Three words for everyone: “Wash Your Hands”! With four learners home sick and three sent home this morning, the nasty bug that has been spreading across the K/1 classrooms has officially hit Room 10. Please take advantage of the long weekend and get lots of rest!

Many thanks to David, Maureen, Diane, Heather, Aarti and Jen for chaperoning our field trip to Whole Foods today. We used our five senses to tour the market, stopping along the way to compare the feel and taste of lemons and pineapples, examine an octopus and bronzini fish, nibble raisins and cranberries, and much more.

When we returned to the classroom we used our sense of touch with an interlocking cube game. Learners were partnered up and took turns making elaborate designs with the cubes. They’d pass the design under the table and using only their sense of touch to examine the creation, the partner had to recreate the design with their own cubes.

Last Friday our focus was on shapes. We used geoboards to create various shapes and learned about their attributes, using the vocabulary of angles, vertices and sides. For art we talked about three dimensional art and read a book on sculpture, 3D ABC. Then learners made sculptures with compostable packing peanuts (a great material as they stick together with a tiny bit of water). Lastly we titled our creations with such descriptive names as The Crystal Hall and The Royal Rose Garden.

First graders have been focusing on sight words, playing the spelling game “Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check” and continuing with our guided reading groups. We also have been doing some work with the K/1 ipads. Two great games we have been focusing on are Montessori Crosswords (a great app that is appropriate for the most beginning reader to those working on very complex spelling patterns) and Hungry Fish (a math game that gives you a sum and you have to find the various addends in a certain time frame). Both games have just enough bells and whistles to keep the kids entertained (for example in Hungry Fish when you win the first round, you get to choose the color of your fish’s fin, 2nd round you pick his body color). But the extras are certainly not at the expense of learning the specific concepts.