In our Nature Camp these last couple of weeks, we have somehow overcome the flu season (fingers crossed), not without difficulties. Our campers have been in and out of the classroom, but have managed to keep up with the learning, and I have to say, some seem to have grown taller with those fevers!
In the camp, we have introduced a new number routine, comparing three numbers and figuring out how far they are from 100, or how much would those numbers be if we added 100, 500, 1,000 or 10,000 more. We have also started investigating subtraction with regrouping, using our handy "hundreds, tens and ones" mats and manipulatives. In Language Arts, we have been working on opinion writing, and read tons of non fiction readings, finding evidence from the stories about facts and opinions. In Science, we have been working with soil erosion from water, and have done some messy but cool models of plateaus and canyon formations. In Social Studies, we have been preparing our continent boxes, and will start next week our journey around the world. And during our meditation breaks, we have been practicing our core practice, breathing, three times a day, following some guided meditations, and learning more about our filter system in our brains, and how to, in order to pay attention, we need to filter out a bunch of input from the outside. Take a look at these pictures. This time I took some pics of the campers during our mountain breathing exercise. Ask the campers to show you how to do it, it will help you relax!
This week at our camp the nature explorers have been learning so many different things.
During math, we have moved from learning about place value, to addition equations with regrouping. To make sense of the movement of ones to the tens place, we have been working with "untraditional" number bonds, that is, with paper plates with legs. The campers have been separating the addends into tens and ones, and then regrouping the tens on one side, the ones on the other, and making new tens with the individual ones. Take a look at the pictures to know what I am talking about. We have also been comparing equations, and figuring out if the comparisons where true or false, and we have been finding reasons why one number wouldn't belong to a group of other numbers. The number sense of our campers is expanding, and setting the base for future and more complicated math problems.
During science, this week we have learned why the rivers flow in one direction, and where do they go. We have created a model of a mountain and rain pouring over it, and we have seen what happens when it rains. Take a look!
During our meditation period, we have been learning new things about our brains, like what are the functions of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala, what is a neuron, and how the constant practice of something reinforces the neuropathways in our brains. We have established the routine of doing our core practice, "mindful breathing" three times a day, that will help us calm our amygdala and therefore, have better access to our memories in the hippocampus, and to make better decisions with our prefrontal cortex. I don't have pictures of the campers meditating, because... well, I am meditating with them. But I do have a very cute picture of the second day of school after the holiday break, the campers surrounding the reunion of stuffed animals :)
Enjoy the week!
Hola! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a Spanish Immersion teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!