What’s New with the Beta Crew!

Morning Meeting- A powerful way to begin the day.

It is good for students to be noticed, to be seen by their teacher. But it is only a start, not enough by itself.

They must notice and be noticed by each other as well. The sense of group belonging and the skills of attention, listening, expression, and cooperative interaction developed in Morning Meeting are a foundation for every lesson, every transition time, every lining-up, every upset and conflict, all day and all year long.

It is a microcosm of the way we hope AHB is for our kiddos—communities full of learning, safe and respectful and challenging for all.


One of our activities this week was called “Don’t Make Me Laugh!” Here Kellen’s job was to make Asher laugh using funny facial expressions and gestures.


Yoga is a part of our morning meetings every other Wednesday.  Ms. Stacie teaches us very useful techniques to calm our bodies and get them ready for focusing and learning.


We continue to spotlight one Beta each week, and we hope this makes them feel extra special. And it sure is fun to learn more about each of our kiddos!


During math we press on with our focus on fluency by playing games, creating math journal entries on an open ended problem, and working in our Math Mammoth packets.  Using many different methods to reach the same goal, we hope to lead each kiddo- in at least one of these ways- on the road to math fluency!

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 And of course we continue with our estimating jar where we are now having the kids take control over the sorting and counting.

We are also focusing on some new activities- like 4 Chip Line- to prep us for our next Math Pentathlon game titled FIAR- a deceptively simple game! Bwahahaha!

 Language Arts

Remember how we were taught to spell when we were students? Many of us were simply handed a list of words and told to write each word five times. We then had our Friday spelling test, after which we may have forgotten those very words.

Remember how we were taught to decipher new words we encountered when reading? I can still hear my teachers saying, “Just sound it out!”

Of course, we were also taught some reading and spelling rules such as, “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.” But did you know that this rule, like many others that we were taught, holds true less than fifty percent of the time? (Clymer, 1996) Not only do these precepts lack reliability, but the teaching of rules is not really the best way to help our students learn. We learn best by active involvement and practice with the task at hand, which allow us to see word and letter patterns for ourselves. Research suggests that the brain is a pattern detector, rather than an applier of rules (Cunningham 2004). If our brains are indeed “pattern detectors,” then we should provide our students with plenty of opportunity to investigate and organize those patterns using word study activities.

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Word study activities call for active problem solving. Students are encouraged to look for spelling patterns, form hypotheses, predict outcomes, and test them. These activities require students to continually ask themselves, “What do I know about this new word, and how is it similar to words that I already know?”

And they have fun doing it!!


Our pioneers have made it across the country and they are ready to settle!

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We have been mixing, measuring and building three different houses- adobe, sod and log house– just like the ones the settlers created way back when.

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But we aren’t going to show you the final product until our museum is open for viewing! Sorry! ;)



Can you guess who this Beta is?  It’s hard to tell with these super sweet cube glasses in that super sweet face of his! ;)

 Coming Up:

November 8th- Ms. Courtney’s birthday- Thank you for all the wonderful love you all gave her on Thursday!

November 8th- 23rd Annual Austin Powwow & American Heritage Festival

November 11th- No School

November 12th- Board Meeting 7:00

November 15th- Austin Home Brew Festival!! 6:00 Be there or be square!



Filed November 7th, 2014.