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Friday, November 6, 2015

Classroom Summary for November 2 - 6

Brooke B.
Here's what we did this week...

In math we began our unit on place value to 100. We began working with double digit numbers, both the numerals and the number words. We also worked with the concept of greater than (>), less than (<) and equal to (=). We learned to make sure we read number comparison statements left to right in order to determine which symbol to use:

 ___ is greater than ___          ___ is less than ___           ___ is equal to ___.

We also worked with the hundred chart and practiced moving forward (adding) and backward (subtracting) to see when numbers got smaller and when they got larger. We used the key words before and after to describe where numbers are on the hundred chart. Place value is mathematical life skill. We will spend a significant amount of learning time on place value concepts throughout the year.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we began a new unit (Unit 5) where we learned how single syllables are joined together to make multisyllabic words. We practiced building, spelling and reading various words being careful to notice the syllable patterns that we had learned previously. Our new trick words this week were: knew, know and against. Because we entered the month of November, we moved on from our October 'No Excuse Words' spelling practice to some November 'No Excuse Words' in our Spelling City app.

In reading this week, Miss Varrell's comprehension lessons focused on the skill of visualization. We talked about how visualizing is different from every-day imagining because it is usually tied to the text that you are reading. We can visualize ANYTHING: math problems, science concepts, directions on a map and of course--stories! On Thursday Miss Varrell read the poem, "My Baby Brother," by Mary Ann Hoberman. The children drew pictures of the title character based on the details in the poem. On Monday we will share our pictures to see how similar our illustrations are to the poem!

In writing workshop this week we moved on from 'how to get an idea' to learning about a very specific type of writing called narrative writing. We remembered a lot about this type of writing from first grade (thank you first grade teachers!) but just to make sure we understood all the parts of a good narrative story, we read the story "Grandma's Surprise" in Miss Varrell's Big Book of Mentor Texts by Tony Stead. After reading the story, we identified the main features of a narrative that we remembered and then Miss Varrell helped us with some new features for this year*:

  • title
  • uses "I" to tell the story*
  • beginning-middle-end
  • tells events in the order they happen
  • tells how the writer felt*
  • tells why the moment was important*

Our given writing topic was to tell about the day our pet gerbils arrived.  We brainstormed five different ideas we could use for a title and Ryan's contribution won! We all loved the title New Classmates. Next we got a web (graphic organizer) and some lined paper and we began to write our narratives.  We were so excited we couldn't wait to start writing. We wrote for 8 minutes,  stopped to share what we had written, and then wrote for 8 more minutes and shared again. We were amazed to hear how many features everyone was able to include in such a short period of time. Our classroom even looked like "Ned" had come by for a visit! We never gave up on our writing, we encouraged each other as we shared and we looked and sounded like we were doing our best work! We can't wait to finish our narratives next week.

In science we completed our unit on Trees. Next week we will take a break from science to spend some time on our narrative writing. When we start science again, our next topic will be the Moon! Also, a big thank you goes out to Mrs. Davidson and Mrs. Saia for coming on our trip to the Discovery Museum with us last week. Our next field trip will be in March 2016 (see blog sidebar for date and venue)!

Weekend Challenge Activity: Write a narrative about our trip to the Discovery Museum! Remember, you don't have to write about the whole day--just a special moment from the day. Bring in your narrative on Monday and you can share at writing time with the microphone!

Parent F.Y.I.

  • There is no school for students on November 10-11 (Tuesday and Wednesday). Tuesday is professional development day for elementary teachers and Wednesday is Veterans Day.
  • If there are any families who are interested in having the gerbils stay with them over the Thanksgiving holiday please send a note to school with your child at your earliest convenience.
  • Parent Teacher Conferences are Thursday, December 3. All parents have already selected a conference time. Your reminder card will be sent home in your child's progress report folder on November 30.
  • Enjoy the 'summer' weather!

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