rd Delta class co-teacher and starts Monday, December 8th!  Please join us in welcoming her to AHB!
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Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Kirsten & Joey

Filed December 6th, 2014.

Q1 Portfolio Selection-Camila

I chose my MAYAN HUIPIL (clothes) because it took a lot of work and I was the only to do this piece.

This piece demonstrates I have learned what the Mayans used to wear and what they looked like.

I would like to learn more about the Maya astronomy and culture.

-Camila

Filed November 23rd, 2014.