Sunflower Cottage’s First Month!

Sunflower Cottage’s First Month!

We began our first few days of school discussing and sharing what important essential agreements we should agree to follow in order for our classroom to be a safe learning environment for everyone. We had fun working together to act out the essential agreements. These essential agreements are in our classroom as friendly reminders as we grow and learn together in our shared journey.

As we continued to prepare ourselves to work both independently and collaboratively in our beautiful learning environment we spent meaningful time building our community. We each took a puzzle piece and illustrated our own piece with something each of us enjoys to do. We then worked as a team to start building our puzzle. We realized it was a bit challenging, but not impossible. Each of us is like a piece of the puzzle, with our own personalities and strengths and when we come together we are one diverse community.

As we continued to prepare ourselves to work both independently and collaboratively in our beautiful learning environment we spent meaningful time building our community. We each took a puzzle piece and illustrated our own piece with something each of us enjoys to do. We then worked as a team to start building our puzzle. We realized it was a bit challenging, but not impossible. Each of us is like a piece of the puzzle, with our own personalities and strengths and when we come together we are one diverse community.

We also began learning about an integral part of our PYP curriculum, the IB learner profile, which consists of 10 attributes. We started by sharing our initial thoughts with one another and then as a community came up with a common understanding.

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We also went to the library for the first time this year. Our librarians, Mr. Mike and Mr. Nick, shared with us how to use our common library space in a respectful and organized way so that we may all enjoy reading and borrowing books. We made our shelve markers, enjoyed a story by Mr. Mike, and borrowed books.

We also had our first sharing assembly of the school year. Grade 4 shared a fun poem about their learning of body systems, we sang happy birthday to our friends who had summer birthday, and we played an icebreaker game to get to know students from other classrooms.

We celebrated our friend Oliver’s 6th rotation around the sun with the Celebration of Life. His parents came to our class meeting and brought photos of each year of Oliver’s life, he shared them with all of us as he walked around the sun.

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We are also enjoying our independent work block as we engage in various aspects of our learning. In Geography, we are exploring our world with the use of our maps. Many of us have started making our own maps as we learn the continents and focus on specific continents of interest for each of us. We are also studying the parts of a flag as they are an important representation of the countries around the world.

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In biology we have each enjoyed learning about the 5 vertebrates: mammals, fish, amphibians, birds, and reptiles and making our books to reflect our learning about the one that interests us the most. This involves learning about the various parts respective to each vertebrate using our nomenclature cards.

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We have also enjoyed using both the binomial and trinomial cubes to enhance our reasoning skills.

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We have whole group lessons during our class meetings and one we all really enjoyed was the impressionistic lesson on landforms in which we discovered the difference between an island and lake.

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In math we are learning about all aspects, such as numeracy, memorization, operations, and geometry. For numeracy, we refreshed our memory on ordinal numbers while connecting it to an important aspect of our Chinese culture, the Chinese zodiac. For geometry we began our exploration with geometric solids and straight and curved lines, as our world is formed by both. In operations we started composing four digit-numbers with our golden beads.

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We also worked with the hundreds board and identifying the various numbers we have, such as teens and tens. We used numbers and counters to help us have a clear understanding of what it means to be an even or odd number, connecting it skip counting by 2.  We used the addition strip board to help us find the sum of two addends to increase our fluency with facts within 20. The teens board helped us to reinforce our understanding of what teen numbers mean and how they are represented.

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We are learning to build our work stamina and demonstrated that during our morning independent work block this first month of school…

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We began our first unit of inquiry, Who We Are, by breaking down the central idea and lines of inquiry by working as a team and applying our understanding of language to make sense of it. In this first unit we are focusing on how where we come from and our culture has an effect on what we belief and celebrate.

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Through discussion we realized that no matter where we come from we all celebrate birthdays. We learned about how in different parts of the world kids and people celebrate birthdays in different ways. We then wrote a small moment about a our own birthday celebrations. We then broadened our minds by learning about celebrations particular to the different countries we all come from such as Moon Festival, Holi, Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, among many others. We each made our own pop-up book representing a celebration that each of us likes or is important to us.

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