I'm pretty sure I blinked and it was suddenly Friday. We just finished up the 6th week of school (how has it been 6 weeks already?!). Our main focus these past six weeks was on developing routines to make our classroom run more smoothly. When the class shows me that they know a routine and carry it out quickly and accurately, (i.e. transitioning in a quiet and timely manner is a big one in our class!) they can earn pebbles towards a class reward. We have filled our class pebble jar for the second time! The students voted and decided on pajama day! Pajama day will take place on October 10th. Please, no slippers!
This week was a busy one! In Writer's Workshop, we continued with writing a personal narrative. The students are working very hard to grasp the idea that our writing is "never done." We have learned four different ways a narrative can begin, an emotion, an action, dialogue or description. Students created new leads to the same narrative and chose the one that they liked the best. This week, we also went back into our writing to find subjects and predicates. One common thing we are all working on is where to add periods into our writing. After identifying the subjects and predicates, students were better able to see where they may need a period or the word "and," for now.
Today, the focus was on "show, not tell." I asked the students to draw a picture of my children at Confreda Farm with Marshall and Rocky from Paw Patrol. As I walked around and gave feedback, the students quickly became frustrated.
"No, it didn't look like that!"
"Wait, Marshall was to the left."
"You drew them standing??They were on a bench!"
"No, not a wooden bench, a bench made out of hay bales."
Eventually, I asked what the problem was. Why could they not draw a picture that I knew so well in my head?
"You did not give us enough descriptive details," they finally settled on.
I then read a page from Owl Moon to the class and hid the illustration. It was amazing to see how accurate their drawings were from description, alone. Next week, we will divide into writing partners and try a selection from our narratives for our partners to draw. This will hopefully help the writers see where they have enough details and where they could use more.
In Math, we completed Chapter 2, Addition. We had our end of the Chapter quiz today and the students did fantastic! Next week, we will continue onto Chapter 3, Subtraction. Before we move on to multiplication, we are really focusing on addition and subtraction fluency. Xtramath (link in resources) is a great way for them to practice at home. The students also love Fact Dash! Being more fluent with these facts will help their accuracy and stamina in math as the tasks get longer and more complex.
Reader's Workshop focused on visualizing, which pairs so well with our "show, not tell" theme in writing! We also began reading How to Be Cool in the Third Grade and are digging into story elements. The focus this week was on characters (main and supporting) and character relationships (how do they change over time?) This was also the first week that we added guided reading to our plates for Reader's Workshop. I was very impressed to see the students I was not meeting with on that particular day carry out their reading job and work silently the whole time!
In Science, we finished up investigation 1.3, How much water can a dry sponge absorb? This was our first time using grams as a measurement of mass, as well as our first time using balance scales! I was blown away watching the students follow a very detailed scientific procedure.
1. Weigh a dry sponge in the balance scale with grams
2. Soak a sponge overnight in a cup of water
3. Move the sponge to the balance scale without squeezing out the liquid
4. Measure the mass again with grams
5. Subtract the weight of the dry sponge
Check out the pictures in the photos section!
Enjoy your long weekend!