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Friday, December 19, 2014

Classroom Summary for December 15 - 19

Here's what we did this week...

In math this week we took a break from our Envision math program to try some different math activities. We used glyphs, a type of pictograph or symbol, to make gingerbread people. We followed a code for the glyphs based on information about ourselves. We also worked with place value by reading numbers with three and four digits and then looking at number 7 in various places in those numbers. Can you figure out what the value of the sevens are in each of these numbers (answers at the end of this blog post)?

                      367                               71                            798
We also continued to work with our fourth grade math buddies to practice addition and subtraction facts using board games, card games, and coin games. We look forward to working with Mrs.Visocchi's fourth graders every week!

In Fundations we completed our unit on the v-C-e syllable, the exception to the v-C-e syllable and the suffix -ive. We talked a lot about base words and how some base words have syllables that look like they could be suffixes but are not. In order to tell the difference you need to 'test' the word: cover over the part of the word that you think is a suffix and see if you're left with a whole word. If you have a whole word left, the -ive is a suffix. If you do not have a whole word left, the -ive syllable is part of the base word and not a suffix. See if you can tell which words below has -ive as a suffix or part of the base word:

   active         forgive        inventive        massive         captive

In Miss Varrell's reading group we completed our unit on nouns and verbs. This week we focused our learning on the small verbs am, is, was and were and on possessive nouns. We learned that a possessive noun is a noun that shows ownership. Most possessive nouns use an apostrophe S to show ownership. For instance, instead of writing 'the book that belongs to Isabella,' you could write 'Isabella's book.'  Instead of writing 'the food bowl that belongs to the gerbil,' you could write 'the gerbil's food bowl.' In the new year, we will begin a unit on how to read and comprehend nonfiction texts.

In social studies we began working with maps. We learned what a compass rose is and located the equator on a world map. We also talked about how a map is a flat representation of a sphere (the earth) so when you look at a world map, it looks like there are two of the same ocean on either side of the world! We reviewed the seven continents (North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica and Oceania) and five major oceans (Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Southern).  We even learned some songs to help us remember them all! In the new year we will learn about various landforms and bodies of water and identify the famous ones on our practice maps.

While we were learning about the continents we also learned a little bit about cultures around the world.  We saw a video from Discovery Education that showed how many world communities are similar and many are very different. We also had a guest speaker this week! Miss Varrell's nephew, Nick, came in to speak to us about working and living in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. He showed us some photos of places he's been, people he has met and helped us to understand how many people in Central America live every day. He read us a book by Lynne Cherry called The Sea, The Storm and the Mangrove Tangle which tells the story of a mangrove tree along the coastline of Costa Rica.

Finally, as a culminating music activity for 2014, we all participated in the annual holiday concert. We send out a special thank you to Ms. Berger and Mrs. Agati for all their hard work in making our concert a special event as always. We sounded fabulous!


  • Please be sure to have your child complete the homemade gift for his/her secret pal this weekend. All gifts need to come to school on Monday, December 22 wrapped and labeled: "To _______ From Secret Santa." If your child's gift is a food item, please include an ingredient list in case of allergies. 
  • We will exchange our gifts at our classroom celebration.
  • Tuesday, December 23 is a full day of school. School will be in recess beginning Wednesday, December 24. School resumes on Monday, January 5.  
  • Answers to number question above: 7 (7 ones), 70 (7 tens), 700 (7 hundreds)

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