January has brought us the wonderful, engaging stories of folklore. Students are finding commonalities in these retold stories such as the use of the numbers 3, 7, and 12, animal characters, repetition of actions, and lessons learned. We’ve looked at American folklore and stories from Russia, Canada, Africa, and India. Having a trickster character who gets tricked by an unsuspecting or trustworthy character (or so we thought!) has been an interesting element of this genre. Students now expect this and are a little more in tune with understanding these tales. We will continue reading various folk tales, including porquoi tales.

Comparing objects or ideas and finding their relationship provided some deep thinking this week. Students looked closely at analogies to identify their relationship. This sparked much conversation! We’ll continue exploring analogies and create some of our own.

Students have various knowledge of multiplication. Some know their basic facts pretty well while others draw groups or need to write multiples. A circles and stars activity challenged everyone with their facts! Using dice (6-sided or a 12-sided dodecahedron) students rolled a die to determine the amount of circles and then rolled the second die to find the number of stars to draw within the circles. Then they created number models. After 7 rounds, they totaled their stars to see who had the largest number. Another activity was to be “candy box designers” who had to create different size boxes to fit 12 and 24 chocolates. Using arrays, students created “boxes” to fit delicious imaginary chocolates. Not only did this help us with our math facts, it made us hungry for chocolate!

Using U.S. geographical places or symbols as names, our new groups now carry the monikers of Jamestown, the Liberty Bell, the Mammoth Caves, and Narragansett Bay.