First of all, I would like to thank everyone for the lovely Valentine's treats and cards! You all sure know how to make this teacher feel loved, thank you!
This week we have started working on our next science unit, environments. We went over to the science lab for the first time and began to learn about meal worms. If you were lucky enough, your child may have chosen to bring home their group's meal worms(lucky you!). We will be observing and caring for them over the next few weeks as we observe their life cycle.
In math, we are wrapping up our fractions unit. This week we took the end of module test, and it was tricky! I am always impressed with how hard the kids try on these exams. I know they are long, but they always give it their all.
We are continuing to work on our Minecraft Missions, they are coming along quite nicely!
As you may have seen in the Wednesday Envelopes, we are starting our first at-home project. It is our Cereal Box Report! The kids will be choosing a fiction book and then will use a cereal box to create their report. I will be posting the deadlines and requirements online shortly, in case your child has misplaced theirs. This project is meant to be fun and not stressful! As a final project, students will get the choice of creating a commercial presentation in front of their classmates, or they may create a commercial to be filmed and then shown to the class. It is completely up to them, but I have found students are usually more successful recording their commercials rather than presenting in front of the class.
Your child may have mentioned some seating changes going on inside the classroom. I have always been interested in flexible seating, and studies have shown that flexible seating helps students learn better. I have been giving students the choice of where to sit during work time, but I would like to eventually allow them to choose where they would like to sit during instruction time as well. For seating choices I have added: seat cushions, low sitting tables, beach chairs, stools, square seats, and a bean bag chair. I will also be adding some lap desks, desk bouncy bands, and standing desks. I have found that giving the students more choices than a traditional desk has allowed them to really be a part of their learning. Some students still prefer standard desks, which is fine, but a lot of students enjoy learning on the floor or while standing. We will keep our traditional desks for a while, but I would like to eventually get rid of some of them to open up the space for more seating options. Letting students choose where to sit also allows them to focus on learning rather than their friends. They know that if they choose to sit in an area near their friends, that they need to be responsible otherwise I have the right to move them. So far, this has not been much of an issue!
If you have any gently used seat cushions/clip boards/lap desks/beach chairs/alternative seating choices, we will gladly accept donations to the classroom.
Lastly, I let my students know that my family was a part of the area that needed to be evacuated due to the Oroville Dam emergency spillway. My parents live in Live Oak and I have family in Marysville. Luckily, they were all able to retreat to safe places, but it was definitely a scare. They are not out of the woods yet, but we are crossing our fingers that the upcoming storms are not too bad. The kids were very kind asking if my parents were okay, and they were very understanding that I was a little frazzled at the beginning of the week. I really do have the kindest class ever!
I hope you all have a wonderful break!
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