Saturday, April 29, 2017

What the Puffer Fish Said


This week the idea of literacy was our focus. Our working definition became literacy means communication beyond speech. We did however use speech bubbles to encourage reading and writing.  Fun stuff!
The Literati


Digging their work

Thinking Literacy

Literacy Day brought 
in a number of parents 
and literary characters. 

Cheerful Character

I dressed as Robert Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and I brought along the ultimate accessory.

Perfect Fit
Coming Soon

Vroom Vroom
Ready to go!

After school activities have begun! The origami club led by third grade sensei "Mr. River" was a big hit. Who needs pricey gadgets when you can fold paper frogs?
1, 2...

Breaking news

We received a special report from our intrepid New York correspondent via Skype.

Inside Out was our philosophical movie of the week.  
All the kids loved the film despite having seen it "a million and two times." 
Emotional Exploits

Yesterday was my first viewing and I loved the story too. Bravo Pixar! Inside Out showed us the rollicking influence Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust have in our minds. 

What was the moral?   

Talk about Inside Out. Make the story matter. Even better, if you haven't seen the movie, one or one million and three times wouldn't be so bad. 

Somehow our week went quickly. In math we paid particular attention to symmetry. One example came from a male puffer fish who composed beautiful sand art to a attract mate. Seriously, jaw-dropping effort. I hope he found someone. See his work here (video).

Flowers? Lame.  Look what the puffer fish said.
The puffer fish’s mating call is yet another school learning opportunity from real, irrepressible nature. Look around your world and keep asking your child meaningful questions; questions that schooling should have helped to answer. 

Perhaps the good news is you won't have to dive to the sea floor. That would be super cool, but you don't have to. Numbers are everywhere. For instance, ask about the area or perimeter of surfaces, but set the units. “If this table is 3 by 4 meters, what is the area? What would the perimeter be?" And so on. A tape measurer could be a toy as well as a tool. Home learning makes school work worthwhile. Meaningful fun. Yeah!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Saturday, April 22, 2017



Our week in photos.


Applied Measures

Cooperative Choices
Decision Makers

Seeds of Ideas

 Creative Collaboration


Grounded Geometry

Area Alliance


Emotional Examples: The Wizard of Oz


Visiting Danish teacher Q & A

Quick note: Next Friday will be Literacy Day. There will be more information about events soon. For now, try to keep Friday morning open for fun and enriching AISB activities for you and your child. 

Water shortage. Please see that your child has a treasured school water bottle to use during this period of extreme heat and exhausting play. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Taming the Toys


Imagining and Thinking

The same or different? 

Oh, The Things You Can Think.

Our morning discussion examined that question and more. There were no quick answers. I asked, for example, could you imagine or think of nothing? Could you think or imagine what life is like in someone else's mind? 
e you thinking or imagining now? 

Our discussion suggested imagination is somehow activated, where thinking to one degree or another is constant. 

How was this discussion useful? 

Flow of thoughts
Reflective run

Talk helped the kids think about imagination’s value for sparking creative ideas. 

Burgeoning Bosch

Above all else, the world needs imaginative people. Read this article for the prize inside:

Downsize the toy box and increase creativity, confidence, cooperation? Sounds too good to be true, eh? Could toys promote systematic thinking and nature or having nothing boost imagination? The answer surely depends on context, and how long you'd care to discuss it.There's time. 

As for the kids, we racked this cognition set with the wildly imaginative Alice in Wonderland (1951).

The Mad Hatter


We conducted MAP tests this week. 

Overall the kids were fine. I was pleased and not surprised by results. In fact, MAP scores mirrored my latest report card comments. Dedicated readers showed more academic progress. So, please continue to ask questions about the stories or information your child reads at home.  

Make everyday reading meaningful.

And make the long weekend imaginative!