A new classmate, Open-Minded practice, a silent artifact museum, a trip to Miwok grounds, marshmallow engineering…
Over break, I inherited a 12 year old Russian Tortoise, so on Monday the class spent the morning using iPads to research the feeding, care, needs, and adaptations of our new friend. You may have heard that “Tortellini” the Tortoise has settled nicely into our class…he is a charming little guy! Please reach out if you are planning to stay home over winter break and might be interested in a low maintenance house guest for a couple weeks.
In math, Room 8 architects designed and built an array city. Each building has windows placed in arrays, with the accompanying multiplication facts boldly printed. Such fun to blend art and math!
In reading, we are focusing on character. Our read-aloud is Because of Winn Dixie, a sweet and thoughtful story about a young girl and a dog. I am encouraging students to consider the characters in books as new friends, and as we read I am asking students to notice how characters talk and act to grow ideas or theories about them. I set out a stack of books with great characters, so each child is doing the same work with their own book. For example, we decided the main character (Opal) in Because of Winn Dixie is the kind of kid who is kind, loves animals and is big hearted. You might ask your child to give some examples to back this theory up.
Early this week, we talked about what culture means and discussed the concept of being open-minded. To experience this first hand, I showed a powerful video of a Haka performed at a New Zealand wedding ceremony. Instead of giggling at this unique tradition, we looked at it through the lens of anthropologists and were able to see the beauty. I am so proud of this class! Several mentioned the feelings the dance evoked, and I was not the only one tearing up. Later in the week we even danced to a “How to Haka” video and felt the power and connection ourselves.
Thanks to a Kiddo! Grant, we have access to 10 genuine Miwok artifacts (traps, games, digging sticks, shaft straightener, stone stir sticks, etc). I set up a Silent Miwok Artifact Museum and with native drum and flute music playing in the background, your child got be an anthropologist and try to figure out the purpose of these foreign objects.
Because every child was 100% prepared for a massive downpour during our field trip, we naturally had a ‘bluebird’ day with sunny skies! The kids got to peek in a redwood kotcha, sit on tule mats, pet a wide assortment of animal skins, view Miwok regalia, sing a Miwok song, do a little spear throwing and used pump drills to simulate drilling through clam shells. A perfect trip, for sure. Thank you again Angie, McLain, Jenny, Monique, Pam and Katrina for driving and chaperoning.
Thursday was our “4” celebration and we spent an hour building structures using marshmallows and toothpicks. Thank you, Michael, for lending professional expertise and helping keep this sweet activity under control.