We Are All Authors
This week has been an exciting week for the children. The Oaks School Book Fair brings so much fun and excitement for the children. Watching the children explore, write their wish lists and gather around a shared read-aloud truly shows their love of reading and writing. An added bonus this week was the exciting experience of listening to author and illustrator John Rocco share his process of creating a picture book with the children. His focus on starting small with his initial brainstorms/ideas and slowly moving towards the larger final project was inspiring for the children as budding authors and illustrators themselves.
As part of Writer's Workshop we often draw on "touchstone books" to demonstrate "what writers do". This week we utilized John Rocco's books and discussed with the children what they noticed about his illustrations and how they worked to tell a story. Many of the multi-agers love to write in the form of the comic book and picture book genres. It will be great to see how the children bring in the lessons learned from John Rocco's presentation to their personal work.
Questions To Ask
What did you like most about the Publishing Party?
Do you like to write by yourself or with a friend?
Tell about one of the stories you read at the publishing party. Why did you like it?
Dates To Remember
Winter Sing is Next Friday Dec. 19!!
Dec. 19 is also the last day of school in 2014 and is a half day. No oasis.
How Do We Learn?
Through Our Relationships
Working on holiday cards for the elderly of Belmont Senior Living
Through Having an Idea, Sharing it with Friends and Collaborating to bring the idea to life.
Leo and friends working on building an airport.
Through Sharing Our Talents
Odin reading to the Multi-Age
Questions To Ask
How do you like to learn?
Who do you like to work with?
Dates To Remember
Holiday Bazaar and Book Fair December 11
Winter Sing December 19
Half Day of School December 19: No Oasis
Collaborative Learning Through Blocks
This past week a group of girls came together to plan, organize, build and present their work in the block area. They were challenged to draw up a blue print and use that to keep their work on track. After their presentation we asked the girls what did they learn. Read below for what they said:
"I learned that it takes more than 1 person to make 1 structure. It also takes a lot of brain work and help from your friends."~ Dinah
"People can inspire you by giving you ideas after you build."~ Juliet
"It takes courage to compromise. I wanted to build a rainforest but then I worked with everyone to build the Unicorn City."~ Anabel
"I learned you can't make 1 structure by yourself, it is easier to work with others."~Dolores
The girls' work has prompted a long waiting list of block teams. Keep your eye open for more block teamwork!
Multi-age wants to thank Antonio, Marilyn and Carole for all the support they gave us for our assemblies. We couldn't have done it with out you!
Questions To Ask:
What would you build if you were on the next block team?
What math game did you play with your buddy this week?
What did you paint in art this week?
Dates To Remember
No School November 26-28: Thanksgiving Break
Thinking About Thinking: MathThe Multi-agers have been actively developing their metacognition skills when it comes to Math. Through a combination of math discussions focusing on the how and the why behind number combinations, small group work and math games, the children are strengthening their addition skills as they work to notice math in the world around them. This week we had a visit from the fourth grade. The fourth graders worked to measure each of the Multi-Agers as they engaged the Multi-Agers in a conversation around math and its relation to measurement. We look forward to finding out the product of the fourth graders work with the students.
Thank you so much for all of the support for the first of two Multi-Age assemblies. The children thought deeply about their questions and are looking forward to discovering the answers. We look forward to seeing everyone next week at assembly where new questions will be asked and you may see a new animal or plant from the rainforest!
Questions to Ask:
What fourth graders took your measurements?
What is your favorite math game?
What did you do with your buddy this week?
Dates to Remember:
No school November 11 (Veterans Day)
No school November 26, 27, 27 (Thanksgiving Break)
Parent Education Night: Design Thinking November 13
In Honor of Halloween the multi-age and fifth grade came together to create ooblick! The children had a wonderful time learning from their buddies and getting their hands all sticky and gooey!
This week the multi-age welcomed two new sets of friends to their classroom. The children are excited to learn from their new friends and see what they can learn through observing and caring for their pets.
Our Planet Earth
This week the children were shown a globe and a world map and were asked the question, what do you notice?
Through this discussion the children uncovered similarities and differences between the two geographical resources and engaged in a lively discussion about the effect the sun has on our planet and why the majority of the world's rainforests are located close the Earth's equator.
Questions to Ask
What animals are now a part of the multi-age classroom?
How do you make ooblick?
What effect does the sun have on our planet?
