Skip to main content

Field Trip details are on the Field Trip page and on the Calendar. Click on the date for all the details!

 

If you have an idea for a great field trip please let me know!

If you sign up for a trip but can't make it please let me know.

Joy

Spring, 2019 Groups

Writing Journeys, Urchin Group 1

Here you will find summaries from past weeks.

4/9: We completed filming of our commercials and began creating Travel Brochures -- another form of Persuasive Writing.  We will share our projects at our "Author's Tea" on May 21st (last Tuesday class).

3/5: Students created their own products and wrote text for a "commercial".  We will film commercials on 3/19.

2/19: We talked about Persuasive Writing and students made up a product and wrote and drew Persuasive Ads. It was fun to share these back and to get peer feedback.  For the next few weeks we will continue to explore how to do Persuasive or Opinion essays in fun ways.  This writing group will explore different writing styles including Personal Narrative, Information Writing, Creative Writing/Poetry, Fictional stories and Persuasive Writing.  We will also play writing games to get students thinking outside the box.  Students will write and share their work each week as well as  give each other positive, constructive feedback.  Students are welcome to write at home and bring their writing to share each week.

Writing Journeys, Urchin Group 2

This group meets 11:15 - 12:05 with Joy, room A  Our focus is on becoming more fluent writers and to enjoy short writing projects.  We will explore a variety of writing genres with student choice and with lots of encouragement.  We began by doing a 3 minute free write and sharing our stories.  We will learn to give positive, constructive feedback.  My hope is that writing will continue at home during the week.  There may be optional work sent home occasionally.Students have been working on a variety of fun writing projects.

3/5: Students created their own products and wrote text for a "commercial".  We will film commercials on 3/19.

2/26: We talked about Persuasive Advertising and "catch phrases", students brainstormed some they knew from commercials and then looked through magazines for good catch phrases and put them onto an "advertising board".  Next week students will use one of these or come up with their own to use in their own ad.  

2/19: We began to explore Persuasive Writing.  Students created their own products and began to create a persuasive ad to convince readers to purchase their product.  We will continue this project next week.

2/12: We talked about "catch phrases" that advertisers and people writing persuasive essays use.  Students cut various catch phrases, slogans and "grabbers" out of magazines and made their own posters.

Groupers 1: Wonderful Writers (past weeks)

We've been focusing on Persuasive Essays, the difference between Persuasive and Argumentative Essays, and the elements of both.

3/6: Students used online resources to gather facts to add to their persuasive essays and began rough drafts.

2/27: Students continued planning their Persuasive Essays and began writing them based on an issue important to them.

2/20: Students picked an issue to develop into an Opinion/Persuasive Essay.  They started with a planning page and are in the process of developing their essay using some guidelines.  We will continue working on these in the weeks to come.                      

2/27: Students heard examples of persuasive opinion pieces and critiqued which ones were better and why.  They continued working on their planning page and began writing a rough draft of their persuasive essays.  Coming weeks will bring more opinion writing, self-editing, peer review and editing conferences with me, final drafts will be typed into Google Docs.

2/13: We looked at some commercials and analyzed what makes a successful commercial.  Students worked on their own ads and shared and got group feedback.

 

Groupers 2- Critical Thinkers and Writers (past weeks)

In this group students will be trying different writing genres, expressing themselves in a variety of ways and giving and receiving peer feedback for clarity and purpose.  

2/20: Today students used a Persuasive Essay planning page to help them organize their opinion essays by adding reasons and details.  We will continue refining these over the next several weeks.

2/27: We looked at a Persuasive Essay written by a high school student and critiqued the parts of the essay that supported the student's point of view and reasons and examples.  Then students continued using their planning pages to begin a rough draft of their own opinion essay.  We will continue this and add in facts from the internet to support students in adding examples to their essays.  Future classes will include self editing, peer suggestions and teacher editing with student as well as typing final drafts on Google Docs.

2/13: We explored the difference between Persuasive and Argumentative Writing. Students began working on their own persuasive ads.  

Fall 2019 Groups

First Semester:Urchin Math Focus Groups

Fun with Math Group 1

This group will focus on having fun as we use mathematical reasoning, perseverance, and critical thinking to work on real life math problems. Emphasis will be on having a Growth Mindset as  students explore different ways to solve problems using a variety of skills, logic and critical thinking and to share their reasoning with each other.  We will focus on the Math Practice Standards

11/6 and 11/13: Students learned about arrays to represent multiplication problems and students built their own arrays using cubes, i.e. 4 X 6 = 4 rows with 6 columns or 6 rows with 4 columns.  They played "Race to 100" where they filled in X arrays and wrote the corresponding equations.  Please keep practicing building X problems at home.10/23 & 10/30: Students played a dice game where they "built" multiplication and division problems and solved them using "Fact Families".  For example, in the Family of 3, 4, 12, students built and multiplied 2 ways and divided in 2 ways (3X4; 4X3, 12 divided by 3; 12 divided by 4).  They also recorded equations and took them home to practice.  Next week: more X and related division practice.  

10/16: Students learned more about the commutative property of multiplication by playing a game called Commutative Cookies.  They partnered up, rolled a die for # of cookies, rolled a second die for # of chips, built the problem and wrote the multiplication equation to show the problem and answer.  Because multiplication is commutative (the same forward and backward, they build the equation again showing the same numbers reversed and wrote the new equation.  Next week we will play with multiplication and it's inverse: division.

