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Friday, January 25, 2013

Classroom Summary for January 22-25

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we finished our unit on the r-controlled vowel sounds of ar and or. We will be working on er, ir and ur in unit 9 next week!

In math we finished our re-visit of story problems and the addition and subtraction strategies that we use to solve them. At the beginning of the week we reviewed how to solve problems that have an unknown addend/subtrahend. At the end of the week we focused on writing our own story problems to match an equation, or expression. We had fun using different classmates' names and in some cases making up some really funny characters to tell our story problems. We know that when you write a story problem it often only needs three sentences: 1) a statement to explain the first number in the equation (with a period), 2) a statement to explain the next number in the expression (with a period) and 3) a question the reader needs to answer (including a question mark).

In Miss Varrell's reading group, we welcomed some new students to our class! We took some time to review the center routines and supplies locations. We used our response journals to reflect on what a summary is and what is included when you write one. We also learned which new book baskets we could read out of over the next few months. Miss Varrell explained that in order to move into new book baskets students need to show that they have mastered a comprehension skill. Children who always choose books from the same basket will probably learn that one skill very well but will need to challenge themselves to read from different baskets in order to progress in their reading skill. When reading at home, consider taking some time to write a brief summary about a chapter you finish or a picture book that you read. The more you do it, the better you get at it!

In writing this week we began working with topic sentences and details. We used a graphic organizer called a web to collect information about a topic we wanted to write about. We began by choosing a topic and then we wrote a topic sentence to match. For example,

Topic: Snowflake and Cupcake

Topic Sentence: I know a lot about our gerbils Snowflake and Cupcake.

Once we had our topic sentence, we read our topic sentence out loud to a classmates and asked them what question they would ask us in response. For example,

Miss Varrell speaking to Miss Anderson: "I know a lot about our gerbils Snowflake and Cupcake."

Miss Anderson responding to Miss Varrell: "What do you know about them?"

Once our classmates asked us their questions, we put that question in the center of our web. Then, we answered the question in different ways by filling in the bubbles around the question!  Next week, families will get a blank graphic organizer and a sample completed web so that writing a paragraph for homework will be less cumbersome. We are so excited to learn that writing a paragraph really doesn't take as long as we thought it would; it's knowing what you want to write about that takes the time!

In science this week we learned about the three main types of clouds: cirrus, stratus and cumulus. We learned that clouds are an example of one part of the water cycle: condensation. We began making a book that explains the three types of clouds and illustrates what they look like in the sky. Our illustrations are so realistic and detailed! Miss Fallon will be very proud of our hard work and use of larger and smaller details to show perspective. Art and science are great partners!

Indoor recess engineering....

Weekend challenge:  Find out what the name of the fourth part of the water cycle is (second graders are only responsible for learning three). On an index card, write the word and explain what it means in your own words. Include an illustration to help you make your meaning clear. 

  • Room 211 would really appreciate any empty toilet paper tubes that you can donate. We will use them in a project later on in the year. 
  • The Science Center is desperately in need of newspaper for their animal cages. Unfortunately they cannot use circulars and other 'shiny' papers, but all regular newspaper is welcome!
  • Keep warm and have a great weekend!

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