Assembly Days November 7 and 14
No school November 11 (Veterans Day)
No School 26, 27 and 28 (Thanksgiving Day)
Saying Hello and Goodbye
The children this week prepared to say goodbye to Dharinne and wish her well. They had some great advice for Dharinne as she prepared to leave.
"Don't leave small stuff on the floor" ~Cecile
"Always rock the baby to bed"~Cameron
"Don't let your goats eat the baby"~ Oliver"
Make sure to give lots of toys to your baby" ~Leo
They are excited for Ben to join the multi-age but will miss Dharinne very much!
The multi-age has had the pleasure of practicing being mindful twice a week with Sara Lamm. The goal of this ten minute practice is to give the children an opportunity to pay attention to what is happening in the present moment. It is also an opportunity for the children to reflect on their feelings in a given moment. This past week Sara gave each multi-age homeroom a gift of a singing bowl. Gently striking this bowl opens and closes the multi-age mindfullness practice. Thank you Sara for your generosity!
Questions to Ask
What are you curious about when thinking about studying the rainforest?
Did you learn a new song in Music this week?
What did you do with your buddy this week?
The Multi-age assemblies are Nov. 7 and 14
Halloween is coming! Please remember the children are asked to bring in only one small piece of their costume to share on Friday the 31.
The firstTown Hall is on October 28
Camp Out Saftey
In honor of the Camp Out tradition we talked about how to keep our friends, and ourselves safe over the long weekend. The children are very excited to spend time with their family and friends, riding bikes, playing and exploring. They came up with excellent ideas to help the weekend go smoothly. These are some of their thoughts....
"Tell a grown-up where you are going." - Logan
"Wear sunscreen." - Bea
"If you get lost, wait for someone to find you, or I might be able to come and find you." - Oscar
"Stay in your campsite when it gets dark." - Delilah
"Don't touch the campfire, or you might get burned." - Asha
"Look ahead when you are riding your bike." - Viggo
"When you're hiking, stay on the path." - Eli
"Make sure your tent is zipped and don't leave food in it to keep bears away." - Ruby Fern
"Ask someone you know for help." - Frisco
After our discussion they were sent off to build their own version of the campsites. They used kapla, magna-tiles, paper, and a lot of tape. They are all truly in the campout spirit! We want to wish you a safe and fun filled weekend. We are looking forward to hearing all of the details when they come back on Wednesday!
Oct 20th & 21st - Parent Conferences (No School)
(There will be Oasis coverage during the time of your conference.)
Nov 7th & 14th - Multi-Age Assemblies
*Junnel Tomista, is the Oaks School Counselor and every year she works with small Multi-Age groups. They talk about friendships, work on problem solving and social skills, and team building. We will be starting these groups next week and will rotate throughout the school year.
What We Saw...
After last week's "Big Reveal" about our Rainforest study, we decided to take a little trip to the Los Angeles Zoo. They recently opened an exhibit that highlights the wonders of the rainforest, and have created habitats for some of the animals who live there. When we got there we were met by several excited docents who took us in groups of 3-5 for a personal tour. All of the children were able to ask as many questions as they wanted, and got to share everything they already knew about the animals. Each group had a slightly different experience going through, depending on what they wanted to see. Since we were there so early in the morning, on a school day, we had the zoo almost entirely to ourselves, so we were able to get up close and learn a lot about the animals we are going to be studying.
When we went into the Rainforest exhibit, we were greeting by a school of piranhas. We learned about their habits, and talked a bit about what they like to eat. Some groups were able to see the river otters, which put on quite a show, sliding down their slides and playing in the water. We also saw a toucan and some monkeys. The overall highlight was the "bird eating spider"!
Our tour ended at the Bird Show where they got to see a variety of birds in action. They displayed their incredible speed, eyesight,and natural abilities. It was beautiful to see all of the birds, while learning about the conservation efforts in place to protect them. It was great to learn how many different species of birds had been taken off the endangered species lists because of the people who have taken the time to protect them.
This trip has sparked a lot of questions about the animals in the rainforest, and what it might be like to live there. We plan on taking this enthusiasm to dive in deeper and find out what we can about the trees, plants, animals and people who live in the rainforest.
Oct 17th - No School -CAMPOUT!
Oct 20 & 21 - No School - Parent Conferences
Nov 7 & 14 - Mutli-Age Assemblies
*The Photobucket will be updated with more of the zoo pictures early next week.
