Despite being in our pajamas, our day was anything but sleepy. Drawing on our own poetry-writing experience, we used our Writer’s Express book as a resource for researching special aspect of poetry and considering a plan for presentation. We worked together to plug in the pieces to our schedule. Sequencing of the lessons was a critical component of the structure that needed careful consideration.
As we continued our pursuit of parts, we were presented with a set of perplexing problems… how to find the whole when given a part as a fraction.
How would you solve the question: If 2 fifths pieces are 1/3 of the whole, then what is the whole? Tricky!
To end our day, we were treated to an assembly hosted by Grade 2. They shared with us their learning about endangered animals and invited the audience to get involved. They were very knowledgeable.
Since our Who We Are: Problem Solvers unit is yearlong, we are always on the lookout for real life problem solvers. Today, they were out in full force, trying to find and diagnose a problem with… the power. Early this morning, long before students arrived, Papas Louis, Dennis, Medard, Axel, and Ricky were hard at work tracking down the trouble. With extreme efficiency, they tested the lines, turning lights on and off to isolate the missing link in the line. Before the bell rang, they found the fault in the server room and were able to find a temporary fix to ensure learning continued throughout the day.
So grateful for our faithful atelier team who kept the lights on for learning today. Through purposeful probing, these patient and persistent #problemsolvers closed in on the culprit that cut off the current to our classrooms. Fault found! Fixed! Fabulous! @TASOKinshasa#TASOKpic.twitter.com/FUwcTQ49DP
Grateful the lights were on, we got into some serious problem solving of our own. With self-selected thinking buddies and an opinion writing checklist in hand, we sat down and shared our essays and evaluated ourselves in the areas of structure, development, and conventions. Using teacher, peer, and personal feedback, we proceeded to make adjustments to our writing. Development or elaboration seemed to be the most common area in need to revision.
We also continued our work with fraction decomposition, looking at home to represent fractions as sums of unit fractions and sums of fractions.
For math-mania today, we cycled through a series of stations with a focus on our new learning with fractions and our previous unit focused on multiplication. The highlight of the day was seeing how students were able to show so many strategies for solving multiplication problems. Partitioned rectangles, partial products, and the lattice method were all featured on Seesaw posts today.
Alert: This is a GREAT video explaining WHY lattice works. What connections can you see to the PARTitioned rectangle?
After reading a portion of Varsha Bajaj‘s book T is for Taj Mahal yesterday, we began our day, using this text as a mentor, to inquire further about structure The book, through a combination of prose and verse, highlight important people, places, and elements of India and its culture. After reviewing ideas on the W portion of their KWHLAQ charts, each student identified a topic of interest and used a variety of informational / nonfiction texts to gather facts. Using the facts gathered, researchers began to freewrite in paragraph form.
Once paragraphs were written, students reread their work and considered reSTRUCTuring by adding line breaks to create a poem. While somewhat challenging to rethink reading with poetic pauses, students worked through the process of transforming a paragraph into a poem. The final step involved revising with poetic elements like rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and figurative language in mind. This final step often requires rewriting, multiple attempts at lines and stanzas until the sound is satisfying.
This afternoon, during art with Ms. Rydah, we continued our work on our hands. Ms. Paula came by to admire the art.
Our Monday started with our usual inquiry into… words. Today’s list lead some into literary terms, while others explored planning structures and mathematical vocabulary. It was especially interesting to see how students are beginning to experiment with visual thinking structures in their word work notebooks. Students captured their learning in charts, tables, webs, word maps, and lists. Some also opted for color-coded systems to expand their thinking and make connections.
Based on feedback received from student-created survey’s, scholars began to think about ideas for their student-planned I Love to Read and Write Week lessons. Together in their teaching teams, students:
made a list of reading / writing focus ideas.
numbered the choices in order from most to least important / valuable.
brainstormed activities to go with each idea.
Similar to what teachers do, students considered the structure of planning and learned about the importance of keeping the end in mind. Throughout the next few days and weeks, we will continue to explore the what, why, and who of learning and teaching.
Today, we also dove in to our new math unit by inquiring into the structure of fractions. The concept of decomposition was on full display as students moved through a variety of stations with a thinking buddy. Methods and models, sums, partitioned rectangles, and more-than-one-answer math tiles were all options open for observation, interaction, and reflection. Many thinkers and problem solvers engaged in thoughtful discussion, posing questions to one another and on paper for further investigation.
Today, as INQUIRING readers, we set out to use WORD STRUCTUREto determine the meaning of new or tricky words. Affixes were on the agenda.
We began by thinking about a word with the root “touch” introduced in Gloria Whelan’s book In Andal’s House and in Kids Discover: Ancient India.
We then looked at how the word can be modified by adding PREfix before the root and SUFfixes after the root. We also learned a new secret agent code: PqRS. We then had the opportunity to explore the STRUCTURE of words found in one of our resources. Each scholars was challenged to:
Lookthrough the Kids Discover magazine.
Identifya ROOT word.
ReSTRUCTUREthe word by adding prefixes and suffixes.
Explainhow the restructuring changes the meaning of the word.
Createa learning poster to make your thinking visible.
Seesaw your process. (We did not get to this today, but will try to Seesaw tomorrow.)
We also continued practicing PARTitioning rectangles and connecting our pictorial presentation to the more abstract PARTial products. Using these two strategies, we multiplied four-digit by one-digit factors.
To end the day, students began to access our prior knowledge about India. With STRUCTURE in mind, we began a KWHLAQ process. In small groups, students began to:
Ponder what they already KNOWabout India.
Pick and prioritize things they WANT to know more about.
As we worked through the remainder of this process, we will be able to narrow down and focus our inquiries.
Once again today, Ben brought in some samples of his rock and mineral collection. Rather than passing samples around the circle, he opted to share using the document camera and big screen. Very professional!