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Friday, March 9, 2012

Classroom Summary for March 5-9

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations this week we began working on using the long e vowel pairs: ea, ee, ey. We know that the spellings for the sound /ee/ are: ea, ee, ey, y, e-C-e and open syllable e (as in "me). We know that ey and y, like ay, is mainly used at the end of words and that when needing to use the long e sound in the middle of words, a dictionary is needed to decide which "spelling option"--ee, ea, e-C-e--is the one that is correct. We use our student notebooks to practice looking up words at our desks, but we know that there are dictionaries online as well!

In Miss Varrell's reading group, we completed our character blogs where we used our inferential and literal thinking to tell about a character that we have read about. We also reviewed fiction summaries and how to relate a story or a chapter of a story in a brief retelling on paper. In the next several weeks we will focus on nonfiction texts and nonfiction text features. Our new read aloud is from the fantasy genre,  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. We will need to use our visualizing skills to help us comprehend as we listen to the story as there are very few pictures and the language is very descriptive. We look forward to learning more about Mrs. Frisby and her family of field mice!

In Writing we reviewed our understanding of paragraphs, topics and topic sentences. We did some pre-writing (brainstorming) with a graphic organizer called a spider web about our favorite sandwich. We used our organizer to help us draft an informative paragraph about how to make our favorite sandwich. Our spider web had a center circle (topic: name of our favorite sandwich) and three or four "legs" branching off the center  circle: tools, equipment, ingredients, instructions. From those circles, we put more legs with information about THOSE topics. See the sample below:

In Math we have been working very hard on understanding our base ten number system. We have used a hundreds chart to play place value games (Guess My Number, Roll-A-Square, Get to 100), answer story problems (ex. "How many more will I need to get from 45 to 80?") and solve equations based on ones, tens and hundreds. We are learning how to use strategies besides "counting on by ones" such as using tens and ones--an efficient and much faster strategy. We are also reviewing our understanding of fractions at the calendar area. Our calendar markers for March are objects that are divided into certain fraction amounts: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, etc. We will continue working with place value and our fraction review throughout the month.

In science we finished our weather unit where we focused on the water cycle and clouds. Mr. Musselman from the Science Center came in on Tuesday and did a presentation on clouds for us with a slideshow of photographs of different types of clouds we have been learning about (including stratuscumulus, and cirrus) and a science experiment where he actually made a cloud in a jar! We were so pleased to see everything we had learned about hot and cold temperatures, the water cycle (evaporation, condensation and precipitation) all happen in the experiment. Science is so exciting! Over the next few weeks we will learn a little about fossils and how scientists know about the earth and life in the past by studying fossils.


  • Report Cards will be arriving home on Wednesday, March 14 for the second term. 
  • Next week's field trip to the Museum of Natural History in Cambridge will take place on Friday, March 16. Parents randomly selected as chaperones for this trip are: Mrs. Kilfoyle, Mrs. LoVuolo, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Harsanyi. A reminder notice will go home next week about what to bring and what NOT to bring to the field trip. Thank you to all parents who volunteered for to go on this excursion. Unfortunately we cannot take all volunteers. :( Our next field trip is to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA in May. I will let chaperones know two weeks prior if/when they are chosen. 
  • The Pine Glen Carnival is soon approaching! If you are able to volunteer to help with the festivities, please contact the Main Office or Mrs. Murphy (one of our room parents this year!). The Pine Glen PTO is always in need of assistance with the following at the Carnival: set-up, break-down, running activities, helping with raffles, donating prizes, etc. The Pine Glen Carnival is a long-standing annual tradition at Pine Glen. It is a fabulous day for the children and FUN is the main event!
  • If you are interested in having your child participate in the after school Homework Club, please be sure to send in the permission slip and money ASAP. This after school program does not provide additional homework but gives the opportunity for students to do their regularly scheduled homework assignments in a supervised, communal setting with classroom teachers and/or tutors. 
  • Book orders for March are due next Friday--the same day as the field trip. 
  • Have a wonderful weekend!

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