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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Classroom Summary for November 17 - 21

Here's what we did this week...

In Math we began our next topic, Topic 6, which focuses on Mental Addition strategies. We learned that when we add double digit numbers that are multiples of ten, we can use a 'math fact' strategy to help us solve the problem in our heads. For example, if your problem is

                                                              20 + 70 =

and you know that 2 + 7 = 9, then you can use the pattern to solve the larger problem:

                                                              20 + 70 = 90

Another strategy we used was adding on using a visualized hundred chart. We know that when you add a ten to a number, you move down one row and when you add a one you move to the right one box. If you have a double digit problem like:

                                                               40 + 51 =

you can add mentally by starting with the larger number and adding on the tens (and then the ones, if there are any) like this:
                                                          51... 61... 71... 81... 91
                        add on 40 or 4 tens   (+10  +10  +10  +10)

so...                                                         40 + 51 = 91

We also learned how to use two other Mental Addition strategies for when we add double digit addends that are not multiples of 10:

  • Break apart both addends to add the tens and then ones (a.k.a. Keep Both);
                                                             34 + 11 = ?
                                                 30 + 10 = 40 and 4 + 1 = 5 so...
                                                             40 + 5 = 45 and so...
                                                             34 + 11 = 45
  • Keep one addend whole and break apart the other number (a.k.a. Keep 1, Break 1)
                                                             34 + 11 = ?
                                                  34 + 10 = 44 and 44 + 1 = 45 so...
                                                             34 + 11 = 45

In Fundations we began working with multisyllabic words, we added more suffixes and vowel sounds to our reading skills 'toolbox,'  and we learned a new spelling rule! When working with a multisyllabic word, if the word ends with a syllable that includes a short vowel sound followed by the sound of /k/, it is usually spelled with a c (and not a ck, like monosyllabic words). Some of the new suffixes we worked with this week were: -less, -ness, -ment, -en, -able, -ish, and -ful.

In Miss Varrell's reading class we continued our work with visualizing as a comprehension skill. We used Post-It notes to draw sketches and take brief notes as we read our independent texts.

We also completed writing our first comments in our Kidblogs. Our blogging assignment was to  write a comment in response to Miss Varrell's post. Next time we work in our blogs we'll write our own posts and Miss Varrell will comment on ours! When students conferred about reading goals and strategies this week, here are some of the topics that were discussed:
  • Adding reasons to comprehension comments written in reading logs (adding a 'because' clause);
  • Choosing books that are more challenging instead of always choosing books that are 'comfortable'--take a reading risk!;
  • Varying book choices with different genres;
  • Remembering to write book titles read in the reading log;
  • Writing comments/responses in reading logs as a chapter or shorter picture book is completed and not waiting until the end;
  • Applying the skills learned class to create comments/responses for the books we read.

In Writing Workshop this week we continued to work on personal narratives. Since we completed our first narratives where we were directed to write about a specific topic (gerbils), this week we began writing personal narratives about topics of our choice. Some of us have been so enthusiastic about writing that we have asked if we can write every day after recess! We also had an extra special celebration this week. One of our classmates became an author OUTSIDE of school for the very first time! Check out this newspaper article published in the Burlington Union Education section on Thursday:

Althea's personal narrative makes it into the Burlington Union!

In Computers this week Mrs. Ardizzoni came in and taught a lesson on digital citizenship. She talked about different ways we can be safe online and also introduced us to QR codes. She had us practice scanning with our iPads so that we could visit two different websites: our class blog and the Houston Zoo! We had a lot of fun discovering what was on these two sites while still being safe. 

In science we began a new unit on the moon. On Monday we added to our RAN chart to show what we 'think' we already know about the moon. As we read and research facts about the moon, we will move our Post-It thoughts into one of the following categories: confirmed informationmisconceptions or wonderings. After we filled out our Post-Its, we began reading about what the moon is made out of and why it seems to change shape. We learned that the moon:
  • is made of rock and dust
  • is colorless
  • is airless
  • is lifeless
  • has cliffs, ledges, volcanoes and craters
  • does not produce its own light
  • reflects the sun
  • is not a planet or a star; it is a moon!
  • orbits the earth
  • is a type of satellite
  • has no gravity
  • takes a month to orbit the earth
  • has eight phases (steps or stages)
We made mock moons (illustrated representations) that we will turn into a class nonfiction book at the end of our unit. When you have a chance this weekend, try to observe the moon and notice what phase it is in: new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, or waning crescent.

Weekend Challenge Activity: Look outside at the moon. Draw a picture of what it looks like in the sky. Write a poem about it! Bring your illustration and poem into school on Monday to share.

  • A big thank you goes out to Christine Warren at the Burlington Union. We hope to send her more pieces of writing from our classroom each month.
  • Wednesday, November 26 is a half day of school. Lunch will not be served and dismissal will be 11:45am (estimated).
  • Please make sure your child has his/her name labeled inside all winter accessories. 
  • Stay warm this weekend!

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