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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Classroom Summary for February 4 - 8

(Satellite image of Projected February 2013 Blizzard)

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we continued learning about the sounds /er/, /ir/, and /ur/. We played the game 'That's Nonsense' to try and earn points as we read and spelled nonsense words correctly. We practiced using the spelling option rule by using our Student Notebook dictionaries. We are getting really quick at looking words up!

In math this week we practiced counting by groups: 2s, 5s and 10s. We used our bodies to show how we can count items multiple ways and still come up with the same answer (How many legs? How many fingers? How many toes? How many children? etc). We also spent a lot of time identifying, trading and counting coins. We know that when you count coins, you begin counting your change with the greatest value coin first. Miss Varrell hooked up the TouchIt board and we played a piggybank game to practice applying our greater than (>), less than (<) and equal signs (=) to money equations. We used that same idea of greater than, less than and equal to as it related to the amount of red used in flags from around the world. We used our calendar markers point out how we could manipulate the 'red parts' of the flags to prove whether more than half of the flag was red, less than half of the flag was red or whether exactly half of each flag was red.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we began listening to a different genre of book called nonfiction narrative. A nonfiction narrative is a story that is nonfiction but is told in a narrative form, or storybook style.  We read the book Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne. We focused on the story elements within the narrative to highlight what a summary of the story would sound like.

Below are some videos that highlight how special Jacques Cousteau was...

 Miss Varrell's reading groups also finished reading their assigned books and used context clues and text-to-text connections to better understand the author's message. We will write summaries of our stories next week to keep our skills fresh! Also, this week we wrote in our Kidblogs. Many of us were very enthusiastic about sharing what we love about reading and reading class. Next week we will reflect on our classmates' posts by posting comments on their blogs.

In writing we got more practice writing paragraphs by using the 'four square' graphic organizer. In this organizer a person writing his/her paragraph is very limited with the number of details that can be included about a topic. What makes the four square more challenging is the inclusion of leader/follower detail sentences. A leader detail sentence does exactly what it says: it gives a leading detail about the topic being written about. However, a follower detail sentence gives more detail about the detail sentence! It sounds crazy but here is an example to help you understand:

Topic Sentence: People have all kinds of fun in the snow.

Leader Detail Sentence #1: Some people like to go sledding when it snows.

Follower Detail Sentence for #1: Sledding down steep hills can be very exciting!

Leader Detail Sentence #2: Other people love to build giant snowmen and snow women.

Follower Detail Sentence for #2: Some snowmen look like giant monsters with vegetables growing out of their faces.

Closing Sentence: Snow makes playing outside in the winter extra fun!

In science we began our evaporation experiment using clear plastic cups, water and a sharpie marker for labeling water levels. We planned on finishing our observations on Friday but due to the projected snowstorm we will finish on Monday. If you have time over the weekend you can try to replicate the experiment at home!

Weekend Challenge:  Part of being a good citizen is helping our communities stay safe. Find out where the closest storm drain or fire hydrant is on your street. Ask your Mom or Dad if you can help dig it out when the snow storm is over. When you have finished ask if Mom or Dad can take your picture in front of the good work you did and bring it in to show the class!


  • If your family is interested in taking the gerbils over the February vacation, please send in a note/email by Wednesday. Gerbils will need to be taken to their 'foster home' by Friday of next week. Food, cardboard, and 'play equipment' is provided. :)
  • Book order forms were sent home this week. Money and order slips (including online orders) are due Friday, February 15.
  • Please be safe this weekend as you and your family deal with our February Nor'easter!

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