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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Classroom Summary for November 16 - 20

Here's what we did this week...

In our enVision math program we began working with mental math addition strategies. We applied what we had learned about hundred charts in our previous topic (Topic 5) to help us solve double digit math addition problems in our heads! We also learned that when we are adding double digit numbers that have no ones (e.g. 50 + 40) we can "pretend" that the tens are ones and use our basic math facts to figure out the sum. We also did a lot of work in our heads (and with some hundred chart help) taking apart numbers and putting them back together again. For example, solving 34 + 23 would take several steps but we would think it through like this:

34 + 23 = ?
Separate the tens from the ones: 30 + 20, 4 + 3
Add the tens: 30 + 20 = 50
Add the ones: 4 + 3 = 7
Combine the tens and ones back together again: 50 + 7 = 57
So... 34 + 23 = 57

Another way we looked at taking apart numbers to add them was to keep one number whole and to separate only one of the addends and add on like this:

34 + 23 = ?
Keep the 34 whole.
Separate the tens and ones from the second addend-->23: 20 and 3
Add the tens to the whole number: 34 +10 + 44, 44 + 10 = 54
Then add the ones to the new whole number: 54 + 3 = 57
So... 34 + 23 = 57

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we finished our fifth unit which focused on learning additional suffixes (-less, -ness, -ful, -able, -ish, -en), the syllable ending 'ic', an introduction to multisyllabic words and learning the new trick words: knew, know, again, against, known, and once.

In Miss Varrell's reading class we stepped up our comprehension technique of visualizing by conferring with our reading buddies and using sketches as a quick way to help us retell a story with detail and sequence. We found that when we visualized and then sketched the images in our minds we were much better able to recall important details and events from the text.

Later in the week Mrs. Ardizzoni, our fabulous technology instruction specialist,  joined us in class to introduce the idea of blogging. Last year we used our student online portfolios to collect samples of our first grade work in art. This year, Miss Varrell would like to use the Blogger portfolios as a way to collect written responses of our reading by writing blog posts and comments at various times throughout the year. We will still maintain our traditional written response journals and reading logs, but our blogs will give us a unique and different way to show our learning progress.

In Writing Workshop we completed our first personal narratives about our gerbils, Snowball and Brownie and we began working on our very own personal narratives that WE wanted to write about! Our published gerbil narratives are hanging prominently in the second grade hallway outside the Reading Room if you would like to read our work the next time you visit. Besides our big publishing accomplishments, we also participated in some mini lessons to find out how tell when your sentence ends, how to punctuate a sentence and what to capitalize. We also worked with a new organizational tool called a proofreading checklist. Our checklist will help us when we have completed writing our ideas and first drafts. Miss Varrell always tells us the rhyme: When I'm done, I've just begun. Now we know that when we say "I'm done" we need to 'begin' revising and proofreading our work.  We will continue to use this writing process throughout the year.

Thanksgiving Break Challenge Activity: Ask your parents if you can take a walk with your family or a group of friends to find the nearest street drain and fire hydrant closest to your house. If the street drain or fire hydrant is blocked with autumn leaves, work together to try to clear the area. Take a picture of your fabulous work and bring it in to school on November 30! Keeping our drains clear and our fire hydrants visible is a simple and practical way to show you respect your neighbors and care about your community. Good luck!

Parent F.Y.I.

  • Progress reports for term one of the 2015-2016 school year will be sent home with elementary students on Monday, November 30.
  • District-wide elementary parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for December 3. A reminder of your pre-arranged conference time will come home in your child's progress report. Please confirm the time by checking yes or no in the box provided. Thank you!
  • Wednesday, November 25 is a half-day of school. Children will be dismissed at approximately 11:30am (see Pine Glen Handbook) unless otherwise stated in Mr. Lyons' Principal Blog. There is no school November 26 and 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday. 
  • Best wishes for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday to you and your family. 

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