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Friday, February 1, 2013

Classroom Summary January 28 - February 1

(Do you know who this famous mammal is?)


Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we learned how to apply the "spelling option" rule when spelling words that have a sound that could be spelled multiple ways. For example, in the word:       there are three spelling options: er, ir and ur. In order determine which spelling is the correct one we need to go through several steps:

1. First, test out each spelling inside the word:  b l e r t     b l i r t       b l u r t

2. Next, choose the one that best fits the spelling rule that works with that sound:

When spelling using the /er/ sound, if the /er/ sound occurs in the middle of the word, it is more likely to be ir or ur. When the /er/ sound is being used at the end of a word, it is often er.

3. Then, when you have chosen the spelling that you feel is the best fit for the spelling rule, look at it to see if it 'looks' right. Ask yourself: Have I ever seen this word before? Does it look the way  it should with letters that make the appropriate sounds in the word? Is the word I saw and the word I have spelled similar in appearance? If so, you are ready for the next step. If not, you need to switch out some letters and try again. Repeat the steps above.

4. Lastly, check a dictionary to see if your spelling is correct: a) the back of your Student Notebook b) a children's dictionary c) an adult dictionary or d) an online dictionary, often referred to as spell-check.


In math we worked on understanding the concept of odd and even numbers. We explored some activities where we worked with a number to discover whether it could be sorted into 'partners' or 'teams' without 'leftovers.' We used the word 'leftover' to help explain the idea of an odd number. We also read a book called Even Steven and Odd Todd by Kathryn Cristaldi. We played the Even Steven Odd Todd game afterwards to help us get faster with identifying even and odd numbers. In order to play all you need are some counters, two playing dice and a partner! While playing the game we discovered some patterns with even and odd numbers:

  • An even number added with an even number results in a sum of an even number.
  • An odd number added with an odd number results in a sum of an even number.
  • An odd number added with an even number results in a sum of an odd number.


In Miss Varrell's reading group different groups read from three different stories: The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci, and A Storm in the Night by Mary Stolz. The skill we worked on this week was using context clues to help us understand key words and phrases within a text. We learned that skipping over words and phrases we don't understand right away can often impact how we understand the whole story. It is important that we check our understanding as we read, not just when we finish what we read.





In writing this week we worked on sorting our detail sentences to make sure our paragraphs make sense from beginning to end. We also practiced a different part of the writing process: editing. We used a Super Star editing guide to help us proofread and fix any errors we might have made while writing our paragraphs this week. Our Super Stars are hanging on our classroom door. We will add more stars as we proofread more of our writing!

In science we continued to work in our Cloud Books and began to read about different types of weather. However, in addition to that, we had a special opportunity when we got to use some microscopes to look at snow under magnification. In the morning on Wednesday, we went outside and walked through fog while looking for snow to collect for our observations. It was amazing to walk through a cloud! Once we collected our snow in cups, we asked our fabulous Pine Glen lunch ladies if they would let us use one of their freezers so that we could keep our snow frozen. Thanks to them, we were able to look at snow at science time even though most of it had melted outside already. We had a great time looking at the snow crystals. Ask us what we saw!



Weekend Challenge:  Write the word miscroscope at the top of a piece of paper. Try to make as many real words as you can using only the letters found in the word microscope. For each three-letter word you make, give yourself 1 point. For each four-letter word give yourself 2 points. Five-letter words get 3 points, and so on. Share your words in class on Monday!


F.Y.I.
  • I am planning to host (with Mrs. Naddaff's help once again) a small Valentine's Day party for the children on Thursday, February 14. If you would send in a special snack and drink for your child's "party-in-a-bag" that day we would be most grateful (no additional snack would be needed). I will be sending home a list of class names that your child may want to use to make out valentines for his/her classmates. Please know that I will be speaking to the children about giving valentines on Valentine's Day:
    • a) make a valentine for everyone in the class       or 
    • b) make a valentine for no one in the class. 
          Either way is acceptable; it is completely up to your family to decide which.
  • Book order flyers for February will be going home soon. Money, order slips and online orders will be due on Friday, February 15 (day before February vacation). 


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