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Friday, May 23, 2014

Classroom Summary for May 19 - 23

The ladies of Room 211 enjoying a game of time-telling during free time on Friday.




Here's what we did this week...

In Fundations we added some new double vowel teams to the spelling of the /ü/ sound. We now know six different spellings for /ü/: open syllable ū, u-consonant-e, oo, ou, ew and ue. We learned that the spellings ew and ue usually come at the end of a syllable, as in

          chew          cue           glue          grew          imbue          dewy

In Miss Varrell's reading group, we finished our reading assessments and continued working with our independent reading books, reading logs and response journals. We also worked with singular and plural nouns and completed some practice pages to help us learn how to spell plural nouns ending in y and irregular nouns like deer, sheep and ox. We also finished our read aloud, Chocolate Fever and began reading a book from a different reading series called the Bailey School Kids, by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Jones. We're reading series #39, Dracula Doesn't Rock-N-Roll.


In science we finished learning about reptiles. We learned that all reptiles have the following characteristics:
  • a backbone
  • bony plates or scales making their skin waterproof
  • are cold-blooded
  • lay leathery eggs but sometimes have live babies
  • lay their eggs/have babies on land
  • have lungs
We focused this week's learning on the turtles and snakes. We learned that turtles have shells that are made of scutes, which are bony plates. The underside of a turtle is known as the plastron. We noticed that Snappy, one of our animal visitors, was very active in the water, even though he is a reptile. Therefore we were able to learn that not all reptiles live on land. But all reptiles that live in water, have to come up for air because they have lungs to breathe, not gills.

Unfortunately, we were not able to have Twitch, the corn snake, as a visitor in class this week because something very special happened. Twitch laid some eggs! Because Ms. Pavlicek was a little worried that Twitch might get overly stressed having eggs in her cage while being around a lot of children, she took her back to the Science Center to be cared for. As a class we were disappointed but we also realized that we had to do what was best for Twitch, which was to limit her stress and allow her to be in an environment where she can be healthy and stress-free.  Ms. Anderson kindly shared some photos of Twitch before she went back to the science center.  Thank you Ms. Anderson! Check out Twitch's molted snakeskin!






During writing workshop we used the research on snakes to write informative, persuasive and narrative paragraphs about snakes. Below are some of our efforts. Notice our leader and follower sentences, adjectives and indenting skills!









In math we began working on the last topic in our enVision math program on time-telling, bar graphs and data collection. We worked with analog clocks and digital clocks. We also learned how to use the length of the hands on a clock to help us know whether we are looking at the hour hand or the minute hand. Sometimes clocks have different colored hands, but there will ALWAYS be a short hand and a long hand! We practiced telling time to a five minute mark and we also learned how to use different expressions to say the time such as quarter past ___, fifteen minutes past ___, quarter after ___; ___ thirty, half past ____, thirty minutes past ___; quarter to ___, quarter of ___, 15 minutes to ___, 15 minutes before ___. We will continue to work with clocks, graphs and data next week.

Weekend Challenge Activity: Create a board game that helps people learn about one of the these animal groups: amphibians, insects and reptiles.
  1. Make sure your game explains the materials you need to play, the number of people who can play and instructions on how to play it. 
  2. Your board game will need a spinner or dice to advance the tokens. 
  3. Your game needs a title!
  4. Your game needs a purpose statement. For example: "This game will help you learn the main characteristics of amphibians," or "This game will help you learn the name of different types of snakes."
Bring your game to school after Memorial Day and we'll play it during Science time on Tuesday!

F.Y.I.
  • Monday, May 26 is Memorial Day. There is no school.
  • Please be aware that there will be a new start time and dismissal time for the Pine Glen and Francis Wyman elementary schools for the 2014-2015 year. If you are a long-time Pine Glen family, you may notice that our new time is the same as it was three years ago, before the new Memorial School opened. Please see Mr. Lyons' blog or Dr. Conti's blog for more information on start and dismissal times.
  • Please consider becoming a member of the PTO for next year. As our fifth grade students move on to middle school, their parents often do as well!  Meetings are only once a month (with the occasional monthly hiatus) and are a great way to meet other parents, get information about school community events and programs, and have a say about the types of opportunities our students have access to. Check out the PTO blog here.
  • Enjoy the long weekend!



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