Happy Second Semester

Newsy Update

What 's Going On

Wasn't our "Snowcation" wonderful? It seemed to bring out the 'child' in each of us. As I watched my grandkids sledding I wanted to jump on the back and leap over the snow ramp they had buiIt --I thought better of it picturing myself being taken to the emergency room with a broken something.

It is hard to believe that we are into our second half of the school year. Where has the time gone? It has been busy and we have hit the ground running learning the concept of multiplication and now learning our multiplication facts. The children’s enthusiasm is so visible. We’ve used interactive games and hands on materials so that memorization becomes an easier task. Working together with the parents at home shows the children how we all work together to strengthen their skills. Coming up this week we will start division. I'm reading the picture book, The Doorbell Rang as an introduction to the concept of division and sharing/dividing cookies. It is much easier to learn a math skill when children can see how you would use it in real life.

For the last few weeks we have been learning about Native Americans through various read aloud books and videos. We wanted to introduce the children to the American Indians as a whole-- what made them unique, how they chose where they lived, and how they were all different from one another. Now we are starting our research on a specific group, the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians. We will gather information from the library, highlight written text, and record our information to use at a later date when we write our stories and create our BoardBooks. I love when the children choose their own names and those of their family members. I've had dads' called Silly Bear and moms' Squawking Bird---and I say you can't take it personally--or can you?? It is always rather funny to see how the children see us. Their stories are very personal and describe their lives as Native American children. It is so interesting to see how easily they can take on this role describing a life that seems so real to them. They actually live what they have learned. We have talked about 'bias' and how Native Indians have been presented over the years and we learn about the connection with Mother Earth. This gives the children just a taste of the importance of nature and spirit in their lives.

Lastly we have been working hard on the ‘third grade quilt’. Each of the children will do a nine square patch and then it will be lovingly put together by Nan, our Music teacher. This activity is part of our Community Service. We will donate it to the school auction with proceeds going to financial aid. The children are very proud of their work and have loved learning a new skill—sewing. I would love to have volunteers to come in and help the children with their sewing skills--if you don't have any, you can help thread a needle or tie a knot.