Assistant Handbook Area
|File Size:||163 kb|
|File Size:||163 kb|
Heeeello October! Wow... the holidays come around, and the clock spins! The classroom is abuzz with Halloween talk, and the first truly chilly morning arrived today. Along with observing and recording the temperature and barometric pressure each day, we have begun a new mental warm-up. Recent research has been building some momentum behind the value of brain training. Rote memorization seems a relic of the "historic" one-room schoolhouse, but training the brain to memorize is no relic. When we find it difficult to retain information or processes in our daily lives, we find a "work-around," or a memory device. Some are taught to us by mentors or teachers in our lives, others we've had to find for ourselves, and are uniquely useful to us as individuals. We've all had to "train our brain" to remember something important. It is with this in mind that we've begun trying, in a limited amount of time, to memorize strings of seeminly random numbers, letters, colors, or what will probably be an expanding category of things. What's interesting and extremely useful is the discussion around HOW to do this when it seems impossible. Successful memorizers of all ages, begin to analyze how they did it. Some of them were not even aware they had a strategy until they verbalize it. We continue to write a personal headline every day, analyze word problems, discuss vocabulary, be thankful, and look at the geography, science and math in today's newspaper headlines. It's a lot of potential learning packed into about a half hour. One of my favorite times of the day...
Here are some of the others things afoot!
Thanks to the Zsilak and Reek families for donations towards worm bins and curriculum! We've been exploring plants together in the primary grades, and bringing along some middle schoolers for fun parts. We are also looking at the development of the first human economics systems which relate to agriculture, soil life, AND worms. It connects to the social studies for 6th graders as well, since they are focused on the first ancient societies. These subjects have germinated together along with our bean plant. We found that beans trying to germinate can be picky. They don't like baking soda, salt, or rubbing alcohol. Celery stems are the transportation system for the plant. The old food coloring experiment shows it! Middle schoolers are currently focused on space in Earth Science (6th) and sound in Physics (7/8th). This was useful recently since 6th graders could explain why the Earth is having seasonal changes. We've looked at dirt, leaves, flower parts, and prepared slides under the microscope.
We continue to observe our worms, water them, and our plants. We'll continue with plants and plant behavior along with agriculture and social studies connections through October.
Reading is fun! Some of the literature groups have switched recently to a novel, or "big book". The responses can be a little more flexible and the story runs deeper. There's nothing like a good book to snuggle with in the Fall. Thanks for reading with your students at night! They come in and fill out book tickets for our chart. When there's enough filled out in the spring, the class gets an ice-cream party! There are some smaller prizes along with way!