In just a week, the students begin their Fall Break. Amazing that is has arrived so quickly. In the last few weeks, we have demonstrated the ability to write multi-paragraph essays, multiply and divide decimals, understand the implications of the Earth rotating on an axis, built an understanding of indigenous groups in North and South America, and had way too many indoor recesses.
The focus on routines and procedures, the first two weeks of the school year, paid off. Week three was about content. We started science and a focus on the Earth and the Sun. Using Microsoft Teams and the ability to upload our social studies textbook to the platform, we read about indigenous groups of North and South America. We added and subtracted decimals and continued to expand sentences, this time using subordinating conjunctions. We read about Antartica and water, from our adopted ELA materials, and we completed our first art project. Great week.
It is hard not to be excited by what we will accomplish this school year. In 10 days we have moved from simple sentences to complex sentences. We have learned to navigate the place value chart and use exponents. We’ve built out a digital tool library and we are accessing resources through Teams. Moreover, we are completing daily meetings and building stronger relationships. In short, another great week.
Thanks to a first-rate custodian, my room was ready to be moved into way back in June. It took about a month, but I got everything to Westergard, arranged and decorated for the upcoming year.
Great to have the fourth grade distance learning students in the building to make pillows. Although this is a third grade tradition at Gomm, they missed it last spring because of Covid. So we spent the morning offline, in person, to make pillows and reacquaint ourselves with the playground.
A post describing an art lesson shouldn’t be that interesting. Instead, it is. This is because it was the first time, all year, that I have had an opportunity to teach in person to my distance learning students. It was great to see them and their final pieces turned out great.
It is pretty astonishing what the students can do online. With Zoom’s breakout rooms, Classkick, and the student’s attention to digital citizenship, we are able to create blended experiences that allow for a lot of learning. We even got a visit from Trustee Thigpen and our Area Superintendent, Jeanna Curtis.
Local artist, Emily Reid, visited the classroom today and the led the students in a card making activity. The theme of the activity was kindness and Ms. Reid helped students create cards with their own unique and artistic flare. Thank you Ms. Reid for donating your time and sharing a terrific lesson with the students.
Thank you Natalie Reed for helping make this happen and working with The Season of Reno, so the residents have cards to look forward to.
Describing what the students are able to do online is difficult, but here is my best shot at it. We have managed to keep or exceed the district pace in ELA and math. This is not insignificant, especially with a lot of the learning being done offline, while I meeting with small groups or conferring. Moreover, during a week that included snow days and delayed starts, many of the students Zoomed for optional learning about Nevada history, state test, and practice for the state test. Impressive!
This week we made JetToys. Using materials supplied by Tesla, students constructed vehicles powered by balloons. Over the next couple of weeks, they will use their vehicles to learn more about force and motion.