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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Classroom Summary for October 26-30

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls...Oh my! Our week of Halloween activities was both productive and fun for all. Can you believe we had time for fun AND learning at the same time? It's amazing what we can do when we work hard, focus and give our best effort!

In math, we started off the week beginning a unit on solving story problems. We talked about using the skill of visualizing to "see" the problem before we start looking for a solution. We talked about words that are signals to tell us what kind of operation, addition or subtraction, we need to do. We know that when we see words like together, join and sum we need to use addition to solve the problem. We also noticed that words like away, leaving, and less often signal us that we need to subtract. Some words, like more , are tricky because they can be a signal to add OR subtract! We will learn more about those tricky signals later on. Parents may notice some initials at the top of some story problem papers: E S L C. We will be using Ms. Mansky's acronym to help us remember what to include in our story problem solutions: (E) an equation, (S) showing how the problem was solved, (L) labeling the work in the workspace and writing a sentence to answer the question, and (C) circling the answer.

Besides story problems, we also discussed patterns. We reviewed that a pattern is a something that repeats many times. We noted that we often see patterns in color, shape and size, but that our number system also has patterns. We found many different patterns on our hundred chart! For our math Halloween activity this week, we made Halloween candy dish placemats with border patterns. We will continue to work on different patterns throughout the year.

In literacy Miss Varrell listened to children read individually to assess their current reading progress. While Miss Varrell listened to readers, we worked in our phonics (reviewing long vowel word patterns) and spelling books (long e and short e spelling patterns), finished our tree articles (they're hanging on the bulletin board outside Mrs. Lane's room) and completed lots of Halloween literacy activities! We read/sang the poem "Oh My Monster Frankenstein," categorized Halloween vocabulary words, wrote spooky sentences for homework, labeled Mr. Bones with adjective cards, and followed directions independently to make a haunted house. My goodness, we were busy!

We were so busy that before we knew it it was Friday and Mrs. Shahid came in to organize our Halloween party! We had some yummy treats, listened to spooky music and enjoyed spending time with our friends. We loved watching the "little kids" parade through our classroom in the morning and we especially enjoyed seeing all the teachers dressed up in their costumes too! We had a fun week and accomplished a lot. Miss Varrell thinks she will be taking a long nap when she gets home this afternoon. :)

On a final note, Miss Varrell would like to ask parents if they would limit next week's candy snacks in the children's lunch bags to one or two pieces a day. As I am sure you are aware, sugar and its effects are not always the best match for optimal learning. I thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Don't forget to change your clocks Sunday morning and have a safe and enjoyable Halloween night!

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