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Friday, March 21, 2014

Classroom Summary for March 17 - 21

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we completed Unit 10 where we practiced the spelling option rule for long ā (ai, ay, a-C-e, open syllable ā). We worked with multisyllabic and monosyllabic words. We also began working with dictionaries and learning the purpose of guide words. Using the Chromebooks and iPads we also explored using e-dictionaries to check our spelling option choices. Next week we will not have access to our Chromebooks while fifth grade uses them for their PARCC tests. We wish all the third, fourth and fifth graders luck as their pioneer a new testing frontier!

Miss Varrell's reading group worked on using prior knowledge and questions to help comprehend nonfiction texts. Before reading our texts, we brainstormed what we already knew about the topic to help us predict the vocabulary we might see in our books. We also developed questions that we thought might be answered in our books. Using the table of contents we were able to pinpoint where our questions might be answered before we even started reading! At the Working with Words center we learned about prefixes and how they are similar and different from suffixes. A prefix is a word segment that is attached to the beginning of a base word (not the end, like a suffix) and changes the base word's meaning. We know that some base words can have prefixes AND suffixes! Can you think of any?

In science we completed our research and content learning about the moon. We filled in our RAN (Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction) chart with facts learned from different sources: books, videos, newspaper articles and magazines. We practiced stating facts in our own words by reading and listening to facts and then orally retelling them to a partner. After stating them orally, we wrote them in sentences to record on the RAN chart. Listen below to hear some examples of paraphrasing:

In Writing Workshop we drafted a class book about the Moon. We used the skills we learned from our group project about Boston (how to create categories within a nonfiction topic) and our understanding of informative writing to create a book that we published on Friday. Once our book is put together with a cover and binding we will be able to take turns checking it out of the classroom and sharing it at home with our families.  Lastly, Mr. Musselman, from the Burlington Science Center, came to visit on Friday to present a Moon program for the second grade. Thank you, Mr. Musselman!

In the enVision math program we completed Topic 11 where we worked on solving three digit addition and subtraction problems using mental math, models (cubes) and paper and pencil. To finish the unit we practiced using logical reasoning to solve some math riddles. Logical reasoning is similar to the reading skill, inferring. When you use logical reasoning you look for clues that help you identify efficient, reasonable strategies to solve a problem.

Weekend Challenge Activity: Write a letter to your grandparents! Be sure to tell them what you're learning in school. Then ask them what they learned about when they were in school. They might write back and you'll be surprised what you find out!

  • Children in third, fourth and fifth grade will be taking the pilot PARCC test next week. This test is taking the place of MCAS this year.
  • Mr. Lyons will be announcing the next group of Reading Corps Five Star Generals on March 28. Keep those reading corps slips coming in!
  • The annual Pine Glen Carnival is Saturday, March 29. Please consider being a volunteer! Volunteers are asked to commit to two hours.  Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, or Saturday afternoon time slots are available. Volunteer forms are available at the front office or you can contact Denise Desmond at Thank you for your support!
  • Happy Spring!

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