Friday, December 11, 2015



Creating a culture where children are safe to take risks, explore ideas, concepts, and try new experiences. 





As the year begins, and we establish a strong, supportive, and safe learning community our intention as teachers, is to create an environment where children feel safe. Safe to take risks, explore ideas, concepts, and experiences they haven't before. Room 36 has been working tirelessly to create just such a place.  The children demonstrate to me that our community is starting to feel this way when I hear them starting to get curious and grab an idea and run with it.  The first inkling of this happened around the question Catherine asked:


Why do people leave the people they love?
-Catherine, age 8
After that question was posed all of the children started building off and noticing where this idea appeared over and over again.  Then they ran with this idea when Victoria and Lily built on to this question:

Why is exploring the world important?
-Victoria, age 9

What is more important, exploring the world or being with the people you love? -Lily, age 8





Questions like:


How did they not get lost? -James, age 8

How did the Pioneers know where to go? -Quinny, age 8

What is the importance of history?  
-Victoria, age 9


Below is a full transcript of what happened when I brought this question back to the children in a community talk and then when they had further time to reflect through writing.  On top of the amazing dialogue they had below there has been a miraculous, contagious outpouring of "BIG" questions coming from the children.  This tells me that we are ready to roll. We are ready to dive into deep content and big ideas.  We are ready to take on more sophisticated research that is being driven by the children. One of the ways we are doing that is through the historical fiction novels the children have been reading in class this week and next.  Please ask your child about their book. There are challenging concepts, sad stories, and hard life circumstances that all of the characters face in the stories the children are reading. They will need your support to make sense of what they are reading. Next week, ask them to read to you from their book.  Share your thinking about the story with them.  Tell them what you are curious and wonder about Oregon history.

(remember to go all the way to the bottom to see this weeks photos!)




Community Talk:  What's more important exploring the world or being with the people you love?   12-3-15


Will- Both. Being with people you love is important, they would be helpful. They might even die for you.  But exploring the world is important too because that might be your dream.


Soren- People need to explore the world otherwise it would be unexplored and there wouldn’t be a use for it. People also need to stay at home and get an education.


Leoni- I think a little bit more staying with the people you love, but still both.  Start with people you love. Everyone can have jobs and help and then you aren’t just exploring on your own. Exploring the land is important and you can experience things you’ve never felt before.


Aaren- It depends on who you are.  Some might think it’s more important to explore the world, some think it’s better tobe with ones you love.


Ben- I can agree with Aaren. You wouldn’t just say, “Hey Mom, Dad, Henry want to go out right now and explore the world for the rest of your life?” You would need to get prepared and get ready.


Peter- It depends on your personality. If you are adventurous you might want to go out and explore, but if you like being home you might want to stay behind.


Catherine- It’s important to treasure your family.  My mom always says...


Peter- You only get one family.


Cat- Yeah, you need to treat your family the best. You are always going to have your family. Might not always have your friends. Treat family well when young so you will treat them well when they grow up.


Jonathan- I agree with Catherine, I am more of a stay at home guy, but both are important.  If you do want to go out and explore that is good, if you haven’t found the land yet, you are never going to learn about living off the land if you don’t do it. Both are important.  


Ms. Baker- Let’s try to think from Sam’s perspective. How do you think he would answer that question?


Peter- I think Sam wanted a new experience.


Uma- In the olden days you couldn’t still visit family if you left.  We can nowadays.  Both are important. Might want to stay with family.


Peter- Nowadays it is a choice if you want to go and explore. A long time ago, it wasn’t a choice if you wanted to explore you most likely wouldn’t see your family again.


Ben- I think it depends on the background.  Sam had a small apartment. He had 6 brothers and sisters and it would have been a better idea to leave.  It depends on where you are going, what you are doing or do you really need to do this?  Does it really matter to you?  Is the reason you want to stay away from people you love because they are bugging you or do you really want a new experience.


Peter- Back then they didn’t have airplanes so they couldn’t just go back if they wanted.  Now it is easier. Back then if you took a trip you probably won’t come back.


Cat- If I am thinking about how Sam did it. I think he cared about his family, I think he really thought about it. He thought, I’m giving up a lot, it is a huge huge risk. I think he thought about what he was leaving behind.  I think he also thought about all the new things he could experience. Now he can go anywhere without needing money or anything. He can survive.  


Will- He left with 42 dollars and he didn’t really need it.  Personally, he really didn’t go back into the city.  His family came to him.  That’s what he did. He didn’t want to go back to the city.


Leoni- I want to add on to what Aaren said. It really depends on who you are.  I am a lot more on the family side than the explorer side. If you were an orphan you could get another family.
But I think it is important to stay with the people you love.


Peter- You could make a new family that you love just as much!


Lily- Lots of people (explorers) come back.  A few of them stay but some come back.


Peter- I think you have to have a gift of courage to go out and explore. It think that is a real gift to be able to do that.


Aaren- Like Lewis and Clark they had that gift.


