Shared Reading-What an exciting time of the year for our kids! We are getting into the holiday spirit by reading books written by Patricia Polacco. Studying her style as well as the similarities and differences in her holiday books, we love this author. We began our study by listening to her speak to an audience, telling of her difficulty to learn to read. She also illustrates her own selections, and didn't even get started as an author until the age of 41. She explained that her ideas come from the stories of her youth. Thank You, Mr. Falker tells how at the age of fourteen, she learned to read with her teacher's help. An Orange for Frankie was enjoyed. The messages in both books are so heartwarming. Christmas Tapestry and Uncle Vova's Tree are so sweet, and ones even you adults would treasure!
Literacy Centers-Guided Reading-Welcome Comfort was our Polacco selection. We used a comprehension sheet to practice going back to the text for evidence to support our answers.
Listening Center- Listening to The Tree of the Dancing Goats helped with reading fluency. Students learned new vocabulary words, answered questions, and made an ornament which went along with the reading selection.
Skill Center-Students chose another Polacco book to read. This book will be used for the creation of a book trailer.
Response Center-To encourage others to read another Polacco book, we are in the process of creating a book trailer. We will use Photostory to make a cool movie advertising the book we read.
Word Study-Another list of contractions was presented, and the students seem to understand the pattern well. The Polacco books have so many new vocabulary words to learn, and we have studied how to determine the meaning from the context of the books that we're reading.
Writing-Last week of informational writing on our Georgia animal, hooray! We now are writing a descriptive narrative telling of a favorite holiday tradition or present received.
A whole new round of math centers was used during Guided Math. Each one was created with a holiday theme for this week and next week. I always choose games, projects, and activities which give another bit of practice to the standards of the 2nd nine weeks. Another focus for the week was a review of multiplication and division problems to prepare for our nine weeks posttest. A power point game helped with that, and the posttest was completed on Thursday. The students learned how to play "Around the World" and "Musical Multiplication and Division Facts" which should help with the memorization of those facts.
What a lot of learning is going on as the students present their "Incredible People" reports!
This week our study was on Frederick Douglass and why he is an American Hero. We used our inter-active journal to keep and record information about him, made a timeline of his life, map skills that showed important states, and several mini-books. We ended the week with an open book quiz about him.
Our STEM Lesson, Amazing Animal Adaptations, was begun in the science lab. Last week, the students filled out their student journal with lots of planning for creating the animal. This week, the plan was put into action. On Monday, we'll finish up and test to see if all of the criteria is met.
Thanks to our Volunteers
Alicia Poage worked on the clerical tasks, and Anneke Smith was our Mystery Reader! I sure appreciate Ellie Griffis and Julie Lahti for staying with the class so that I could enjoy the staff luncheon! Wow, a whole hour for lunch!
One more week to meet the Reading Goals!
Holiday Party, Tues., 12:30-1:30.
The Third Grade Choir sounds like an amazing opportunity for our students. Check out Mrs. Boland's informational letter in the stapled papers.
Shared Reading-Hiking the Appalachian Trail is our big book this week. The focus skill is summarizing important information. Not only are we learning the history of the trail and what is needed to be a thru-hiker, we're also enjoying reading about a family's adventure in this nonfiction narrative.
Guided Reading-All of our reading lessons were centered around a theme related to science, "Nature's Neighborhoods in Georgia". We pretended to travel up to the mountain habitats of Georgia to learn about the plants and animals there. Instead of guided reading groups and centers, all of our reading lessons centered on how to research and read informational articles on a particular Georgia animal. Skimming for facts and note taking filled each and every day. Then, we told about the animal's adaptations using the style of Jonathan London in Voices of the Wild. The students drew the animal for a mural and published the writing.
Here's our beautiful mural with most of the animals inserted.
Word Study-Our study of contractions in Word Sort 13 taught which letters to replace with an apostrophe. We were inspired to become sensational spellers as we watched the fourth and fifth graders in the Spelling Bee this week. Compound sentences were reviewed, and we're now understanding how to add conjunctions to create them.
Writing-Yes, we're still working on our Georgia animal research!!!!!!! What a long process this is, but the students are persevering.
A review of the attributes of quadrilaterals started our week before the posttest on Tuesday. Then, we tackled two-step word problems, learning to write an equation to solve them. Another problem solving activity connected to our animal theme as it pertained to raccoons. Our new guided math centers give further practice with two-step word problems, quadrilaterals, and even includes a problem solving book on the Appalachian Trail.
Georgia, My State Habitats-Mountains was used to learn about the mountain region of our state. Each team was given a topic, and then had to create a fun way to teach the other groups. The book told us about the plants and animals and how we need to protect this region. We hope something can be done to stop the woolly adelgid's destruction of the hemlock trees.
In the Media Center this week, Mrs. Kelley read us a biography of Frederick Douglass. Mrs. Mills encouraged everyone to enter the Science Fair by presenting a lesson on the steps for a successful science fair entry.
Several of our families donated toys for the Toy Drive, and we appreciate your generosity. You always help out when I ask for a STEM materials request, so we're all set to design our animal and show its adaptations!
Cheryl Afshani worked to get the clerical completed, and Alicia Poage was our Mystery Reader this week.
The Incredible People project is due this week-Dec. 11th.
Our Holiday Party will be on Tues., Dec. 16th from 12:30-1:30.
Computer Science Education Week is here!
December 8th through December 12th
**If you use computer science in your profession, please sign up to talk to our class (or another SFE class) for a few minutes about what you do!
