Friends, it happened. We did it. We did our first arc of the year together. And we really really did it.
As I look back on this week, I’m having trouble believing it’s only been 5 days–we did so much this week!
On Monday, we spent the morning reminding and practicing some routines for our bandspace. After spending the week in the Woodlands, the kiddos appreciated the chance to take a breath in the morning, and get back into the routine of Monday morning Literacy Workshop. We added a bit of skills practice by recording in writing the words we built in Quiddler–and we had some doozies! Like T-Rex! Kiddos spent some time finishing up the Theseus books they started, which gave me a good chance to read one-on-one with everybody. In these one-on-one reading moments, I simply listen to hear the types of words kiddos miscue, their tendencies toward guessing vs. decoding, to give gentle reminders to respond to punctuation cues, and ask some thinking questions. In the Orange Band, reading is a closely monitored practice, and we’re building skills everyday.
Oscar and Emilio playing Quiddler and recording the words they build.
After spending some time on prep for Expo night in the afternoon and the next morning, we did one of my favorite activities of the whole week. We went outside and drew a huge hopscotch on the sidewalk! Here’s the idea: we have a range of comfort with numbers and place value in our band. Some kiddos are a bit less fluent with computation, but strong on strategies and number sense. Others are pretty fluent with computation, but could use some practice thinking about the relationships between numbers and efficient problem solving strategies. I’d also like us to make a number line for our bandspace that shows the multiples of 2, 5 and 10. In order to work up to this, we talked about what makes a number a multiple of 2, 5 or 10, and decided on some body movements we could when we land on a number in our hopscotch that is a multiple of 2, 5 or 10. Then, we grabbed a bucket full of chalk and headed outside.
Tesla and Isaac worked together to add the action notations to multiples of 2, 5 and 10.
The kiddos were so engaged with this activity! We took turns drawing the boxes, writing numbers, and labelling the multiples of 2, 5 and 10 for their actions. On multiples of 2, we drew a line down the middle to show the hopscotcher to land on both feet. On multiples of five, we traced a hand to show the hopscotcher to give the sidewalk a high-5. On multiples of five, we traced two hands to show the hopscotcher to clap. As we worked, we took some breaks to go through the hopscotch, and noticed that at some numbers, we needed to do all 3 actions. Which numbers are those? The multiples of 10! Then, at the end of the day, we got to tell our friends that it was hopscotch-o-clock!
Ramses loved going through the hopscotch! He very thoughtfully performed each action as he reached a multiple of 2, 5 or 10.
Oh, and Wednesday morning we put screws into wood for our storage unit! Yay!
Tesla and Emilio make a great team!
In earlier posts, I’ve mentioned how this early elementary year is one of transition toward higher expectations. One of those expectations is performing self-assessments at the end of an arc. We have already established a practice of reflecting in our journals every Wednesday afternoon, and have been moving toward writing more specific, detailed entries. This week, we turned our reflection writing toward listening and thought about how we’re doing at some specific skills we identified at the beginning of the year as earmarks of good listening: turning your body toward the speaker, making eye contact, turning your voice off, and signaling a connection or that you’d like to build-on. Kiddos spent the afternoon writing about which skills they think they are doing well, and which they need to work on and how.
Tesla used our band’s poster about listening skills as a resource to guide her reflection journalling.
The day finally arrived: time for Exposition. We had a plan, we knew what our priorities were, and we got to work. Some folks focused on presentation board to go with each of our explorative projects, others helped clean and organize the bandspace. And in the afternoon, we rolled out the labyrinth we drew on Monday afternoon and lined up rocks along the pathway.
Sadie, Emilio, Isaac and Tesla get ready to roll out the labyrinth.
Ramses, Oscar and Emilio carefully place rocks along the path.
Sadie, Isaac and Tesla work together to place rocks along the pathways of the labyrinth.
As we reflected on our time spent following the Rock thread together, a few things stuck out to the kiddos as things we did really well. We thought it was great to have different projects happening at the same time, so kiddos could choose what they wanted to work on. Kiddos really enjoyed how our trip to the labyrinth led to a study of both Greek mythology, the story of the hero and the beast, and a study in specific techniques for drawing this ancient art form. Others enjoyed the thread of chemistry in growing our own crystals, and the connection between this and the three main types of rocks. We truly had something for everybody, and are off to a great start.