# High Ability Update

## Jackson Elementary

## September 16, 2022

### First Grade Language Arts

Students are creating personal shields of connections. They began by choosing at least three things/activities/people/concepts that are important to them. The students are designing symbols that represent their connections. They are also writing down what their symbols represent and why they chose those things, activities, etc... It's a lot of work for these young students, and they are focused and doing their best. I'm super proud of them! This project will continue next week.

### First Grade Math

Being the students were at the apple orchard on Wednesday morning, we only had math on Thursday. We reviewed the polygon names we have talked about: triangle, quadrilateral, pentagon, and hexagon. I gave the students some tips/tricks to identify the shapes. The students played Lingo again. This time, they were instructed to use the shape names every time. For example, if a student rolled a 4, they had to tell their partner to find a quadrilateral. I challenged them to also tell their partner a quadrilateral has 4 sides, 4 points/vertices, and 4 corners/angles. That was too much to ask at this time, so we stepped back and focused on our tips/tricks to remember shape names. As I was drawing some shapes on the board and explaining some things, a student told me one of the shapes was not a polygon. He noticed one of my shapes was an open shape. Polygons are closed shapes. Good catch on his part!

### Second Grade Language Arts

Since Edgar Allan Poe's poem Eldorado is profound for second graders, we revisited it this week. I am passionate about students developing their writing skills. Whenever we have spare time, I like to teach mini-lessons on punctuation. If you begin a sentence with an if clause, you need to use a comma. Using a comma with if clauses was the topic of our mini-lesson this week.

### Second Grade Math

I informally introduced the notion of equality this week. After a quick introduction to meerkats and agate, we pretended we needed agate beads to make meerkat belts. Each belt needs exactly 14 beads. Given just two colors of beads (red and blue), how many combinations of beads are there to make the meerkat belts? We worked together to make an organized list. For example, if you don't use any red beads, you'd need 14 blue beads. If you used one red bead, you'd need 13 blue beads. After we came up with all 15 possible combinations, we analyzed the list. Each combination added to 14 beads; therefore, the combinations were equal. Only one combination had an equal amount of red and blue beads (seven red and seven blue). We also discussed the similarities and differences between the combinations. Then came the brain straining part, I asked them to identify a combination based on clues I gave them. For example, which combination has ten more blue than red? Two red, twelve blue. Which combination has six less blue than red? Ten red, four blue.

### Third Grade Language Arts

As we explore the element of change, it is important to comprehend that some things do not change. Some examples of things that do not change are living forever, the past, days of the week/months of the year, and the sun rises/sets in the East/West. After discussing things that do not change, we went back to something that changes. Stories passed down from generation to generation are likely changed throughout time. We played a quick round of telephone to see if my original message changed between myself and the seven students in our HA class. It most definitely did change! We discussed that people living in different times and in different lands have passed down stories through multiple generations. We read a Native American myth about how butterflies came to be. Using a graphic organizer, we pulled out main points that would be used to retell the story. You might ask your students how the Native American myth explains where butterflies came from. Being it has been a few days, they may need a hint or two to trigger their memory. Hints: mountains, rocks, and children.

### Third Grade Math

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. I gave the students a pep talk on perseverance, rising to a challenge, and growth mindset. We discussed that working in pairs is

*partner work*(not play) and requires collaborative effort. We also discussed expected behaviors. First and foremost, students must come prepared for class. For example, if a student wears glasses, he/she must bring them to class. Pencils are not toys or musical instruments. It is time to move past the novelty of being in class with students from other homerooms and make the most of our brief time together. After our discussion, we revisited our organized list from last week. As we worked with the list, I asked some difficult questions. The students realized that answering the questions would've been even more difficult if our list wasn't organized. We were able to be thorough by using the organized list. Writing math neatly was also stressed. The students thought about/solved the problem in different ways, so I had the students share their various approaches. With just a few minutes left in class, we looked at another problem involving an organized list. The next problem will involve a think frame graphic organizer. These challenging problems require organization.### Fourth Grade Language Arts

Does everything change? What are examples of things that don't change? Can words change? Do we change words? How do we do that? Adding a prefix/suffix is one way to change a word. Many of our prefixes came from Latin and Greek. We discussed Latin and the romance languages. Using a resource packet, students worked with a partner/small group to do some research on prefixes/suffixes. We discussed everyone being an active participant and doing their fair share.

### Fourth Grade Math

Learning the language of algebra was our focus this week. It is a very difficult concept to grasp, but we are getting there. It is important to understand the "why" of algebra before learning the "how." I have asked the students to please not have an older sibling or adult teach them how to solve equations. I believe in our HA math curriculum, and I'd like the students to experience this class as it is intended. Once we get going on this, they will have all the time in the world to do algebra outside of class. They'll get there, but not yet. I'd like to work with them more on the language of algebra to help them learn "why" and not just "how." Thank you for your patience.