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  • Tate Alvarez

Week 6!!

Hi Wonderful Families,

I hope you were able to join us for our SK community meeting today. Our class was able to share with the school what they have been learning about, regarding monarchs! We created a video and students shared in a variety of ways (video explanations, a picture of their work, oral explanations and I acted as a scribe onto the presentation). Here is the video if any of you missed it:




This community meeting was made in perfect timing because we were able to complete our posters just in time. We are sad to have this part of our classroom journey wrapping up, but so very excited for learning opportunities that are still to come. 

During read aloud, we have continued to read about families. This week, instead of family makeup, we have been learning about familial relationships and family traditions. We read the stories, Where are you From?, Fry Bread, Drawn Together, and The Keeping Quilt. Each book talks about families beyond their home and thinks about families in a generational way. 

When we began with Where are you From?, we talked about what that phrase implies and how that might make someone feel othered or as though they did not belong. We then focused on descriptive language and students were tasked to think about the place they were from and describe it without using its location’s name. I’ll be compiling them to make a poster to hang in our classroom, titled Where We’re From (based off the George Ella Lyon I am From poem):

Where We’re From

By: Tate’s First and Second Graders

We are from a pecan tree, keeping us safe from the hot sun.

From cherries at the farmers market

To biking 12 miles with family. 

We are from long walks under the big morning sun,

And running with the rain.

From the weather: snow, wind, and rain,

To shade from an apple tree.

We are from the hockey games at the Ice Cube.

From the cool wind that blows on a cool spring day, 

And rain tapping on a window. 

We are from the lake, swimming.

From tall buildings and skyscrapers,

To biking around the block with family,

And a place with a lot of sun.


On Tuesday, we read Fry Bread, which is an amazing story about a traditional Native American (Navajo) bread. We talked about its importance to the family in the story and how food is a way we maintain and share our culture. We then talked about different foods they eat that are special – foods that are eaten every year on special occasions or holidays. I also promised them I would share the recipe for fry bread that the author included in the book. Ordinarily they would have prepared it for you at the school, but these *uncertain times* have prevented us from doing that! If you end up baking up some fry bread, please send some pictures!! Recipe is below:




On Wednesday and Thursday, we read the books Drawn Together and Mango, Abuela, and Me! Both books include English speaking grandchildren trying to communicate with non-English speaking grandparents. This is something many immigrant or recent immigrant families face – language barriers between family members. I wanted students to continue to see families beyond their own. The books both beautifully unfold in ways that show that love can transcend words and language. The books also have characters that handle their language barrier differently. In Mango, Abuela, and Me, Mia’s abuela is determined to learn English, and her and Mia practice learning the other’s language. In Drawn Together, the duo finds common ground in their amazing artistic abilities – no words necessary. 

We wrapped up our week reading The Keeping Quilt. This is another multi-generational, immigrant story. This story shows how we are intimately woven into the generations that come before us. There is a saying my family says often, which was made famous by Sir Isaac Newton, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” This book reminds me of that. We would not be where we are if not for those who came before us. It is a message we spent some time reflecting on and something we will revisit when we transition into talking about community, organizing, and making the world better for next generations. 

I’ll end this blog post with pictures of us during outdoor poetry time this week!


Enjoy,

Tate

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