- Visual vocabulary
- Drawing a student's ideas prior to writing
- Incorporating physical movements into learning
- Incorporating color and symbols to lessen processing time
- Visual templates
- Game creation to reinforce learning
- Incorporating manipulatives
These techniques are integrated into MCS class and homework, and equates to increased self direction from students. Our goal is to provide the information in a way that is easily digested by right brain learners and, in the process, develop the students' independence and advocacy.
Parent Teacher Conferences took place the second week in February, just prior to the break. Teaching staff took the time to highlight personal growth identified in all students as well as opportunities for the remainder of the year.
Language and Literacy
Students tackled homophones. Their, There and They're were finally sorted out with creative stories that attached meaning to the different words. Students began building their own visual vocabulary reference book. Students write the word, the root word, the meaning, and draw images for the meaning. Vocabulary for the week is taped to the corner of each desk for easy visual referencing.
Daily Oral Language focuses on the grammar lesson of the week and reinforces earlier lessons. Teams or individuals correct sentences that have a personal connection to each student. Personal Pronouns, were also incorporated and quickly mastered.
A writing rubric was introduced for the persuasive writing assignment, "Should kids be rewarded for doing chores?". The results were clearly passionate!
February started our study of Greek root words and tied directly to math as students learned about Deca, Octa, Poly etc.
Students continued with line segments, polygons, angles, and triangles. Returning from break, students revisited decimals and graphing as foundation for the upcoming unit in fractions. Word problems focused on decimals and approach to solutions.
The first week focused on completing the MCS Science fair entry. Check out the separate blog post "Students took 3rd place in the SF Science Fair".
Students applied the 'Engineer Design Process' in a new unit on Flight Examination. Students experimented with different types of shapes as it relates to lift and applied the design process. Paper airplanes were abundant as students explored which shape flew the farthest.
Students wrapped up the River Systems and Ancient People. Scaffolding for testing was incorporated by taking the EEI unit test questions, searching for the critical information and highlighting. Students completed their individual electronic game boards which nicely integrated with science.
SEL Class (Social Emotional Learning)
Anxiety and Depression were defined and other words were explored that had similar meanings. Signs and symptoms were identified and partnered with coping strategies including deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness, talking things through with a trusted friend/family member/therapist. Anxiety and depression were 'normalized' and students were introduced to the evolutionary advantages such as our flight or fight response.
Appropriately, Love was the topic during Valentines week. Students examined what is love and the different types: Brotherly Love (Affection); Platonic Love (Friendship); Romantic Love (Physical); Unconditional Love (Selfless/Parental). As expected, students were giggling and quite embarrassed but had fun and enjoyed the topic.
Emotional regulation was another topic. Thought vs emotions were separated and practiced. Discussions focused on normalizing the acceptance of strong emotions, and making connections between thoughts and feelings. Thought and feelings tend to go hand in hand for our students, so overtly separating the two is an important and helpful approach.