"Look Closely & Think Deeply"
Over the last few weeks Prof. McMultiage has been visiting the classroom, bringing in different items to add to the Provocation Station. Bugs and animals were added on Monday and Wednesday, all connecting the common theme. As each item was added they were able to narrow their ideas down to:
They all come from Nature.
They all have cells.
They all have life cycles.
They all came from the jungle.
They all grow.
They are edible.
They are all living things.
They all drink water.
This morning each student was given 2 puzzle pieces. The goal was to work together as a whole class to complete the puzzle and discover what the over arching study will be. The process was amazing! They all communicated and worked together to complete the 100 piece puzzle, and to solve the mystery. They were thrilled to learn that we are going to be studying The Rainforest!!!
Field Trip to the Zoo!
To launch our Rainforest study, we are going on an adventure to the zoo. We will have a docent guided tour of their new Rainforest exhibit. We will need to be on the bus and on our way, no later than 9:00, so please be sure to be here on time. Make sure your children have a lunch, snack and water bottle with them. We recommend applying sunscreen before coming to school. We will be doing a bit of walking, so be sure they have their walking shoes on!
This week we also launched our reading program. The students were all matched up with a reading teacher, and have been given a variety of books to explore. They have been reading books individually, in pairs and in groups. They have also been playing reading games, which encourage them to have fun with words. This has been a great addition to our Writer's Workshop program. The books and games have given them a variety of resources to use to encourage their writing.
Questions to Ask
Who do you work with during Reader's Workshop?
What is Mindfulness?
Who did you play with during snack?
1. Oct 8th - Field Trip to the Zoo
2. Please plan your children's lunches with them.
3. Please remember to sign in and out, and to PRINT you name.
4. Oct 17th - Camp Out
5. Oct 20th & 21st - Parent Conferences
Thank you for all of those who were able attend. It was a pleasure getting to know you a little better, and having the opportunity to answer some of your questions. For those of you who were unable to attend, we took a closer look at our academic programs and explained how they work, and how we are able to individualize instruction and create projects based on what your children's interests are. Here are some of the highlights of the evening.
Reading is taught in small groups. We meet each child where they are in their reading development and build on the skills they already have. We have a variety of books that meet their needs and interests. We also emphasize how to find a “just right book” in our classroom library. Our reading groups will formally start next week. Each child will have a book bag that contains the books they are working on. You are more than welcome to look in their baskets to see what they are reading, and we encourage you to read them with your child in the morning before school starts.
We use the workshop approach to develop writing. Skills are taught in small groups using mini-lessons. We are using story books to inspire their writing, and we encourage the children to share the stories they write. We conference individually, and work on one or two skills at a time to create a solid foundation of writing, while encouraging the creative ideas to flow.
Our overarching theme for the year is based in zoology. In Multi-Age we work in a 2 year cycle switching between botany and zoology. About a week ago, we started with a provocation and asked the children to "look closely and think deeply." "Prof. McMultiage” (aka Kathleen with safety goggles) came in and added items to a tank and the children discussed what they had in common. Every few days more items have been added to the tank, and they are encouraged to make new connections. We are using an inquiry based program where the children will discover our theme by asking questions, observing, and developing hypotheses. If you have your own ideas about what we are going to be studying this year, please keep them to yourself. We would like to keep the children thinking about all of the different possibilities.
We take a hands on approach to math using the Investigations Math Curriculum, supplemented by Constance Kamii math theories. The idea is to create deep and meaningful relationships and understandings between numbers, which will help them with more difficult problem solving in the future. We use a variety of manipulatives and games that keep the children engaged and encourage discussions around problem solving. We help the children discover their own math strategies and understanding. This is the only subject area where we separate 1st years (Kathleen & Virginia) and 2nd years (April, Dharinne & Emma). We do this in order to keep the material fresh, and to make sure they have a strong foundation before moving on to 3rd grade.
Nuts and Bolts
- Please make sure to sign your children in/out everyday. When signing out PLEASE PRINT YOUR NAME.
- When packing/ordering lunch and snacks please involve your children. This will encourage them to eat what has been packed/ordered.
- If your child has a birthday, please contact one of the teachers to schedule a good time to come in and read a birthday book to the class.
- We will be going on a field trip to the LA Zoo on Oct. 8th. (More details will be sent out as we get closer to the date.)
- Don’t forget to check out the Photobucket page. It is updated weekly, and log in information can be found in the first blog post.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the M-A Team!
Thanks and have a great weekend!
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