This week I want to say a big GRACIAS to the parent volunteers that have come to Nature Camp to play Math games with our campers, or have organized this event, and to the parent helping with our reading centers. We enjoy your participation and that you can get a chance to get involved in our daily camp routines. Also, to the two parents that are regularly cutting up and assembling booklets and other reading and math materials for us, I want to say "your help is huge to me!, Thank you so much!".
I love the involvement and generous heart of this community, and I am looking forward to give you more opportunities to volunteer! If you are interested, check out the wejoinin pages on the "camp volunteers" section on the top menu.
I feel very grateful for your help.
This week in Nature Camp, the campers have been exploring the concept of "efficiency" in their math answers. What representation helps them explain their thinking, is easy for others to understand, is easy and accurate? What equation really answers the question in the problem? What do the numbers of the equation represent? After working on a problem, students have been revising each other's representations, and voting with sticky notes on the ones they find more efficient. Check out their work! (Please, note that many of the sticky notes don't show up in the pictures) The campers have also been working with odd and even numbers, and have been finding out what happens when they add two odd, two even or an odd and an even number.
In Language Arts, the Tree Huggers have been rotating through reading and writing stations, learning and practicing new vocabulary, writing beautiful fall stories, and practicing their handwriting.
Nice work, campers!
For the last couple of weeks we have welcomed in our camp this year's Spanish Aide, Esther Hernández, that will be assisting in our class every Wednesday and Thursday. Even though the first week Esther was just supposed to observe, she right away jumped in to help and work with the students. With her help we have been able to work safely on a science experiment that required the use of hot water, she has also worked with small groups for reading, and has been guiding individual students with their math skills. We love to have her here!
Here are a few other highlights of the week:
In math we have been diving into numberless problems, where the campers focus on the story, visualize it, and understand what it means before being given the numbers so that they can NOTICE and WONDER. Then they come up with possible questions that can be answered with the information given. After that they move on to representing the problem with a picture, and solving it with an equation. Finally, we discuss about what the pictures represent, and how they best explain our thinking. All these discussions give the students more depth into the analysis of their answers, and come to conclusions about the ACCURACY, as well as EFFICIENCY of their representations. We have also been practicing addition facts with fun games.
In Language Arts, we have been making 15 minute rotations on reading comprehension, fluency and vocabulary building, writing and partner reading. With the help of Esther and these rotations, I have been able to test all my students on fluency, what will set the stage to establish individual reading goals.
In science, we have tested the melting properties of different types of candy, and done a really cool mini research on a favorite animal for World Animal Day.
And with all this hard work, we have even had time to take mindful breaks, practice our mountain and waterfall breathing exercises, and practice some meditation on sounds and thoughts.
Take a look at the pictures to see our campers' work!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!