Upper East This Week: May 12-16, 2014

UEE WkMay12 2014 SQrt

Moving from the concrete to the abstract with the Peg Board.

You saw this in action last week, and work on square root using the Montessori Peg Board is continuing in Upper East. They are now working, by their own choice, at calculating square roots into the billions — “Tens and hundreds of billions,” reports Terrence. When students are allowed to discover and work on such concepts at their own pace and as their own interests dictate, this is the kind of exploration that can occur. 

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Upper East also looked at the tricky business of adding suffixes to root words this week. Once we have finally mastered the concept of adding a silent-e to the end of words to create long vowel sounds, we are told to now drop that ‘e’ when adding a suffix, yet the long vowel sound remains. Oh, English language, you’re so much fun…

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In terms of big project work, our herb garden is continuing to come along well. We were able to get the herb plants in before the rains came this week, as well as add some decorative stonework touches.

UEE WkMay12 2014 proj1

Putting together the Science Fair presentation boards.

The other big work going on right now is preparation for the Science Fair. There has been a significant amount of poster board development this week. We hope all of your homes survived the experiments — no big explosions, fires, or funky aromas. We also hope you can make it in on the morning of Friday, May 23, to see all of the presentations.

UEE WkMay12 2014 bikebio

Debating the relation between biology and environment as fields of study.

A surprisingly sophisticated discussion was taking place above. One child is looking into the environmental impacts of riding bikes versus driving, and how this may affect human health. The discussion concerned which field of study this would fall under, with the main point under debate being whether or not this would be part of the field of biology. After some explanation that most fields of study have many specializations and relations to and with other fields, they seemed satisfied that it could be categorized as biology. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment.

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