Pine Class News

November 15

What a full week! We've set that before haven't we? Really though, we stepped things up a notch in exploration, we concluded our study of money, we finished mapping all of our field trips to this point, we mapped our field trips on maps of different scales, we shared about all of our special places in Brooklyn and categorized these in thematic groups, we set up a real farm stand and a fake one, we counted and graphed the funds in our shared farm stand money jar, we embarked on a reading growth spurt, and last but not least, we welcomed Eleanor Roosevelt to our classroom!

Read on to find out more about these experiences.


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Children have collected seeds from our snacks and from the school yard. We are so excited to nurture them and to see if they will grow.
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These children made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' underground lair. We helped them a bit by printing pictures from TurtlePedia which showed the appearance of the lair in various versions spanning 20 years of TMNT history. I was really hoping they would ask me about my own experience building Turtle lairs. "Let me tell you, when I was your age, the turtle lair had no computers, no internet..." Ok, I can see that wasn't really the right approach. I'm glad the children had so much time to indulge their inner architects this way.
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Here the children summarized what they did during the week. This moment of reflection gave them the opportunity to use specific vocabulary that they know from movies and TV but have likely never had the occasion to write down before. This will also be a record of what they did that they can look back on in the future. If they get another turn in the block area soon they may choose to continue this project.

At the end, they also wrote an appeal for more time in the block area. We asked the class, "Is it fair for the same children to stay in the block area from one week to the next?" The answer was a resounding "No" but not a clamorous, reactive "No." The children seemed to think it was reasonable that someone would want to stay in the same spot, but they thought other children deserved a turn.

We plan to ask them when we make choices on Monday about gender balance in the block area. Last week there happened to be a group of boys only in the block area. Would it be fair for us to say that this coming week is going to be girls only?

What big ideas do you see coming out in this discussion? Surely, it is a discussion they will be living out for the rest of their lives.

Math Games

We hope you have been playing our math games a couple of times a week. These can reinforce skills that we have taught in class.

From earlier in the year you should have Make 10, Make 20. Recently we've sent home materials for Collect 25 cents.

If you need any of these materials or have any questions about the games, please let us know.

Big Ideas in Math

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Your child could practice making 25 cents in various ways at the breakfast table.
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We shard this chart with you many newsletters ago. How do you think your child is doing with these ideas?

Are they comfortable counting on a number line? Soon we will construct an open number line in our math class to connect to a measurement context.

Does your child see how 6 + 4 and 4 + 6 are related?

Does your child see how 6 + 4 and 7 + 3 are related?


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Here you see three maps that we made this week.

Emergent Curriculum

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The children have shared their special places in Brooklyn and have described what makes them special. The teachers grouped these favorite places into the categories you see here. In the coming week, children will select which category they want to learn more about.

Farm Stand

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Children have been sharing some of their money in a shared farm stand fund. On Wednesdays, other children who don't have money to spend at the farm stand are allowed to take money from the jar. We are proud of so many of our students for sharing - taking some of their private resources and adding them to the commons. We are also concerned about the health of the fund. We described it as a system because we taught the children about health systems last year. This week we began graphing how much money is in the jar since this could be one way to measure the health of the system.

What are other ways to measure the health of the system?

Special Guest! Eleanor Roosevelt!!!!

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Reading Growth Spurt

We are motivating the children to go through a reading growth spurt. These are some of the habits that will help them.
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Pine Class Singing

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01 - Suite No. 1: Petro (Haitian Dances, 1954) - Frantz Casseus