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Friday, January 29, 2010

Classroom Summary for January 25-29

Happy frozen Friday! Here's what we did this week:

In literacy we continued to work on our contractions with not, will, have and is. We know that the apostrophe in a contraction is placed where the missing letters used to be. For example, in the word "can't" (formerly "can" + "not"), the apostrophe is where the "n" and "o" of the word "not" used to be. We also did some more work with homophones. We made a list of homophones in class and will be working with them in an activity next week. Some of the homophone pairs we brainstormed were: see/sea, seem/seam, know/no, pair/pear, there/their/they're, it's/its, knew/new, deer/dear, and night/knight. If you think of some more, bring them with you to class on Monday! In spelling we finished our review unit on "th". For writing workshop we continued learning about topic sentences and paragraphs. We practiced writing a homework paragraph with sample spelling words on Tuesday and on Wednesday we did some more paragraph writing. We learned what an indent is and we looked at three students' writing on the overhead screen. We have some budding paragraph writers in Room 211! In reading Miss Varrell continued to work with reading groups. Shiv's group began reading Peter's Chair; Cam's group began reading Why the Leopard Has Spots; Julia's group finished working on written retells and worked in their reading response journals; Rachel's group finished reading A Chair for My Mother and worked on their story grammar marker sheets for comprehension practice.

In math we continued to work with story problems but we focused on subtraction problems and started looking at some different ways to solve them, compared to the solutions we used with addition problems. We also started to look at how numbers can be broken apart to make them easier to subtract (an introduction to number strings with subtraction problems). At number corner we began "saving" in our Base Ten Bank. We add a new tile every day and as we accumulate tiles we will begin to see how our number system allows us to add numbers together in tens. We will work on this skill over the next few months (learning place value and its algorithm).

In science this week, time constraints and the weather seemed to work against us and we didn't have a chance to do our water experiments. We will get to them next week when the weather is more friendly. In social studies Miss Varrell managed to get some speakers to work and we saw and heard a few mini-videos on what life is like in India. Did you know that India is the 7th largest country in the world? Wow! And many many people live there. Next week we will see some items that come from India. Shiv's mom has kindly sent in a part of a sari for us to look at and touch too. Take a look at this video that shows how a sari is wrapped and worn. It's not as easy as it looks!

FYI: Jake the gerbil is looking for an all-inclusive resort/spa to attend over February vacation. He really needs his rest and is hoping to get some quality time with a nice slice of apple, a grape or two, and a personal reader since his kindle subscription has expired. If your family is interested in providing Jake with his requested "Hollywood Treatment," please let me know. :)

Next week's spelling unit test will be on THURSDAY instead of Friday. Due to our upcoming field trip it will be necessary to squeeze our spelling test in a day early as it is unlikely that we will have time after we return from the Museum of Science on Friday. Flip folder sheets will go home on Wednesday as a reminder.

Next week will also be the beginning of winter reading assessments. I will be taking children individually to listen to them read. All children will be asked to read a book, predict what they think will happen in the story, read the text independently and then give an oral retell of what happened in the story. When you read with your child or when your child reads to you, please be sure that you are always asking questions that encourage and support both literal and inferential thinking about a text. When reading nonfiction, pointing out key words, bolded vocabulary, headings, captions and diagrams as well as specific facts learned during the reading should also be pointed out and discussed.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Miss Varrell :)

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