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The Anatomy of a Neuron

Last Friday, Emmarose and Paiges' groups had the opportunity to visit with guest speaker and parent, John Tompkins, who is a neuroscientist at UCLA. First, students were able to see how knowledge of the body systems can lead to a career outside of healthcare professions. Furthermore, students engaged in collaboration by sharing their own understanding of body systems and how they work together.

During John's guided observations about the different parts of the brain, E.C. predicted that the cerebellum is near the spine because it helps control movement.

Finally, students had the chance to become a part of the body's nervous system! John taught about the anatomy of a neuron and let students role-play how neurons communicate with ropes, jumping jacks, and party poppers. All in all, this was a fun and engaging way to understand how even the parts of the body utilize the systems thinking toolkit.


Emmarose's Group: A Week at a Glance

Communication Literacy

  • Story Pirate stories

  • Parts of a story - Introduce character and setting, introduce problem, three events, climax, solve problem

  • Adding details - how, why, when?

  • Pen Pal Letters to students in Sierra Leone

  • Banangram sight word build

  • Book groups

  • Fluency, intonation, vocabulary, vowel partners and digraphs

  • Making predictions, character exploration

Patterns and Modeling

  • Play Strike It Out and share strategies

  • Place Value

  • Base ten block build

  • Expanding numbers

  • Number Lines

  • Scavenger hunt (odd/even numbers, patterns)

  • Skip counting on the number line

  • Addition and subtraction on the number line

  • Perimeter and area of shapes

  • Exploring rectangles, squares, and irregular quadrilaterals


  • Signature Dishes

  • ingredients, look, name, menu section, price

  • Begin blueprints of restaurants

  • Observe some bird's eye view images

  • Draw perimeter of restaurant on graph paper

  • What does every restaurant need?

  • kitchen, tables and chairs, bathroom

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