## Social Justice: Exploration of Asia

Students participated in a six week study of the continent of Asia. The slideshow below depicts some of the action based learning activities students completed. Sampled activities are:

- Students worked in groups and pretended to be city engineers, like the Indus Valley People. They used recyclable materials to build and label their city.
- Students learned how to decode and write original messages and/or their name using the ancient Mesopotamian written language- Cuneiform.
- Students learned that before people had fancy calculators or computers, many civilizations like Asia, used an abacus to add and/or subtract. Students created their own abacus to add and subtract single digit and two-digit numbers.

lEADERS ARE rEADERS

At VLA we use a balanced literacy approach to literacy instruction. This is supplemented by incorporating aspects of the Daily 5, The Six Traits of Writing, Fontas and Pinell and Words Their Way.

I am big on active learning. My students are always presenting what they know, whether in a group or individually. A typical week during my literacy block includes lots of writing :-). It also includes: partner reading, response to reading activities, guided reading, word investigations, listening to stories, readers theatre, and book report presentations. The slideshow below represent some of creative book reports students completed (book report collage, book in a bag report, and a cloud mobile book report). The slides also depict students' alliteration clouds, Three Little Pigs and Butterfly sequence story, and Hey Little Ant persuasive letters.

I am big on active learning. My students are always presenting what they know, whether in a group or individually. A typical week during my literacy block includes lots of writing :-). It also includes: partner reading, response to reading activities, guided reading, word investigations, listening to stories, readers theatre, and book report presentations. The slideshow below represent some of creative book reports students completed (book report collage, book in a bag report, and a cloud mobile book report). The slides also depict students' alliteration clouds, Three Little Pigs and Butterfly sequence story, and Hey Little Ant persuasive letters.

Math Detectives

At VLA we use Envision for our math curriculum. Everday in class we investigate different ways to decompose a number. During whole group discussion, students must support their answer by explaining how they solved a particular problem and why they chose that strategy. I believe in hands on math, so my students are always using the correct manipulatives to help them conceptualize their thinking. Each week students participate in center activities that require them to: create and solve original student word problems or number puzzles; use symbols to represent missing numbers, play money and place value games, create and find fact families, use logic and reasoning to build patterns and new shapes with geometric shapes, and drill basic math facts.

The above slide reflects some of the different math investigations students conducted (i.e. measuring paint, hot chocolate math, writing their own multiplication stories, Mayan Math, Egyptian Math, adding with an abacus, Bake Sale Math, Math Riddles, etc...

The above slide reflects some of the different math investigations students conducted (i.e. measuring paint, hot chocolate math, writing their own multiplication stories, Mayan Math, Egyptian Math, adding with an abacus, Bake Sale Math, Math Riddles, etc...

My Teaching Assistant

I believe a classroom is more than a physical environment where students should learn. I view my classroom as a stimulative space for social, emotional and intellectual growth. Therefore, I design my classroom in a manner that will nurture my students' independence, authentic learning, and curiosity. This choice paid off. My classroom became a welcomed resource of information for my students. A well designed classroom is just like having a second teacher in the room. "She" is my best friend. :-)