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Friday, November 13, 2009

Classroom Summary for Nov. 9-13

Perfect attendance at last! Today we had our first day of perfect attendance (kids and teacher included!) in two weeks. We were all very happy to get back into the swing of things although we were all just a wee bit tired and sniffly this week. That being said, we did manage to accomplish quite a few lessons before we got to Friday.

In math we finished our Counting, Coins and Combinations unit. We finished up with some story problem practice and learning about doubles. We used our number cards again to play two new games, "Double It" and "Doubles Arrays", where we had to pick a card and then double it. In "Double It" we graphed which sums we got the most often and in "Doubles Arrays" we drew arrays using the doubled card drew. By the end of the week we were able to answer our doubles math facts with good speed and accuracy! At Number Corner we also did some work with clocks and with learning about "neighbor" equations. A neighbor equation is one that has an addend that is either one more or one less than a doubles equation. For example, here is a double equation: 4+4=8. Here is a neighbor equation: 4+5=9 or 3+4=7. We noticed how doubles and neighbors form a pattern when we write the equations in columns!

In reading Miss Varrell finished listening to children read independently and assigned some children new baskets to work from when we do our fluency practice on Mondays and Fridays. We have a ring of index cards with our names on them and the basket(s) we can we work in when we're working hard to improve our fluency. Next week we will get back to reading groups with new combinations and new stories to explore. At phonics/wordwork time we finished up working on our review of long vowel sounds. We will be sure to practice our long and short vowel skills all year long but next week we will move on to some newer skills to help us read more difficult words throughout the year. For writing this week, we used what we had learned about adjectives and tried to write some super sentences about a place that we had been to so that someone would know what it would look like even if they had never been there. We noticed that super sentences often use "juicy" descriptors and frequently have 10 or 11 words in them. We will continue to work on our super sentences throughout the year.

In science we finished up our unit on trees and made tree medallion necklaces to wear home today. We got to choose a pre-cut slice of a tree branch, Miss Varrell polyurethaned it for us, we let them dry and then we threaded a string through the hole at the top to make a necklace. Some of us were so good at knot-tying we were able to assist our friends when they needed some help. :) Next week we will be starting to learn about the phases of the moon. Look out for our moon phase project that will be coming home on Monday. In science we are almost finished learning about the geography of Brazil and will be moving on to Brazil's flag and some of the wildlife that lives there next week. We will finish our study of Brazil by the end of November.

Just as a reminder, parent-teacher conference day is Friday, November 20. I will be sending a note home next week in the children's mailboxes to remind you of your scheduled time. Conferences are 15 minutes and are often scheduled back to back. I will do my very best to stay on schedule so that those of you with children in other classrooms can get to your appointments on time. Please understand that if you are late arriving to your conference we will either have to keep the conference short and sweet or I will need to take the next person scheduled so as to keep the appointment schedule as close to on time as possible. I appreciate your cooperation and understanding in advance. :)

Also, the library's annual book fair is being held next week. Children will be able to purchase books in the library during their library time (Wednesday at 9am). Please check Mr. Lyons' principal blog (; see Principal's link) for times that the book fair is open. Parents are welcome too! Be sure to stop by the fair when you come for your conference on Friday!

Thank you again for all your support and encouragement with education at home. Keep those math facts going and read read read!!!

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