Friday, January 18, 2013

Classroom Update

Reader's Workshop

Good readers ask questions before, during, and after a story in order to better comprehend what they are reading. We discussed the difference between thick and thin questions. Thin questions are about the story and thick questions dig deeper into the story. We read Curious George and asked questions about why he is so curious. We read The Lotus Seed and asked questions before, during, and at the end of the story. On Friday, we read about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and discussed ways that he made a difference.
Next week, we will begin the reading portion of our Author Study. Small groups of students will read and research mentor authors to learn more about them and their stories.

Writer's Workshop
We began the writing portion of our Author Study. Our mentor author is Jonathan London. He is the author of the Froggy series, along with Puddles, Hurricane!, and Wiggle Waggle. Students are noticing things that Jonathan London does in his writing, like rhyming and using onomatopoeia (words that are sounds). Students are working on a small moment or writing seed idea. They are encouraged to try something that Jonathan London uses in his writing, like rhyming words, onomatopoeia, repeated words, or making words like their meanings.

Math Workshop
We are wrapping up Unit 5 shortly. We will finish geometry on Tuesday, review on Wednesday, and take the Unit 5 test on Thursday. We will begin Unit 6 the following week, since we have no math on Friday (which is a half day).

Students learned about 2D and 3D shapes this week and how they are alike and different. Students built the shapes with rubber bands on geometric boards. They noticed how many sides and corners each shape had.

Students used toothpicks and mini marshmallows to construct 3D shapes. It is really important for students to see and understand the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.

We continued the Wind portion of our Air, Wind and Weather unit of Science. Students experimented with bubbles and noticed how the wind carried away their bubbles.

We built an anemometer to watch how fast the wind was moving. We used 4 small cups, 2 straws, a cardboard square, tape, and a wooden block to hold it. Students noticed how fast the cups were spinning when there was no wind, a light breeze, moderate wind, and strong winds. You can also watch wind speeds using a pinwheel. Students built their own pinwheel out of paper, tape and straws to watch the wind blow them.

Social Studies
We started the Geography Unit of Social Studies. Students identified landforms. Students learned a landform song to help them remember mountains, deserts, plains, valleys, islands, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

- Monday, January 21st - NO SCHOOL for MLK Jr. Day
- Friday, January 25th - 1/2 day of school for Teacher Workday 12:15 dismissal

- Thursday, January 31st – Science Night 6:30-8:30 p.m. – A Matter of Slime!

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