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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gliding into Winter Break

We have had a busy December here in Sky Class. We had a small group of students put on a beautiful performance of the Nutcracker, we have been observing and identifying birds at our feeders, we worked on the hour of code in math groups, read with Carly's Middle School Spanish class, participated in a variety of interest groups, sang at the holiday sing, celebrated Kwanzaa, started our bird feeder designs, and made snowflakes in addition to all our academic work in our regular classes! It has been a wonderful start to our year. We are so thankful for each and every student and all that they bring to our Sky Class community. We are appreciative of all the parent support both inside the classroom and at home. We hope you have a restful winter break spent with your family. We hope you and your child read a LOT over this time away from school. Have a happy and healthy New Year! See you all on January 3rd. 

Sky Teachers

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Peek Into Math Groups

Katie's math group just finished their study in place value and comparing numbers. We have been working on various strategies to read and compare three digit numbers such as using number lines, identifying place value, using expanded form, and using base-10 blocks. We practiced using the greater than, less than, and equal to sign. We applied these skills in multi-step word problems. To wrap up our place value work, we created our own animal creatures from paper base-10 blocks. We counted and compared the value of each creature in the class and ordered them all from least to greatest. 

This week Tom introduced his math group to the Bearly Balanced Addition Tiles jobcards.
Together the students practiced placing different combinations of weights on the balance scale to balance each side (ex: 8+8=7+9) as a way of understanding how the jobcards work.

Natasha's math group has been exploring addition word problems focusing on understanding the the story structure that shows addition, building equations that represent word problems and solving for unknowns in different places. In this activity the students are creating and writing addition problems and then making a drawing to show each word problem. The next step will involve cutting apart the written problem from the drawing, and then mixing the problems up. A partner will work to match the problems up with the story and then write an equation to match. They will also need to justify why each drawing and problem belong together. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Celebrations and Bird Panel

Bird Panel
On Tuesday, Sky Class participated in a bird panel. We were lucky enough to have three bird experts come into Sky Class to share their knowledge of birds and answer our questions to better help us in empathizing with birds so we can build the best bird feeders possible.  Our experts were able to help answer our questions about birds, feeders, and housing. We are so thankful they were able to come into our classroom and share their experiences to help guide our study of NC birds. 

Thanksgiving Celebrations
Sky Class took Monday's math group session to use their math thinking and apply it to cooking! Sky Class baked three different types of bread as a contribution to our LS shared snack for Thanksgiving. We baked banana bread, friendship bread, and a special gluten/ dairy free pumpkin bread! All of Lower School was able to hold Meeting For Worship in the Stone Circle with a bonfire. It was a peaceful way to spend time and give thanks with our CFS community before the holiday break. Some students even applied the sharing of snack in the mud kitchen by creating a Thanksgiving "feast" for teachers. They even made a mud turkey cake! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Halloween Excitement

Sky class enjoyed a fun-filled day of Halloween celebrations. In the morning we took a hayride around campus. We paraded around Middle and Upper School in our costumes, read a spooky story with parent volunteers, watched the teacher Halloween play, and had yummy treats in our classroom! Thank you to our room parents, parents who helped out with any part of our day, and parents who came to watch the parade. We truly appreciate all that you do as parents for our school and for your children on a daily basis! Below is a small video of the day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Spotlight on Art Class

Sky Class students created these pumpkin collage pieces over the course of 2 art classes. They started by observing a pumpkin and then drawing and painting their own version of a pumpkin, along with some leaves, on a white paper background. They learned to mix the primary colors of red, yellow and blue to make shades of orange, green and brown. During the following class, they cut out their pumpkins and leaves, glued them onto a black background, and added details with chalk pastel. They also observed how a light source, such as the moon, can make white highlights appear on a pumpkin and were invited to add white chalk
highlights their collage pieces.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Peek into Language Groups

Natasha's Language group has been getting into the routine of reading their book sets and creating story maps. They have each been assigned a set of book that they can read independently. Once they are finished reading all the books in the set, they choose one book to write a summary about. They have been using the story map graphic organizer to help them in this process. They then review what they have written with Natasha to make sure they have touched on the important points in the story and are using complete sentences. 

This week Tom's Language Group worked fervently on their Writer's Workshop stories. The focus this week was on conferencing with Tom and other classmates. Students then took the feedback they received from Tom or their classmates to revise and edit their writing. Students also worked on giving valuable feedback and supporting their peers throughout the writing process. Above you can see Tom conferencing with a student about her story.

In launching our Writer's Workshop, Katie's Language Group has started an illustrator study. We are studying the illustrator Christian Robinson who has illustrated multiple children's books including Gaston, Last Stop on Market Street, and Harlem's Little Blackbird. We learned that detailed illustrations help our audience better envision our story. We also learned that there are many different mediums an illustrator could use to illustrate a book! In addition, Katie's Language Group is studying different word families using the Words Their Way curriculum.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Design & Engineering Introduction

For the next few weeks, Sky students will be working on small "Design Challenges". These challenges will introduce students to the design process, growth mindset, collaboration, working with a variety of materials, and problem solving. This week's challenge is to work with a partner or team to create a structure that stands with only 20 straws and a small amount of tape. The Engineering Design Process steps are to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve. Below are some images of students brainstorming their plan and the beginning stages of prototyping their designs! These projects will be on display in the hallway throughout their development so you can check them out. 

  Our Design & Engineering curriculum is influenced by the Museum of Science, Boston Engineering Is Elementary, Design Thinking from the Stanford d.School, and Visible Thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero for educators.