Anke’s Friday Blurb

Happy Friday dear Room 25 Families,

Math: We concluded our data unit today by studying and analyzing line plots. We also practiced making line plots using last Friday’s hand measurement data.



Reader’s Workshop: We are still focused on practicing strategies that help us gain a deep understanding of the stories we read. A major comprehension strategy is to make predictions by asking ourselves “What will happen next?” Today, we learned that expert readers not only predict what will happen next but especially how things might happen. To do so, readers draw on important specifics from the text (such as character traits and actions, external factors influencing the character, etc.) as well as their knowledge of how stories tend to go.

Conventions Workshop: One focus of this segment is to give our learners a chance to improve their spelling of high-frequency words at their individual levels. Learners underwent a quick spelling assessment which helped us determine which words each individual needs to focus on. Today, we introduced a spelling practice technique called “Trace, Copy, and Recall”. Ask your learner to show you how it’s done!

Wishing you all a relaxing and enjoyable weekend!



Building Rectangles

Today, learners continued work on building rectangles. They demonstrated a lot of perseverance and critical thinking. Many learners were able to use factors to help them solve the problem efficiently. A lot of learners discovered they needed to record their work in order to keep track of their trials. We discussed the benefits of recording each trial in an organized list. 


Today we began exploring equality with a math talk. Several learners brought up the word or concept of equivalence to justify their thinking as they shared solutions to this problem.  These mathematicians are really working at developing strong arguments! I’m impressed by their ability to be vulnerable, take risks and share the ways their thinking evolves as they listen to their classmates’ convincing arguments. 

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll continue to explore equality and relational thinking. Stay tuned. 

Meeting Georgia Sunset

This was a special moment for our community. Many learners found themselves holding a snake for the first time in their lives! After this initial introduction, Georgia won’t usually come out during the school day. But learners have the option to handle Georgia during free choice on Fridays, and they can help me feed her after school every two weeks if they are interested.

Can You Convince a Skeptic?

In math this week we continued to work on building our math community by nurturing rich math conversations and debunking common misconceptions about mathematics.

Early in the week we watched this video about math speed. Many learners were surprised by the message that fast math doesn’t make you a better mathematician, in fact the opposite is usually true.

Next, we practiced coming up with justification for our math thinking, and clearly communicating our ideas. We learned that it’s easy to convince yourself you are right, a little bit harder to convince a friend, and very hard to convince a skeptic. Learners took turns being convinces and skeptics in small groups. They folded square pieces of paper to work out their math thinking. Here are the challenges they worked on:

1. Construct a square with exactly 1⁄4 the area of the original square. Convince your partner that it is a square and has 1⁄4 of the area.

2. Construct a triangle with exactly 1⁄4 the area of the original square. Convince your partner that it is a triangle and it has 1⁄4 of the area.

3. Construct a triangle with exactly 1⁄8 the area of the original square. Convince your partner that it is a triangle and it has 1⁄8 of the area.

4. Construct a square with exactly 1⁄2 the area of the original square. Convince your partner that it is a square and has 1⁄2 of the area.The room was lively with discussion. Learners really pushed each other by playing the role of “skeptic!”

Later in the week, we learned what happens to our brains when we struggle in math.

Then, learners worked on another challenge:

What number between 1 and 30 would have the most unique rectangles that represents that number as an area?

They used square tiles to build rectangles with areas between 1 and 30. They continued to practice justify their thinking. The class spent a long time discussing the difference between a rectangle, a square, and a rhombus. They are still working on this challenge! Ask your learner about it. I’ll post some pictures next week.