This Week in Alpha… Week of August 29, 2022

We had our first Wild Rumpus! And our first band practice… shared family photos… and ended our days with The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Table teams crafted and performed skits to teach each other about our classroom Agreements…like Lift each other UP! Mr. Mac is getting frustrated, “Show attentive listening, please!” Treat each other with RESPECT! We don’t HAVE to do the same thing, because we have the Right to Pass… 

This week in Our Big Backyard…

After our visit to the soil horizons, we moved on to the layers of Earth. First, we created an inner core, outer core, mantle and crust with our bodies… Next, we put what we learned into a colorful brochure for Earth…

Alphas brushed up on their knowledge of producers and consumers and added a new category – decomposers! Everyone pulled a card for our sort and had the option of acting it in a game of charades.

Then, we formed tiny earths (and all of its layers) using clay.

We finished our layers of soil rubbings from last week with a watercolor wash…

This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Andrea’s group…

Met a few more letters (Tt, Rr, Ll) and didn’t have time to take many photos! We jammed with our alphabet sounds & movements song, brainstormed long lists of words that shared beginning sounds, and played phonetic games. We finally had the chance to break into choice centers! Surprisingly, the shaving cream at the handwriting center sat idle while the alphas all gravitated to making letter books on the rug. Student of the Day continued this week and we enjoyed learning more about our friends. We finished reading The Smart Cookie and Ms. Andrea only had to read The Book With No Pictures twice (though it was requested every single day). 

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week Alphas shared the leaves they filled out in the P&P (“Projects and Practice”). Many of us discovered we have a lot in common with our friends’ tastes in books! We are learning how to talk about what we’ve read; we ALL love fiction, but some of us aren’t fans of scary books, and some of us really enjoy nonfiction, like biographies of interesting people like Coco Chanel!

We got our “offices,” this week! They provide us with a little space to focus our attention on word work and creative writing. Everybody gets to decorate their “offices…”


We played word games and wrote our high frequency words into our Vocabulary books which requires learning “alphabetical order!” 

We read and discussed story elements in the book Chrysanthumum, like the outside traits of our main character as well as the “inside traits” we can’t see, just by looking at them…

Alphas doing some group work: “inventive spelling,” and labeling attributes of a character…

This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week Alphas worked on A/B patterns. One of the most ancient A/B patterns mankind experienced since the literal Dawn-o-Mankind is Day and Night.

Alphas are planets rotating on their axis; faceing the candle-sun is day, when they face away from the candle-sun it’s night. THAT’S an A/B PATTERN!

Then we worked on a Time Patterns project!

Alphas divided a twenty four hour day in half. We colored things we do by day on one side…more to come on the other…

We are getting to know our calendar and the special months we were born in…

We worked on a new number – we made it, its Roman numeral, and its standard configuration or less formally known as “dice-style.”

Ms. Andrea’s group…

Got busy playing partner games with dice and practicing number sequence. We met the abacus and created our own. We talked about all the different ways of making ten and played a card game to quickly identify groups of ten in a 10-frame. Finally, our alphas got some good practice handwriting numbers when we created our calendars for September. We noted some important days this month, including: Labor Day (see you Tuesday!), the first day of fall, and our classmate’s birthday at the end of the month. 

This week in Monday Lab…

After reflecting on some of the ways we could bend and fold paper from last week, we learned that we can create structures out of paper that have strength and stability. Engineers are people who design all kinds of things that serve specific purposes and they have use the materials they have in practical ways. Alphas have a challenge to build the tallest tower they can with paper and tape. We were lucky enough to have a tower nearby to take a close up look at!

We had our first cooking challenge: Shortbread! We made two delicious batches using the same ingredients except for the sweetener. They came out very differently! We are pondering the results and may try to tweak our cookies in the future!

In order to bake, grains need to be ground into flour. Alphas ground some buckwheat into a fine powder…

After we cook, Alphas clean…

We talked about textiles and saw that when you twist fibers – say from cotton, you can twist them into something that is stronger, like string and you can use that to make fabric or cords for tools like rope or nets!

…or jewelry…

…or even white hair extensions to be like Ms. Kim!