10/9:  Students learned about the Commutative Property of Multiplication (2X6 = 6X2).  They built their X problems with a game about cookies and chips and they had fun playing this game in partners.  They will continue this game on 10/16 with new combinations of multiplication, new partners and a recording sheet where they write the equations.

10/2: Today students brainstormed agreements about how they would like to be treated in math group (listened to, supported, focused, etc.).  Students got to know each other by playing a "Value of Your Name" game where they figured out the monetary value of the letters in their first name and then compared the value to their friends.  They used subtraction to find the difference between names, found the closest and farthest in values, and had fun extending the learning to other comparisons between friends.

 

Fun with Math Group 2

11/13: We played a multiplication dice game.    

11/6: We learned about arrays to represent multiplication problems and students built their own arrays using cubes, i.e. 4 X 6 = 4 rows with 6 columns or 6 rows with 4 columns.  They played "Race to 100" where they filled in X arrays and wrote the corresponding equations.  Please keep practicing building X problems at home.10:23: After a brief review of last week's "commutative property" of multiplication some students chose to go on to division and played a dice game while others learned a math strategy game, Poker.  Next week: Fact Families for multiplication and division.

10/30: More Multiplication and Division games using spinners to practice "fact families" i.e. 6,7,42.

10/16: Students learned more about the commutative property of multiplication by playing a game called Commutative Cookies.  They partnered up, rolled a die for # of cookies, rolled a second die for # of chips, built the problem and wrote the multiplication equation to show the problem and answer.  Because multiplication is commutative (the same forward and backward, they build the equation again showing the same numbers reversed and wrote the new equation.  Next week we will play with multiplication and it's inverse: division.

10/2 and 10/9: Same as above.

1st Semester

Groupers Math Focus Groups with Joy

Group 1, 9:35 - 10:35

11/14: Students learned about about probability as they played a dice game with ratios of possible numbers combinations.     

11/7: We had more fun with ratios and proportions and learned how to compare equivalent ratios. Students had an introduction on cross multiplying to find the value of an unknown number (n).  They continued their game of X squares.  Next week: Probability.

10/31: In honor of Halloween students measured bones in their bodies and formed ratios to compare formed ratios to compare (humerus compared to ulna; femur to tibia). They continued their multiplication squares game with partners.

 10/24: Students watched a video explanation of ratios and rates that I recommend here.  We used # of pets to #of family members each student has to compare, then we doubled both numbers and saw the equivalent ratios.  We also worked with bigger numbers converting them to ratios and comparing them.  At the end we played a multiplication squares game.  More of the same next week!

10/30: Same as above, measuring bones of body and forming ratios.  More practice with Poker.

10/24: Students watched a video explanation of ratios and rates that I recommend here.  We used # of pets to #of family members each student has to compare, then we doubled both numbers and saw the equivalent ratios.  We also worked with bigger numbers converting them to ratios and comparing them.  At the end we learned how to play Poker (a good math strategy game.)  More of the same next week!

10/17: After a review of Mean, Median, Mode and Range we again used the weather map to look at weather around the country, comparing highs and lows, tides and moon phases.  Realizing we needed a geographical refresher we used the map to look at countries and continents in N. America and to learn about the world.  At the end of class we learned a new strategy game called Rumikub.  

10/3: Students brainstormed and came up with some agreements about what they wanted from their math group.  We watched a Growth Mindset video.  Students figured out the "value of their name" by using a sheet where dollars corresponded to letters in their name, then compared the differences between their names and those of their friends.  Then they wanted to multiply the letters in their name which got a bit crazy with one student having a name with 8 letters!  The group had fun working together.

Group 2, 11:10 - 12:10

11/14: Students learned about probability as they played a dice game with ratios of possible numbers combinations.

11/7: We continued learning about ratios and proportions and did a task called" The Giant's Coat". Students used the proportions of their own thumb, wrist, neck and waist to determine equivalent ratios of the giant's proportions.  We ended class with more fun with Poker. Next week: Probability.

10/17: After a review of Mean, Median, Mode and Range we again used the weather map to look at weather around the country, comparing highs and lows, tides and moon phases.  Realizing we needed a geographical refresher we used the map to look at countries and continents in N. America and to learn about the world.  At the end of class we learned a new strategy game called Rumikub. 

10/3: Same as above except instead of finding the value of their names students tried to determine which fraction didn't fit  using 1/2, 2/8, 1/3 and 3/4.  The emphasis was on sharing their thinking and backing up their opinion with "evidence".  Everyone had a different answer and everyone was able to back up their point (which was the purpose of the exercize)!

Groups 1 and 2: 10/10: We learned about mean, median and mode, range and used examples from student's lives.  Then students used a weather map to practice the concepts with temperatures of a week's worth of weather which was retty interesting!  At the end of class we played Uno just for fun!

 


 

A little about me:

I was born in L.A. and grew up with 2 older siblings.  I moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC in 1973. 

I am married and have a daughter who recently graduated from Oberlin College.

I began my teaching career in 1985 as a bilingual second grade teacher at Live Oak School. I have taught at Ocean Alternative since the year 2000.

I love kids and my teaching passions are languages, English and Spanish, writing and reading, math, art, science, singing and nature appreciation. I teach all grades and this year you'll see me Tuesdays - Fridays at Ocean.     I also organize Thursday Art classes and field trips.

My hobbies are gardening, animals, camping, singing, travelling, social justice and spending time with my family.

 

If I can help you along your homeschooling journey please let me know.

 

Have a great year!