Fourth grade math had a breakthrough today! Most groups figured out I was asking them to add in base 5. Despite the frustration that led to the breakthrough, I think most students were not unhappy with their determination. They had to do a lot of mathematical reasoning to get there, but in the end, it was all worth it. Tomorrow they’ll give subtraction in base 5 a try, which will really get at the heart of what we do we when “borrow” or regroup as we subtract.
Third grade reading had another day of simply reading books on ancient civilizations. The favorite book seems to be Poop Happened: The History of the World from the Bottom Up, which is not surprising. It’s a fan favorite every year. Students have given me their ranked choices for which ancient civilization they’d like to study. They will receive their assignments next week. I’m looking forward to this project!
Second grade found out that it’s harder than you’d think to make more than 1 using fractions. Their assignment today was to make 2 in as many different ways. Some found patterns that made it easier to come up with a lot of different equations while some struggled a bit with making that leap over one. Since all of this goes well beyond grade level expectations, I’m not worried by or for the students who struggled. Struggle is good and reminds everyone that we really can’t know everything and there’s always more to learn.
We had several more amazing conversations while discussing A Wrinkle in Time. Conversations ranged from “How do you square a square?” to “How can you balance between who you think you are and who other people expect you to be?” As the fourth graders start inching towards 5th grade and another school – no matter where that might be, these are important conversations to be having. Students will soon be meeting so many new people and and it’s important for them to be able to think about who they are as well as who their friends expect them to be.