I can’t believe that we’re half way through November already. Since my last blog post the 2nd and 3rd grade classes have taken their first field trip to the Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island. Thank-You so much for volunteers who drove and chaperoned this trip.

In Science we have been exploring the concept of density. Students experimented with mixing oil, water and food coloring. Our next experiment came from a question that Cora asked the class, “Do you think ice will float or sink in water?” What a great opportunity for constructivist learning! I talked with Kyle and found a perfect experiment that involved freezing large water balloons and filling tubs with water. The class enjoyed testing their hypothesis and finding out the answer to Cora’s question,while they continued to learn about density.

This week marked the first full week of 2 / 3 grade Math instruction. Our team has been using the Investigation’s 3rd grade curriculum for both 2nd and 3rd grade learners, while supplementing with activities that we have found and others that have been created by our culturally responsive Math mentors. It is our intention to teach Math in a way that supports all learners by providing additional challenges and supports to those who need it. We are discussing others ways that we can do so by using the wealth of learning materials on the internet and asking questions that require students to go deeper in their mathematical thinking.

Our class has completed their animal projects and has jumped right into our Storyline, which is focused on studying the Willamette river and the implications of building a dam along it. I presented the children with a letter from the Mayor of Portland explaining that the city council needs the class input to decide if building a dam,which would extend from OMSI to SW 1 Ave., would be a good idea for the city. The class was shocked to at this proposal and became very upset and passionate! Just a few of my learning objectives through this particular Storyline is to teach the students about the ecology of the Willamette, the building of dams and why they may or may not be beneficial, the historical reason communities have settled along rivers, the animals,plants and fauna that live within that ecosystem, poetry and creative writing. I hope to take a field trip to the Willamette River, invite the Willamette River Keepers to our class to speak and possibly visit Bonneville dam if we can organize this field trip.

This week the class has begun to explore folktales. We practiced reading aloud a folktale called “The Drum” with the lights dimmed and a pretend fire burning in the center of the circle. We will continue to explore folklore and storytelling over the next few weeks. If you or a family Elder would like to visit the class and share their story please let me know! There is so much to learn through the stories of others!

Conferences are next week. Please sign up if you have not done so yet. I am happy to schedule conferences the following week if necessary after school. Please bring your child with you to the conference. This is an opportunity for  them to share what we’ve been working on in class.

Lana, Kyle and I have started a GoFundme campaign to raise money to buy new tables for the classroom. We feel that with the limited space and the number of students it would make a huge difference if we had tables and chairs that supported small group work better. As you may have noticed the tables in the classroom are a hodgepodge. Some are too small to comfortably fit  students, others don’t have chairs and children sit on the floor to work. Please consider making a donation if you can!

Thank you for your support and feedback.


P.S. I will upload pictures as soon as I find the charger for my camera!