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Friday, October 8, 2010

Classroom Summary October 4-8

It seems impossible, but we've been in school for more than a month. It's amazing what we've accomplished so far! Here are some of the achievements we made this week:

In math we spent time learning several new vocabulary words this week: equation, addend and sum. We made sure that we could identify those words when looking at a math fact. We learned that when we organize two-addend math facts in a certain way, we can find a pattern. While one column of addends are increasing, the other column of addends are decreasing. We were amazed to make the discovery! At the end of the week we began learning about story problems too. We are using the acronym E S L C at the top of our pages to help us remember to include four important details when we solve our problems: write an EQUATION (number sentence), SHOW your thinking, LABEL your answer and work, CIRCLE your final answer. To help us remember the acronym, we remember: Every Student Loves Chocolate!

During FUNdations phonics/spelling this week, we worked on understanding the 5 exceptions to the closed syllable rule. We know that the five exceptions are the glued sounds: -ild, -ind, -old, -olt, -ost. What makes them an exception to the rule is that even though a word with one of those glued sounds looks like it should have a short vowel sound because it is closed at the end with a consonant, it isn't! It has a long vowel sound! For example, look at these words: wild, find, cold, colt, post. Do they have short vowel sounds or long vowel sounds?

In Miss Varrell's reading group, the children began working in their IDR journals (Individualized Daily Reading). Every time we finish reading a book on our own, we need to record the date that we finished reading it, the title of the book, the author and a comment about the story to show how we connected with the text. Also this week, Miss Varrell continued to listen to children read so that she can better match children with books that are better choices for their individualized reading. We continued to work on our reading and language project called Tomorrow's Alphabet after reading time each day. We have been studying how the author, George Shannon, used an advanced thought pattern to make a challenging ABC book for children. We were inspired by his ideas and have been working on writing our own. In order to publish our projects, we learned how to use the computer to type, save and print the text we have written. We're looking forward to sharing our work!

During writing time, we used "freewheeling sketches" and "family sketches" to help us develop some ideas of what to write about. We read BigMama's by Donald Crews and saw how the author used a memory of his life to write a story. We also listened to an article about Donald Crews where he told the interviewer that he always has a camera with him wherever he goes so that if he doesn't have time to draw a quick sketch of what he sees, he can take a picture of it and use it later. We drew some sketches and used some to write about and saved some for later, just like Donald Crews.

In science this week we continued to work on our tree books. Unfortunately, Miss Varrell's plan to have us make tree necklaces didn't quite materialize as the tree necklace materials were a bit moldy when they arrived and we still hadn't finished our tree books yet. So...we are planning to finish our books next week and we HOPE to get to make the necklaces by the end of the week.

We will be learning about Christopher Columbus and where he came from next week. We will begin looking at globes and maps to get acclimated to the tools we use to study geography and where people live in the world.

Here we are working hard with Ms. Fallon in art class!

  •  Please make sure your child's outerwear, backpack and lunchbag have his/her name and homeroom number clearly marked on it. As we approach the winter season, we frequently have piles of clothes and accessories that go to "lost and found" because we have no way of identifying who they belong to.
  • Have a wonderful long weekend with your family!

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