Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finding value and purpose in our learning


This week at Math, we learned what are the properties of polygons and how to know that a shape is a polygon.We also learned to identify angles, acute angles, obtuse angles and right angles. Last, we learned what are concave polygons and convex polygons.

At writing time, we learned how to write a free verse poem. We learned by looking at examples. Also, we learned to use our writing territories

On Reading,we started to give book talks which means giving people reasons why they should maybe try to read this book, and tell what this book is about without giving out the end. Then, we learned what kinds of fiction and non-fiction there are. Also, we practiced interviewing books.

Last, but not least at Unit we built a marble run, went to the park, played with dogs in the park, and we wrote what was important (what we value) for us at the park.

All this time we have tried to answer these questions:
  • What sort of learning are you looking for? Why?
  • Where does learning live?
                                           BY SOFIA AND YELYZAVETA

It has been an interesting week for us in 4L this week as we've spent some time taking a step back to be more reflective about what it is we actually do and why we do it

During unit time this week, we investigated the learner profiles and did a sort to discover what each profile actually means. We realized we had heard these words but were not really always sure what they meant. 

We got in teams of 4 to create a marble run to practice using our teamwork skills under a time restraint because we had noticed that was when our teamwork tended to break down. We changed our model and sat for 5 full minutes to come up with a plan before we ever began to build our marble runs. Not one of our teams successfully kept the marble rolling for 60 seconds, but we did reflect that our teamwork was better when we all knew exactly what to do before beginning. We rated our teamwork and then got together to compare our ratings in order to agree as a group on one rating. This was almost as difficult as building the marble run! 

At the park this week, we did an energizer called "Apples, Oranges, Bananas"! We had to try to repeat patterns with our bodies and it warmed up our brains and got our bodies feeling more coordinated...also it was pretty funny to watch! We played a game called "Streets and Alleys" and had some more good giggles as we watched our classmates chase each other as a cat and dog through the streets and alleys we made. Finally, we had some free play time. We are improving our abilities to create our own games. When returning from the park, we each shared what the most valuable thing about our time in the park this week or something new we learned while we were there. 

Playing "Streets and Alleys"

 Some students decided to build a small dam (then were kindly reminded by classmates to take it down before we left so it didn't hurt the habitat of the park)

 This was a game these students created called "Blind Trust," where a leader in front had their eyes open while the others trusted and followed with their eyes closed

This was one of the hula hoop games that was created where the partners must toss their hoop and catch their partner's

Our park reflections about what was most valuable or new learning for us

Speaking of the park, both 4L and 4A got together on Friday to plan for next Wednesday's park activities. We worked in groups of 3 or 4 to come up with the schedule, materials, games, and purpose of our time at the park next week. We began to present these ideas, and will finish on Monday with a final vote for which idea will be implemented this coming Wednesday. 

In mathematics, we investigated how intersecting, parallel and perpendicular lines are related. We also learned a new song about these lines to the tune of "Frere Jacques". Just ask- we'd love to sing it for you! :) We also began to explore different types of polygons and their properties, and ended with our definition of what a polygon actually is. Something that surprised us was that some polygons have special names that relate to a root word like: quadrangle - quad means 4, which is why a quadrangle is a polygon with 4 sides and 4 vertices. 

In reading this week, we began to give book talks about books we've been reading. We talked about what pushes us into the reading zone and how we can get pulled out...which is very annoying to good readers! We used our book interview skills when we visited the library. Several of us have begun to realize that we know ourselves quite well as readers as we know exactly what kind of books we like and have made recommendations for what to order to put in our class library. Now we just have to figure out how to get them there! We also learned about the different types of fiction and non-fiction. We went through our finished book logs to see if we could find any patterns about ourselves as readers and the genres we typically choose. 

In writing, we looked back at our writing territories to discover the purpose of these lists. We read some free verse poetry and made a list of everything we noticed about it. We then returned to our writing territories to pull topics to use when writing our own free verse poems. Our big learning was that writing is a messy process because writers draft and draft, changing their minds almost every time they read their compositions, until they have made it the best it can be. We also learned that we like to see models and examples because each time we look at these, they give us new inspiration and ideas. 

Finally, we celebrated our friend Migle's 10th birthday! It's been another great week in 4L, and we look forward to what exciting learning and "ah-ha moments" next week will hold for us. 


  1. Kids, you are doing great! I have just learned that I did not learn everything there is to lean about polygons back in school! Way to go :)

  2. Hello:), I enjoy so much reading the blog:). I am also surprised how much your all manage to do and to learn during one week- so many interesting things, different emotions, games and activities.