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Friday, October 4, 2013

Classroom Summary for September 30 - October 4


Here's what we did this week...

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we reviewed bonus letters and the glued sound /all/.  We also worked with our first two vowel teams of the year: /ai/ and /ay/. We reviewed last week's skills in a short passage of text and used comic illustrations to identify the main parts of the story. Next week we will continue to work with glued sounds and vowel teams and see how they are used in every day words. This week's words of the week were: toss and stall.

Miss Varrell's reading group explored the Working with Words center and Listening Centers this week. We played some word skill games in small groups to understand the expectations and responsibilities of playing, working with and cleaning up the game boards. We also used the Chromebooks, iPads, iPod and tape player to explore the different listening centers that are available to us during center time. We won't use these every day, but in order to use them correctly when it is time to do so, we need to know how to use them properly and how to put them away when we are finished.






In Writing Workshop we listened to an interview with Donald Crews, children's author and illustrator. We learned that Donald Crews uses his camera and a sketchbook to write down ideas that he later uses in his stories. We decided to try Mr. Crews' idea and went on a sketch walk in school on Friday. We stopped in three different places in the school and at each location we found something that we could 'frame' with our mind's "camera" and we made a free-wheeling sketch of it. When we returned to class, we used our sketches to help us think of ideas to write about. Some of our sketches helped us think of the nonfiction ideas and some of them helped us think of fiction ideas! Here we are drawing our sketches:









In math we finished Topic 2 in our enVision math program which focused on addition strategies. This week we concentrated on adding 0, 1, and 2 to numbers, making doubles, making near doubles and making tens. We also practiced using 3 addends in a number sentence and learned to narrow down which two addends to add together first by using the addition strategies we learned! Next week we will begin Topic 3 which focuses on subtraction strategies. We also had an introductory lesson with Reflex math, a new math fact fluency web-based program that our math facilitator, Mrs.Fortunato, purchased for all the elementary schools this year. Reflex math requires the use of our classroom username (varrell211) and a password (your 6-digit LASID number). Reflex math can be used in school and at home. It is a completely different option from the XtraMath program that is also available to use in school and at home. Neither program is required, however, both offer an engaging alternative to flashcards and drill sheets. Reflex math log-in letters went home on Friday.

In science we continued our work with trees. This week our focus was on the interior of a tree. We learned that a tree's interior holds the secret to how it transports its food (sugary sap) to the important parts of the tree. If you slice a tree in half and look at the cross-section, you will see outer bark, inner bark (which includes the xylem and phloem), cambium, sapwood, heartwood and the pith. Trees are remarkable!


Weekend Math Challenge: Write a story problem about trees that includes 3 addends. Show how you would solve it by using pictures, words and/or numbers. Bring your story problem to school on Monday to share!


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