Sunday, November 5, 2017

The start of a new month

Important Dates:
November 8 - early dismissal (12:15)
November 20 - no school parent/teacher conferences
November 20-24 - no school


This past week was a quick one: no school on October 30 due to the storm, Halloween on Tuesday, and lots of fun work in reading, writing, and math!

For our Halloween celebration we made healthy spider treats. The PTO also provided popcorn. Yum!

I had the honor this weekend of presenting with 3 of our ELL teachers at the Northern New England Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages conference on Saturday. We had  a big turn out for our presentation. We ran out of chairs, had people standing and sitting on the floor, and then more people came! We finally had to turn some people away because there just wasn't any more room. I am so lucky to be able to co-teach math with Sarah Forbes. Thanks for all you do Sarah!

Literacy:

We have started to learn how to read with a partner. Partner reading is an important part of our literacy time. Partner work on asking each other questions about the books and help each other to use learned strategies when they are stuck on a word. The students are doing a great job transitioning from our whole group mini-lesson to independent reading to partner reading.


During read aloud, I am reading books that focus on a small moment. This will help the students as they write about their own small moments. One book we used this week was Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee. It's a book I've just discovered and it's fantastic to teach about small moments.

Mrs. Lapointe came in at writing time and helped us revise our writing. The writers are doing a great job of going back, rereading their work, and adding more to help it make sense.


Math:
Our fact power is growing! The mathematicians love developing their math fact fluency during fact power time. Students are working through their levels and applying this new learning throughout math time!

We continue to work on combination problems. During our work, the students have discover the "turn around fact" rule. This rule means that 1 + 3 = 4 is the same as 3 + 1 = 4. Here is a video of a student explaining the discovery.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bones and Big Pumpkin



Important Dates
:
November 8 - early dismissal (12:15)
November 20 - no school parent/teacher conferences
November 20-24 - no school

We had our first whole school celebration last week! Each grade represented one of the HEART expectations. Then we had a whole school parade which ended in the cafeteria where we got to see a science and magic show!

And... we filled out jar again! I can't believe how many hearts this class earns! More info about our celebration next week.


We examined bones this week! I had sheep bones that the students got to examine. Then, we talked about our own bones. The students drew and labeled skeletons. Then they created skeletons out of Q-tips!







Literacy:
We are having fun with Halloween books. One of my favorite books is Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. The class was able to connect the bigger theme of teamwork in this book to the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni.



We have such a class of writers! Our unit we are working on is writing about small moments. The writers think about a small moments (such as me dropping a basket of markers) and then stretch it out to write a whole book about it. We have such daring writers! They get right to work and they don't want to stop!

Math:


We have learned a new type of math story problem. These are called combination problems. In these problems, we are given the whole (the total) and need to figure out the parts (addends). An example is:
I had 9 things on my plate. Some are peas. Some are carrots. How many of each could I have? How many peas? How many carrots?

In these problems we find many equations that equal the sum. This picture shows one student's work.






Sunday, October 15, 2017

Getting rid of the germs!


Important Dates:

Monday, October 16 - library
Wednesday, October 18 - Early Release
Wednesday, October 18 5:30 PTO meeting
Thursday and Friday October 19. 20 - No School
Monday, October 23 - Morning Meeting

Last week we sent home invitations to come to our morning meeting on October 23. We do morning meeting from 8:20-8:50. Hope to see you there!

We earned another class celebration this week! I can't believe how many hearts this class earns each day! They are rock stars with our heart expectations: Honest, Engaged, Appropriate, Responsible, and Timely. It was almost a tie when we voted on our celebration: Wild Kratts or extra indoor recess. Since the class has been working so hard and the vote was so close, we did both!

We had Nurse Liz come and talk to us all about germs and how to keep ourselves healthy. Liz taught us how to wash our hands correctly. Then, she put special "germs" on our hands. The students looked at their hands under a black light. then everyone had to wash their hands and recheck. We all did great using the hand washing technique that Liz showed us. Bye-bye germs. We don't want you here!

Literacy:
We read three great books this week:
The Recess Queen, by Alexis O'Neil
Alphabet Adventure, by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood
Alphabet Mystery, by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood

As readers, we are looking for how a character changes in the story. The students did a great job noticing how Jean, the Recess Queen, changed from the beginning to the end. Now, we are even looking for these changes in characters in our own independent reading.


Math:
The class is a doing a great job on using the number line to show addition and subtraction. To reinforce this concept, we played a Froggy on the Number Line Game that Miss Sarah created. We have worked hard on:

1) Understanding that numbers get bigger on the number when you add and you are going forward. Numbers get smaller on the number line when you subtract and you are going backwards.

