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Monday, April 9, 2012

Classroom Summary for April 2-6





Here's what we did this week...


In Fundations this week we began working on using the long o vowel pairs: oa, oe, and ow. We know that the spellings for the long o sound are: oa, oe, ow, o-C-e, and open syllable o (as in "no"). We know that oe and ow are mainly used at the end of words and that when needing to use the long o sound in the middle of words, a dictionary is needed to decide which "spelling option"--oa, o-C-e--is the correct one. Of course there are always exceptions to every rule as we know very well by now!

In Miss Varrell's reading group, we have been working with nonfiction texts and learning how to use the text features (i.e. table of contents, headings, captions, photographs, glossary, index, bold words) to decide important facts from non-important information. We will be using our skills by applying what we've learned to nonfiction summaries over the next week or so. We are continuing to use our inferential and visualization skills as we read our nonfiction texts as well. In Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH the plot is getting more interesting. We have met some new characters and there is definitely a mystery brewing with the rats in the rose bush!


In Writing we published our informative pieces (sandwich paragraphs) with the assistance of some graphic organizers. Our paragraphs were typed by Mrs. Prince and are hanging on the bulletin board outside the reading room near our classroom. We will continue to work with paragraphs in the upcoming months, but we will switch to writing some poetry over the next few weeks. Please feel free to send in any favorite poems or poetry books that your family has shared over the years. We would love to hear your selections!



In our Investigations math book we have been learning about fractions and mixed numbers. We have been focusing on understanding the concept of half: half of a whole and half of a collection of objects. We have also learned how to write the number 1/2 and have learned that the bottom number (denominator) tells how many parts the whole or collection is divided into and the top number (numerator) tells which part you are speaking of. Although it can be a very confusing concept in the beginning, with more and more experience, a fractions is a very simple form of division. Try bringing your snack to school divided into halves, thirds or even fourths. As you get used to seeing what the fractions look like as they relate to a whole or a collection, fractions start to make more and more sense. :)



In science we began working on our animal unit. We will be studying amphibians, reptiles and insects over the next 6 weeks. To help us understand more about amphibians we had three different amphibians come to visit our classroom for a few days: an American toad named Toadie, two bull frogs and two spotted salamanders named Fric and Frac. We loved getting to care for and touch them. They really do feel a little slimy and cool just like they say in all the books we have read! They also like to eat live food like crickets so we got to see them eat too!  We are currently learning about the amphibian life cycle and will be doing a special project with Mr. Callahan in the computer lab this week to show what we know. In the meantime we will be presenting mini amphibian reports to our classmates by gathering important facts about amphibians that we would like to share with the class.


F.Y.I 

  • Donations of cleaning wipes are being gladly accepted at this time :)
  • Thank you to all the parents who helped make our Carnival and the Room 211 Carnival basket a big success. A special thank you goes out to Ms. Owens for organizing it and making it look so fabulous and to Mrs. Murphy for running the carnival again for another year. We had a wonderful time and greatly appreciate all your hard work and time. Thank you VERY much! 
  • Snowflake and Cupcake are looking for a vacation home for April vacation. If your family is interested, please send a note in with your child. 
  • Book orders for April are due Wednesday, April 11. 
  • Have a wonderful April vacation!

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