Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Algebra Fun

Dear Parents,
This week your child is on his or her way to becoming an algebra rock star!  We are amazed at how fast everyone is catching on.  I probably was a bit ambitious with one of the homework sheets that was selected.  If you want to know how to solve it, you can click here or do some simpler algebra problems that we did in class, using those worksheets or work found in the links further down.

If any of these problems are too hard, students are welcome to skip them and we will be able to go over them in class.  I don't want anyone spending more than 20 minutes a day on any of these pages because I want to prevent the level of math frustration that can make learning math more difficult in the future!

Here is a link for simple variable problems:

here is the link for a 5th grade level variable work:

Here is the link for 5th and 6th grade level variable work:

To be clear, this is not required work, but we did promise the children that we would provide further opportunities for practice since we are getting so many requests for further algebra work to take home!  
Thanks for all your support at home.  The growth of everyone is phenomenal in math!
Liza and Kathy

Friday, February 21, 2014

Upcoming Activities: Renaissance Fair and Pi Day

Upcoming Activities: Renaissance Fair and Pi Day

We are so excited about two upcoming activities:  the Renaissance Fair (March 4) and Pi Day (March 14).  In order to prepare for these upcoming activities, we will be examining life in the Renaissance period, as well as covering the geometrical concepts needed to fully understand the value of PI.

Over the next week, students will research a chosen aspect of the renaissance and share with the class, in order to gain a greater understanding of this much-celebrated period in our history.  Stay tuned for more details!

 Pi day is to be a mathematical celebration of all things circular, where the children are invited to bring round foods and calculate the area, circumference, surface area, and/or volume of circles, cylinders, cones, and spheres.  Over the next two weeks, students will be busy measuring and calculating various geometric figures and forms as well as receiving the Montessori foundational lessons that concretely explain the concept of the number Pi.  Stay tuned for more details!

A big thank you to the outpouring of love we received on Valentines Day!  Ms.Kathy and I were touched by your many kind words and sweet gifts.  We will keep those words in our hearts forever! We also are pleased with how independent the children have become as they take a greater role in classroom celebrations.  It was especially nice to see how well everyone set up for our party and created and distributed the food and treats in such an organized way!  That is the ultimate goal in Montessori: to create a learner that is able to fully take part in society, not only through learning, but also by doing!  I will soon be posting a link to our photo gallery that documents all this beautiful learning.

Boookbinding Project

The last few weeks, students have been putting a great deal of effort into writing. We are so pleased as we have watched our community of writers develop a passion for putting their ideas on paper and developing a cohesive story, using their understanding of literary elements to guide and shape their ideas.  Since January, we have been exploring those literary elements and putting that knowledge to practice in an integrated unit of study.

 Students have been working extensively in the revising and editing process and many stories are now ready to publish into a hard-bound book for each student. This has been a lengthy process, where many have needed to rewrite and revise extensively in order to create a descriptive narrative that is fit for publication. We have examined structure of paragraphs, introductions and closings, word choice, and supporting details. While some still need more time, the majority of writers in our learning community are ready to proceed to this final step in the writing process.

In order to have enough materials for each student to be able to make their own hard-cover book, I am requesting that students bring the following materials to school if they happen to have them at home or could bring them:

  • thick pressed cardboard (not corrugated) that is found on the backs of pads of paper and some food boxes (we will cut it to size in class) 
  • spray glue
  • old fabric scraps
  • colored or decorative paper (letter size) for end-papers
  • fine tipped ink pens

If your child has typed their story at home, I need the original attachment so that I can easily format each story to be printed in bookfold form with page numbers.  Thank you for your support in this project that combines multiple disciplines and brings together Montessori lessons and state standards. We hope your child is excited about the opportunity to publish their writing for this important culminating project.