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Friday, January 24, 2014

Classroom Summary for January 21 - 24

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we began learning a new syllable type: the open syllable. Open syllables are segments of words that are not closed in by a consonant, allowing the vowel to say it's long sound. For example:

hi           pi          by           my          no           go          me          he        flu

We also learned about the vowel sounds of Y: /ee/ and /I/. When we read a monosyllabic word that ends in Y, it will usually say it's long /i/ sound. However, when we read a multisyllabic word that ends in Y, it will usually say it's long /e/ sound. Try out these words and see if they follow the rules:

shy          cry       empty          Timmy          try          pry        clammy

In our literacy block we began working on our cross-curricular cultural study. Mrs. D'Elia came in and taught us three mini lessons to help us before we started our research. First, she reviewed nonfiction text features with us: Table of Contents, headings, glossary, captions, photographs, charts and graphs, and bold words were the main points we reviewed. We will be using many of these text features in our own research project. Next, we learned about note-taking. Mrs.D'Elia helped us to see the difference between copying from a book and taking notes from a book. When you take notes, you collect specific and limited information that answers the question that you need the answer to. For example, if you are trying to find out information about what giant pandas eat, you might find an article about giant pandas, but you would ONLY look for the answer to your question: "What do giant pandas eat?" The crazy part is that when you find the answer you are looking for you don't need to write it in a complete sentence! Taking notes means you write a few words that answer the question or sometimes you draw a picture that answers the question. You might even decide to do a little of both! Lastly, Mrs. D'Elia reviewed for us how to use the Britannica website for elementary students. This online encyclopedia is a fabulous resource for Pine Glen students to use in class and at home for homework assignments.

On Thursday and Friday we began our culture research using books from the library and online sources. Each of us was assigned a country to research based on our cultural questionnaire. In class, we brainstormed some categories/topics that we would like to include in our projects.  We used Mrs. D'Elia's note-taking sheets to record our categories before we began our note-taking extravaganza! Mrs. Lane, Miss Anderson and Miss Varrell used their classrooms as research centers for countries around the world. Depending on which country we needed to research, we had to travel to the correct room to research the answers our cultural questions. We had a lot of fun!

This week we also worked on beginning to write about a topic in a paragraph format. We learned about and practiced writing the different elements of a paragraph: topic sentence, detail sentences, closing sentence. We worked with a graphic organizer called a web. We will use this web when we write a paragraph for homework next week!

In social studies, we linked our literacy learning about cultures to some new geography skills. We began working on an assignment called My Journey Around the World that Mrs. Lane and Miss Anderson developed together. During social studies time, we use maps, globes, atlases and other reference materials to help us locate specific landforms and bodies of water on the different continents of the world. By the end of the assignment, we will have made a trip around the world without ever leaving home!

In math we began a new topic in our enVision math books: subtracting with two digit numbers. We started our unit looking at how regrouping in subtraction is very similar to regrouping in addition. The difference is that in addition you MAKE a ten and in subtraction you BREAK a ten! (Sometimes remembering a rhyme can help us remember how to solve a problem.)We also looked at regrouping as just another way to rename a number. For example,

43 - 5 = ?

the number 43 is called 43 (forty-three) because it has 4 tens and 3 ones. But if we needed to subtract 5 from 43,  having only 3 ones isn't enough to subtract 5. We might want to think of the number 43 in a different way: rename it, so that it's easier to subtract the 5. Instead of naming it 43, we could rename it as 30-and-13 (thirty-and-thirteen). It's a lot easier to take 5 away from 13! 13 - 5 = 8. Put the 30 (3 tens) back with the 8 and the answer to 43 - 5 is 38!

Weekend Challenge Activity: Find the answer to "What do giant pandas eat?" in the article below. Write your answer as if you were taking notes! Bring in your notes (and perhaps a picture?) on an index card with your name on it on Monday.  In China, Pandas are known for bringing good luck. Perhaps when you bring in your notes, you will be rewarded with good luck!


  • Room 211 would love to celebrate "Halfway Day" next week! We have been tracking our days in school since the beginning of the year. We know that there are 180 days in school which means that the 90th day of school is "Halfway Day"! To celebrate we'd like to ask parents to help us come up with some interesting and unique ways to celebrate the fraction 1/2. Snacks and lunches can be cut in half. If it's not too cold (and with permission), wear half of your mittens or half of your socks! Whatever creative way you can think of to demonstrate "Halfway Day" we'd love to see it next Wednesday, January 29! (Snow days will postpone the 90th day past Wednesday.) We can't wait to see all the imaginative ways we can show half.
  • Thank you to our fabulous Pine Glen families for making purchases at the Scholastic Book Fair in December. With the proceeds from the fair, Mrs. D'Elia was able to purchase more books about countries from around the world for us to use in our projects! Thank you Mrs. D'Elia!

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