What’s New with the Beta Crew!

We started off our week in a very special way–  Part of the Delta class payed us a visit for the day!!!

IMG_4156 IMG_4165

They joined us for our morning meeting, and read with us…



… and jumped in to help us with our math!  Thank you Max, Kian, Lukus, Theo, Ben, Connor and Kien!  It was nice to have the extra helping hands!  Deltas Rock!!


IMG_4184 IMG_4183

We also spent the beginning of the week thinking about and choosing our new goals we will focus on over the next little while.

“A growing body of research indicates that when students are working on goals they themselves have set, they are more motivated and efficient, and they achieve more than they do when working on goals that have been set by the teacher”- According to Hom and Murphy (1983)

We (both parents and teachers) as educators can nurture student self-direction and personal efficacy by providing students with opportunities to exercise some control over their own learning.


“An emphasis on student self-direction and efficacy means that we teach and engage students in specific strategies that offer them opportunities to make decisions and solve problems on their own without being told what to do at all times. It means we provide them with strategies designed to help them process information effectively and to be self-confident, believing that they have the abilities to succeed. And perhaps most important, we help students become more reflective about their thinking and learning processes.”


“When we help students develop an awareness about their own thinking and learning processes, we are helping them think about the effectiveness of the strategies they use in reaching the goals they have set. Essentially, they are “thinking about thinking,” a process known as metacognition. In general, use of a long-term metacognitive strategy of planning what is to be done, monitoring our progress, and evaluating the results is an effective way of helping students take more control of their own thought and feeling processes” (Barell, 1985).

 And THAT is a great thing!


Come check out the goal wall! This will help remind us what we are striving for. And don’t worry, a copy will be coming home to you too, so these goals can be worked on at home as well!


 IMG_4167 IMG_4166

 In math, many kiddos chose to work on  facts fluency as their goal.  Whether it’s addition, subtraction, multiplication or division they chose to work on, the kiddos had loads of practice this week.  Using dominoes to make addition problems, to showing all the different ways to make 18…


IMG_4161 IMG_4187

… to figuring out which bears were needed to balance the number 8 on both sides, to counting up and adding all the different attributes on your move in Par 55.  (Check out last week’s post about Math Pentathlon if you missed it!)

We love to practice our math facts!!!! 



In language arts we did a really cool activity that helped the kiddos make process learning more concrete.

When young students get an insider’s view of the writing process, they realize that we don’t just “write to write.”  We write to think.  And as writing tasks get harder over the years, this understanding helps them stick with it until it is right!

In this lesson, the kiddos create colorful modeling clay sculptures to experience first hand what it means to follow a process.

“Create something.” was what they were told.  And we would not give them any more information, keeping it very open-ended.


At first the kids were stumped.  “ANYTHING???”  Ms. Courtney only wrote down their questions so we could talk about them later, but we would not answer them.  After a bit, the kids let go and gave it a try.


IMG_4175 IMG_4169

They began to create.

Each child’s piece very different from the next.



They were asked to add something, remove something, make it different somehow, while all along not getting the answers from the teachers- just thinking about it for themselves.  (Like in the writing process- get it?!  We don’t just write something down and call it done!  We think, revise, edit, change.)


IMG_4181 IMG_4180

When the masterpieces were complete, we visited each one and wrote a specific question or comment on each.

Each kiddo then reflected on their creative process, and the feedback given- just like in the writing process.

What a great activity to get us ready for writing workshop time!

What’s Coming Up

October 31st- Emil’s Birthday!!!

November 2nd- Daylight savings time ends :(

November 8th- Ms. Courtney’s Birthday!!!

November 11th- NO SCHOOL

November 12th- Board Meeting




Filed October 31st, 2014.