News from Lana and Jeremy’s Class (3 and 4):

January 28, 2013

Happy New Year! January is all about NEW in the 3rd & 4th grade classroom. We leapt right into our new semester by starting off some exciting, brand new units. Our all-elementary theme is Roots. Students have chosen classes on plant roots, genealogy, the history of Bloomington, self-portraits, mapping (routes!), and the musical roots of Harmony School. Our new bodyworks class is hockey – we have spent the past few weeks learning the rules and doing drills to learn passing, shooting, trapping, and dribbling. We are also preparing for our independent research projects, where students will do an in-depth study on a topic of their choice. We have brainstormed topics, talked about what makes a “just right” topic, and are beginning to learn some research skills. For math, the third graders are studying 2D geometry with flips, turns, and slides. The fourth graders are becoming multiplication and division experts by studying strategies like skip counting, pyramids, and landmarks, and using manipulatives to build a foundational understanding of division. Students are very excited to be working on fiction stories for our new authoring unit – we have learned about developing interesting characters, using story-mountains to develop the conflict, and writing spine-tingling leads. Here is a particularly spine-tingling lead to a story written by 3rd grader Quinn Enstrom:

Charteers woke up. A black mist hung in the air. He leapt to his feet and grabbed his staff. He knew what this meant. No life forms would be outside. Nothing, nothing, nothing. The word rung in his ear: nothing.

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