## Ms. Rupa's Class : February

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your involvement and support. Our Chinese New Year’s celebration was a great success and it made our children’s learning a multi-core experience. We appreciate your enthusiasm; kind words and we are eagerly waiting for the upcoming cultural celebrations and science projects that you have shown interest in participating in.

In January, we mainly focused on taking mathematical concepts forward along with ongoing units in P.B.I.S., biology, physics, botany, engineering, geography and making math connections with what we have been learning in all different subject areas so far. During the past few months, while we were exploring the timeline of the earth and the planets, we observed that most of our classroom children naturally gravitate towards the science of numbers, shapes, motion, space, and patterns. The children have been already working with age-appropriate materials to gain concrete understanding with math topics such as numeration, the decimal system, computation, and the arithmetic tables since the beginning of the semester.

This month we explored to connect time, money and fractions. First, we understood fractions as a part of a whole, or more generally any number of equal parts. The children also learned that there are sixty minutes in one hour, each sequential number on the face of the clock represents the incremental skip counting by 5 and when the big hand reaches number 12 on the face of the clock, we call it an “O Clock”. To understand clockwise direction, we referred to the rhythms, movements, and sustainability of nature’s cycles. The children developed a sense of how the life cycle of a human relates to the eight directions taught by indigenous cultures. First, we used our hands - both right and left to understand basic directions. Then we observed that when we are facing the clock, the clockwise direction begins with the large hand starting at direction North moving to North East, East, Southeast, South, South West, West and moving back to North just like the compass on the maps we have been tracing or just like the loop of any life cycle the end is the beginning again. Similarly, how each directional point has its number on the face of the clock, the same point has its place on our life cycle wheel. Once the children understood these concepts, telling time using fractional parts of a circle such as ½ and ¼ is beginning to become our most popular circle time activity.

We have just started understanding money with the same system of thinking that a one-dollar coin is the same as four quarters or 100 cents. We are also identifying US presidents on the currency bills and coins. We will start understanding musical notes in the same concrete manner.

In February, we will take an overview of the continent of Africa as a part of our school wide curriculum. (our class will be exploring Africa). The culmination of our whole school curriculum will culminate in April with our Amazing Race Project. Stay tuned for more details.

If time permits, we will investigate the physical properties, basic composition and explore the unit measurements through various cooking experiments. We will study inclined planes, wedge and wheel/axels as simple machines. After, we will explore the types of levers, screws, and pulleys to design imaginary compound machines and engineer different kinds of structures.

While the children enjoyed the journey within the human body, we will map the evolutionary process by “looking inside” the dinosaurs and other vertebrates. With Ground Hog Day and Valentine’s Day, we are looking forward to experiencing various art activities and new songs to sing.

Please Note:

2/17 – 21 President’s Day, Mid-Winter break, School Closed

2/24, Beach Day

Sincerely,

Ms. Rupa, Ms. Patti, Ms. Joyce, Ms. Siobhan