Friday, April 29, 2016


Third graders wrapped up unit 5 with an assessment this week.  Students have worked tirelessly on the concepts of area and perimeter and demonstrated great growth.  With the month of April coming to a close, students exhausted the calendar patterns and collected thirds of an hour to add to the growing month’s collection.  Finally, third graders completed a “quick facts” multiplication assessment and practiced their facts with a new multiplication game.
Fourth grade mathematicians worked Monday and Tuesday on finishing their “Dream Room” projects.  We used this engaging project as a way to learn more about area, perimeter, and multiplication.  Students have the opportunity to use an online program called Tinkercad to build their rooms in 3D.  Later in the week, students immersed themselves in the language of geometry and consolidated much of what has been studied in the unit so far.  

Grade 3 writing this week has been all about revision and editing.  Students are cleaning up favorite pieces they’ve worked on this year to make them their very best “shot” at each particular genre.  Intensive review of paragraph structure and sentence structure occurred on Wednesday.  

Fourth grade writers drafted and revised realistic fiction pieces.   Students used the four elements of craft from the Narrative Writing Checklist to guide their work.   Most children focused on showing *why* a character did what they did by including character thinking and feeling.   This helped writers compose an ending that showed a shift, or growth, in the main character.   Some are also putting in extra effort to master the punctuation expectation of using commas, capital letters, and quotation marks for dialogue.   Ask your writer about the Narrative Writing Checklist goals she/he set for this unit of study.

All Equinox students were treated to an incredible virtual field trip with Google Expeditions on Wednesday.  Students used Google Cardboard “goggles” outfitted with an Android phone to access an app that simulates guided travel to places around the world.  Teachers were able to act as docents as they guided students on a virtual journey to an amazing place on Earth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Virtual Fieldtrip

Today our class experienced a pioneer program called, "Google Expeditions".  Expeditions is a new product that allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips.  Immersing students in experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and giving students a deeper sense of the world beyond the classroom.  We selected a destination of Nepal because it connected to our science learning about Tarpuls as well as a read aloud we had done about climbing Mount Everest.  These trips are collections of virtual reality panoramas annotated with details and points of interest.  Read our Padlet below to hear our reactions to this amazing experience!

Our Google Expedition

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dance - O - Rama

Great performance today dancers!  You really rocked the house!  Here is a link to your performance to share with your families.  Enjoy your vacation!  Be sure to get out and play!!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Ask, Imagine, Plan

Gr3 Math - Schoolcraft:   Third graders were introduced to the third grade SBAC tasks in mathematics.  Students were able to practice logging in, explore assessment tools and review strategies together.  Mathematicians also synthesized their learning from the March calendar and created bar graphs to display data provided on the calendar as charts or pictographs.  A Division Checkpoint was assigned as a mid-unit assessment on Thursday.  Finally, students learned a new workplace, Line ‘Em Up, in which a single quantity must be divided into equal groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and remainders noted.  It is challenging and fun!   

Gr4 Math - Weegar:    Fourth graders continued exploring angles; parallel, intersecting, perpendicular lines.   Everyone used geoboards and geobands to make sense of learning and to connect new vocabulary to real life examples (e.g., railroad tracks, lines of latitude, roads that come to intersections).   Ask your mathematician what makes perpendicular lines a special set of intersecting lines!

Gr3 Writing - Stewart:    This week in writing has been unusual!  On Monday, all writers participated in a great Four Winds sessions about Owls!  On a couple of days students worked on editing and revising pieces they’d begun last week.  We also squeezed in some practice for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium “SBAC”, which we’ll be administering over the next two weeks.

Gr4 Writing - Ward:     The Core Writing Idea this week was “Tackle the Nitty-Gritty Sentence Details.”   BrainPop, Flocabulary, connected worksheets, and focused DLR instruction helped students pointedly practice the finer details of grammar, conventions, and sentence structure.   Much time was also spent reviewing strategies to tackle the Short Answer Response of SBAC.   Please talk to your writer about the power of an introductory sentence!

Four Winds Nature Science - Eqx:   Parent volunteers enthusiastically taught children about the sharp eyes, flexible necks, sensitive ears, strong beaks, silent wings, powerful talons, and deadly claws of owls!   Students also enjoyed dissecting regurgitated owl pellets - filled with the skeletons of past dinner entrees.   The found bones were classified and discussed; new learned recorded in Science Notebooks.

Science/Engineering - Eqx:   Geotechnical Engineers started the Engineering Design Process with the steps of Ask, Imagine, Plan.   Partnerships considered the factors of village elder requests, curvature of the river, soil types, and the price of compaction as they crafted proposals for the best site for the Sarhig River TarPul.   Many engineers were able to move forward with testing their selected sites.   Improve and ReImagine are the next steps!