Chess: We began our week with learning the game of chess. It was great to know that so many of the kids had already played it. On Monday, we went over the names of the pieces, how they moved, and the rules of the game. Everyone then found a partner, a board, and played a game. Chess is a great game for kids. Not only can chess improve logic, concentration and focus, but it also helps kids realize the consequences of their actions.
Writing: During writer’s workshop we are still trying to get the last few people finished with their Chinook books and their writing about Condit Dam. This was the last week that regular class time will be used. Kids that were unable to finish were asked to take the book home as homework. Those not finished with the Condit Dam writing piece will have to complete that before school or after school. Ask your child if they have completed their writing!
Math: Our class is on a quest to have EVERYONE proficient on their addition and multiplication facts. Once a week, we will be using a website developed by Greg Tang, author of Grapes of Math. Please check it out at gregtangmath.com. If you want to subscribe at home, please use the code GT 50 so that you receive half off the subscription price. The code expires on November 21st.
Gorge Studies: This week we partnered read a legend written by students in Portland, Oregon. They wrote a story called, “The Cedar People.” The story tells about the first interaction that one tribe of Native Americans had. The encounter was welcomed by some of the tribe and not so welcomed by others. It told of how the tribal council decided to allow the European man join their village. The consequences ended up being devastating for their village because this particular person brought a disease that the Native Americans didn’t have cure for. During the next few weeks we will be learning about how the introduction of Europeans in the Gorge changed the lives of all of the Native Americans in the area.
Social Studies: We also began learning about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Students had some good information that some of them already knew, but there is so much more to know about one of the most important expeditions for our nation. We learned that Thomas Jefferson had great plans to expand the young nation and enlisted the help of Meriwether Lewis. “On the acquisition of Louisiana, in the year 1803, the attention of the government of the United States, was early directed towards exploring and improving the new territory.” ~Meriwether Lewis. Lewis then wrote a letter to his previous commander William Clark and asked for his help. Together they lead the Corps of Discovery. To gather our information we are reading informational books, participating in activities, and watching a Ken Burns documentary about the expedition.
For the next two weeks we will be weaving baskets, making masks, creating beads with our buddies, and preparing for our tribal celebration that will occur on Wednesday, November 23. Our grade school students (K-5) will be gathering together for a culture performance by a group from the Warm Spring tribe called, N’chi Wanapum (pronounced: en-chee-wana-pum).
Help Needed: On Thursday, November 17, we will be creating Native American masks out of clay. Students should gather and bring natural items to make impressions in the clay, such as cones, bark, shells, or leaves. Feathers and beads are also needed for decoration. We need plenty of shoe boxes to keep the masks safe while transporting to the kiln for firing and also need to borrow several rolling pins for the day. Anyone with access to a kiln would really be appreciated! And finally, if you have some spare time on Thursday afternoon, we would love to have help from 1:20-3:00 p.m.
Also, if you have extra time this week and would like to help with weaving, please email me the days and times that you could help.
Important Information: If you haven’t completed the early closure form (most did at conferences) please do so and return it. I noticed that Mr. Nelsen’s weather blog (http://www.kptv.com/link/492613/fox-12-weather-blog) tells us that winter is approaching! Mrs. Shaw and I were just remembering how we missed most of Thanksgiving week last year due to snow and ice. I am hoping that any winter weather holds off until mid-December!
Blue health cards also need to be returned as soon as possible.