Thursday, January 28, 2016

Week 19: Hodge Podge

We kicked off the week with some highly anticipated news: We received our Place Out of Time character assignments from our friends at the University of Michigan. In our class, we'll be spending the next couple of months getting to know Pelé, Millard Fillmore, Rachel Carson, Henry Clay Frick, Raina Telgemeier, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Elon Musk, Richard Nixon, and Manfred con Richthofen (also known as "the Red Baron"). 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Last Chance to See

The Aye-Aye. Not all lemurs are adorable. 

Douglas Adams is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is a series of books (and many other media) that had a profound influence on my developing sense of humor as a goofy sixth grader. The idea that you could blend science fiction with Monty Python-esque humor blew my mind, particularly because I realized that a lot of it was clearly going right over my head. For example, as a twelve year old, I had no idea what bureaucracy was, nor how absurd and maddening it can be to navigate. But because it was a favorite topic of satire for Adams, it gave me an intriguing glimpse of my own future of tax returns, mortgage applications, and endless visits to the DMV. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Math: assorted recent topics

As discussed in a previous post, the Singapore Math books serve as a backbone of our math curriculum. It is largely an individually-paced program (though small cohorts often form and work together), allowing students to progress at a rate that makes sense for each topic. We have Math class four times a week, and we generally devote one or two sessions to Singapore work, which allows for questions, small group break-out sessions, and targeted group lessons. 

With the rest of our class time, we do a variety of activities that benefit the entire group, regardless of where they happen to be in their particular math books. In this post, I wanted to share a few of the things we've done in recent weeks apart from Singapore work.