Classroom Notes 4/8/13-4/18/13

Several students went on a forest ecology walk with a Patrick’s Point ranger. Another group will be heading out next week.

Other students planned and then interviewed a zoo keeper to answer questions they had about the red panda.

Group lessons have included review of the zones formed by the perpendicular and oblique rays of the sun on our planet, introduction to the winds and land/sea breezes, review of the function of the fruit and kinds of fruits, and the story of the mountain gorillas. We also reviewed the defining characteristics of the plant and animal kingdom and then looked again at some phyla of the animal kingdom.

Some students started a craft project to reinforce the defining qualities of the phylum arthropod.

We had another opportunity to learn about Hupa culture and history from Danny Ammon. This has been such an amazing learning experience.

During closing circle we have heard myth stories. These will continue in the weeks to come.

Many students are preparing for a presentation of “Heio” at Strongbridge Montessori next week. This work has included students arranging their own ensemble and dance patterns. Lots of communication and group dynamics!

Gardening and handcraft have been offered to all. The spring seedlings are starting to sprout and most students have finished hand stitching a lovely lavender eye pillow that can be used for yoga.

Drama has continued on Thursday afternoons. Students will soon have their parts for the play.

Power point presentations on mountain ranges continued with Eden & Ashlen presenting on the Appalachians and Cole & Meadow on the Himalayas.

Some 3rd + 4th year students prepared speeches in Spanish and delivered them to the whole class. Younger students are practicing numbers up to 100.

Math

Oldest students have been practicing long division, two-digit multiplier multiplication, and word problems daily. We correct these as a group and everyone has enjoyed reviewing the process. Many are close to abstracting these skills. New lessons for this group include reducing fractions, changing decimals into fractions, and adding negative numbers. We have also started to apply our knowledge of equivalent fractions to add fractions with uncommon denominators. Please help your child memorize multiplication and division facts.

The middle group of students is working with long division and large multiplication using the Montessori materials. These experiences provide a solid foundation for deeper understanding. These children have also continued changing improper fractions to mixed numbers and using the Montessori materials to find equivalent fractions. Review of dynamic addition and subtraction is ongoing. Work with word problems continues.

The youngest group of children is practicing dynamic addition, subtraction, and multiplication daily. They continue to work with number value, telling time, and measuring in both inches and centimeters. Learning addition and subtraction facts will help these students abstract these math skills more easily.

Language

All second, third and fourth year students have been guided in weekly writing practice to refine their paragraphs. Younger students have continued to write and symbolize sentences. All students apply language skills to pursue research interests. Research projects include a study of Japan, WWII, a timeline of a cars, insect reports, a book of flowering trees, an ongoing study of plants that is developing into a beautiful and informative poster, a fossil museum, an investigation of the history of money, NBA players, the status of endangered wild big cats, Hawaiian birds, camels, the life cycle of star patterns and more. All students continue to build their phonics, spelling and penmanship. Some older students have continued work with Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes.