Author - Excellence

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Will They Be Able to Guess the Central Idea?
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Power of Words
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Guest Speakers at The Foundation for Child Development
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Design Thinking Challenge
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Food is Necessary (and yummy) For Life!
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End of Unit Celebration!
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Smooth Sailing with Smooth Blending in Excellence Class
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Independence in Kindergarten
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Plant Provocations
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Excellence: Final Unit

Will They Be Able to Guess the Central Idea?

  • Chilling down the classroom to create the perfect chilly temperatureChilling down the classroom to create the perfect chilly temperature
  • "What on earth is happening?""What on earth is happening?"

This week the Excellence and CS classroom turned into a cold winter wonderland! Thankfully, we found a nice camp fire, blankets and hot chocolate in CS class 😉

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::5 Whys Thinking Routine::
Students shared many problems they saw with today’s provocation:
“The door was locked!”
“We could not go inside!”
And then…. finally, someone said…
When I came to the room, I was cold!”
 Why?
“We were camping. It was a surprise!”
Why?
“Because all the air conditioners were on!”
Why?
“We need blankets because it is cold!”
Why?
“We need fire because it’s so cold!”
Why?
“If you don’t have a fire. You’re not going to get warm. You will die.”

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Power of Words

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Words are like a tube of toothpaste. To really drive this home, students were asked to squeeze out an entire tube of toothpaste together and then, challenged to put all the toothpaste back inside. Students were puzzled as they knew that would not be possible.

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Guest Speakers at The Foundation for Child Development

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Excellence was very excited to be invited as guest speakers on Design Thinking this past week! The Foundation for Child Development had seen our assembly photos online and they had invited our class to come in to be a part of their “Play-Based Exhibition.” We packed up our Design Thinking projects and off we went!

 

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Design Thinking Challenge

Our Design Thinking projects are underway! 

Students had the challenge of creating something for our February assembly that would teach and showcase to others what they are learning in Excellence class. They had to empathize with their audience and understand that not only would Trust and Caring class (ages 1 to 2) be watching but also, our upper primary classes would be watching as well. Their creation (Prototype) had to be simple yet complex enough to reach their wide audience. 

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End of Unit Celebration!

Put a fork in it! We’re done! This week, we finally finished out our first unit on Who We Are. 

For these past 8 weeks, students have inquired into what they know best: Themselves! 

We further extended our knowledge of “self” to learn more about “others” as well. 

Design Thinking

Students were paired up with a buddy and given the challenge of getting to know them better. They interviewed their buddy to find out what they liked, disliked, abilities and so forth. From there, we introduced to students a little something called “Design Thinking.” 

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Smooth Sailing with Smooth Blending in Excellence Class

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Recently, Excellence took a look at Blending. What I noticed is that all students were blending out words in a “Choppy” fashion. For example, the word “Nap” was being blended as /n/…/a/…/p/. While this is technically “correct,” when a child separates the individual sounds, it can create a hurdle that blocks reading development. What can we do to help? We can assist students by redirecting the way they read with the help of smooth blending.

 

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Why is Smooth Blending of Sounds Important?

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Independence in Kindergarten

Hello Parents!

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We have had a very busy first few days of school as we got students back into the routine and swing of things! But finally, we seem to have settled down now and it no longer feels like we are herding cats 😉

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This past week we introduced our  “Self-Check List” for the very first time! Everyday, students are Read More

Plant Provocations

A great provocation gets kids thinking about concepts and ideas! In Excellence, we try to engage our students in provocations which connect to our central idea. A provocation can be simple and yet still powerful, such as a question, statement, image, video, song, or object. They create an opportunity for students to create new questions or find a new direction for the inquiry or action. Provocations can happen throughout a unit and do not always have to be teacher-driven.

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Excellence: Final Unit

Transdisciplinary theme: Sharing the planet


Excellence is now in their final Unit of Inquiry: Plants. Students will explore the Central Idea on plants and their contribution to the sustainability of life. Our two subject focuses for this unit are Science and Social Studies. Students will explore plant systems and other living things (Science). Students will also be given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of interdependence, sustainability, and environmental resources through various projects and experiments.

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