I'm not sure if it was the weather finally cooling down, or the students getting the hang of the routine...but this was our best week yet with following directions, being respectful and making the best use of our time. It was a great week! Check your child's backpack...Friday folders came home today! In these folders are corrected work from the week. Not all work will be in these folders, as some stays in their math books, reading journals and writer's binders. Some are corrected together as a class, while others are corrected by me. If your child struggled with something, I will note that we met to go over it. Items that will be graded will come home with rubrics attached. Please send these orange folders back in on Monday with their planners and red homework folders.
In Writer's Workshop, we began Personal Narratives. Each mini-lesson began with a mentor text, or a picture book, that went along with our teaching point...What is a narrative? Students were able to discuss what they believed a narrative was. Students talked in partners and I was amazed by some of the conversations I was hearing!
"Does it have to be realistic?"
"I'm pretty sure they need to be about you."
"Yeah, it's all about things you've done"
"No, wait, it's about one thing you've done!"
By giving them more time to discuss, I was able to let the students come to the conclusion on their own. It is truly amazing to see their thinking process out loud.
Our writing binders are starting to get some great use! There are so many resources in there created by the students, from specific graphic organizers, to word walls, to grammar (last week we added capitalization rules), to homophones!
As we progressed through the week, our definitions became more in depth. We were able to identify big ideas (like going on vacation) , and narrow them down to a small moment (when my sister pushed me in the pool). Next week, we begin different leads.
In Math, we finished Chapter 1, Place Value. We had our first chapter test and they did a fantastic job! The assessment covered identifying place value, the value of numbers in each place, standard form, word form and expanded form, ordering numbers from least to greatest & greatest to least, rounding to the nearest 10 and rounding to the nearest 100. The tests will be going home in Friday folders next week with attached rubrics. Today, we began chapter 2, Addition. In this chapter, the focus is on addition properties (associative, commutative & identity, modeling whole numbers with base 10 blocks, rounding 3 digit numbers to add mentally, estimating sums, and finally, adding 3 and 4 digit numbers with and without regrouping.
Reader's Workshop is my favorite time of the day. This week, we talked in depth about what kind of readers we are. What genre do we prefer reading? What even is a genre?! It took awhile for students to come up with this answer. I shared that most of my reading is reading cookbooks, curriculum, about child development, and books that typically relate to my life. Some shared that they only read before bed because they have to...some said they set the timer and just open any book. After discussing it and digging deeper, many shared that they prefer graphic novels, books that were turned into movies, historical fiction, and more. At this point, we turned to our own book bins and decided if they represented us as readers. Did we fill it with books we actually enjoy? Or did we look for our reading level and check it off. Many decided that books that they chose were not actual books they were interested in. We revisited our classroom library and how it was organized and decided as a group what we had enough of to meet our interests and what we may need more of. This age is fantastic. Many went from expressing that they do not actually enjoy reading, to being excited about getting books that they are interested in. I cannot wait to watch them grow as readers this year!
This week in Science, we carried out our first investigation...What happens when water falls on different surfaces? This was our first time following a scientific procedure, making observations, drawing diagrams, and drawing conclusions. We tested wax paper, aluminum foil, writing paper and paper towel. Students recorded whether the material absorbed the water, or if the water beaded up. They became so invested in the experiment that many wanted to test more materials!
"If wax paper beads up, I bet plastic would!! Can we test it?!"
"Cardboard is thicker paper...I bet it would take longer to absorb."
"Does wood absorb water?"
Take these ideas and run with it, my little scientists! Not only did they carry out the investigation, but they took it to a whole new level and used previous knowledge to create more in depth predictions and trials. I was blown away!
I've entered the Weebly World! A few teachers at LaPerche absolutely love how easy it is to post weekly updates, classroom photos, important dates, and information about what is going on in their classrooms--I'm excited to say that I'm joining them!
This past week, we spent a lot of time getting ready to showcase what we have been working on for open house. If you came, the highlight was definitely their Dandelion Wishes. In Writer's Workshop, we read the book, "I Wish you More" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I'm sure many of you have read it (through teary eyes) to your children. It is all about wanting the world and more for your baby. Students were then asked to come up with three wishes of their own. Not all of them were as moving as the ones from the story (Cough cough...party yacht) but they were definitely interesting to read and fully supported by reasons! September's focus is paragraph writing. It is clear that this was not new to them--They were pro's at topic sentences, 3 supporting details and a closing sentence. I hope you enjoyed reading them! If you were not able to make it to open house, they are coming home!
In Math, we are finishing up Chapter 1, Place Value. We have been working on memorizing our place value to the thousands, writing numbers in standard form (4,321), expanded form ( 4,000+300+20+1) and word form (Four Thousand, Three Hundred, Twenty One). This week we finished up ordering numbers and moved on to rounding numbers. Ask your child if they remember our Rounding Rap!
We are almost done with the launching unit of Reader's Workshop. During this time, we go over the routine of Reader's Workshop, how to bookshop (finding the correct level books and books that interest them), building reading stamina (reading for longer chunks of time) and more! The first day we went off to do independent reading, we lasted about 5 minutes before they got restless or chatty; today, we read for 20 minutes straight!
The first investigation of Science is is happening Monday! We are focusing on Water and Climate in Trimester 1. Our scientists will be observing What happens when water falls on different objects? Words like absorb, bead up, water proof, beads, and repel were defined and discussed. Each child made a prediction (I think.....will happen....because....) of what would happen if water fell on paper towel, tin foil, wax paper and writing paper. We can't wait to make observations and discuss our findings!
I hope this was informative enough, but not too wordy! For now, the rest of the site is under construction, but I will be sure to update it as soon as my children go the...I mean, go to sleep ;)