During this week, the scientists have been reviewing addition strategies, learning all about rounding to the nearest ten and hundred, estimating, and understanding addition properties. We have been working in math centers, playing different games, and working in a small group with me to practice more in depth learning. During Language Arts, the scientists have been reading and writing about about the books, and many scientists have finished or are about to finish their first ten books and getting their first prize. We have also started our vocabulary journals, following the story " El Coleccionista de Palabras" by Peter H. Reynolds. Whenever we come across a new interesting vocabulary word in our read aloud session, we discuss the word, learn its meaning and when the scientists choose that word to write sentences with it, they get the word in a sticker to collect on their notebooks, and will get a prize after 25 words collected! Finally, during Social Studies, we have continued with our Third Grade Collab time on Thursday mornings to work on projects related to the Massachusetts symbols.
On a different note, our scientists have been also celebrating the Hello Week reading about and practicing kindness, with the book "A little spot of kindness!" by Diane Alber, and creating encouraging messages for our second grade buddies.
Isn't all this a great way to spend time in school?
Eleven days into the school year, our scientists are in complete working mode. In the lab we have learned how to work with the "scientist safety checklist", and collaborate with our team of scientists to keep our working area organized and safe from dangerous viruses (a.k.a chaos). In math we completed the week of inspirational math, like we did last year, to remind us of how real mathematicians work through problems and what real math looks like. We reviewed the topics of thinking deeply, looking for patterns, using images and manipulatives, and making tons of mistakes in order to make our brains build new pathways between our neurons. We have also started our number talks, and math routines, as well as the math chapter on properties of addition. This year we have started our "diario trasto" or junk journal, to create a space every day for free, creative writing in Spanish, where our ideas and sentences are not judged, but rather serve as a way of practicing our written Spanish while we talk about our favorite things, events in our lives, and other topics, and we also get creative decorating the journal with pockets, tags, pop-ups and tons of washi tape! In reading we have started our reading challenges: for every 10 books the scientists read and write about in their reading passport, they get a prize! The enthusiasm for reading and writing is skyrocketing! We have also started with reading mini lessons to talk about informational and non fiction narrative, and have reviewed the strategies "asking questions", and "sequence". And finally, during Social Studies, we have learned about the Massachusetts symbols, and have started a collaborative work with the rest of the third graders, and the scientists have had a chance to get grouped and work with other teachers on different activities related to the symbols, like creating a song, cooking, making a 3D model, and creating a digital book. What an amazing start, isn't it?
It's hard to believe that our Nature Camp is coming to an end. It has been a fantastic year full of adventures and discoveries, and this week couldn't have been more fun...Field Day, Classroom Party... All our campers are so ready for the summer break!
Next year, in third grade, we will have tons of learning ahead of us. We will have a Scientific theme, which is another one of my favorite topics! I'm very happy to be collaborating again with my third grade team, and to come up with new projects for our students.
Before heading out to Spain for the summer, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you, parents and students, that have made this an amazing year. Thanks to your help, we have been able to work on fantastic projects, like the snowman challenge and bird feeder project, that had our campers completely engaged. It's admirable how committed you are to the emotional and educational growth of your children, and the participation in the school activities. I feel very grateful to have the "go ahead" and "count me in" thumbs up from you and my administrators, this gives me so much freedom to try new projects with my students!
With that said, I would like to wish you a fantastic summer. Hope you all have time to relax, read your favorite books, play math board games, spend time with your loved ones, and just breathe :)
See you back in September, and enjoy the slide show!
Probably these are some of the words you would rarely find in a school setting, but that is how our camp, and our school works. This week we've had the chance to enjoy some time outdoors with Mrs. Gallagher, having a picnic in the front garden with our stuffed animals, and playing an extra recess just for ourselves, as a reward for our SOARING behavior and powering up. Campers have also been sent on missions around the school, math missions that is. Turns out there are tons of things to gather data from in every corner of the school, so the campers walked around, whiteboard and marker in hand to write down all the information and then made bar graphs to portray their findings in an organized and professional manner. And yesterday, as you know, we enjoyed our awesome Kidnection Day! Thanks to Mrs. Brigham's incredible idea, our campers, and all of the students in the school learned new skills in two sessions. The school was buzzing with activity, and it was so great to see such movement and enthusiasm in all the kids' faces. I'm sure you have all heard wonderful stories of learning from your kids.
