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Friday Update – The Week in Pictures 03.14.14

Friday Update – The Week in Pictures 03.14.14

Here are the Highlights and Ask Me Abouts for this week.



Removing the tape from our newly painted walls to reveal the "old blue tape murals."


Improv Work – We have been playing a lot of drama improv games in the classroom for the last couple of weeks. These games are supporting our work in dramatic play, "Historically Realistic Play," and our community building work.  Last week we focused our work in invitation and acceptance – inviting someone into a dramatic partnership and accepting someone else's invitation.  This week we focused on relationships and intention.  In the photo above, partner one was on a camping trip and going to sleep.  Partner two chose the relationship she had with partner two, a relationship that was important to her, and then set an intention – decided what she wanted from partner one.  The rest of the partner drama work was spent in negotiating the outcome of that intention. 

In another example, if partner one is riding a scooter, partner two might decide that he is partner one’s younger brother, and he wants to ride scooters with partner one.  Partner two can initiate conversation with partner one, but partner two tries not to give away how they are related or what he wants, he just acts from that place.  The children were so engaged in this play!  They played out their relationships so authentically and had the opportunity to practice perspective taking (Who is she?  What does she want from me?) and staying in character (Should I let her play with me?  Is that how the big brother would act?  How might our relationship be affected if I push her away?)

I am so impressed with Opal 4’s work in drama!  They have such a great sense of ensemble, knowing each other and what the group needs, and they are so skilled at the act of inviting each other into drama-based relationships and at accepting invitations from each other.  Our classroom buzzes while we are doing drama exercises – the power of ensemble and of community is palpable!


Authors' Tea – celebrating published memoirs, reading them with our favorite adults


and reading them with each other.


Studying more about our colonies in 1750.  These boys are comparing a map of Manhattan from 1750 to the one they found on Google Maps.  How exciting to see Broad Way Street (Broadway) and the Battery at Fort George (Battery Park) on both maps!


Then going out into the Arboretum to "find" all of these places in the colony spaces.  Here the Georgians investigate the swamp land in which they will plant the rice fields on their rice plantation.  The two girls with their backs to the camera are trying to decide where the Big House and the slave quarters should be.


More investigating in the Georgia swamp land.


Using blue tape to get our new colonies on the classroom walls.  This is Lower Manhattan coming to life on top of the old mural of Leiden, Holland.


The Big House on the Georgia rice plantation on top of the old Wampanoag Village


And math — the fourth graders work with fraction circles to see how many ways they can combine fractions to make one half.  They are also working on landmark fractions this week and determining whether any given fraction is less than 1/2, more than 1/2, or more than 1. 

The fifth graders are also continuing their study of fractions.  They are focused more on ratios and rates.

Ask Me Abouts

Which colony am I in?  Where is our place in the Arboretum?  Do I know where my character might spend time there?  Doing what activity?  What is my role in the new blue tape mural?

What did my partner and I do in our improv work this week?  Was I partner one or partner two? What was our relationship?  What was the intention?  How is this work like the Clear Message strategy we use in our classroom?  What is ensemble?  What happened when we played the counting game as a whole class?

How is the OAKS reading test going?  Did I finish this week?  What strategies did I use to help me stay focused and make sure I was doing my best?  Did I try one of the new whisper phones?

What am I looking forward to for next week?