We pretzel ourselves up anxiously over math, don't we? How difficult, how esoteric it seems to be. But we forget.
Math is how we first counted the cycles of the moon, the cycles of women's blood.
Math is how music knows when the beat bites into halves, quarters, or eighths.
Math is how the hurricanes and snails secretly figured they'd swirl in the same shape.
Math is how the weaver -- in human and spider form -- knows which patterns bear repeating.
Math is the scientist's shorthand, the cookie baker's cup, the toe-tapper's beat.
Math has been made by everyone since we started time.
Math belongs to everyone.
Math lives well beyond the textbooks. In school we try to notice that math around us, within us. Yet it's true -- the math book is where we often turn to make our math. Thankfully we have found Miquon Mathematics. A few ways that we are finding Number, Pattern, Rhythm, and Shape as we work with Miquon:
Elementary Newsletter for the week of
*Melissa and Kaci went on a marathon blogging session last week! If you haven’t visited our website lately, come on by! Www.ElementsofElementary.Webbly.Com (Our blog is the “Domie Diary” tab) Math musings, time tellings, science podcasts, Dance-A-Thon $, clay creations, and more…
*Due to family travels, our Scientific Coastal Field Trip has been moved back to Tuesday, April 17. More details to come!
*Amethyst Kids sent their 2nd pen pal letters to our friends in Ghana! This year we are paired with teenagers in Muslim-majority Tamale, the fastest growing city in Western Africa!
*This Wednesday we have been invited to join a kids science live-cast, where we join other school children around the country on-line, asking scientists all sorts of questions about CAVES! Unfortunately, this real-time web-cast is streaming from the East Coast and therefore runs early. (CavesLive is this Wednesday 9am-9:45am in the Amethyst Room, if you can get to school early. If not, no worries. Join anytime before 9:45am)
*Our OBOB Team competes this Saturday in Medford! Please wish our 3-5 Division Team (Airabella, Skylar, Felix, Kailen, and Kava) the best of luck! We’ll also be joined by the Secondary Program 6-8 Division Team and the 9-12 Division Team. Here’s to an Oregon Battle of the Books OBOB-o-licious week!
*Last week the students were given an amazing opportunity with our local radio station. We recorded Station IDs for 105.7 KXCJ-LP. It was awesome! We shall do it again. Station IDs play at the beginning of each hour, so keep your ears tuned for some familiar voices!
Save the Dates
* Wednesday 3/14 9am-9:45am Amethyst Room: Caves Live Webcast
*3/26-3/30 Spring Break
*Tuesday 4/17 Scientific Coastal Field Trip to Crescent City: North Coast Marine Mammal Center and South Beach
*April TBA Spring Curriculum Night
*Wed.-Friday 4/25-27 Science Camp (3rd-5th)
*Saturday 4/28 Open House (School wide! Free!)
*Saturday 5/5 Secondary Students perform “Frida”
*5/10ish Elementary Students perform “Oceans Murder Mystery Dinner”
*This past Friday the Elementary Crew went on an incredible field trip! We had a jam packed day that started at the Oregon Vortex House of Mystery in Gold Hill, continued down south to Medford for a quick lunch and ice skating at the RRRink, to finally conclude the day with a trip back up north to Grants Pass to see “A Wrinkle In Time”!!! Phew, what a day we had. Thank you so much to all of the parents who joined us for the day! Your enthusiasm and support make our students that much more involved with their educational experience...this is the joy that drives us as teachers!
Every Monday in the Amethyst Room, we practice our listening skills while learning science. Our oceanic theme this year has (usually) focused our inquiries to the oceans, seas, and what lies beneath the depths of these. Our favorites are two science podcasts geared towards children: Brains On, by American Public Media, and Wow in the World by National Public Radio. Here's a sample of topics we have studied:
These science podcasts rely on the curious minds of young people to help shape the podcast topics, so we have been brainstorming questions, such as: How were humans created a long time ago? How smart are dogs? What was the first thing that the first animals ate? After we finish compiling our questions, we will our email science questions to Brains On!
After listening, we discuss and write what we learned. Here's what we wrote about the Great Barrier Reef and its defining animal, the coral:
(The photos were taken by the kids).
The awesome 1st and 2nd grade kids are presenting their ocean species projects this week, and it reminded me that I never quite got around to posting photos from the Amethyst kids' ocean species presentations in December (oops!). Without further ado:
We are surrounded by giving souls, and lucky we are. Each week Teacher Terry, a local sculptor and artist, gifts his time to the Elementary Class. Thursday mornings children in 1st and 2nd grade create clay from the time breakfast ends 'til lunch begins. Friday mornings it's the 3rd-5th crowd who chisel, create, and converse!
(A) To begin, what is your heart telling you to create?
(B) We hone our fine motor skills, learning precision through fingertips:
(C) With patience, persistence, and either turning to the quiet of our inner mind or the sinew of socializing, our creation completes:
Learning how to tell time can be such a daunting task. We have been taking on a multi-sensory approach in the 1st/2nd grade classroom...a large clock to practice with whole group setting, personalized clocks to add an element of ownership to each student's learning process and lastly skip counting hopscotch to give a bodily kinesthetic intelligence option. Each project has been helping the students to grasp a foundation to this critical skill.
Free flow arts on Tuesdays! We have one more class with Xoe next week. Come on out between 3-5pm and join the flow!
Books and such teach us so much, but there's nothing quite like the learning gleaned from the road. Lucy and family just returned from a two-week odyssey through the Southwest! Lucy kept a daily diary, recording her observations and opinions as the family road-tripped from place to place. She shared her diary with us today and fielded questions from her curious classmates.
Last week we mailed two oversized envelopes to Cleo and Theo, two Giant Pacific Octopuses who live at the Oregon Aquarium in Newport. Inside were handmade letters of love for Valentine's Day ... and the curators put our Valentines on display! Thanks to Supermom Dannon for helping craft our Valentines cards!!
In science, we have been learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Texas-sized pouch of plastic floating in the North Pacific Ocean.
In math, we have been learning about coordinate geometry, where X-axis meets Y-axis and life becomes ordered (pairs).
This afternoon science met math when we unrolled our world map, investigated the lines that ran vertically and horizontally, realized the lines on our map mirrored the four quadrants of the mathematical coordinate plane, and plotted our way to pinpoint the Garbage Patch (between 135-155 degrees West and 35-42 degrees North).
This exploration happened naturally, without predetermined lesson plans or objectives ... just a group of learners asking questions, thinking, figuring stuff out, making mistakes and then backtracking to try again ... and eventually covering our map with hearts, of course!
For decades Jason, the father of 2nd-grade Bela, has been studying and teaching capoeria, the Afro-Brazilian martial art. A mixture of dance, gymnastics, and music, capoeria was borne from slavery and today is considered "intangible cultural heritage" by UNESCO.
Today Jason brought capoeira into the Dome School! And we've got the photos to prove it ... (Bela and family are about to hop to Hawaii for two weeks, but when they return Jason plans to teach capoeira to the elementary class every Friday from 1:45-2:30 p.m.)
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
The Domie Diary