Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

Team 20 has had another busy and productive week.  Highlights from the week include meeting up with our first grade buddies, getting into Newsela to read daily news articles, reading about Thanksgiving myths the Plimoth Plantation website, beginning a new math unit about place value and multiplying larger numbers, resuming spelling and vocabulary practice, practicing some cursive writing, beginning a study of Oregon geography, lunch helpers, and art with Ms. Gina. 

In writing, we are continuing our actors and authors study.  This unit introduces various theater and acting concepts to teach personal narrative writing.  For example, after choosing the most powerful moment in their story to “zoom-in” on, kids used the five senses to describe this moment.  In another activity, after acting out adverbs and adjectives, kids revised their writing for word choice before sharing their writing with a partner.  During the second and third weeks of December, kids will be working with an actor who comes to our classroom to help kids share their work through a performance. 

When I taught in Madison, Wisconsin, my students met each week with a dance professor from the university named Rena Kornblum.  Rena taught the kids a variety of movement activities including one called the ooze tube, which is an exercise in delaying gratification and resisting temptation.  Team 20 has been practicing some with the ooze tube.  Kids try to sit still while looking at the ooze tube timer.  An important part of this exercise is our conversation about what strategies kids use to maintain control or to not get distracted.  Some strategies that kids have shared are using positive self-talk to tell themselves to stay strong, keeping their mind on what they need to do, reminding themselves to refocus if their focus becomes lost , and thinking about something else.  I realized that I had an extra ooze tube in a cabinet.  Some kids asked if they could take it home to practice with, so if your kid uses the ooze tube, this is the context for how we using it.  This exercise connects with Walter Mischel’s work about delayed gratification and finding ways to resist temptation, which has been in the news a lot during the past year.  This article describes Mischel’s work and how important it is for kids to be able to delay gratification and resist temptation.

Lastly, online registration opens this week for after school music groups with Mr. Jamesbarry, including 4th Grade Violin and 4th/5th Grade Boomin’ Beats.  Information about each group can be found on Mr. Jamesbarry’s website.  If families would rather sign up in person, please see Mr. Jamesbarry.  After school music groups will start up in January after our winter break. 

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

Mark

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