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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Look How We've Grown

If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the crew blog to view this video.

Google Photo Album - All of the pictures in this video are contained in this photo album. If you would like to download any pictures, please visit this link.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Summer Learning

Some of you have asked for ideas of things to do over the summer to continue the learning and my top requests for summer learning would be to play, build and create, read, visit lots of great places and spend lots of time enjoying nature. If you still have time for more learning, then here are a few links to earlier blog posts and links that might help you out:


And They Read Happily Ever After...
Katie Woo
Ballet Cat
Roscoe Riley
Ready Freddy


One-Sentence Journals


Bedtime Math
3-Act Math Lessons

Expedition (Science and Social Studies Topics)

Wonderopolis: Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease
The Kid Should See This: Smart Videos for Curious Minds of All Ages
Reading Rainbow uTech Series
Reading Rainbow Virtual Field Trips


Lessons emailed to you about using picture books to learn new vocabulary


Melting Snowman

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another Bonus Blog Post

Today in math we tried to solve a problem using a stack of cards numbered 1 through ten. I have embedded a video of the challenge below. If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the video. So far no one in our crew has solved this challenge. You can try it, too, but please don't just tell your child how to do it. I want them to struggle for a few days and demonstrate some perseverance. When I showed them this challenge, they all said, "You put the cards in order." I said, Of course I did. That is the challenge - to put the cards in order so that you can solve this problem."  Most kids could get 1-5 to come up in the correct order and a few kids have been able to do 1-6. They will figure it out if they just keep trying.

I used a deck of cards from my house to demonstrate this challenge to the crew. They loved the pictures of my daughter on the backs of the cards. She was in first grade in these pictures. She is now 16 and I am sure that these pictures were just taken yesterday. Hang on, it all goes so quickly!

Bonus blog post

We had an amazing day today - so amazing that it merits a bonus blog post or two! To start our day we had some 5th graders come and share their presentations about energy with us - sorry, no photos of this. Most importantly we got to visit the second grade teachers in their classrooms today. It was very exciting!
This is Ms. Jennifer.

This is Ms. Dana.

We also got to meet Ms. Wendy's friend, Ms. Nadelle. Ms. Nadelle is deaf and she teaches American Sign Language at Castle View High School. She helps Ms. Wendy keep up her sign language skills. We could tell that they are good friends by watching them sign with each other. Ms. Nadelle taught us a new game that helps hearing students learn to improve skills that deaf students have to practice all the time - vision and paying close attention. We all had a great time playing the elephant game. We also enjoyed showing her some of the signs we have learned and asking her to teach us new signs.  What a great experience for us all! Thanks for sharing your friend with us, Ms. Wendy!

Crew Discussions

As we near the end of the year, our crew discussions have become so much more complex and interesting. Below are brief summaries of two recent discussions that we had.

Quirks - In this discussion I was pointing out that everyone has quirks and unique things about their personality. We agreed that we need to be understanding of each others' quirks and that we want other others to be understanding of our quirks. We discussed how quirks can just be fun, interesting things that we each do but that if we do them too much they can become annoying to others. We really talked about the fine line between those two situations and when we need to simply be understanding and when we need to ask someone to stop doing something because it is annoying us. After sharing my quirks and having Ms. Wendy sharing her quirks, some of the crew still thought that they didn't have any quirks. I assured them that they did and they asked me to go around the circle and tell each of them about one of their quirks. They were surprised that I could do it and they loved how accurate I was. We will always need to work on being more understanding of others but this conversation was a big step in the right direction.

Bittersweet Endings - The second grade teachers have been popping in to visit and observe a little bit lately and our crew has noticed. This brought up the discussion about the school year ending and moving on to second grade. Many of the crew expressed sadness about this but also excitement. So we learned the word bittersweet. They all agreed that this is how they were feeling. I reassured them that they were all ready for second grade, that it would feel a little bit sad to move on but that it would mostly be exciting and that it is normal to think your current teacher is your favorite or the best. This last one was really bothering them. I think they were worried about being disloyal to me if they like their new teacher. I explained that I like all of the second grade teachers and that I really hope they like them as much as I do. They will need to bond with their new teacher in order to maximize their learning and I want to help them do this. We visited the second grade classrooms in order to help our crew feel more comfortable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Garden System - Soil Part 2

We have been learning so much about soil: soil drainage, soil as a filter, the parts and types of soil, where soil comes from and how soil settles into layers and how to test soil to see if it is good for planting. We are really becoming soil experts.