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Friday, March 28, 2014

Classroom Summary for March 24 - 28

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we moved on to the twelfth unit which focuses on the double vowels ea, ee and ey. We discussed where these double vowels frequently occur in words and how to determine the spelling when they all sound the same. We also worked with contractions this week. We used our gel boards and magnetic pens to focus on spelling contractions as well as determining which two words the contractions really mean. We learned about the apostrophe and why and where it is used in contractions.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we focused our learning on determining fact importance in nonfiction text. We continued to work in our animal books but instead of writing questions this week we began to learn how to distinguish between a 'nice to know' fact and a 'need to know' fact. We will use this skill when we write our book summaries next week!

Frodo the toad, courtesy of the Burlington Science Center
In Science we began learning about amphibians. Ms. Pavlicek brought some amphibian visitors for us to observe and touch. We now have Frodo the toad as a classroom resident! Next week we will switch with Mrs. Lane or Ms. Anderson and get a new visitor from the amphibian family. This week we learned that amphibians have several characteristics in common:

Then we added some more detail to our learning:
  • lay jelly-like eggs
  • have moist, breathable skin
  • begin life with gills and later develop lungs
  • go through a metamorphosis of egg-->tadpole-->adult
  • live in or near water
  • are indicators of environmental change
Here is a quick video of the life cycle of a frog (one example of an amphibian):

We also researched some Burlington amphibians using a Science Center created mini book, books from the PG Library and our classroom iPads. By finding the images in books and online resources we were able to confirm what the animals look like so that we could make our mini books. Here are some samples of the work we did:

In Writing Workshop we made a poster of the life cycle of an amphibian (prewriting). We made sure we included labels, illustrations and a title. We will use the title of our posters to help us draft topic sentences and the life cycle stages will be our detail sentences when we write our paragraphs next week. Miss Varrell also taught us about two new stages of the writing process: revising and editing. We will use our two new skills next week when we draft our new paragraphs.

In Math we began our Geometry unit. We will continue to work with solid figures (three dimensional shapes) and plane figures (two dimensional shapes) as we learn new math vocabulary and geometry concepts. Here are some of the vocabulary words we learned to use this week:
  • solid
  • plane
  • face
  • vertex (singular), vertices (plural)
  • edge
  • angle
  • polygon
  • quadrilateral
  • parallelogram
  • triangle
  • square
  • rectangle
  • circle
  • trapezoid
  • hexagon
  • rectangular prism
  • sphere
  • cube
  • pyramid
  • cone
  • cylinder
  • poly-
  • -gon
  • quad-
Weekend Challenge Activity: Give 10 sincere compliments to people you spend time with over the weekend. They can be family members, friends, neighbors,  or classmates. Just be sure that you are truthful and honest with your statements. Everyone likes to know when they are doing something well. :) Write down what people said back to you when you gave your compliments, using quotation marks to show what they said. Hand your responses in on Monday for a treat!

  • The Pine Glen Carnival is on Saturday from 9am-2pm. All money raised during the carnival is used for school equipment, activities and  programming in the upcoming year. We hope to see you there!
  • Book order flyers will be going home on Monday. Order forms (online and print) are due Friday, April 4. All sales help earn 'points' for teachers to purchase new books for classroom use.
  • Please keep sending in Coca Cola brand bottle caps and Box Tops for Education. Pine Glen earns money for every cap and box top we bring in. :)
  • I am pleased to report that our class now has nine Five Star Generals! We also have two Ten Star Generals and one 15 Star General! Congratulations to all ! Keep sending your slips in and we will continue to document your fabulous progress. As soon as we have the date when Mr. Lyons is announcing the next group of Five Star Generals I will let you know....
  • Keep practicing math facts at home. This week we were not able to use the Xtramath program due to technical constraints with the PARCC tests. Practicing at home, therefore, is extra important. :)

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