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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Classroom Summary for October 14 - 18

Here's what we did this week...

In Miss Varrell's Fundations group we began using our gel boards and magnetic pens to practice trick words. Trick words are spelling words that do not follow standard spelling rules. We will use our gel boards throughout the year as we learn these difficult-to-spell words. We also learned about a new syllable type: the closed syllable exception. These types of syllables look almost exactly like a closed syllable, except that the vowel sound is long, not short. For example, in the words:

        mast                   club                  trip                  when                   chop

all of the vowels are closed in by a consonant and each vowel makes its short sound.

However, in these words:

        wild                  most                 cold                  find                    bolt

all of the vowels are closed in by a consonant but each vowel makes its long sound.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we continued working on our comprehension skills by making connections. Personally connecting with the texts that we read is one of the first ways we begin to think about what we read in a less literal way. Noticing how a character, setting, or situation is similar to or different from our own lives helps us begin thinking critically about what we read.

In Math this week we completed enVision Topic 3: subtraction strategies. By the end of the week we were able to solve problems that used multiple operations in the same story problem! Each morning we have been working on on our Chromebooks. A few of us have already earned certificates to show our mastery of basic addition and subtraction facts! Also, working on Xtramath and Reflex math at home will help all of us master our math facts even faster. :) Next week we will begin working on enVision Topic 4: Working with Equal Groups.

In science we worked on pop-up comparison of deciduous trees vs. coniferous trees, we sanded and polished slices of tree branches (to make tree necklaces next week) and we ended the week with our trip to the Discover Museum in Acton. We had so much fun learning about everything from tornadoes and magnets to seismographs and pendulums. We had a chance to make crafts out of recycled materials and we got to pretend we were sound engineers in a recording studio! But best of all we got to learn about water and how some objects float, some objects sink and others....flink! Can you guess what that means?

Below are some pictures of our trip:

Weekend Challenge Activity: Write a story about Speedy and Snowball (or your family pet). Circle all the words in your story that have closed exception syllables. Bring your story in to share on Monday!


  • Thank you so much to Mrs. Shortell and Ms. Jamini for being our fabulous chaperones on Friday's field trip!
  • Our leaf project is due Friday, October 25.   
  • If there are any families who are interested in taking our two gerbils, Speedy and Snowball, during the Thanksgiving break, please send a note to school with your child by Friday, November 1. If there is more than one family who offers, we will draw names from a hat. Families will be notified by phone. :)

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