Big Hearts in Room 102!

The students in room 102 have such big hearts! As we transitioned back into our routine after our break, we found time to discuss our New Year’s resolutions. Many students have big ideas to help others in our community who are in need. We also set new academic goals and planned out specific ways we will achieve them. We’re hoping that this practice will help us to persevere through these challenging times. We are looking forward to reaching out to others in need and reaching our goals together this new year. This word art below will help us remember. As Kid President says, “The time to be awesome is now!” 

Giving Thanks in KDG

Kindergarten Room 110 kept things light and simple for Thanksgiving this year and kept our focus on the idea of thankfulness. It is one of the most important attributes a person can possess, and it’s never too early to reflect on all the things we are fortunate to have, especially in these unusual and uncertain times. We use poetry a lot in Kindergarten, so for several days we did a shared reading of a poem called “I’m Thankful” and added fun motions to it. At the end of the week students recorded themselves on Seesaw reading the poem all by themselves! We also watched a video of a girl teaching about being thankful for things big and small. Then students made gratitude chains, and wrote something or someone they were thankful for on each chain link. Students were encouraged to make their chain as long as they could, and Maria was able to add 26 links to her chain, as you can see in the picture. Finally, we ended the day with a directed drawing of a turkey. Room 110 loves to make directed drawings and has some very talented artists in the class! (If you look closely at the screenshots, you may discover that one of our teachers has a hidden talent for drawing, and it’s not me!) After I led the students in a directed drawing, Myles taught the class how to draw a turkey by tracing your hand first. We really enjoyed our final day of school together before the break, and ended the day feeling extremely grateful for each other and the amazing LaSalle II community!

To Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Over the last month we learned about empathy. The students watched videos, read passages and had very lengthy, insightful conversations. We shared personal experiences and learned from one another about what it means to walk in someone else’s shoes. The students were asked to sum up in one quote what that powerful phrase means to them.

To Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes means. . . 

“to see the world around you from someone else’s perspective.”

“to think what other people are thinking, like if they are having a bad time you get it.”

“to imagine what another person has been through, even if it’s really sad.”

“to see how someone else feels about a situation.”

“to see what it’s like to be in someone else’s life.”

“to experience what someone went through in his/her life and show empathy.”

“to see what someone else has been through in life so you understand them more.”

“to see what their life has been like and why they act the way they do.”

“to understand people’s needs so you can help them.”

“to see what that problem looks like for them and maybe help them solve it.”

“to remember that we are all more alike than we are different.”

“to understand why some people might be happy on the outside but sad on the inside.”

“to appreciate that not everybody’s life is the same.”

“to learn how you can help them because you understand them more.”

“to understand more about what is happening and care more about them.”

“to learn from other people about what life is like for them.”

“to appreciate our differences.”

Learning About Food in French

The sixth grade French students have been working hard during their mealtime in the French-speaking world unit! They started out the year exploring dishes and restaurants in the French-speaking country of Senegal in Western Africa. The students researched recipes and created Flip Grids describing their preferences of the dishes. We digitally traveled across the world at the beginning of quarter two, and their culinary studies have now taken them to the French-speaking Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The students are learning about local foods and products that can be purchased from markets and how to navigate these beautiful places to purchase fresh ingredients. I am so proud of the language, effort, and enthusiasm that these students are bringing to French class!

Halloween Celebration in PreK

Since the Pre-K Halloween event was cancelled this year the Pre-K teachers in rooms 101 and 104 came up with a new plan to make the day special for their students. The teachers took to the streets and visited many students outside their homes. The teachers dressed up in costumes as did many of the students. The PTO gift bags were distributed to many excited Pre-K students. It was an exciting day for the students to see their teachers in person and in costume. 

Día de Muertos

This year, students in grades 1, 3, 5 and 6 studied about Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This holiday, celebrated on November 2nd in some countries where Spanish is spoken, is a primary example of syncretism, or the mixing of different cultures to form something new. In 1st grade, students learned about traditions found in Mexico and then practiced drawing calaveras de azúcar or sugar skulls using a video. Students in 2nd grade learned about t’anta wawa, or pan de guaugua, a bread commonly eaten on this day in Ecuador. They then drew their own versions on a Jamboard. In 5th grade, students compared the traditions of Peru with that of Mexico, where altars, sweet breads and placing flowers on graves are also common. In Peru, however, it is traditional to hang crowns of flowers on tombs rather than lining the way with the orange cempasúchil flower found in Mexico and parts of Central America. Finally, students in 6th grade reviewed basic verb conjugations as they learned about two unique traditions found in Guatemala, particularly that of the barriletes gigantes, or giant kites, that are created every year in Sumpango and Santiago Sacatepéquez.

Science Experiments in 4th Grade

Students in 4th grade have been very busy in math and science class! Our first quarter in science class is focused on our earth. Students have conducted hands-on science experiments at home with a model of thin and thick lava, learning why volcanoes have different shapes and why some volcanoes have violent eruptions and why others just ooze or sputter. They learned about weathering through an investigation where they created spherical pebbles out of sugar cubes and have thought like engineers, using what they have learned about landslides to draw and describe a plan to save homes from being destroyed.

Students are also becoming masters at using Flipgrid. Sharing their science and math learning with classmates has become a great way for students to stay connected, strengthen their own learning, and help their friends to learn along the way.

Creating Bitmoji Lockers

Students in grades 3rd to 8th created bitmoji lockers! It was a fun activity that still reviewed technology skills such as copying and pasting, dragging, resizing objects, removing backgrounds of objects,  and inserting images. In this fun activity, students were to insert images that represented themselves. The images told a story and allowed me to get to know them.  You can definitely see their creativity in their bitmoji lockers. Check out an example below!

Lots of Learning in PreK!

We have been very busy in Preschool this year. Room 104 has been working on letters, counting, shapes and fine motor skills as you can see below. We are in the middle of our Clothing Unit and have gotten all the way to Letter G. Our students and families are doing fantastic with submitting their work and completing the activities. We are learning so much and having a lot of fun!

The Writings of Middle School ELA

Sixth and Seventh-grade students are currently working in and succeeding using multiple vehicles of learning. As you’ll see in the attached picture, students are currently using our new Amplify curriculum and obtaining great results. One of the remarkable parts of this new curriculum is that when students are completing a typing assignment, I am able to give them real-time feedback while they write, which supports our students’ writing and turnaround time.

Sixth grade is currently reading excerpts from the novel Boy by Roald Dahl while developing their skills in critical thinking, analysis, and the difference between showing and telling in writing as well as honing their vocabulary skills.

Our Seventh-grade students are taking an early dive into the Cultural Revolution by reading excerpts from the novel Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. In just a few short weeks, we continue to be amazed at how strong propaganda can be in twisting reality for masses of people and how everything that glitters is not gold. Our students continue to develop their writing, reading, speaking, and listening acumen. When we complete this unit, we will be reading Chicago’s very own Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Ongoing this quarter is our students’ interaction with objective news sources with the goal of developing objective writing. We have accomplished this through the use of Edpuzzle, SCOPE, Choices, and Junior Scholastic magazine, CNN10, and NewsELA. It is an important skill to develop in our young people as they are going to consume media and/or information, they must know how to separate facts from fiction and present that information in an objective well thought out response. I am happy to report, that the results thus far are strong and I anticipate will only get better as the year progresses!