Level 2 Updates

In between kids taking the SOL tests and my administering the SOL tests to small groups, I’m actually finding the time to meet with some of the ACE Level 2 groups.

Fifth graders in my Level 2 English groups have at last made it to the portion of the claymation unit where they are filming using their original figures and the iStopMotion app.  A lot of inventive thinking and collaboration is going into the project, as students have tried to determine the best way to capture such dramatic scenes as a harpy eagle in flight, a jaguar climbing down a tree, or a tour guide being attacked by bullet ants.

Fourth graders in Level 2 English have wound up their third debate – Catherine the Great or Alexander the Great – Who was Greater?  The kids have greatly improved in their ability to provide warrants to support a claim.  We’ve made some headway in the area of providing implications for our warrants as well.  In our final debate of the year we’re going to try to pull it all together with a bit of style and panache.  I’m hoping to record the video and post it here.  Stay tuned!

Fourth graders in Level 2 Math are continuing their work with complex, multi-step problems.  My big focus over the past few weeks has been on the idea that so much of math is based on patterns and that discovering the patterns inherent in a problem can help them solve it!

Do you suffer from arachibutryophobia?  How about coulrophobia?  Third grade Level 2 English students should be able to tell you about those phobias (and more) because phobias has been the latest focus in our Word Play unit.  The kids were given a long list of phobias and attempted to decipher their meanings using Greek and Latin roots.  Sesquipedaliaphobia was easily deciphered by the kids as being the fear of really long words, for example, because they knew all about the root from when we looked at sesquipedalian expressions a few weeks ago.  The kids had the most fun, though, when they got to use the root words to create their own fears.  My favorite 3rd grade creation:  “ambul is the Latin root for walking and necro is the Greek root for dead, so ambulonecrophobia is the fear of zombies”!

Third graders in Level 2 Math completed their spatial reasoning unit (congratulations to Lorien Jackson, Greyson Carney, and Sylvia Witt, the winners of our candy box competition!) and have moved on to an algebraic thinking unit.  The work is challenging, but the kids are really taking off with it!

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