What happens when we encourage each other, listen to each other, and work together to figure things out? Easy! Exponential growth in learning, plus it makes it way more fun to work with somebody else. This is what the campers have been doing a lot this week. From finding what materials are more insulating and protect us better from the heat, to match words with their pictures and write sentences that show a character, setting and a problem, and then reading those sentences to our audience, collaboration has taken a front stage in our camp. The sense of collaboration is so big, that many of my students have started to forget how to speak in English as well ;), encouraging each other to "hablar sólo en Español". Collaboration has also come in the form of a wonderful help from a mom that has made a set of "rekenreks" for our campers (you know who you are:) to work with addition and subtraction, and with the visit of our Clough Math Coach, Mrs. Berthao, that is collaborating with all the second grade classes to expand our repertoire of math fun! We love to have her come to our class! Take a look at these pictures to see some highlights of the week.
I'm on a mission: to help your child make sense of math. In order to find that out, our campers have been exploring the different ways of making rectangles with 12 tiles, and then adding a frame with a different color tile. Do all the frames have the same amount of tiles? And what about shapes? Can we make different polygons using a string of yarn? How many sides can we make? How many shapes? And how can we practice addition facts without writing them down on a paper? Check out these pictures to find out what the campers have been up to. The number talks and math work are taking off, and our campers are finding new ways of being flexible with equations, and moving numbers around to see what happens.
This Monday we received the visit of a group of seven Spanish exchange students and their teacher, that right away accepted the challenge of building structures with our campers. The students were distributed in groups of two or three with the help of one exchange student each. They were given a bin with different materials, and a set of pictures of structures as an example of what they could build. At the end, the exchange students would help our campers fill out a paper with a picture of their structure, and an explanation of the materials used, the names of the team members, the name of the structure and what was it for. All the students were so engaged for the full hour, and it was beautiful seeing our campers and our helpers communicating in Spanish.
In our Nature camp, we have also started our science unit on Material Magic!. Our campers have started exploring the properties of certain materials, and have created a hat perfect for the hot weather, with absorbent materials, and good to protect them from the sun. Check out their creations!
As a final note, I have to say that I was so impressed and proud of my students for their performance during Open House. They were incredible tour guides, and were so focused and respectful when it was my turn to present to you. Such a caring group of kids speaks volumes of the great parenting received at home!
Thank you so much for your visit during Open House. It was great to meet (almost) all of you, and to see your enthusiasm for your child's learning. As a gentle reminder, there are still many volunteer opportunities opened, so check them out on the menu above!
Also, during the week of inspirational math, our explorers have been learning about the importance of making mistakes, how the brain grows when we find challenges and believe that we have the capacity and skills to solve them, and learn from trying over and over, how depth is better than speed, and how real world mathematicians are in fact, really slow thinkers.
During our reading workshop block, we have started getting our book bags ready, finding our reading spots, how to read independently, how to read with a partner, and what the teacher will be doing while the students are reading independently. We have had a lot of fun modeling the wrong way of doing things, and then the right way, so the campers know what not to do! These campers are very good actors!
Finally, during our meditation period, we have been taking some relaxing breaks at the end of the day, taking deep breaths, stretching, and learning about attention. We have also learned about the Zones of Regulation, and what to do when we are not in the green zone.
Phew! Sounds like it has been really busy in this camp! And we just got started! There will be more adventures coming, so check back with us soon!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!