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Friday, January 4, 2013

Classroom Summary for January 2-4

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we reviewed the five syllable types and their corresponding vowel sounds that we learned before our December break. We also played a game called "That's Nonsense!" to help us use the reading strategies we've learned to spell and read nonsense words. If you have some letter tiles at home (from an old Scrabble game, etc.) or a pencil and paper and some pre-made nonsense words, you can play at home too! Ask us how to play!

In math we reviewed how to add number strings which we were working on before the holidays. We practiced using several strategies: making a ten, making a double and also, making a "near double". Near doubles are number sentences (equations) that are one more or one less than a doubles equation. For example: 6 + 6 = 12 is a double. 6 + 7 = 13 and 5 + 6 = 11 are examples of "near doubles." When we add number strings instead of adding the first two addends we see in the equation, we try to look for ways we can a) make ten; b) make a double; or c) make a near double. Next week we will be using our skills break apart numbers instead of putting them together! We will revisit story problems in addition and subtraction and use our new strategies to solve them.

In homeroom reading with Miss Varrell we read a lot about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the remarkable changes in human rights he helped our country make. We learned that sometimes entire countries make mistakes, not just people, and just like people have to own up to their mistakes to make sure they don't make the same ones, our country had to own up to its mistakes too. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped change laws to make them fair for everyone, not just for a few. While we made mini books about MLK, Jr. we listened to his "I Have A Dream" speech that was made in Washington, D.C. in 1963. We will continue to work on activities about Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout this month.

In writing class this week we focused on understanding adjectives and how they help create an image or picture in your mind when you use them. We read the poem "What I'd Cook for My Teacher" by Bruce Lansky and made our own version of it to see how adding different adjectives changes how funny the poem sounds!

In science this week we finished up our unit on the Moon by having a presentation by Mr. Musselman from the science center. He came on Friday to talk to us about the Earth, the Sun and the Moon and how they all work together in our universe. We learned the words rotation, revolution and phase. We also got a chance to act out how the Earth and Moon all revolve around the Sun! Next week, Miss Varrell will give us a test on the Moon to see what we learned. Our next unit in science will be the Water Cycle and Weather.

Weekend Challenge: Last year you learned about the three states of matter in science. Can you think of an example of what water looks like in each of the three states of matter? If you think you know, write your answers on an index card with a picture illustrating each example. Bring your card with the correct answers in on Monday and good fortune may come to you...


  • Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a restful break. Please be aware that unless there are very frigid temperatures at recess time, recess will be held outdoors on the hot top. Hats, mittens and scarves are highly recommended (and boots for slushy hot top conditions). 
  • A great big thank you goes out to Mrs. Naddaff, our room parent, for organizing our fabulous December party and craft extravaganza. Also, thank you to all our families for participating in and making our Secret Santa activity a big hit. The children were so proud of their gifts both receiving and giving. I greatly appreciate the effort you made on your child's behalf. I know that time is at a premium in December and I appreciate all that you did to make the children's experience a memorable one. :)
  • Written homework will restart this coming Monday. As we get further into the new year we will begin learning how to write paragraphs. A graphic organizer will be provided to help your child create sentences around a topic when we are ready to begin. :) Please continue to keep your reading corps slips and math fact practice going strong. If you need more slips, just let me know. If you have forgotten your username or password, just let me know and I can re-print it for you. 

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