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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Classroom Summary for September 19-30

Room 211 Funny Faces

Here's what we've been learning...

In Math class we have been learning different strategies to add and subtract numbers. We have learned how to use doubles and near doubles, swap addends, use a numberline and use a ten-frame to add and subtract whole numbers in "chunks." We have also been working hard to practice our math facts every day using various apps and websites. Some of our favorites are Xtramath, Reflexmath and Math Bingo. We will continue to work on addition and subtraction strategies as we complete this first math unit.

Ben solves an algebra problem for the class.

Mykah and Morgan work on an addition problem using a ten-frame.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class, we have been reviewing the first grade skills of closed syllables (short vowels closed in by a consonant), short vowels, digraphs, blends and the glued sounds am and an. We also learned about the ck digraph rule: ck is used at the end of a word that needs the sound of /k/ when the vowel is short and there is only one syllable. We also reviewed some trick words (words that do not follow standard spelling rules) that we learned in first grade. We will have a monthly list of words called "No Excuse Words" to practice as well as weekly words matching the skill being taught in our Fundations lessons. All of Miss Varrell's lists can be found online in the SpellingCity website/app.

Mark-Up Poster for Fundations 

In Miss Varrell's reading class we began learning routines and discovering resources and materials we will be working with throughout the year. All reading students have a red reading folder with a reading response journal and reading log inside. Our reading response journals are for responding to literature and applying comprehension skills we learn in our reading groups. Our reading logs are for recording the books that we read so that we can be aware of the different genres, authors and connections we are making when we choose our independent reading texts. Students were also introduced to their independent book baskets for I.D.R. (independent daily reading) and to the KidsA-Z app which is gratefully provided by our library/media department. This site allows children to listen to audiobooks and make recordings of books they read into their iPads. We look forward to learning more about our reading resources in the coming weeks!

In Science class we began learning about trees. We talked about tree facts that we already knew and clarified some facts we weren't sure about. We also played a Tree Sorting Game where we worked in groups to try and sort different pictures of trees into three distinct categories. Miss Varrell gave no clues or hints on how to sort the trees.  She was amazed when within 12 minutes and very few errors we were able to sort the trees into their three scientific groups: coniferous, deciduous and tropical. Here is how one group sorted them....

In Writing Workshop we learned some routines to help us understand how to write and work more efficiently on our books. We make sure that every paper we write on gets a name and date and that if we use multiple pages we put numbers on the pages to keep them organized. We also learned how to use paperclips and practiced where to keep our stories so we don't lose them. Once we practiced our routines, we started writing stories! Our first mini lesson was about narrative writing. We learned that narrative writing tells a story in a particular sequence, or order. It has a beginning, middle and end. Narratives also have a purpose: to entertain the reader! We will focus our writing on narratives during the first term of school. Future mini lessons will help us develop our stories and improve our writing. We LOVE Writing Workshop!

The beginning of a narrative by Melody...
More of Melody's narrative writing.
As a special treat on Friday we read Elephant and Piggie books to Mrs. Hoyt's Kindergarten class. All week we practiced reading different titles and on Friday we took a field trip to Room 103 and read the Mo Willems books to our kindergarten friends. We created "Welcome to Pine Glen" cards and brought them with us and to give to the children as a small gift. Mrs. Hoyt and Ms. Miliano were super impressed with how well we worked with our younger classmates and gave us lots of compliments on our read-aloud techniques! We hope to partner with Room 103 again later in the fall for some different learning activities.

Lastly, congratulations go out to Brooke Naddaff this week for becoming a member of the 100% homework club! She passed in every assignment, every day it was required, on time, with 100% completion. Great job, Brooke!

Parent FYI
  • This year's field trips are in the final stages of being booked. Be on the look out for a multi-trip combined field trip permission slip to come home in the next week or two. 
  • There is no school on Monday, October 10 due to the Columbus Holiday Weekend.
  • Happy Rosh Hashanah!
  • Have a great weekend!

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