Native American Regions – Culminating Presentations

It has been a very productive six weeks in social studies. We have been learning about the lives of the indigenous peoples of what is now the United States in the time before European colonization. Our guiding questions included:

  • How does location (e.g., climate and natural resources) impact culture (diet, clothing, shelter, and transportation)?
  • How might one’s culture impact the environment?

After an introduction to the topic, students chose the region they were most curious to research further. Each group member began by surveying the lives of the pre-Columbian people in their area. They then split up the elements of culture listed above and became experts on their topic. Choosing one culminating group product, they worked hard to pull everything together for the purpose of sharing the important knowledge they had gathered. Videos of their presentations can be found below.

To celebrate everyone’s success, we watched a unique video created by the musical group A Tribe Called Red. Located in Ottowa, Canada, these indigenous performers respectfully sample traditional chants and musical forms, using them to create modern electronic pieces. Their most recent release (Indian City Ft. Black Bear) was recorded in 360º virtual reality video. It does an amazing job of contrasting traditional and contemporary dance among indigenous peoples. Viewed through the YouTube app on our iPads, students were free to explore the scenes in the video as they wished.

Our conversation about the lives of contemporary Native Americans, some who choose to simultaneously live in two cultures (much like many in our Avoca community), was very rich after watching the video. One final task remains: using Venn diagrams to compare and contrast two regions, thereby demonstrating their understanding of the first guiding question. 


Halloween 2017

What a fun day it was today! Somehow, we managed to get quite a bit done first thing in the morning, then we let the good times start. Not too long before lunch, the all-school Halloween Assembly took place in the big gym. The 3rd grade teachers chose as their theme E.B. White’s classic book, “Charlotte’s Web:” 
The best part was in the afternoon, however. After sharing lots of fun with MadLibs, the kids got into their costumes and we joined the school costume parade. It was cold, but it was great to see the sun shining outside…as well as all of the parents lined up out front! Back inside, we got down to the business of the classroom party.

Click on the picture at the top of this post to go to Shutterfly, where you can see a slide show of pictures from our celebration. A big THANK YOU to the many parents who coordinated, planned, shopped, and led games, activities (slime-making was a huge hit), and snacks. Everything went so smoothly! Even the clean up was managed so well that it was hard to see that a party had taken place once everyone had left to continue the holiday at home. It was such a good day! We’ll see how much energy the students have the rest of the week. 🙂

Parent-Teacher Conferences

This week I will get to spend time with all of the families of Room 28 during our fall conferences. This is one of my favorite times of the year – I get to learn so much more about the students I work with each day. I encourage everyone to come with questions and concerns for us to discuss. That will make our too-short conversations even more meaningful.

Those is also the time of the year for the school book fair. Plan to set aside some time before or after your conference to visit the ITC!

Stick Dog Author Tom Watson!

How lucky we were to have our special guest today. Thanks, Mrs. Geidner! It wasn’t long before he’d told a few stories from his life and got the 2nd and 3rd graders illustrating, too.

Everyone was having a GREAT time trying out the things that he shared with them.

Teachers, too…

Tom Watson helped his audience take risks and try out lots of ideas with their drawings.

He liked their work so much he took their picture, too!

It’s Good To Be Back!

What a wonderful first few days we have had! It’s been exciting to meet our two new students, Danielle and Arian, and for everyone else to get reacquainted. I know that this is going to be an amazing year based on what I have seen so far. There has been so much curiosity, excitement, and cooperation shown by everyone – we are going to get a lot done in the next nine months. So far we have…

Gotten to know a little bit about each other by playing a game called Quiz Quiz Pass

Enjoyed a book read by Mrs. Hutchison about a BRAVE Viking named Hiccup…

Visited several stations around the school to learn how to be BRAVE in each part of our day…

Got a little silly playing a game called It’s A What?!


And challenged ourselves as a class to succeed in a game that came to be called Inbo – ask your child what that name means!

I am grateful to get to work with such a solid group of young people and look forward to sharing more throughout the year!