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Friday, January 18, 2013

Classroom Summary for January 14-18

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations this week we began working on a new syllable type called the r-controlled vowel syllable type. We focused on the two r-controlled vowels ar and or. We know that when we spell syllables that end in or, those syllables often are spelled with a silent e at the end (e.g. score, tore, spore). We are now familiar with six syllable types: closed (the vowel is closed in by a consonant and the vowel sound is short), closed exception (the vowel is closed in by a consonant and the vowel sound is long), v-c-e (there is a consonant and a silent e following the vowel and the vowel sound is long), v-c-e exception (there is a consonant and a silent e following the vowel and the vowel sound is short), open (there is a vowel at the end of the syllable and the vowel sound is long) and r-controlled (the vowel is immediately followed by an r and the vowel is neither short nor long).

Can you match these words to their correct syllable types?

shark           wild           give           snack          tube           so      

In math we continued our work on problem-solving strategies. We worked on a new type of problem where there was a piece of information missing. When we wrote equations that matched the problems, we noticed that they looked very different from the ones we did before. The past few weeks we have worked with equations that often look like this:

24 + 16 = ?            or               40 - 16 = ?

But this week our equations looked like this:

16 + ? = 40             or               40 - ? = 24

We learned that we can use some of the same strategies that we used in our previous problems, but we have to be careful about where we put and circle our final answers. We will continue to practice with these types of problems next week.

In reading class Miss Varrell, Ms. Anderson and Mrs. Lane finished district winter reading assessments. Next week reading classes will resume tiered instruction. Also in reading this week we used chose a piece of literature based on our new science topic, weather and the water cycle, and listened to the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs written by Judi Barrett. After listening to and discussing the story elements of the book, the children worked on a sequencing activity where they had to sequence ten story events to create a book summary. When they were finished they worked with a partner and to translate the story summary to a written paragraph complete with a beginning indentation. If you are looking for an indoor activity this weekend, perhaps you will consider watching the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. With your family talk about the differences between the book and movie and why you prefer which version.

In writing this week began talking about paragraphs. We know that a paragraph is group of sentences (usually 6-8) about the same topic (idea). We learned that a paragraph begins with a topic sentence. The topic sentence always tells the reader what the paragraph will be about. We also used the first step in the writing process called brainstorming to help us write down what we knew about a particular topic. Brainstorming is similar to a rainstorm. One produces rain. The other produces ideas! We did a "quick-write" brainstorm where we only had 4 minutes to jot down our topic ideas, but then we worked with our writing partners to brainstorm some more. Our partners helped us add more ideas by asking us questions about our topic. Next week, we will learn how to use our ideas and organize them into a simple paragraph!

In science we continued learning about the water cycle and weather. We even got a chance to see some real live condensation form right in our classroom. Did a cloud form in Room 211, you ask? No, it did not. However, Theo brought in a water bottle that had ice water in it. As it sat on his desk in the warm air of our classroom, we saw water droplets appear on the side of his water bottle! We know that the warm air (vapor) hitting the sides of his cold water bottle cooled off the vapor so that it turned back into a liquid instead of staying a gas! We will experiment with evaporation next week.  If you want to try and make your own condensation at home, fill a water bottle or glass with cold water and leave on a counter or table in a warm room. Observe the glass or bottle for several minutes. What do you see?

Weekend challenge: Try to write a paragraph about the water cycle. Remember that your topic sentence needs to be indented and has to tell the reader what the rest of your paragraph will be talking about.

  • Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! 
  • Book orders were placed Friday, June 18. The next book order slips will go home in mid-February.
  • The Pine Glen P.T.O. is always looking for volunteers to help out with various activities throughout the year. Please consider being part of this fantastic organization. They turn educational possibilities into enriching opportunities. :)

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