Just one more week of school before the summer break!
Enjoy this week's slide show :)
Oh, did we have fun on our field trip day! The campers had a blast using all of the gadgets at the Ecotarium, and seeing all the beautiful animals. Take a look at the pictures in the slide show.
This week at the camp we have been working on a few things. In math, we continue with measurement. We have been figuring out fun measurement riddles for our math talks, and worked on our measurement books. On Thursday we got out during National Outdoor Classroom Day to measure in centimeters some objects in the field. In Language Arts, we have been working on our second letter to our pen pals. In Social Studies we have been reading biographies and creating small books along them. And on Wednesday we have been saying goodbye to our very special aide, Esther. The campers prepared beautiful cards, and a couple of them brought a gift for her. She was very touched by the gesture, and we will all miss her and wish she comes back to visit someday.
Take a look at this week's slide show!
Enjoy the long weekend!
Is there such thing as "rain fever"? Be it real or not, there have been quite a few days this month where I just couldn't stand the overcast skies and rain any more. For that reason, the moment there was a little bit of sunshine, I took my students out, any excuse seemed reasonable. Last week we got to our field and collected several branches to put on our measurement books, it was a lot of fun working on the outdoor classroom, measuring the branches and taking pictures of them. We were working in there when the first grade students were coming out for recess, one of them commenting to me "one of your students is standing on the bench!", "That is right - I said- He is supposed to stand on the bench to take a good picture!" After a few minutes of bliss and sun on our faces, a couple of curious bees decided to show up, so we called it a day and got back in. We went out back yesterday to fill up our front bird feeders. They were almost empty. We are happy to report that they are really enjoying our birdie town.
Included in this slide show are also pictures of the International Night, it was so much fun to see everybody having a great day of community and celebration of other cultures! I had a blast!
Finally, in our camp we have been working on writing our second letter to our pen pals, and a lesson on producers and consumers for social studies.
Enjoy the pictures!
And here are a couple of proofs that the birdies are building a nest in one of the bird houses. When I showed the pictures to my students one of them said with such a sweet enthusiasm "We are going to have a birdie!". Yes, let's hope for a full nest, we will even give names to the chicks :) Our outdoor classroom pets!
We are making and publishing books! Take a look at what the campers have been working on. We have been measuring branches outdoors, and measuring classroom objects indoors to the nearest inch and half inches, taking pictures and making picture books of measurement. You can read the books here, just don't use the "read to me" feature, unless you want to learn how NOT to pronounce in Spanish. More books coming up next week. We are still in the editing process.
Enjoy the weekend!
Another hard working and adventurous week here at the camp. Our campers have been finishing up their learning on money exchange and time to the 5 minutes, using activities and games to practice their skills. In language arts, we have finished writing our pen pal letters to our friends in second grade Memorial School, and will be sending them out today. We have also been reading interesting stories, practicing partner reading and working on reading groups and literary circles. In Social Studies, we finished last week our travels around the 7 continents, and have moved to learn about how seeds propagate during our science period (pictures on the presentation show our students acting as trees dropping the paper seeds from their arm-branches). And on our special bird feeder project, we have installed the camera and have seen a lot of activity in our bird feeders and bird houses. We can't wait to see the footage that the camera has captured. The project has had such a big impact in the school, that teachers and students are doing some bird watching on their own and reporting what they see to us. The houses and feeders look so pretty over a background of green grass and blooming trees, and the birds seem to love such colorful constructions!
Here is a slide show of the bird feeder installation. What a perfect day for outdoor work! Thank you to Mr. DeWitte for doing all the work, and explaining to our campers the proper use of the tools.
Now we just have to wait for the birdies to discover the wonderful buildings we have created for them!
Hola! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a Spanish Immersion teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!