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The Whirlwind Otherwise Known as November.

It came in like a breeze and left like a whirlwind - November.  Where did those 30 days go?   I feel like we, in the grade 4-6 classroom, have stumbled into December stuffed full of hands-on learning, great experiences and even a bit tired from the good work that was done.  I'll narrow this post down to only two educational projects that we tackled this month.

NaNoWriMo - This was a great experience and most students accomplished their goals.  The work continues as many enter the revise and edit stages of the process.  I look forward to seeing some published novels later on in the new year.  Below are some pictures catching students in the act of robustly writing, contemplatively counting words, and pushing past painful plot problems.  (Can you tell we're working on alliteration?)

Great novels in the making.  There was no stopping these writers!

Rowan's adding up her total with great anticipation.

Haram was counting in Korean so quickly, we didn't know when she was going to take a breath! How can she count so fast?!   하나 둘 셋 ...

One student's word count.  Now that's a LOT of words!

Kelsey and Adayah were in the zone!

The concentration was intense. "Mrs MacInnis, can we get back to work now?"

Emma's adding to her word count. Go, Emma!

"Just a minute, Mrs MacInnis...1656, 1657, 1658..."

We're so close to meeting our word count goals! The excitement grew and grew.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

We have completed three STEM projects over the past three months.  The groups have worked hard to complete seemingly impossible feats with limited supplies only to find that they were more than capable.  They have built aqueducts out of cardboard, tape, foam cups, and other random supplies.  They rose to the challenge of creating a maze where a marble had have a starting point, travel  over a bridge and under six tunnels and end up at the finishing point using a shoe box, toothpicks, construction paper, and a few other odds and ends.  Some had the job of creating a working catapult out of elastic bands and pencils.  The farther launch was more than 5 feet!  Here are some photos of ingenuity and cooperation at work!

We also want to give a special thanks to Grandma Fran (and Lily) for coming and speaking to us about her family's experiences during wartime and, in particular, the incredible hardships her grandparents, parents and other family members faced during the rule of Vladimir Lenin, and the even more brutal, Joseph Stalin.  We appreciate you coming and sharing with us.

Keep an eye out for a write-up coming home regarding our upcoming class auction, Christmas party, novel studies for Social Studies commencing in the new year and volunteer opportunities for the 2nd term.  Take care, everyone.

-Shellene MacInnis