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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Classroom Summary for October 11-14

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations this week we worked on learning a second type of syllable called the "closed exception." The closed exception type of syllable allows us understand that there will be times when we read a word (or a chunk of a word) that will not follow the "closed syllable" rule. For example, the word "mill" is pronounced /mĭl/ because the double l closes in the vowel to give it its short sound. The word "mill" follows the closed syllable rule. However, in the word "mild", even though the consonants l and d close in the vowel i, it doesn't say its short sound but says its long sound, /ī/. In this case, the word "mild" follows the closed syllable exception rule. By learning this new rule, we can sound out new words that don't make sense when they appear to be following the closed syllable rule! 

We also were introduced to five new trick words this week: when, which, again, away, and more. Trick words are words that we cannot sound out because they have too many broken rules inside of them. When we learn trick words, we just have to learn them the old fashioned way: writing and rewriting them! We practiced spelling our new trick words several times this week using both our composition books and our gel boards and magnetic pens. Every time we add new trick words to our composition books we are responsible for spelling them correctly in our writing no matter where we use those words: writing, reading, science, social studies, math and even homework!

During reading on Tuesday, Miss Varrell's group went down to the computer lab to take a reading assessment called iReady. The purpose of this reading assessment is to inform teachers of each child's strengths and weaknesses in the literacy area to better inform their reading instruction. On Wednesday and Thursday we continued to work in the Making Meaning program. We reviewed "making connections" with what we read by doing a cooperative learning strategy called "Think Pair Share." Before reading Sheila the Brave, by Kevin Henkes, we discussed connections we could make to the story solely based on the title and cover illustration. Throughout the story we stopped at different points to think about and share how we were continuing to connect to the text. We will use this strategy during the year to help us comprehend what we read with a deeper understanding. This week we also began to record what we read in our IDR journals. Each time we finish reading a book (or in some cases, chapters), we will be responsible for reflecting on what we read and recording our comments in our Making Meaning books.  

During writing this week we used another strategy that authors use to write books. We thought about things that we had experienced or had happened to us. We began making a list of ideas in our red writing notebooks and even began writing some stories using those experiences as a way to get started. We truly enjoy writing time and we especially like sharing what we have written with each other. As we think of more ideas we will add them to our writing notebooks! So far the strategies we have used to write have been: 
  • drawing a picture from our imagination; 
  • drawing a "free-wheeling" sketch of what is around us; 
  • using a memory from the past; and 
  • writing about something that has happened to us.

In math this week we continued to review combinations of ten, identify coins and make change, compose equations and solve simple story problems in both addition and subtraction using visualizing as a strategy. We learned how to play "Tens Go Fish" this week as well as "Plus 1 or 2 Bingo" last week. If you have a deck of cards, paper and pencils, you can play "Tens Go Fish" at home, and to play "Plus 1 or 2 Bingo" at home, you just need paper, pencil, a pre-made Bingo board (your child could make one) and some bingo chips or markers. Both are excellent ways to practice math fact fluency at home! As we have more practice with story problems we will expand our strategy "toolbox" for solving  them. Right now we are focused on: 
  • drawing pictures that clearly explain our thinking; 
  • including a corresponding equation; 
  • labeling our answers; and 
  • circling the final answer with the label.

In science this week we finished the last activity in our tree unit. Mr. Callahan came to our class on Wednesday and brought the iPads! We went outside and took pictures of different types of trees with the iPads. Some of us were on the coniferous team and some of us were on the deciduous team. After saving the pictures, Mr. Callahan showed us how to make a photo collage of the tree pictures we took. He will print them out for us this coming week! This week we also finished up our tree sculptures and decorated them depending on the type of tree we chose to build: coniferous or deciduous. Next week we will take a test on what we learned about trees. We will begin a brief unit in social studies to review the 7 continents and the major oceans before we being our next unit on the phases of the moon.

Parent F.Y.I.

Thank you for helping your children with their "leaf" project this weekend. It is greatly appreciated. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Miss Varrell for the update and pictures.
    Daniel Dad