Friday, March 3, 2017

Week 23 -- Filling in the gaps, fear is a LIAR.

In science, we're continuing to work with our gravity-powered cars. 
After a relaxing week off, we got right to work with an extension to our Place Out of Time timelines project. By now, almost everyone has a detailed timeline of the life of their character posted in the appropriate spot on our giant timeline in the middle school commons. However, most of our characters are clustered in the twentieth century. This week, we have spent some time populating the gaps in our huge timeline to provide more context for the scope of human history. For example, before this week, there were no events recorded in the entire 1400s. Now, there are notes about the world-changing voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, and another noting that the game of chess was in its modern form by 1475. Each student has been tasked with putting up at least five cards on the timeline this week, with more to come in the weeks ahead. Also POOT-related, Sam led the entire 5-6 group in a discussion about dignity, which is a concept that is the heart of the issue framing Place Out of Time this year.

Calculating averages for each of our trials

We also concluded our read aloud on Monday afternoon. The climax of When You Reach Me is mind-bending and unexpected, revealing the fact that many tiny details along the way were actually clues, laid out like breadcrumbs for the reader to discover. It’s a lovely book that tightly-plotted and bittersweet. Ask your child about “the Laughing Man” and see what they’ll reveal about the story.

Our journal prompt this week was “fear is a liar.” Kids were asked to respond to the idea, considering what it might mean, evaluating the validity of the statement, and coming up with examples that might argue the point either way. Students wrote about how fear was both useful (it keeps you from harm), but also occasionally counterproductive (roller coasters are fun, planes are useful).

Of course, the impending Music Cafe tends to take over the week, so focus quickly shifted toward that by the end of the week.

In math group, we celebrated a couple of kids completing assessments and moving into new books, worked collaboratively on some problems (ask about Danielle, her pet crocodile, the parrot, and the monkey), and had an always-popular math game day.

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