The hunger for Homeless Bird was insatiable today. Students were ready to read immediately and reluctant to stop when time was up. As we near the end of this text, the author has us all hooked. What will happen to Koly in the end. As readers, when we find ourselves completely enveloped by the story, we must ask ourselves what is it that the author did to capture and hold our attention? This analytical approach enables us to understand the story more deeply and consider techniques we can use ourselves as writers.
Part of the reason for a premature pause in reading was our first practice for Saturday’s performances. At 9:30 a.m., students from Grades 2-5 gathered in the CAC for our first run though. Of course, being in a new venue with additional performers cause a few bumps. Thankfully, with a compete team of teachers and student problem solvers, we worked out the wrinkles and will try again tomorrow.
Our first performance of one of our songs, though, was a huge hit. Shhh…
In math, we continued our work on our fraction posters. Using the fraction circles and a variety of other multiple sources, students wrestled with the concept and worked hard to document thinking.
After music this afternoon, we headed to the library for another lesson about text and graphic features. Working with our research partners, we used the clues provided to comb through the nonfiction texts and find examples of each feature.
As you look through nonfiction texts and even websites, notice the variety of text and graphic features used. Consider why the author incorporated these and who they help you understand and interpret the text.
Today, students had their first opportunity to experience a lesson planned by Mrs. Wilson. Continuing with our Math-Mania mode for Wednesdays, Mrs. Wilson had prepared a set of problems, which students worked in thinking groups to solve. In 20-minute intervals, students rotated through the series of stations, digging more deeply into division with each problem. With a focus on communication skills and open-mindedness, students worked well in teams to dissect the scenarios, identify a plan for problem solving, and evidencing their thinking in concretely, pictorially, and abstractly.
After recess, Mrs. Wilson took time to reflect on and debrief the lesson. Immediately, Zinnah declared, “This wasn’t Mission Impossible, this was Mission Possible!”
Why 360? Consider a few theories in the following video:
We then thought about what we have been learning about fractions, equivalent fractions, and… the clock. The clock was today’s very valuable multiple source. We started by thinking about the different ways a WHOLE clock is divided. We discovered that a WHOLE clock can be divided into:
2/2 (There are 2 sections, 1 for each half hour)
4/4 (There are 4 sections, 1 for each quarter hour.)
12/12 (There are 12 sections, 1 for each hour.)
60/60 (There are 60 sections, 1 for each minute.)
We then examined the angle of the clock’s hands when it is 3:00 p.m. When the minute hand is on the 12 and the hour hand is on the 3, the rays make a right angle or a 90 degree angle. We then connected this to our understanding for fractions – if we slice the clock into 4 pieces, the portion represented when it is 3:00 p.m. is 1/4 (one fourth).
1/4 = 3/12 = 15/60 = 90/360
These are all equivalent.
90/360 represents the number of degrees (90 °) when it is 3:00 p.m.
We then looked at how many degrees each set of 5 minutes represents.
1/12 = 5/60 = 30/360
These are all equivalent fractions.
30/360 represents the number of degrees (30°) when the hands are separated by 5 minutes (eg. 1:00 p.m.)
Finally, we looked at how many degrees each minute represented.
1/60 = 6/360
These are equivalent fractions.
6/360 represents the number of degrees (6 °) when the hands are separated by 1 minute.
Based on what you know about fractions, equivalent fractions, and angles… what is the size of the angle represented on the clock above. How do you know?
As I started looking for video resources, I just couldn’t stop. There were so, SO many options for using this model to solve problems about fractions, angles, and time. Here are just few samples. As a scholar, definitely consider these multiple sources. Which one exercises your brain the most?
Our week ended on the 100th day of school, a major milestone in every school year. Not only was it the 100th day, though, it was the beginning of the SAISA Basketball Tournament. We had the opportunity to witness the Parade of Athletes, including two teams from other countries – The Republic of Congo and Zambia. We also tuned into the welcome address by Mr. Bergh and Ms. Peacock, which included a moment of silence in honor of Kobe Bryant.
Of course, we couldn’t leave without watching a game – TASOK vs. the International School of Lusaka. In true Condor style, we were supportive fans and scholars… often asking thoughtful questions about structure – warm up structures, shooting structures, passing structures, strategy structures… Also, as bucket fillers, we provided support for both the TASOK AND the Zambian team. Chants of Zam-bi-a! Zam-bi-a! confused the TASOK bench, but completely warmed my heart and those of our guests. While the Zambian team of 6 was incredibly skilled, I would like to think our bucket-filling gave them the extra boost they needed to pull off a win.
By the end of the game, ISL had developed quite the fan club and was swarmed by fans during recess who wanted their autographs!
In honor of the 100th day, we inquired into… hundredths. Using base ten blocks, we represented a variety of decimals and fractions and then created our own addition equations written in both fraction and decimal form. The twist today was… we got to use dry erase markers to write on the desks. Fun!
Each equation was then captured on Seesaw. Stay tuned for approved posts.
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.
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?
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.