January 19, 2024

Posted by Audrey Sofianos on 1/19/2024

Ooh, it has been cold outside this week!  Below 35 (factoring in wind chill) is our benchmark for shifting to indoor recess.  Teachers make that decision, based on their recess times and weather apps.  Luckily, the weather is holding today, so the kids are outside.  The 1st grade children are THRILLED that our bouncy seesaw has been repaired just in time for today's recess!  They are patiently awaiting their turn while enjoying the warmth of the sun.


Inside, lots of classroom visits this week, where I love to see the work kids are doing and how teachers run their classrooms.  I get the pleasure of visiting EVERY class, and it continues to be one of the most favorite parts of my job.  In 4th grade, students work on math - focusing on division.  Ms. B. Hamilton was working in a small group, with students dividing using partial products to find the quotient.  This group was playing a monster math game with equations, while also trying to strategize to get 4 in a row for the win!

For some reason, I was picturing these students in the future as twenty or thirty-year-olds, working at their jobs in a similar setting, on some really advanced computer algorithms or on an artificial intelligence platform yet to be created.  They were loving this work space and quite focused, choosing between programs like 99 Math or Math Facts Lab. 

In case you need help with all the math academic vocabulary, Ms. B. Hamilton has you covered with what we call an anchor chart.  This one highlights partial quotients, arrays, remainders - plus also helps you remember to Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring Down with the phrase Does McDonald's Serve Burgers?  

In a first grade gifted class, students create a penguin hangout, after reading a story about Tacky the penguin needing shelter from both hunters and predators.  Mrs. Patel highlighted both 1st grade and gifted standards to lead an activity that involves STEAM principles, integrating solving a problem, design, and working together as a small team.  She shows the students the supplies they will get, prior to each student thinking through their own design.  


Students were put into groups, where they decided on one design to build.  Each group used criteria to decide on the one to build - which happened a lot faster than I predicted!  The cooperation was impressive as they were very motivated to create the hideout for Tacky and his penguin friends.