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May at GAP School!

Yellow Crystals

SEL with Janelle

In May, the Yellow Crystals showed impressive growth in team work and emotional support. We supported each other by working together to decide our trail names! We spent a few days illustrating them and hanging them around the playscape. This was a way to connect and discuss about who we are because of GAP School. Those of us who chose to, dove into mud …a lot of mud, as sensory exploration and a creative outlet. We spent a lot of time measuring, pouring, creating, and problem solving in the water at Water Chicken Way.

As a group, the Yellow Crystals watched the emersion of honeysuckle around school! We noticed it at the first waft drifting through the air and the presence of honeysuckle vines sprinkled with yellow and white buds. It was an incredible experience for building visual motor skills and creative thinking. We used the vines for crown making, stick/nature weaving, and building hand strength. We also came together to create a calm zone. Each group of Learners helped to make signs that reflected what makes them feel calm. We added visual reminders for cues to calm big emotions (anger, sadness, anxiousness) and highlighted ways to implement flexible thinking, like a palm tree! We made calm down jars to use at home this summer.

Every Learner asked for print outs/tools to take home as reminders and for the possibility of creating their own calm zone at home over the summer. We hope the summer is relaxing, calm, and full of adventure!

Math & Science with Noni

During the month of May, the Yellow Crystals solidified some key concepts from throughout the year and looked at numbers in a whole new way. The Learners were introduced to and investigated the hundreds chart. They hunted for repetition and patterns then color-coded what interesting things they found. The next step was to fill in missing blanks and use the chart to perform addition and subtraction questions. 

During the month of May we also tracked the weather. The data we collected included the date, time, temperature, percentage of cloud cover, and inches of rainfall. The kids really enjoyed reading the temperature from a large thermometer that we put down at the village. We compared and contrasted the weather from other days, weeks, and even years. We also learned to play a new math game with dice, called “rolling ten,“ where you place numbers into groups that add up to ten on a squares chart, much like sudoku. 

In science, we studied mushrooms and insects by looking at the many different species, colors, and interesting names. We learned some unique facts about both that we wrote out and displayed on a poster at Community Day. We had a little fun with the concepts of “fact vs. fake” and “truth is stranger than fiction” with our posters. The kids also created some insects and mushrooms from their imaginations! The spring was over before we knew it. It has been a delight teaching your children!

ELA with Emily

The month of May was full of review, games, and fun! As the Yellow Crystal groups wrapped up the school year, Learners played games like Headbands to review letter, digraph, and blend sounds, Blah Blah Blah to help segment words by individual phonemes, Mad Libs to review nouns, adjectives, and verbs, and High Frequency Bingo to identify words that we often see. Learners continued to add to nature journals and track their fluency with reading by using pop-its during extra D.E.A.R. time. During our last week of school, the Yellow Crystals read our featured community day book I Am Because We Are to reflect on the year and acknowledge all of their hard work. 

Silver Stardust & Silver Warriors

ELA with Michael

Silvers completed their Toy Commercial projects in May and we were delighted and amused by the results. You may never see some of their creations in a real toy store but the process was the real goal here; design a toy and write a persuasive text that could be a radio advertisement. Proofreading, using expressive language, including vivid adjectives and the use of dramatic voice were all encouraged. Also, the poster design had to meet several requirements and be eye-catching or persuasive in its own way. 

Daily Reading warm ups were a good way to maintain our analytical and comprehension skills. Multiple meaning words warm-up exercises gave Learners practice with figuring out definitions of words from context. Learners wrote sentences that expressed different meanings of a given word. This helped deepen their understanding of multi-meaning words and expanded their vocabulary.

Learners who finished their stories and toy commercials moved on to several End of Year writing assignments which provided them the opportunity to reflect on various aspects of this school year. Writing prompts included, “What are 5 things you were successful in this year?” “Explain 4 goals you have for next year.” “What are 10 words that explain this year and explain why?” ”Explain 3 things you’ll miss about this school year.” Other end of year activities included, practicing American Sign Language, playing Scrabble, or working on word games.

ELA with Emily

In the month of May, the Silver Learners worked hard to edit and complete their final drafts of their persuasive essays on Turkish delights. Once completed, Learners displayed their work proudly to families at Community Day! Silver Learners continued their book study on Mr. Popper's Penguins and even presented research in their nature journals on penguins. Here, they used articles found within books along with information in educational videos to take notes to gather information before writing up observations to practice using sentence structure. Silver Learners continued to play games to help distinguish the difference between antonyms and synonyms. Other games that were played were High Frequency Bingo to help read and write words used often, as well as the game Blah Blah Blah to support segmenting words by individual phonemes. Silver Learners contributed to posters displayed at Community Day that reflected on what we had learned together this spring. It was a joy to watch Learners use teamwork and positivity in these last few months of school!

Science with Furn

This May, Learners were excited to dive into our final project - Extreme Weather Reports! Before starting the project, we combed through the knowledge we had gained from our last few units to figure out how some common weather events occur. We asked questions like: How can we use our knowledge of states of matter and the water cycle to figure out how frost or fog happens? As we began to really understand basic weather, it was time to move on to extremes for our projects! Learners were provided with options of extreme and bizarre weather events to research. Once Learners chose their weather event, they had the option to present their research in a news article, a radio news report, or a video news report. Every Learner went through a preliminary research phase, a rough draft, and a final draft. They were tasked with both finding out what happened, and how this extreme weather could have happened! Silvers focused on learning how to present scientific information in a way that was digestible to the public and contained key details. They also focused heavily on understanding how to research and source scientific information. Learners did a great job on these projects!

To wrap up the school year, they were given their end of year Silver Science Challenge. The Silver Science Challenge is a summative assessment of vocabulary and concepts that Learners gained throughout the year. Learners had fun filling out word scrambles and crosswords to gain a coded sheet from Furn. They had to use their answer sheets to unlock the final phrase (“Mean Bean Machine”) and complete the challenge. During our last Brain Blast of the year, Learners reflected on their own learning, giving Furn crucial feedback to incorporate in Silver Science 2024-2025!

Math with Kyle

In the month of May, the math rotations were able to wrap up the year successfully. All of the Learners participated in end-of-year assessments. The Learners were also able to play math games to continue the review from the year. We did our final nature journals, in which it was great to see the progress everyone made from the beginning of the year to now. The Sycamores group made a timeline of their days to visualize and study time. Overall, the year in math was a memorable one. All of the Learners progressed in so many ways!

Emerald Alpacas with Corrie

The Emerald Alpacas enjoyed a successful and exciting May, with their main focus being the Emerald Exhibition. The beginning of the month involved completing final edits for their exhibition essays and preparing for their oral presentations. Learners provided peer feedback to ensure that their best work would be on display for Community Night. Adults in the community, like Libby Rothenberg (from Triple C Camp) and Andre Luck (GAP School board member), sat in on presentation practices to provide guidance and advice for their exhibition speeches. All their effort and creativity contributed to the success of the final Emerald Exhibition booths, essays, and speeches. 

In the week following Community Night, the Alpacas completed final math and English assessments as well as personal learning reflections. The final week of school was packed with excitement like the Walnut Creek canoe trip, climb and zip, card games, and a Kinser’s hike!

Thank you to all of our GAP families for a wonderful school year! We hope you have an incredible summer!

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