This week was full of excitement (hello two hour release!), kindness and learning.
In Writer's workshop, we have been perfecting our constructed response to nonfiction text. We read an article on "Saving The Dolphins" and were given the prompt: Identify and explain how the author used text features in "Saving The Dolphins," to help the reader understand the text. Check out Ella Kozlik's fantastic response below!
The author used many text features to help the reader understand the article, “Saving The Dolphins.” First the author used maps on page 6. The map shows you where they got captured. For example, they got captured in Nicaragua.Next the author used headings on page 6. The heading tells you what the paragraph is all about. For example, the heading “The Dolphin Defender,” tells you that people helped the dolphins stay alive and get back to the ocean. Next the author used a title on page 4. The author used the title to tell the reader what the article is going to be about. For example, this article is about needing to save the dolphins. Last the author used photographs on page 6. It helps me understand that you should not swim with the dolphins for fun. These are all the text features the author used to help me understand the article.
Ask your child what the color coding means in this response!
In Math, we have moved on to our next chapter, Area and Perimeter. This week was our first introduction to it. Along with learning how to find area and perimeter using an equation, we also learned how to measure to the nearest centimeter and inch in small groups.
In Science, we finished up our distance challenge, where students designed a cart to travel down a ramp. After each design and 3 trials, the scientists went back to the drawing board to figure out how they could make their cart travel farther. We did this three times and then discussed what were things to consider when building a cart to increase distance. As a class, we came up with the below suggestions:
-Make sure there is nothing hanging from the cart to cause friction, thus slowing down our cart
-keep the wheels from wobbling side to side by securing the wheel and axle system to the base. Carts with wheels that do not wobble traveled farther
-use bearings to allow the wheel and axle system to move
-add weight to your car so it can pick up more speed heading down the ramp
(The images below are from last week when the weather was gorgeous and in the 50's! We took advantage of it and went outside for science.)
In Reader's Workshop, we have moved to our Folktale unit. This past week, we focused on "What are the characteristics of a folktale?"
As we practiced with texts this week, the students hunted for characteristics of folktales using the checklist below.
Next week, we will be moving on to fables, a type of folktale.
For Valentine's day, we had many special activities. My favorite was reading the book, "Somebody Loves you, Mr. Hatch" by Eileen Spinelli. In the story, Mr. Hatch, a man who mostly kept to himself and had the routine every day, was surprised with an anonymous valentine one day. Mr. Hatch was "woken up" from his sadness and filled with joy to think that someone would be thinking of him. His whole daily routine changed, from keeping to himself, to branching out and talking to people at work and around the community. Mr. Hatch later finds out that the valentine was a mistake. It was delivered to the wrong address. He became very sad once again; however, this time, the community noticed he was sad and had a party just for him.
We talked about how every day, we have the choice to build someone up with our words, or tear them down. How one smile, one kind word or gesture could help someone feel less alone and shift their whole mindset.
After our discussion, each student received 20 paper hearts. We created a list of adjectives that would build someone up. We then "scooted" from one seat to the next and wrote down one kind word about every member of our class. You may have seen these kindness wreaths come home on Friday. They are truly beautiful and the kids loved building each other up.
**Important announcement- a permission slip for a Chinese New Year event came home with your child today. Please sign and return on Wednesday so we can ensure that all are able to participate. Sorry for the late notice!
Have a wonderful long weekend!
We are about halfway through second trimester already! Can you believe it? Grades close the beginning of March and report cards will follow shortly. Another mid-trimester behavior progress report will be coming home next week in the Friday Folders. Please look over the learner behaviors and discuss any areas where improvement can be made. We still have time to reflect and put forth our best effort.
The past two weeks, in Reader's Workshop we have moved on from text structure of nonfiction articles to stated main idea and implied main idea of a text. Making inferences can be challenging. We have been using the following chart to organize our thoughts.
This chart and even using this terminology when orally responding to question that requires inferring really slows down our thoughts and helps us organize and come to a conclusion based on our schema. We will continue to work on main idea, supporting details and inferring next week.
In Writer's Workshop, we have moved away from expert writing and moved back toward constructed response. We back pedaled a bit with RACE and instead of continuing with RACE following a text, we practiced responding to a question using RACE to really understand all parts. Two questions we practiced with were "Explain how you could make a new student feel welcome at LaPerche." and "Describe how you could stay busy on a rainy day." We worked on restating and answering the question...There are many ways _________. Supporting our answer with three details. Providing a buddy sentence to go with a detail, and then finally a concluding statement. Now that we have had a chance to really understand the format of RACE, we moved on to using RACE to answer a constructed response question based on a nonfiction article. I read and modeled an article about Leopards and why they are endangered, how to take notes and pull out important information from an article. The students did a great job applying this skill to their own article, Endangered Species: The Gorilla."
In Math, we finished up the 8's and 9's tables, decomposing known facts and learned a few more strategies to attack problems that we do not have memorized yet. Check out Theo explaining using a known 10's fact to solve a 9's multiplication sentence. We are the the point in math where the students have been given MANY strategies to attack unknown problems. Our hope with common core math is that they learn the strategies and choose the one that works for them. It is our end goal that these facts will become memorized. Many students are excelling on the timed fast facts and are asking if they need to show a strategy even if they have it memorized. The answer is sometimes. There are times where students will be asked to explain their math in the math lesson, as well as during RICAS. Often, they will ask the students to show and explain how they got their answer. Memorizing facts is not enough of an explanation for these tasks. We will continue to work on this.
We also began two step word problems this week. Though they have come up here and there on homework, this was the first week where the strategy was explicitly taught. The focus is on separating what information we have and what we are being asked to do with it. Math vocabulary helps us know whether to add, subtract, multiply or divide. We will continue this skill.
In Science, we finished Wheel and Axle systems, as well as how to make a cart roll from here to there. Students were given materials (see Emma's update above) and asked to make a cart that would roll down a ramp, with no further instructions. The first session was 30 minutes, with no directions. Many students taped the wheel and axle system to their index cards and became frustrated that the tape would not allow the axle to turn. Lily was the first student to suggest trying to attack the axle to the index card with a binder clip, or bearing. Way to go Lily! Once Lily suggested this, many were able to update their designs and have a cart that would roll down a ramp.
Another update from Emma and Theo!
Math update from Theo
This week in math we have done known 10's tables facts to solve 9's. That basically means say you have 4 x 9. Then you do 4 x 10= 40 than draw an array like this
ooooooooo-o Then subtract 4 to get 36. This is how you do known 10's to solve 9's.
By: Theo Arsenis
Science update from Emma:
This week in science we made wheel and axle systems and tried them out. We also made carts out of these materials...straws,tongue depressors,clips,popsicle sticks,big wheels,small wheels and index cards. We will have a distance competition next week.
Our competition will be whose cart can travel the farthest.This is me testing mine...
By: Emma Tuetken