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Friday, March 1, 2013

Classroom Summary for February 25 - March 1

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we went more in depth with our learning of the double vowel syllable type. We focused on /ai/ and /ay/ and remembered Mrs. Redfern's mnemonic expression "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." That Mrs. Redfern...she is so smart! We focused on the spelling rule that says that when using the long a sound in a syllable, if the long a sound is in the middle of the syllable, it will usually be spelled /ai/ or a-C-e (a-consonant-silent e). However, if the long a sound happens at the end of the syllable, it is often spelled /ay/. We also reviewed that when there is more than one possible way to spell a sound, the "spelling option" rule must be applied: 1) try both spelling options to see how each one looks when you write them out; 2) choose the one that looks the most familiar; 3) check a dictionary or online dictionary to check if your choice is correct; 4) if you are incorrect, change your word to the standard spelling.

In math we completed our introductory place value unit. We worked every day with tens and ones in various forms: ten sticks and leftovers, 'sticker strips' in tens and single stickers, and dimes and pennies. We worked a lot with T-charts and tables so that we could see the patterns that form when looking at tens and ones. We will continue to add to our understanding of place value as we solve and work with problems with larger numbers.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we worked on a new comprehension skill called inferential thinking. We learned what an inference is and what it means to infer while reading. Once again, using a T-chart for organizing our thinking, we looked at the actions, dialog and thoughts of characters in books we read (What MaryJo Shared and Erandi's Braids) to see how that information could help us have better comprehension, or greater understanding, of what we read.

In writing we continued using the paragraph format to share information, but this week we focused on the explanatory/informative paragraph. We learned about transition words (first, next, last, then, after, finally, later, etc.) and how to use them when explaining how to do something. Our paragraphs this week used how to make a favorite sandwich as our paragraph topic. When writing a paragraph that involves many steps, transition words really help to get us to the next sentence/step!

In science we began learning about fossils and how fossils form. We watched a video called Remains to be Seen from the producers of the Children's Television Workshop. It helped introduce us to the idea that fossils take many millions of years to form. We know that you cannot make a true fossil at home and sometimes it is very difficult to find a real fossil. However, you can make a model of a fossil at home! Here is the video we watched this week:

Lastly, we had a special guest reader today, Joan, from the Bridges program (see Mr. Lyons' and Mrs. Visocchi's blogs). She read to us two Dr. Seuss books that she had read to her children when they were young. She told us that she has two grandchildren in North Carolina and that she doesn't get a chance to read to them very often so she was so happy to be able to read to us today. We loved having her visit and hope she will come back some time soon! A big thank you goes out to Mrs. D'Elia and Mrs. Visocchi for organizing this wonderful experience for all of us on Dr. Seuss Day.

Weekend Math Challenge:  Practice reading an analog clock at home with a parent over the weekend. Keep a written tally of how many times you correctly read the time. You will have a good TIME when you bring your tally sheet in to school on Monday!

  • Our randomly chosen chaperones for the next field trip to the Museum of Natural History on March 15 are: Mrs. Wolinski, Mr. Lyonnais, and Mrs. Grossman. Our next field trip will be in May and we will choose more chaperones at that time. 
  • Have a great weekend and Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

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