Saturday, October 26, 2013

What a week!

Rubik's cubes, wearing plants, and using sticks to make sentences?!  What a week, indeed!

Trying new things (again!) and making learning tangible, can add a bit of planning and preparation, but wow, the wonder and motivation in these faces reminds me that the effort is worth it.

Hmmm....what do 2 time limits, a rubik's cube and a magic trick have to do with learning? These are photos from our small groups working on our latest project...It's currently in production phase, so it's still a secret, but we're including photos and a mention here to hold ourselves accountable. Suffice it to say, there's been some serious brainstorming going on.
Learning to work in small groups. (Watching the leaders come out!)
Learning to use turn-taking and listening skills, and yes, down
in the right hand corner, a little visual notetaking going on!
Sharing so many ideas. Wonder how their group is going to
include the "magic trick" and "rubik's cube"...
This group was totally in sync with each other--they divvied up
jobs, and got right down to business. They're definitely ones
to watch as this project unfolds.
When kids are enjoying learning, and doing a bang up job of
working together, this is what it looks like. :)

Engaged and listening. Love it. 

The thinking is almost palpable. Whew--it's getting hot in here!

YES! WE WEAR PLANTS!!
The next group of photos was taken on wacky hair day for our Red Ribbon week, and the kids wanted me to make sure I included that little fact with their pictures. Just so you know. ;)

Looking at our clothing labels to find clues. 
Yes, even boys wear plants. (And btw, the blue sweatshirt was this
boy's wacky long hair today. Wishful thinking.)
Pulling apart some cotton, the good ol' fashioned way. 
"Seriously? This is what our shirts are made of?!"
Making connections, addressing the senses, and piquing curiosity
are just some of the strategies that help make learning stick.
Not to mention, way more fun!
Ah-ha! NOW, I get it!! That's the same as this plant we just
pulled apart, smelled, played with, and explored today! And
the same plant one student has planted the seeds of to extend her
own learning. 
USING STICKS TO MAKE SENTENCES?!
Dusting off my cuisenaire rods to make language learning and parts of speech more tangible. With each color/ length of rod representing a specific part of speech, the kids are learning how to create simple sentences using articles, nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Each sentence has to include 4-5 rods, and in the correct order. Much more challenging than it sounds, but it helps them become visually aware of word order and the necessary elements within a sentence.

Coming up with sentences with a partner. 
Sharing their sentence out loud, and pointing to each element
of their awesome sentence to demonstrate understanding. 
This pair tried a few combinations before getting the sentence
they wanted. 

All in all, it's been a busy week. Parents and kids, please leave comments--tell us what your favorite part of the week was, some things you learned, and things you'd like to see or do next as we continue our learning journey!

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