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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Classroom Summary for November 1-5

My goodness! Can you believe we had our 44th day of school on Friday? Thank you so much to our room parents, Mrs. Girouard and Mrs. Reppucci for organizing our Halloween party last Friday. We appreciated all the yummy donations that families contributed to our special day! Another thank you goes out from Miss V. to all the parents who kindly limited candy snacks at school last week. It was greatly appreciated!

Here's what we accomplished THIS week:

In math, we continued working in our geometry unit in our Investigations math book. We learned some new math vocabulary: quadrilateral, vertex, vertices, angle, and right angle. We learned how to sort quadrilaterals from other polygons. We also learned how to sort out a rectangle from a quadrilateral. We now know that a rectangle is NOT just a four-sided shape with two short sides and two longer sides. That was what we thought waaaaay back in first grade. NOW we know that a rectangle is a quadrilateral with four right angles. Many of us were confused at first because that meant that a square looked like it fit our rectangle rule. And guess what! It does! A square is a type of rectangle (sort of like a rooster is a type of chicken)! At number corner, we continued to work on understanding tens and ones, coins and telling time.

During FUNdations we began working on using our understanding of syllable rules to read and spell words. Up until now we have mainly been focused on reading words using "tapping" to help us hear all the sounds within a word. But from now on, we will be reading words by their syllable units. That way, we won't be sounding out words by each individual sound, but by the sound 'chunks' in a word. We learned that multisyllabic words have to be segmented in different ways depending on the word. Some multisyllabic words are compound words where we read each little word in the compound word to read the word fluently. But other words have to be segmented differently because there aren't any little words to divide by. As we learn throughout November, we will become more proficient at reading and writing multisyllabic words.

In reading class Miss Varrell's reading group worked several days in the computer lab completing their word processing for their published book. Originally the computer center in the classroom was meant to be used, but over the course of the past two months Miss Varrell's computers had a number of issues preventing the completion of the activity. Being able to use the computer lab and have the whole class work on their writing at the same time was a lifesaver. Mr. Callahan worked with children in the lab while Miss V. worked with children and their writing in the classroom. This coming week all the children should be creating illustrations, cover art and cutting and pasting text. Our upcoming reading project will be literature circles!

In writing this week, we worked on writing "Little Brother/Little Sister" sentences to help us get more ideas for our writing. When we finished, we shared our sentences and laughed at some of our story-starters. Here we are sharing our sentences....

In social studies we discussed Election Day and what that day means to our town, state, and country. We understand that the way our country works is by "majority rule." We know that we vote for people in our government and that we also vote to establish laws that make our country fair for all people in America. Miss Varrell asked that children ask to go to the voting booth with their parents to experience what it is like to participate in every American's civic responsibility. In science we continued to learn about the Moon: its characteristics and exploration history. We read the book The Moon by Seymour Simon, a well-known author who uses photography to illustrate his science books for children. Check some of them out from the library! 

We also played a moon game to help us understand different parts of speech. We had a real challenge trying to sort the words correctly!

Miss Varrell says we'll try playing that game again a little later in the year to see how we've improved our understanding. It might not be such a challenge next time we play! Next week we will be concentrating on learning the phases of the Moon.

  • Reading corps slips count as homework!  Please have your child fill out and return to school his/her reading corps slips to show evidence of daily reading (20 minutes required). Parents may initial each box OR sign the top of the slip to verify the completion of each day's reading.
  • On Friday our Moon Project assignment went home. The project is meant to be a nightly observation of the moon beginning Saturday, November 6. It is due back to class on Monday, December 6. If weather makes observing the moon more difficult, please feel free to visit websites or the newspaper for moon phase information.
  • November book orders will be going home next week
  • Veterans Day is this coming Thursday. There is no school.
  • Report cards will be sent home Wednesday, November 17.
  • Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Friday, November 19. A conference time reminder will be included on the report card this term.

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