This Week in Alpha… Week of Sept 9, 2022

Be sure to check out our brand new AHB Library! You and your child can check out books before and after school until 3:30. We have some Alphas who are already familiar with the check-out system!

Finley and Paxton’s family helped build shelves for the books and James’ mom, a real live librarian, organized! A big thank you to you all!

This week in Our Big Backyard…

This week we took the Way-Back Machine to learn about our baby Earth and how its crust rose from the water that covered our planet. Some of us remembered from last year that heat rises because it creates wind – but we found out that it happens deep within the Earth too. The core of the Earth sends heat out when that plasticky mantle rubs up on the bottom of the crust, some of it melts and causes the crust to float on top of it. When that melted rock, that we call “magma” builds up pressure and finds a weak part of the crust it rises and rises and breaks through the crust and forms new land! This still happens today with volcanoes. 

Here we have Magma-Lucy trying to find a weak part of the crust to explode through…

Alphas created lovely brochures of the outside and inside of volcanoes for their Nature Journals.

Next we made Glitter Island and watched what happened to it when its mantle and crust got really hot!

It broke apart!

We had fun experimenting with different ways these different parts of the Earth’s crust break, shift, and move…We call these shifting parts “tectonic plates.”

Alphas grind their tectonic cracker plates past each other allowing some magma to break through the surface to become LAVA!

Once land formed it created “Landforms” wherever land met water. Alphas built lakes and islands, penninsulas and gulfs, and straits and isthmuses.

Elementary girl holding handmade doll
We ALSO met our Peeps!

It takes a steady hand to make a Peep!

You have to listen VERY carefully so they can tell you their name…

This week in Language Arts…

Ms. Andrea’s group…

Met even more letters (Nn, Oo, Bb) and our first sight words (we/see) ! We warmed up with phonetic awareness games and I’m happy to report that the Alphas are still enjoying our alphabet movement song. This week we broke in some new flashcards to help us with review and blending drills. We began the week with a dictation and everyone ROCKED IT! Our Student of the Day routine is still going strong; we have a few patient classmates left to interview. This week we learned a dice game called “Roll, Say, Trace” and had some fun forming letters out of playdough.

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we used a reading strategy called “taking a book-walk.” We do this for several reasons: it gives us time to to think about the book by using the illustrations and it helps us build personal connections with what we see (setting, emotional expressions, actions). Book walks help us read because they provide some context for words we might not have read before – if we see that a character has their face scrunched up in a scowl and when we read a sentence and run into the word “furious,” (which is difficult to sound out) we have a better chance of figuring it out because we have an idea of what is going on.

We discussed setting in Swimming with Mr. Sillypants, we talked about different types of books and read The Wreck of the Zephyr.

Then we compared all the books we’ve read so far and talked about similarities and differences: there were LOTS of differences, even though some books had similar settings they all had very unique PROBLEMS. Alphas were inspired to create a problem for the main characters they’d already made!

Alphas LOVE sharing their ideas!

Alphas used their phonemic awareness to write up their tectonic plate experiment in their Nature Journals.

This week in Math…

Ms. Kim’s group…

This week we started building out calender. We are learning the pattern of the days of the week. We learned a new pattern: symmetry. We found letters of the alphabet that are symmetrical and things in nature that have symmetry, like leaves, grass, cheeta’s faces, and butterflies. We LOVED making symmetrical leaves and butterflies!

Playing the symmetry game!

Ms. Andrea’s group…

Concluded our study of ways to make ten (or if you prefer, Friends of Ten) by trying out our first warm-up together. Next we moved on to a close examination of the Hundreds Chart that included identifying patterns, locating our favorite special numbers and learning a couple of games. The Alphas worked beautifully with partners. Next week we’ll begin a review of place value!