Our class is working harder than usual in math these days. We are moving into fractions and learning to compare fractions with unlike denominators – 2/3 is greater than 1/2. We are using pizzas and licorice rope models, taking surveys and analyzing data, and stretching rubber bands across geoboards. These varied hands-on experiences help the students to understand that fractions are parts of a whole and how to compare one to another. It is a challenging concept and we will revisit fractions off and on for the remainder of the year, along with multiplication and division. Our study of Portland History began last week with the delivery of a special package of mystery artifacts and packets of information for us to use in researching our city’s past. We received a cedar branch, a slice of a tree painted white on top, a chunk of burned-smelling brick, and a TriMet ticket. Hmmm… Our Reed College Biology lessons came to a close with our last visit from Ella, Maria, and Ben. They dissected Leopard Frogs for us. We observed and were able to touch many of the organs, muscles, and bones. The students were wonderful, totally engaged and amazed by the frog’s intricate yet simple structure. This week we are looking forward to a presentation by Nora Meier’s father, Tom, who will show us slides and tell us about the region in Mexico where he lives. We hope to learn about the homes, clothes, food, celebrations, transportation, schools, and businesses, so we can compare them with ours here in Portland. I am continually amazed by the experiences students here at Lewis are fortunate to have – Reed College, Songwriting, Artist-in-residence, visiting speakers, gardening – and this is just since I’ve started! What a wonderful school to be a part of. Thank you to all of the families who send their children to Room 22 each day ready to learn.