The contest provides your student an opportunity to write an essay honoring someone who has made an impact on his/her life. What a great opportunity to honor someone who may not even know what a difference they are making! Entries are due on Jan. 23rd.
Reading-Our week was filled with visiting the literacy centers related to "Modern Day Pilgrims". These were described in last week's blog entry. A wonderful collection of books were chosen for reading and response activities.
Pajama/Read All Day was filled with books. For each subject area, a book was selected. Thanks, Moms!
Word Study-We practiced the spellings of -tch and-ch in the Sort 12 list.
Writing-The goal for the week was to understand how using conjunctions help us build our sentence fluency as we create compound sentences. First of all, we used music to understand what conjunctions are. I'm sure you remember the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Well, your kids liked "Conjunction Junction, What's the Function?" as well as the Conjunction Rap. Using the acronym FANBOYS helped us remember the coordinating conjunctions, and the daily practice writing compound sentences was helpful too. Work on our research paper continued with lots of note taking and paragraph writing.
A quadrilateral quest to learn about the attributes of squares, rectangles, rhombi, trapezoids, and quadrilaterals was on the agenda this week. We used geoboards, studied a power point lesson, learned the Quadrilateral Dance, sang songs, and solved quadrilateral riddles.
Here we are doing the Quadrilateral Dance!
On Friday, we used the book Oma's Quilt to launch a STEM activity. We designed a quilt piece with quadrilaterals as designs.
Your child experimented with sand to learn about erosion. They saw how wind and water can erode our beaches, and tried to prevent this by building walls to protect the land.
We Appreciate Our Classroom Helpers!!!
Science Lab Volunteer-Todd King
Reading Parents-Ellie Griffis, Valerie Darling, and Cheryl Afshani
Please help your child pace him/herself as they work on the Incredible People project that's due on Dec. 11th. Try not to get over involved with the project as the students have had many lessons on researching and informational writing. I'd like for the work to be truly theirs.
While shopping next week, please remember that we will have a Toy Drive that will begin when we return to school.
Many of the students need to pick up the pace on independent reading. A whole week off! What a fabulous time to read!
Shared Reading-We are continuing our reading of Lighthouses, Beacons of the Past, asking questions before reading, and then looking for the answers. We are coding the questions to see if they are answered in the book, answered by inferencing, or if we need another source to find the answer. Noting interesting information, the students write new facts they learned on the K-W-L sheet. We have also read Molly's Pilgrim which launched our new literacy center rotation. This book helped the children see the point of view of an immigrant child trying to adapt to a new culture and school. A response book recorded our comprehension and thinking.
Literacy Centers-"They're Coming to America" theme!
Listening-The Hand Me Down Horse-After listening, the students think and chart their connections to the book.
Skill-Finishing up our "Autumn in Georgia" poem and publishing it.
Response-A variety of fiction books with the theme of immigration is at this center. Students choose a book, and after reading, select a book project card to show their thoughts.
Guided Reading-Each group is practicing "close reading" and using color coding to locate answers to questions. Topics include Veteran's Day, Pocahontas, and Paul Revere.
Word Study-We're learning about metaphors and similes. On Veteran's Day we thought of a metaphor that captured our feelings about America. We used our Sort 11 words in sentences with similes. The word sort practiced was -dge, -ge, or r,n, l + ge endings.
Metaphors About America
Writing-Everyone has chosen an animal that lives in a region of Georgia for another informational writing. We are taking notes on special features of the animal, and will write terrific paragraphs on this task. I'm modeling the process with a research of the green anole. On Monday, the students used the Pebble Go biography site to find out about a famous person. This was done in the computer lab with the help of Mrs. Janice Kelley. Then, the students summarized the person's life in a biographical informational piece.
A "Twizzlers" fraction activity kicked off our study of fractions on a number line. We learned that you can show "fair shares" on a number line by partitioning it into parts of a whole. During center time and math group time we learned how to solve fractional parts word problems using number lines, pictures, and number bonds. Other activities included a fraction color tile guessing activity, fraction games, computer games, math art with fractional pieces, and "Fraction Avenue". An assessment on fractions was given on Thursday, and another problem solving practice was completed on Friday.
Mrs. Mills planned a wonderful science lesson to show the plants that live in our Piedmont region. Our outdoor classroom on the Wildlife Habitat was visited. The students dug in the soil to see its composition, and observed the gorgeous fall leaves everywhere. Then, they made leaf rubbings of samples from the trees.
Animal adaptations was the standard for the week. We watched videos and discussed how animals use physical and behavioral adaptations to live in the regions of Georgia.
Thank You, Parents!
Alicia Poage was the Clerical Mom and Chris Lahti was our Mystery Reader!
Thanks to all of you for sending in the cans of fruit for the Food Drive!
Your help in finding articles for the informational writing sure saved me a lot of time!
Selling the raffle tickets for the Foundation fundraiser is much appreciated too!
Send back the form stating that you have read and will help your child meet the deadline for the "Incredible People" project. Then, I'll know that your family has the date due in mind.
Please remember that Monday is the collection date for the raffle tickets. We would love to win the Playground Party and Game Truck party.
Fall Book Fair
We're all looking forward to our Fall Book Fair next week, November 17th-21st!
Don't forget that next Friday is Pajama/Read All Day.
Our class sold 44 tickets so far and we are so close to winning a Playground Party! We are only 6 tickets away! We could also win a Game Truck Party if we sell 100 tickets total by Monday! We have one more week, so please help us reach this fun goal for the kids while supporting our school STEM goals at the same time. Remember, all tickets (sold and unsold) and money collected need to be returned to school next Monday. Thank you!