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Friday, May 16, 2014

Classroom Summary for May 12 - 16

Ms. Fallon showing us how to apply papier maché to our insect structures.

Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we finished our unit on the sound of /ou/. We continued to work with dictionaries, both traditional and computer-based to help us check our spelling of trick words and words with spelling options (i.e. ou and ow). We reviewed some syllable types that we had been practicing less frequently over the past few months to make sure we were keeping our decoding skills up to snuff!

The children in Miss Varrell's reading group began working on their end-of-year reading assessments. Over the next couple of weeks Miss V. will listen to each student read and will ask us to demonstrate our comprehension skills by writing a brief summary of the text and answering some critical thinking questions. When we're not performing our assessment tasks, we will continue to work in our independent reading books, respond in our logs and reading journals and keep up with our grammar skills with a grammar practice booklet.

In science we began a new animal unit on reptiles. We began the unit by talking about what we thought we already knew about reptiles. Here are some examples:

                                  "Reptiles are cold blooded."

                                  "Reptiles have six legs."

                                  "Reptiles only live in the desert."

                                  "Reptiles are poisonous."

                                  "Reptiles have scales."

We also wondered about reptiles:

                                   "I wonder if reptiles fly."

                                   "I wonder if reptiles lived with the dinosaurs."

                                   "I wonder if reptiles eat insects."

                                   "I wonder if reptiles lay eggs."

                                   "I wonder what the largest reptile is."

We wrote our thoughts and wonderings on Post-Its and and hung them up on our RAN chart. During the week we read a book called I Can Read About Reptiles by David Cutts. After reading each section of the book, we added new information to our chart and moved the Post-Its that turned out to be incorrect facts, to the misconceptions column of our chart.

We also had a chance to see some of our reptile visitors at feeding time this week. Although none of our reptiles seemed to want an audience at meal time, we had a chance to see what types of food these animals like to eat in the wild. The corn snake and the snapping turtle were given the opportunity to have a mouse meal, but they seemed shy about eating in front of us. The gecko was given some meal worms but he also appeared to be a little put off by having more than a dozen eyes watching him eye his food dish. A very big thank you goes out to Ms. Pavlicek of the Burlington Science Center for allowing us the opportunity to see these fantastic animals in person for the month of May!

In math we completed our measurement unit from the enVision program. Over the past two weeks we worked with both nonstandard units and units from the English standard and metric systems of linear measurement. We measured common objects in the classroom, straight lines, rectangles, distances and perimeter. We learned how to use a ruler (two sided for different systems of measurement), a yard stick and a meter stick. Keep working on measurement at home! Summer is a great time to measure plants, grass height, flower beds, swimming distance, pool water levels, rainfall, jump rope lengths, soccer ball kicks, baseball hit lengths, picnic tables, lawn chairs, and shadows.

Lastly, we went on our final field trip to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA on Friday. Thank you so much to Ms. Brockstedt, Mr. Shortell, Mrs. Riley, Mrs. Estes and Mrs. Arokiaraj for being our chaperones on this trip. Below are some of the highlights:

Carol, our naturalist, explains our trip.

An uprooted tree being used as a home for animals

A beaver highway!

Guess who's been here?


Drawing our findings

Looking for field insects...

Solar panels 

A garter snake using a groundhog hole to hide from us

Drawing our findings...

Weekend Challenge Activity: Estimate and then measure the height of everyone in your family. Find out what the exact total height measurement is for your family. Compare that measurement with another exact measurement you can find at your home. Which is longer? (Hint: When you compare two measurements, what mathematical operation do you use?) Were you surprised by the results?


  • Please do a 'tick check' when your children come home today. We didn't see any, but parents can be more thorough!
  • Thank you again to all our parent chaperones. We couldn't have done it without you!
  • Enjoy the weekend. :)

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