A week away from our winter break, the campers haven't slowed down their pace. For the past two weeks, these are some of the things we have been working on:
During our math period, the campers have been learning all about subtraction of two digit numbers with and without regrouping, understanding what that means, when they should regroup, and getting to the final answer in a few steps. Subtraction can be tricky, but these explorers have no fear! During our morning math talks, we have been playing around with Mr. Wybourney's Splats (that we call "manchas") that create rich mathematical conversations to build number sense. If you want to take a look at Mr. Wyborney's work, click here.
During Language Arts, we have started writing our how-to piece, in this case, how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, in Spanish called "como preparar un sandwich de mantequilla de cacahuete y mermelada", writing and rewriting until the steps are clear. Upon finishing the piece, students will create a flipgrid video showing how to do it, and reading the instructions they wrote.
Also, Esther and I have been working on our reading group rotations where we have the chance of working with 4 small groups during 15 minutes each, do reading comprehensions and response to reading, and "gifting" the kids with new words to practice during the following days. Esther is coming up with very creative ways to fix small grammatical errors, like working with the articles "el", or "la", and the possessive pronouns, like saying "la casa de mi abuela" instead of "mi abuela's casa". Also, during the 100th day of school, our campers spent almost two hours writing words in Spanish with their articles, and I have to say, I had the dictionaries ready just in case they wouldn't get to one hundred, but they didn't need to use them, all of the words came out of their minds! Yep, these kids have a Spanish area in their brains.
And finally, during our Social Studies period, we have started working on our travel journal covers that we will take "around the world" during the weeks after the winter break (more on this to come). Take a look at the pictures to get a glimpse of the work at the camp.
Enjoy the weekend!
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.
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!