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Friday, October 10, 2014

Classroom Summary for October 6 - 10

Here's what we did this week...

In our Envision math program we finished Topic 2 (addition strategies) and began Topic 3 (subtraction strategies). We began the new unit by taking some of the strategies we used for addition and applying them to subtraction. For example, we subtracted 0, 1, and 2 from numbers and then we learned what a subtraction double looks like compared to an addition double. Here's how they compare:

     Addition Double                                 Subtraction Double
     part + part = whole                                whole - part = part
     6 + 6 = 12                                                   12 - 6 = 6
     10 + 10 = 20                                               20 - 10 = 10
     3 + 3 = 6                                                      6 - 3 = 3
     7 + 7 = 14                                                   14 - 7 = 7

We will continue to work with different subtraction strategies next week. Congratulations go out to Althea and Brennan who achieved mastery of their addition facts this week using the Xtramath program. They will be working toward subtraction mastery over the next week few weeks. Way to go Althea and Brennan!

In Fundations class we finished our first unit on reviewing the closed syllable type and the /k/ spelling strategy. We used our white boards and composition books this week to show evidence of our learning. Next week we will begin unit two.

In Miss Varrell's reading group we worked on a new comprehension strategy using Post-It notes. Throughout the week we read stories and stopped at various points to check in with ourselves and ask the question, "What do we know about the story now?" By the end of the week, we were able to apply that same strategy independently in our independent readers and using Post-It notes to write down our observations, comments and questions. We later got together with our reading buddies and shared some of our notes to see the different types of observations we made. Look at the all the notes we wrote!

In writing workshop we learned a new strategy for thinking of writing ideas. We listened while Miss Varrell read an interview article with Donald Crews. In the article, Mr. Crews talked about how he never leaves home without his sketchbook or camera. When he is out and about he is constantly seeing images that he can later use for story ideas. He often uses his sketchbook to draw 'free-wheeling sketches': quick drawings of things he sees around him. So...we decided to do the same thing! We took clipboards, sketch paper and pencils and took a walk around Pine Glen to make some of our own free-wheeling sketches. We later used the sketches to come up with more story ideas! Here we are intently drawing our sketches:

In science this week, we completed our tree books by writing "Meet the Author" paragraphs. Here are some of our books on display:

We also worked with Mrs. Ardizzoni to use the Explain Everything app.

We used the tree photos we saved last week on our iPad camera roll to start making short videos demonstrating the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees. When our projects are finished we will publish them for all to see!

Lastly, Miss Varrell would like to say congratulations to 17 year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan! Her story is amazing. Below is a short video from CNN where she talks about what she chose to do after being notified that she is this year's co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.


  • Leaf projects are due Tuesday. (If you are having trouble locating wax paper, it is available at most grocery stores near the plastic wrap and foil.)
  • Columbus Day is Monday, October 13. There is no school.
  • Keep those reading corps slips coming in!
  • Have a great weekend with your family. :)

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