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Friday, April 11, 2014

Classroom Summary for April 7 - 11

Shira: Proud of her poetry!

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we completed our unit working with the diphthongs oi and oy. We reviewed spelling monosyllabic and multisyllabic words with all of the syllable types we've learned this year and practiced working with base words and suffixes. Next week we will begin another double vowel unit that focuses on the sound /รต/.

Miss Varrell's reading group we completed our nonfiction summaries and shared them with our classmates. We know that just like with any other kind of writing, there is a process to go through: pre-writing (note taking), drafting (writing the first version of the summary), revising (making changes to the draft to make it clearer, make more sense or be more accurate), editing (checking for spelling, punctuation and capitalization), and publishing (making a final, neatly produced copy). You can see us working on our summaries here:

During Writing Workshop this week we focused our learning on writing poetry. We learned how to use some different forms of poetry (acrostic, haiku) and talked about the form of poetry when compared to prose. We noticed that poems rarely use the rules we use with paragraph writing. When writing poetry you can: make up words, use all lower case letters, use all upper case letters, use no punctuation, use lots of punctuation, write from bottom to top or write in shapes, or write one letter, one word, one phrase or one sentence on a line. But no matter how we write our poems, they need to express and evoke a feeling when you read them.

In our enVision math program we began working on the first of our two units on money. We worked with coins and learned how to identify them (both sides!) and how to count change. We learned that when we count change, we first have to be able to identify the coins we have to count. Once we have identified them, then we can sort them by greatest value to least value (this sounds like a review of one of our previous topics, doesn't it!). Once we have the coins sorted, then we can count on starting with the greatest value first. Working with coins allows us to practice many math skills:
  • sorting
  • range
  • comparing greatest to least
  • size relationships
  • values
  • skip counting by 5, 10, 25 and 50
  • addition and subtraction
  • decimal points
  • mathematical symbols
  • math facts!
  • math vocabulary
Our new animal visitors this week were two barred (tiger) salamanders named Smiley and Happy. They were very shy so it was difficult to get them to come out so we could see them, but when Miss Varrell fed them live crickets, boy did they come out!

Smiley and Happy venture out!

Smiley and Happy are Barred Salamanders.

Below is a quick video on salamander hunting you might be interested in:

Weekend Challenge Activity: Challenge yourself to make a new friend in the upcoming week. By Friday, draw a picture of you and your new friend and we'll post everyone's pictures on our classroom door for visitors to see. :) 

  • Any family interested in caring for an animal from the Burlington Science Center over April vacation should contact Wendy Pavlicek at (781) 270-2928.
  • Snowball and Speedy will be spending the April vacation with the Riley family. Thank you Keira!
  • We are still awaiting our third Chromebook to be returned post-PARCC. Please continue to have your child practice on at home as we are limited in being able to get everyone on to the two we have to practice math facts daily. Thank you!
  • Keep those reading corps slips coming in. Consider allowing your child to have a journal or log book to keep with their reading book at home. Writing about observations and connections they make as they read can dramatically improve comprehension! (It's also a great habit to start BEFORE summer vacation so that you don't have the big complaints when you try to introduce something new immediately following the close of school.)
  • Good Friday is next week. There is no school for students.
  • As we approach the anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy, our thoughts turn to those in need. Consider emptying your closet of shoes and sending them to RunLittleFoot! Click here to find out more about this charitable organization.
  • Have a great weekend!

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