Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

Instead of the usual update, I’d like to use this newsletter to share more about the Eco-Critters Project that we are working on as a class.

I’m enjoying the creativity kids are bringing into their writing as they describe their fantasy critters.  On Friday, kids finished their Eco-Critter Essays, which introduce their critters and explain how their critter’s form fits its function in the ecosystem.  The names they have come up with for their critters are fantastic.  Have you ever seen a Puff-bellied Forest Crawler?  How about an Adapting Phlatapus?  The next time you’re in the Himalayas, be on the lookout for the Flying Snowstrich!  Keep your eyes peeled for the Silver-Backed, Eleven-Eyed, Four-Fanged, Flying Abominable Rockman!  Oh, and watch out for the Man Eating Gloffer Floffer!

During the writing process kids created webs to plan their paragraphs.  They did an outstanding job of organizing their main ideas and adding supporting details.  Kids then explained their web to me during a conference and began writing their rough draft on their Chromebook, using their plans as tools.  They wrote several paragraphs, each beginning with a main idea (a table top) and supported by details (table legs).  Kids revised together using a checklist.  Then Evie and I gave them feedback through comments in Google Docs and in person.  This feedback led to more revisions.

We have begun talking about a plan for our exhibit in the Reed College Biology Building.  We’ve used a “projects as cooking” metaphor before in the room.  Often we need to remember to bake the cake before we ice it.  The kids declared that this project is “coming out of the oven.”  Now it’s time to make the icing, our exhibit.  We will serve as tour guides at our exhibit with Reed students on December 4th.

In other news, Bike Safety concluded on Friday with a group ride around the Lewis and Woodstock neighborhoods.  Thank you to our instructors Emily and Laurie, the many volunteers who joined for the ride, and to the City of Portland and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance for providing this program.  Here are some photos from our ride.  http://goo.gl/bzfoAa

Please follow us on Twitter @LewisRoom20 and at LewisRoom20.blogspot.com for regular updates and photos!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Mark

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