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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Classroom Summary for January 7-11





Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we added three new suffixes to our lengthy list of suffixes to learn this year. We added the suffixes ~y, ~ty and ~ly to our reading "toolbox." This is the last of the suffixes that we will be learning this year so we have plenty (did you see the suffix in the word plenty?) of time to practice what we've learned before June! Don't forget that some words may end with ~y, ~ty, and ~ly but may not be suffixes. You can tell if there is a suffix by covering over the suffix ending and looking to see if you are left with a base word. If what is left is not a word, then your ending is NOT a suffix!

In math we worked on adding some more ways to our Addition Strategies and Subtraction Strategies Posters this week. We now have 5 ways to solve addition problems and 5 ways to solve subtraction problems. We also had some visitors to our math class on Thursday. Members of the Administrative Council, including the Superintendent, our math facilitator, two principals, and some high school teachers came and stopped by to talk to us about what we were learning in class this week. We were able to show them some of the strategies we have been working on while solving math story problems. Here are some examples of strategies we shared:
  1. Draw a picture and count all of the items together being sure to record the numbers underneath the pictures to show how you counted.
  2. Draw a number line starting from the largest addend and count on by the number of the smallest addend being sure to show an arrow denoting which way you counted, how many you counted on, and the number you ended at.
  3. Write numbers in a series separated by commas showing counting on by groups (instead of one at a time) being sure to denote how much you added on each time (+2, +2, +2, etc.) above the numbers you wrote.
  4. Break apart one of the addends to make a new number string and add the mini equations by looking for tens, doubles, near doubles, etc.
  5. Break apart BOTH addends to make a new number string and add the mini equations by looking for tens, doubles, near doubles, etc. 
Examples of subtraction strategies we shared:
  1. Draw a picture and cross out the items that are being subtracted (separated, taken away, given away, leaving, etc.) being sure to record the numbers underneath the pictures to show how you counted.
  2. Draw a number line starting from the number you are beginning with and count backwards by the number being subtracted (taken away, separated, given away, leaving, etc.) making sure to show an arrow denoting which way you counted, how many you counted back, and the number you ended at.
  3. Write numbers in a series separated by commas showing counting backwards by groups (instead of one at a time) being sure to denote how much you counted backwards each time (-5,-5,-5, etc.) above the numbers you wrote.
  4. Break apart the number being subtracted to make it easier to subtract from the bigger number (for instance, instead of 55-23, make the new equation be 55-20-3) and subtract the mini equations.
  5. Challenging Strategy: break apart BOTH addends to make a new number string and subtract the mini equations (for instance, instead of 55-23, make the new equation 50-20 and 5-3 and then put the two results together with addition).
We worked very hard this week on these strategies and have started to make some videos using the Explain Everything app on the iPads to post to our blog (we hope next week). As soon as we have put the finishing touches on our videos, we will post them here! 

In reading Miss Varrell is listening to children read individually to see the progress they have made. On Tuesday the whole class went down to the computer lab for our winter i-Ready assessment in reading. In January we will have our winter math assessments on a program called Symphony. Both of these assessments are called "universal screens" because they are assessments given to all children and help inform teachers of strengths and weaknesses in the subject being assessed. These assessments are not used for report cards but as added information to help teachers determine the best course of instruction for students. Miss Varrell will be finishing up her observations next week.

In writing class we began talking about and looking at the form of writing known as the paragraph. A paragraph is a group of sentences that are all about the same topic. Paragraphs always start with an indent, have a topic sentence and are followed by several more detail sentences that give more information about the topic being written. We will begin writing paragraphs next week when we learn about how to identify and write our own topic sentences. In a couple of weeks, our weekly homework writing assignment will change to reflect our new writing skills. We will keep you posted!

In science we completed our unit on the Moon by taking a short Moon test. Although learning about the Moon is a specific learning concept of second grade, it will be revisited later on in the upper elementary grades in conjunction with new concepts about the Solar System and earth science. This week we also began our new unit about the Water Cycle and Weather. We learned a new song this week called the "Water Cycle" (sung to the tune She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain) and began working on a model illustrating the three major parts of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation. We will continue to learn about these concepts as see how they impact the weather around us.

Weekend Challenge: Explain what the word COMPUTE means. Pretend you are a teacher giving directions to your students in math class and use the word in a sentence.  Write your sentence on an index card and make sure the word is in boldface print.

F.Y.I.

  • This month during calendar time in class we will be looking at different flags from around the world with a specific purpose: to begin looking at fractions. Our focus will be on the amount of red in each flag: half, more than half or less than half. If in your family time you notice any flags or any other object that has red as part of the design, consider asking your child how much of that object is red: half, more than half, or less than half. This beginning visual clue will help us transition to mathematical fractions we learn later in the year. :)
  • Book order forms were sent home this week. Money, order slips and/or online orders are due Friday, January 18. 
  • Have a great weekend!




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