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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.



Urchin Math Focus Groups

Fun with Math Group 1

10/2: 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.

10/9: 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.

Fun with Math Group 2

10/2 and 10/9: Same as above.


The first two weeks of classes were spent in team building, observing social interactions and learning style, and going through some informal assessments to give us information which we used to make our Math Focus groups. 
We've begun the year with two fun field trips, River Day and the County Fair!  Check the Field Trip tab on the home page for upcoming trips and details.  I will be coordinating Field Trips so if you have a question please ask.

I also coordinate the Thursday Art Classes and we've got some great teaching artists lined up for this year. You can read all about them and their projects by clicking on the Spectra Art icon on the home page.

I hope you have a great year and if I can be of any assistance to your family please let me know.



Groupers Math Focus Groups with Joy

Group 1, 9:35 - 10:35 

10/3 continued... 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

10/3 continued...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 practice.  Then students used a weather map the practice the concepts temperatures of a week's worth of weather!  (Then 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 is a senior in 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!