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Go with the Flow - UE, Ms. Shannon

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Tis the season of being flexible and pivoting. I am so impressed with the ability of the UE students to go with the flow and keep on learning. From winter break to pandemic to snowpocalypse and virtual learning, we all stayed connected and engaged.

This week in UE, we narrowed our focus and were very project-based. Book report projects were in full swing and presentations have begun. Each student chose their own project to prepare. These include: movie posters, dioramas, timelines of important events, collages, board games and create a test. We have learned to embrace the mess that is project time. The process leads to amazing products.

February 1st was the Lunar New Year. We read about some of the ways this is celebrated as well as five Asian cooks and the dishes from their festivities. This led us to think about why food is such an integral part of traditions and celebrations. Everyone then took time to reflect and write about a particular food and tradition, celebration or holiday that is associated with it in their own families. From the simple Friday night pizza to a special dish that grandma makes for Thanksgiving, they wrote about the gathering and then used their senses to describe the dish.

Four out of the five groups have now started the Master Class process. The stages are topic selection, outline of questions for research and resources, research, and prepare presentation. Next week, our first presenters will share on the topics of coding, the floor of the Indian Ocean and the human heart.

In math this week, we have focused on geometry and extending our knowledge of area and perimeter of squares and rectangles to that of irregular shapes. It’s been fun to work with the materials and see their creativity in solving these problems.

We are in the midst of hosting visitors in UE. Our students are so welcoming and readily volunteer to give tours, share projects, partner for a lesson and chat during snack break. I am reminded of the beautiful community we have in upper elementary and the kindness of our kids. We ended our week in circle sharing something that we are appreciative for as DGS students. Hands went up right away with gratitude for outside time, small classes, kind teachers and close friendships.

Thank you, parents, for sharing in conversation during conferences. Derek and I enjoyed sharing our observations and hearing your perspectives and ideas. Next Friday, students will bring home their planners to share with you. This is an opportunity to see how they manage their time and the work that they have done throughout the week. These are great conversation starters for families. Be on the lookout!

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