December - Siqiñgilaq
December was a short month, but it was packed full of learning! In reading, we started a unit about how nature affects us and vice versa. We studied cause and effect while learning about how humans can show respect for the Earth and its resources. This unit also opened up several possibilities for hands-on science learning. Students studied the effects of erosion, built wind-proof houses, and acted out the part of water droplets in the water cycle (see pictures below).
In math, we spent a lot of time studying geometry. We practiced identifying perimeter, area, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, and lines of symmetry. Some students even extended their learning to studying mathmatical transformations, like reflections and rotations.
We did so many extra things this month. We had a cultural celebration assembly at the beginning of the month, when we got to show off our Iñupiat dance moves. We performed in the Christmas program. Some students chose to build mock gingerbread houses to further their understanding of the geometric concepts we'd been studying. We celebrated those students who finished their AR goals with a pizza and ice cream party. It was an exciting month! Happy holidays to all!
Nippivik - November
November was a short month, with three holidays to celebrate (Inuit Day, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving), but we managed to do a lot.
In reading, we studied other places all over the world. We read about the highest, lowest, dryest, coldest places in the world. We read about the benefits of travel. We learned about places that are shrouded in mystery after being left behind by ancient civilizations, like Machu Picchu and Cahokia Mounds.
As we read, we used a world map to indicate the places we read about. We also read a story that has travelled the world and changed based on setting.
In math, we learned how to calculate elapsed time. We also learned to add and subtract minutes and hours, which can be complicated. Besides that, we "collected" cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. We learned relative measurements for standard liquid capacity. We learned how to draw a gallon man to help us solve problems. Finally, we made our own abstract gallon people to help us see how the relationships within liquid capacity are related to fractions with which we're familiar.
This month, we earned enough whales to take a trip to Piuraagvik! Our class won the obstacle course by a fraction of a second. Then, we accidentally scored against ourselves at Crab Soccer, but we came back to tie the game, anyway. We came in second while crossing the river, and we were the biggest class trying to cross! We came in third in Tug of War, but we lost a game involving bowling pins and dodgeballs. None of us understand the rules, even now. Check out our awesome pictures of Piuraagvik!
This month was a busy one! We ended Quarter 1 and started Quarter 2. We hosted a week of parent conferences. We also celebrated Indigenous People's Day and Halloween this month.
In reading, we took some time off of our usual ccurriculum to read about Qupqugiak, the ten-legged polar bear. We read two versions of the story and used them to enhance our understanding of conflict/resolution and its effects on story structure.
We also wrote our own Unipkaat (traditional Inuit stories). Because students were excited about upcoming Halloween, most of the stories deal with a scary monster. Please read our stories below!
In our regular reading program, we started identifying and interpreting figurative language. As we read, we "collect" the figurative language we find in a fun chart.
In math, we worked a lot on fraction and decimal equivalency. Students who participated in the lessons came away understanding how to add unit fractions to build a given fraction, how to and why to multiply a fraction by a whole number to make the exact same fraction, and which fractions make clean and clear decimals.
We also added five-digit numbers in an attempt to build one million. Students divided into two groups and "raced" to reach one million. They had to build the numbers using a random five digits, translate the number into word form, and round the number to the nearest thouand or ten thousand.
September - Amigaiqsavik
Amiiqsavik is always such a great month, and this year was no exception. In math, we discussed place value at length and learned to apply place value to solve problems. We compared modern numbers to Ancient Egyptian numerals, which provided us with a good visual for place value.
At the end of the month, students wrote about their preferred number system, focusing on the differences between the two. Check out the examples in the file below.
We also "collected" inches, which grew into feet and yards. Over the course of the month, we collected approximately 18 feet, or six yards! While we were at it, we measured our own lengths and marked them on our collections. I was nerdily excited to see that we don't have any outliers in our class.
In our reading program, we spent most of September reading about animal intelligence. At the end of the month, we had a visit from the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management. We discussed North Slope animals and saw some examples of furs and features that make North Slope animals uniquely capable of survival here.
After our visit from the NSB Department of Wildlife, we broke into groups and classified North Slope animals based on their survival features. Here are some pictures of our activity: