Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Maine Maritime Museum: What to Bring

Hi Families,

Tomorrow, we leave school almost immediately after unpacking and arrive back at school at about 2:00.

Here's what your kiddo should pack:

  • water bottle
  • sunscreen (we will be outside for about an hour and a half)
  • a snack
  • a lunch from home (unless your child signed up for a school lunch-- check with them)
  • sneakers
  • layers (we will be inside and out)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genius Hour

Hi Everyone!

We kicked off Genius Hour today and I wanted to tell you a little about it in case you hear more at home. :)

What is Genius Hour?
Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. (http://www.geniushour.com/what-is-genius-hour/
The idea is that students begin with a question (that is driven by their own passions), which is followed by research, and finally a product is created to share the learning.

How often will we be using our time in the classroom?
One hour per week. If June has arrived and we need more time, I may increase this time to 2 hours per week.

What will the kids be learning about?
So many different topics! Today we listed what we love to do outside of school, what our general interests are, and what we wonder about. Their lists were longgggg! These passions will drive the inquiry process and students will generate a quality question that is the focus behind their research.

How will they share their learning?
These are some options and they will choose (with some limitations) who their audience will be:

  • Digital presentation (a slideshow, iMovie, website, etc)
  • Oral presentation (speaking to an audience)
  • Visual presentation (sharing visuals like posters, pictures, or models)

Will this require time at home or buying items?
No and no. However, some students have already talked about ideas that would involve some work at home, but this is their choice. Most likely if a child is working on their Genius Hour product at home it's because they're excited about it and want to spend their time that way! Also, students don't have to buy materials (example: poster board) but they certainly can if they talk with you about it.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. The students are VERY excited about this and I'm thrilled to be doing it with them!


Hi Families,

Last week Dustin (my husband), from Norton Financial came to visit us to teach the students about the importance of saving money and how interest works. He kicked off the conversation by asking the students what they may save money for, and they got responses such as, "video games, college, candy, and soccer cleats." They got to have fun thinking about what they would want to save for! Dustin then inquired what adults may save money for, and we heard, "house renovation, a new home, vacation, food, appliances." The students had a lot of insight into this topic. This led to discussing how people save money and why it's important. Many of them are already saving and have plans for that account!

After the introduction, the students eagerly headed to their seats to see just what interest looked like on paper. They used 10% with $100 and $1000 so it was kid friendly. Dustin did explain that 10% isn't accurate, but it's a percentage they know how to work with. They were curious what the accurate rate really is! We filled out the following chart that you may have seen come home in their folder:

Some students went beyond the worksheet to challenge themselves.

It was an insightful math period and a helpful connection to our work with our classroom economy! Students had a lot of remaining questions, like what CDs at a bank are and more. They also had A LOT of good learning as well. I hope they went home with questions!