Wow, what a busy week! In literacy, we have been practicing different comprehension strategies to help us remember stories. Students finished retelling 'The Little Red Hen' on paper and have added transition/time order words to help tell the story in order. We spent several days investigating the form of recounts. What is a recount? Why do we use time order words? After identifying different time order words in their books and several reading passages, students came to the conclusion that time order words help "put a story in order", "make it interesting", "add more detail" and "tell when things happen". We will continue to focus on recounts next week, as we are paying particular attention to word choice - identifying (and using) interesting words as well as transition/time order words. Next week we will also introduce our third piece of Daily 5: Work on writing.
Students are now bringing home a separate copy of their words for Words Their Way. We found that words were falling out of baggies or not being brought back to school each day when taken home. To avoid this confusion, students will cut up their new set of words on Monday and keep these at school. A second sheet of words will go home (in their new Take Home Folders) and these can be cut up and sorted at home for the week. These words do not need to come back to school.
Take home folders will go home Monday for the first time. I ask that the students bring the folder to school each day, as this is a great place to keep their Home Reading log book, and I can check this easily. One side of the folder is for things that need to stay at home, and the other side will be for things that need to come back to school (such as the Home Reading log book or book orders, etc.). This is a new routine so please help your child remember to put their Take Home folder back in their bag each day to bring to school.
In math, we started the week investigating patterns. Students found that there were 11 ways to make 10 using only two numbers, and 21 ways to make 20 using only two numbers. They started discussing the patterns they noticed and predicted that there would be 31 ways to make 30 using only two numbers. I've encouraged the students to try to prove this at home. Does the pattern continue? We also spent some time exploring the concept of odd and even numbers, as many students could tell which were odd and even, but they didn't understand why or couldn't explain their thinking. After using some manipulatives and 10's frames, we came to understand that even numbers can always be broken into groups of the same number - there is never anything left over. Odd numbers always have something left over. Ask your child if zero is an even or odd number. This might spark an interesting discussion.
From there, we moved onto ordering two and three digit numbers. Some students continued to focus on the 'ones place', as we had when looking at even/odd numbers. We checked our numbers and realized we need to look at the whole number, starting either in the hundreds or the tens place. Some students found different methods to help, such as covering up the hundreds place and focusing on the tens place, if the hundreds were the same in two numbers. Sometimes it can be tricky to distinguish which is larger - 376 or 354. Ask your child about ordering larger numbers at home, as this can always be good practice. At the end of the week, we dove deeper into place value and will continue to work on place value, standard and expanded form next week, as this understanding is foundational for concepts later in the year. It's important to understand what each digit represents in a number. For example, the 3 in 354 represents 3 hundreds. The 5 represents 5 groups of 10 and the 4 represents 4 units/ones.
We used the computers again this week in the lab, and Mr. Gallagher helped students learn how to create a Google document. We practiced adding a title and making it centered. We also changed the font, size and some students practiced adding a table. We then started typing about different types of communication - both non-verbal and verbal.
During our unit of inquiry, students brainstormed various relationships and realised we have more relationships than just family and friends. They decided we have relationships with pets, with school friends, teachers, teammates, and other people in the community and world, such as shop owners and waiters at restaurants. Students collaged pictures from magazines in the various categories. We also continued our discussions about the different types of communication but made connections to various relationships. Students began working on a piece where they needed to think about all of the different relationships they have and how they communicate with these people. It was interesting to see that one student might communicate with his dad differently than another student, depending on where Dad is living. Skype and email might be the form of communication every day, rather than speaking face to face.
Next week, we will continue exploring different types of communication, particularly non-verbal. We will also begin discussing communication in relation to culture. In the next two weeks, if any parents would like to come share a story or discuss verbal/non-verbal communication in relation to their culture, this would be a great opportunity for students. Please send me an email!
I have been and will continue to complete individual assessments with students in both math and reading over the next few weeks. I have placed all students on their RazKids level from the end of last year if they are returning students. As I read with students, I will be able to gain a better understanding of their reading level and will adjust RazKids accordingly. Please be patient, as I only assess a few students each day.
Log-in cards have gone home. They have been stapled inside of students' Home Reading log. Feel free to keep it stapled or take it out and keep it somewhere safe at home. Students have an additional card at school in their cubby. The log-in card has information for gmail, RazKids and Mathletics. Just like RazKids, I will adjust the various levels on Mathletics as the year progresses. Sometimes students will have homework and specific tasks that pop up when they log into Mathletics. These must be completed first, before being able to do Live Mathletics or something of their choice.
Please help your child log into the blog each week for the homework. From our discussions in class, it seems as though not everyone is doing this yet. Homework is posted each week under 'Home Learning'.
We are 7 and 8 year old students who live in Singapore. Our teacher, Ms. Luttrell, will be helping us write blog posts throughout the year!
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