Early Elementary News: April 2013

K-1 has begun our last thematic unit of the school year, “My Journey through the World.” The focus of this unit is weather and its role in our world. The children will complete activities and a project to facilitate the following understandings: Learning about the world’s weather helps me to see patterns in the weather, I can make observations to discover weather patterns, and when I see a weather pattern, I can make informed choices.

We began the unit by showing the children a weather report from a local news station. We discussed its features and shared our idea for the final project: making a television weather report. Children were put into table groups at the beginning of the school year and were asked to name themselves after a severe weather event for the purpose of this project. Each table group will now work together to feature their severe weather event in their weather report. Other requirements of the report are to describe the severe weather event, identify some safety precautions for the severe weather, give a five day forecast, and describe weather and activities associated with a particular season.

Each group will be responsible for creating the content and props used in their weather report. To prepare, the children will read books, watch movies, record weather observations, and engage in group discussions. We will film the children and use our i-Movie application for editing to produce weather reports that will debut at the Curriculum Celebration in May.

Speaking of weather, we are finishing our nonfiction writing with a focus on written conventions and will be moving onto a poetry unit in the next weeks with spring weather as our inspiration. In reading workshop, children are learning to retell nonfiction books in preparation for end of the year book projects. Nonfiction retelling includes things like title, author, main topic, facts or details, text features, and word meanings.

In math we are wrapping up a math unit on geometry, graphing, and time, and will be beginning a new unit on problem-solving and fluency. Children continue to work on math fact fluency with a variety of games and strategies. Technology in the form of computer programs and i-Pad applications are supporting the development of these math skills as well.

With the arrival of spring, children will also begin working on AS-L projects identified earlier in the year to improve our school community. Planting in the edible garden, working on the wooded trails, and other class initiatives for reducing resource use will be underway soon!

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