Middleburg Community Charter School

Middleburg Community Charter School
MCCS K-2 Team Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We Use Our Cartography Skills to Find Treasures and Investigate Virginia's Resources

Hello friends and families! Wow, we are so impressed with how quickly our little Leobreds are picking up the routine and using their math detective, artistic and scientific skills, etc. to explore our community, state, world and universe. We are truly amazed by the innovation occurring within and outside our classrooms. 

This week in Math, we are "using and looking for patterns" in shapes, numbers, etc. Patterns are repetitive and predictable - and everywhere! With the assistance of our fabulous Gifted/Math Specialist, our 12 to 1 student to teacher ratio makes it even more possible to assess and facilitate areas of need and highlight student strengths and achievements. 

During Language Arts, we've started guided reading groups, centers and word study. This small-group environment allows us to lead and participate in constructive literature discussions, explore word patterns, letter-sound relationships, comprehension, and "good reader strategies."

We are continuing to highlight Social Studies concepts during DaVinci Time, where we integrate reading, writing and vocabulary. This week we have been using a variety of texts and other print and technological materials to explore Virginia, and our community's natural, capital and human resources. A great way you can support this at home is to look up your home, or anything else that means something to your child, on Google Earth. Virginia is rich in farms, forests, water and more. Next week we will tie the types of resources in with community helpers. We need human and capital resources to utilize the abundance of natural resources provided by our great State.

We applied our cartography skills to create maps of our classroom so that we could be like pirates and go on a treasure hunt! The students included titles, keys, symbols and more to help their peers find "treasures" that they hid around the room! Afterward we discussed what made our maps helpful and ways we could improve our maps in the future! What a great way to reflect on our own work and strive for our best!

We are ecstatic to begin our first STEM project during Wonder Workshop. Thank you to everyone who has donated their recyclables. The students are excited about collecting recycled materials. We've had many return from lunch with a water bottle or container to proudly donate to our project. They are busy sketching and exploring ways to build toys from recyclables other people might refer to as trash. Not us! We are resourceful and proud of it! Project days will take place on Friday afternoons during Wonder Workshop.

During Science (Wonder Workshop), we continued to investigate magnets. We even "fished" for big and small fish (paperclips) using magnets, a string and a non-sharpened pencil (fishing rod). We charted our findings within a bar graph using tally marks. We were able to determine the number of "fish" caught and display the data within a bar graph. It's a great way to explore more than, less than, and equal to, along with other graphing skills such as the title, labels and skip counting - foundations for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Next week we will dive into the concept of motion.

 Fun with our birthday months and pictographs!

We are hearing great ideas for the community postcard/stamp collection homework project. This project is open-ended, which means any way your child chooses to display his/her postcards and/or stamps is correct. There is no wrong method - scrapbook, PowerPoint, on a map, in the shape of a horse, ANYTHING!!! Students are coming up with ideas we couldn't even begin to imagine, and they're FABULOUS! We hope they can learn about their communities with you (their most important and adored teachers). A perk is they will also have gained knowledge to share with their school community.

We again want to thank all of the parents who have volunteered their time during Arts Hour and lunch. The positive energy and enthusiasm you impart to us and your children make our school not only great, but exceptional. We are the models of community.

The Green Machine Team
(Mrs. Emmel, Ms. Morgan & Mrs. Browning)

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