Sunday, May 14, 2017

What is Empathy?

This week the students in Mosaic began our Changing Perspectives unit by creating a working definition for Disability and Empathy. Your students have such amazing thoughts, connections, and questions about these topics. They are now working on creating inspirational posters about this topic to hang around the school in hopes of inspiring empathy in others. Next week we will begin our rotations to learn about specific disabilities and how they affect people's lives. Listen to our thoughts about empathy on this Let's Recap link.

In writing we have learned about the elements of classic fairy tales and how when we adapt a fairy tale those changes create a domino effect. For example, if you change the character or setting it will change the character's motivation, events, and most likely the resolution. Students have chosen to adapt either The Three Billy Goats Gruff or Little Red Riding Hood. Next they thought about parts of the classic tale that they disagreed with and wanted to change. Then they worked to create cohesive scenes to layout their tale with a clear structure. Next week we will begin to draft our first versions. We have some wonderfully creative ideas. Stay tuned for a sneak peek at their writing.

Our last unit in math for the year in Geometry. This particular concept is full of rich, and often confusing vocabulary, so students worked in small groups to create informational posters about what attribute we can use to describe different quadrilateral shapes. Then they presented their work to their classmates to learn from. To read more about the topics that we will cover in this unit read here.

Thank you all so very much for thinking of us with sweet treats, thoughtful goodies, and kind words throughout Teacher Appreciation Week. They were all received with overwhelming gratitude! We feel so lucky to teach in such a supportive community.

Jess and Liz

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Amazing Things Happen

Students in Mosaic will begin a new integrated of study this week. Using the Changing Perspectives curriculum the students will participate in five different three day long workshops where they will learn about specific disabilities and what it is like to live with them. The goal of this unit is to teach about taking a new perspective about differences and learning to build empathy and compassion. Students will also get to read, write, draw, create, and act!

For our culminating experience we will hear from different guest speakers who live with a disability. We will also work with students in Swift house to prepare for our Disability Awareness Day on June 9th. On this day you will be invited to come and go through a series of simulated events lead by your children. Stay tuned for more information about this wonderful learning opportunity and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @wcsmosaicmoments

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome Spring

We hope that you all enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating break. Spring is officially here and we are busy with many exciting learning opportunities over the next six weeks.

Upon returning to school we will be completing the SBAC testing. We spent some time as a class looking at and discussing the purpose of these assessments before the break. Students learned about the types of questions they will see and the ways that teachers use the results to think about the "big picture" of what we plan for the upcoming year. We have many methods of assessment for our students and this is just one of them. Students should come to school rested and ready, but also relaxed knowing that all we ask is that they do their best.

We will be doing the testing in the mornings Monday-Thursday. We will provided many opportunities for movement and socialization and the afternoons will be filled with fairy tale writing and science. If you would like to send in additional snacks for your student during this week that would be wonderful. We will also have some on hand.

We will end the week with some hands-on fun on Friday during our Four Winds Nature program. Then we will be jumping into an exciting new unit based on teaching empathy and acceptance. Each student will rotate through a series of lessons from the Changing Perspectives curriculum and we will end the unit and the year with a culminating event that families will be invited to participate in. Stay tuned for more information to come.

Enjoy the sunshine!
Jess and Liz

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ready To Race

We have been working hard as green engineers with our latest challenge. Students have learned about the country of Senegal and have been inspired at how they are able to create so many amazing things with so little. We also learned about the Dakar Rally and have set personal goals for the cars that we've designed. Some want to go fast, some far, and others are aiming for accuracy on what can be some rugged terrain!

We have been posting pictures and videos of this challenging process on our new Instagram account @wcsmosaicmoments. Follow us there for more updates from our rally tomorrow. Also check out this LetsRecap to hear some student reflections about the process.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Conferences

We are looking forward to talking with you about your child's progress in third grade during the upcoming week. 

We are also looking forward to jumping into our new engineer design challenge where students will be using what they know about force and motion and the EDP (Engineer Design Process) by acting as green engineers to design a car made of recycled materials that can travel down a ramp and meet our distance criteria. The students will imagine ideas, design a prototype, test their cars, write conclusions using their data as evidence, and work together collaboratively to problem solve. Stay tuned for more information and follow us on Instagram @wcsmosaicmoments for updates and pictures. 

We sent an email last week to request supplies for this project. If you have any materials that you are looking to donate please send them in with your child as soon as possible. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Measuring Mavericks

Thank you all so much for joining us at our annual Passion Project Breakfast event. It was an amazing turn out and the students were all very obviously proud to share their hard work with a large interested and supportive audience.

 To see pictures of the event follow us on our new Instagram account @wcsmosaicmoments We have set up the account as private so you'll just need to click on the blue "follow" button to see images and leave your comments. We hope this tool will allow us to easily update you on the happenings in our classrooms in a way that seems accessible with  busy lifestyles. My daughter's teacher has been doing this and I love getting the quick, easy glimpse at her day. We hope you enjoy it as well and we welcome your feedback.

This past week students have begun a new science investigation where they will conduct investigations around phenomena of how gravity, friction, and force affect movement. Students will use science data to make claims and support their evidence in writing. Then they will use the Engineering Design Task to design a car ramp using their new understandings. Stay tuned for their discoveries.

We are finishing up our math unit on measurement and fractions and the students are now moving into Unit 5 where they will learn more about multiplication and division using models for area and perimeter. Look here to see more about the concepts included in this unit.

Enjoy that extra hour of sunlight. Spring's got to be just right around the corner, right?!

Liz and Jess

Monday, March 6, 2017

Passionate People

We hope that you all enjoyed the winter break despite the frigid temps! This week the students are hard at work finishing up their research reports on their passion project topics. We have had students studying everything from Helen Keller to spicy peppers and they can't wait to share their learning with you.

Students learned about informational text through studying Steve Jenkins last month and you will see how they thoughtfully incorporated many of the styles and features that are part this genre. Students chose to use formats like Question/Answer or Compare/Contrast, and added features like timelines, diagrams, maps, labels, and captions to teach their readers new information about their topic.

Join us on Thursday morning from 8:00-8:45 to celebrate their hard work and learn all about these interesting topics. If you are able to bring a healthy breakfast treat or beverage it would be greatly appreciated. We'll provide the coffee!

Things to ask you students:
What nonfiction text features or access features did you include? Why?
What text structure did you choose to use? Why?

Thanks so much for supporting our amazing students and their hard work. See you Thursday morning!