Uma - You would really have to have a good reason to leave your family. If there is no reason you want to go you shouldn’t have to. You should follow your gut and do what you want.  There are people that were made to move and leave. That happened to the Native Americans.


Will- The government did that.


Uma- They shouldn't have the right to do that.


Will- Maybe they had a reason.


Cat- I might challenge myself to go away from my family but not now.  I don’t think I could leave them forever. I think some explorers were like me and came back. Fur Trappers they took a risk and left their families. They made new families and became farmers. The left people they love and found new people to love.
Aaren- They started a new life.


Cat- I would leave people I love for a good reason, but never forever.


Will- I think it takes courage. I think Sam had a lot of courage. I don’t think anyone in this school would go out in the woods and try and do that. It takes courage and sacrifice.


Flynn- And strength. It’s a do or die situation. If you do it how Will just explained it. I heard that you leave or don’t come back or do and don’t come back and maybe die. The Pioneers and Lewis and Clark knew they were taking a risk. I remember in the the movie it said Lewis almost died on the 2nd day. It reminds me that people have done things for other people, risked their lives for other people.


Soren- Have to have courage to explore new lands no one has explored before, it can be really dangerous. Especially if you went by yourself.  I think it would be spooky for your family.


Peter- You have to make that decision gradually like Ben said. You have to plan. Make the decision gradually. Where should I go?  I might find new people to love.


Jonathan- I think… you can go Victoria.


Victoria-  I have heard a lot of you saying you need courage. I think it’s important to explore the world because you will learn a lot of history. You will learn a lot about the world just by going out an exploring.


Ben- someone said you don’t get education outside. I disagree with that. You can learn a lot by being outside. You can learn by making mistakes, you can learn from the animals. Once you make a plan and get started and get settled it's hard to turn back now you love the place you are and the things you’ve met. Even if you want to turn back it is really hard because you love the new place and know so many new things. It would be so hard to go back then.


Uma- I disagree I went to Ecuador and I knew a lot of stuff and I left a lot people I cared about. It was hard. But it can go both ways. I was more comfortable coming home here.


Flynn- You really need to want to do it if you are going to risk your life.


Jia- If you were going on the expedition and you weren’t used to going with a 1000 people you don’t know. You should meet them and say can I be your friend? Be a good sport about meeting new people you are exploring with or that you meet.


James- I would personally love to live off the land and kill animals to survive off of and hunt. I would love it!


Peter- You wouldn't go just because someone dared you.


James- I would do it.  


Peter- You would because that is your disposition.


Soren- If you can go and choose, or choose people.  You should choose people you can work well with.  It might not go well if you don’t have teamwork.


Flynn- LIke a brainbuddy.


Leoni- I want to piggyback on what Uma said bc I have travelled really far. If I go away for 10 months I’m happy to come home and be with all those things I’ve left.


Victoria- I have left and visited San Diego. I do miss my friends that I left. I can leave my friends but my family came with me and that is the thing I like.  That’s what I like, that they came with me.  I’m probably never going back. I like Oregon and I love it. Now that I have moved I have learned a lot, a lot about history, and how history has changed our life today.


Theo- My family travels a lot but we travel as a family. If you go alone and you find a place you like and you want to stay you might want to tell your family. They would be scared if you never came back.


Jonathan- I agree with what most people have said.  If you leave people you love you can find someone else to love. If you stay with the people you love you might also meet more people to love. It can’t compare though, as I said before. It depends on who you are. Sam found not a person to love he found Frightful, Jesse Coon James,


Aaren- the tree…


Quinny- Back in the olden days like in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s time, when they moved west it was because of Pa’s job. It was hard. Pa had to leave for his job. If you really want to explore the world it has to be something you really want to do and you need to be prepare, but Pa wasn’t he had to for his job.


Cat- But Pa sometimes wanted to move. Pa had an itchy foot and he wanted to move west. It was Ma who would say no, not safe for girls, they need an education.  Thy had to move because when grasshoppers came and ate crops they didn’t have what we have now and once crop gone he had to go.  Now we have ways to solve it. Pa didn’t want other settlers around. Ma and Mary liked being in town with people. Laura and Pa didn’t want a lot of people around.


Lily- I think it is hard to move without your family. It is the only one you’ve got.  It’s like Catherine said. No one will love you the same.


Ada- If you do move away. I agree with Lily. Don’t do it when younger wait until you are older.


Quinny- Like Sam’s mom said you are going to be with your family until 18 then you could go back.


Peter- If you are going to go back, don’t give up. You have to make a decision.


Ask Me Abouts:

What are you wondering about history?  What are you curious about?

What things does your historical character have to trade?

What things do they want to get when they trade?

What historical fiction book are you reading?

What surprises you about your character that you are reading about?

What are some of the ways that we can measure things in our house?


Announcement From Ms. Thomas!!!

By popular demand here are instructions for your students so that they can log in from home.

This is a sharable link for the parents. 




Photos of the Week