• Melissa Groff

Session 2, Week 2

As I sit down to write this, I can't believe how much ground we covered this week in the studios. I had enough for a blog post by the end of Monday!

The Spark studio learned all about voting this week. Melissa introduced the topic with this video from PBS Kids and they discussed different types of voting. They learned about tally charts and bar graphs from Annie and Moby. They discussed what types of things they vote for in the studio like recess, which movie to watch, and what they want in their lunch. Then they discussed what kinds of things we vote for in our country like laws, community rules, and the president. On Friday, Melissa played a video from where the kids from This Is Us read "If I Ran For President".

To practice, they voted for their favorite color by tally. Out of pink, red, and blue, blue won. They tried both a regular Oreo and a golden Oreo and then voted secretly by ballot. Regular won this round. Lastly, they voted by raising their hand for their favorite playground activity. Kickball vs. playground ended in a tie with four votes each. During these, Melissa guided the learners through counting, addition, and subtraction as well as how these tie into the bigger picture.

Melissa works with the learners in small groups so that she can work with them on reading, writing, and math. Now that she has gotten to know the learners and where they are academically, she is able to tailor this concentrated work time to their individual needs. For example, the learners that are reading read a small book independently, spelled some of their sight words, and then wrote their letters. For the learners that are still working towards reading, she slowly read the book with them and reviewed it when they passed sight words. For math, they covered how to count by five, the ten frame, using a slash mark to indicate a group of five in a tally count, and graphing. They are working on mastering writing the numbers.

The Exploration studio continued on their quest to learn to code and program a robot. They watched a video on how transistors work and discussed what their goals were for the coding lessons. I've heard some of the Voyagers share that they are challenging and there has been much discussion around having a growth mindset and the challenge donut. This week they seek to answer:

-What does it mean to be a good digital citizen?

-How do loops work?

Lexi introduced Civilization, which is how we cover topics of history and study the past. Ask your learner, I bet they will do a great job of explaining because they were super engaged in this conversation! Monday they spoke about their own personal history and the history of their families like parents and grandparents. How can they find out information on them? Photos, stories, letters, and journals were some examples. When we look for hints about what happened in the past we look to written text, artifacts, physical evidence. Wednesday, they learned about Egyptians. Ask your Voyager why Egypt named themselves upper and lower Egypt. They learned about maps and how they are often wrong and watched this video

Is it important for the maps to be the same shape or their exact size? Which matters?

Writer's workshop has them writing memoirs in this session. This week they are starting to write a draft. They read the book "Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street" and talked about the four suggestions our friend Eva received. They discussed which of the four is the "most fun" and "make a great story". Ask your Voyager what element they voted for! Yesterday they wrote about the weirdest thing that they ate or that someone they know ate. Lexi said there was a lot of fun conversation around this prompt and we may get to hear about it at the exhibition (fingers crossed!).

As you know, we finished off the week by visiting "the bakery" aka, Rachel's Creperie. The learners were very excited about this and were very adventurous with their orders. We were so impressed they all tried their crepes and most ate a majority of their meal. If you are looking to take your Voyager out, we can say for certain they could find something they like to eat at Rachel's.

Have a great weekend!


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