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Friday, December 3, 2010

Classroom Summary for November 29-December 3

Here's what we did this week...

In math we continued to work in our Investigations geometry unit and focused our learning on symmetry. We learned what a line of symmetry is and how to build designs and shapes that have symmetry. Some of our favorite symmetrical pictures are posted on our classroom door! At number corner this week we reviewed rectangles, arrays and equations that match them. We will continue to work with equations in our next Investigations unit.

In FUNdations this week we learned the vowel-consonant-e syllable rule. We know that a silent-e after a vowel/consonant pair kicks the vowel into saying its name (long sound). We know that v-c-e syllables are found in many words. Sometimes the whole word is the v-c-e syllable (ex. ate) and sometimes there are words that have the v-c-e syllable WITH other syllable types (ex. decorate). We have learned to "tap" the words that we spell by their syllables first and if we need to hear the sounds more clearly we can "tap" out each sound as well. For instance, if we were spelling the word "panic" we could tap on our desks twice (two syllables) but tap out 5 sounds to hear each individual sound in the word. We are getting better and better at hearing the syllables in words!

In Miss Varrell's reading group we worked on reviewing how to orally retell a story and how to apply that information to a written summary. The written summary is a difficult skill to master because it involves all different reading and writing processes. Being able to succinctly write a retelling of a story or chapter will be worked on throughout the course of the year. This week we focused on being able to retell and summarize a chapter. We took Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel and "signed up" to read a chapter that we wanted to read. We then had to retell the chapter to our reading partners using bingo chips to help us keep track of the parts of the chapter that were most important to include in our retelling. We then took that information that we had retold and gathered together in "chapter groups" with the other children who had read the same chapter and worked cooperatively to write a summary of it. Here are some pictures of us working in cooperative groups and writing our summaries on gigantic chart paper!  (Norah volunteered to read"The Corner" even though no one else had signed up to read it. Great confidence, Norah!)

In social studies we have been working on family traditions and learning about diversity. We know that people in the United States have all different backgrounds and family traditions and we will be learning about the holiday traditions of families in Room 211 over the next few weeks. This week Andy shared some of his family's traditions by talking about Hanukkah and some of the items we can expect to see and hear about when we have friends who celebrate the Hanukkah tradition. Next week Prapti will be talking about her family's tradition of celebrating Diwali.

Last but not least, we had a very special treat on Friday when Mrs. Guanci's first grade class voted to have our class read to them as a special reward for their first grade accomplishments this week! We had a wonderful time enjoying the opportunity to be a "teacher" by pairing up with our first grade friends. We were using a lot of the skills we've learned in our reading classes to help the first grade be better readers just like us (breaking apart bigger words into syllables, being a good listener, helping to hear sounds and matching them to the letters we see in a word, etc.)! Miss Varrell and Mrs. Guanci were SO proud of how well we worked together and how kind and supportive we were of each others' reading accomplishments. What a wonderful experience! Below are some pictures of us working together in Room 104....

  • Monday December 6 is a professional development day for teachers. There is no school for students.
  • Our moon calendar project is due next week. The due date was mistakenly typed for Monday, December 6. As I'm sure you are aware, December 6 is the PD day for teachers so the moon calendar will be due on Tuesday, December 7. We apologize for our error.
  • Book orders went home today. If you are interested in purchasing an item or items from the book orders please be sure to have your orders in by this coming Friday, Dec. 10. Please see monthly book orders entry on the right sidebar for more information.
  • Field trip permission slips and money ($44.00 for the three field trips combined) is due as soon as possible. Thank you for returning the permission/chaperone slips and money as soon as you can. If you need another slip, please let me know and I will send one home with your child on Tuesday. :)
  • Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget that the expectation for math fact mastery has increased from facts to and from 8, to facts to and from 12. It is expected that children can answer both addition and subtraction  math facts within a three-second time frame to be considered "mastered". Please keep working hard at home!

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