2) Addition is part + part = whole
     Subtraction is whole - part = part




Friday, October 6, 2017

Another great week!


Important Dates:

Monday, October 16 - library
Wednesday, October 18 - Early Release
Wednesday, October 18 5:30 PTO meeting
Thursday and Friday October 19. 20 - No School


Wow! This class works so hard! I am amazed by all the work they do and how hard they push their brains.

One day this week we earned 189 hearts! Another day we earned 188 hearts! Unfortunately, I had to stop counting the hearts because children are putting the hearts in their mouths. We have been talking about how when you put a heart in your mouth and then put it in the heart jar, the germs go on all the hearts. We are working hard at not spreading germs. Once that habit stops I will get back to counting hearts.


Literacy:
We finished the book One this week. Oh how I love this book. After reading the book, we watched a class act it out and then we acted it out too.We also have done quite a bit of writing in our writing journals about the book.Finally we ended the week by working on a project based on the story. I love this book. The kids did too.

We also discussed the different ways and places people like to read. We have been trying out places in the room to see what works best for each of us. We then made an anchor chart showing the different
places we all like to read.

We also have started Word Study. We learn spelling during this time of the day through the Fundations program. This program is highly interactive plus I am making most of the lessons on the smartboard. The kids love using technology in their learning.


Math:
We've continued our work of understanding ways to represent our thinking and connecting our representation to the equation. The number line is our new math tool that we are exploring. The number line is another way for mathematicians to represent their thinking. Exposing students to a variety of math tools helps students become more flexible with their mathematical thinking.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Another class celebration!

Important Dates:


Monday, October 2 - Library
Wednesday, October 18 - Early Release
Thursday and Friday October 19. 20 - No School

We had a fantastic week. I can't believe how much we accomplished. We also filled our heart jar again! Our celebration was to learn how to use chopsticks. We ate popcorn with the chopsticks. Then the students got to bring the chopsticks home.

The class earned a ton of hearts this week! One day we earned 112! Wow!

Literacy
:
We read the book The Big Orange Splot. In this book, Mr. Plumbean lives on a street where all the houses look the same. Then one day, his house ends up with a big orange splot. His neighbors expect Mr. Plumbean to fix his house so it looks like all the others Mr. Plumbean has other plans.

We loved this book. After reading the book, the class made their own houses. They painted their
houses and then used paper to decorate their houses to show their hopes and dreams.  I have these hanging out in the hallway.

We also started one of my all time favorite books, One by Kathryn Otoshi. This book is about bullying, acceptance, and standing up for others. Love this book. We read half of it, and the students wrote predictions in their writing journals.

Everyone now has a bag of books! We have been talking about how to build your reading muscles. There are easy warm up books, just right books, and challenge books. The students have made thoughtful decisions about which books to put in their bags in order to build reading muscle. We also started a poster in the classroom on what independent reading expectations.

Math:
We continue our work on story problems. Now, we are analyzing problems to see if they are addition or subtraction. The mathematicians then write an equation, representation, and an answer with a label as they solve the problems.

A big thank you to Chase's aunt for sending in popsicles to help us get through those hot days!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bathroom Expectations

We reviewed bathroom expectations today. Our class is doing very well with following the bathroom rules. As part of our review, I showed the class a video that another school made. Many of us can not get the song out of our heads. The students asked to share it with all of you so it will get stuck in your head too! We hope you love it as much as us! Enjoy!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

A new favorite book

Important Dates:

Monday, October 2 - Library
Wednesday, October 18 - Early Release
Thursday and Friday October 19. 20 - No School

Last Friday I was out for appointments and the guest teacher left a wonderful note! The class did great! I'm so proud of how hard they worked to show expected behaviors! Unfortunately, I am out this Friday also. I am a school Wellness Leader and I have a wellness conference to attend. The class and I reviewed our expectations and they are ready to rock it!



Literacy
:
This week a read a book that was new to me... and it has quickly become one of my favorites: Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin and Sara Wooley. The discussion the students had about this book blew me away! After reading the book, we first focused on what we find noisy and hard to deal with... on Friday the students will be drawing and writing about their own quiet places. This student wrote: The fire alarm is loud.

We also have started talking about how to make or reading muscles stronger. We used weights as an analogy... weights that are too light won't make your muscles stronger but are a good warm up. Weights that are too heavy are good all the time either. As Andrew said, "You need books that are just right: a little hard, but not too hard."

We also started putting books in our bags. Our bags of books will be read during reader's workshop. These are mostly just right books, with a few warm ups and a challenge book or two. I love helping the readers get their bags of books set up because I get to know what they like to read and their interests.

Math:
Can you believe we are already working on story problems?! Wow! This week, we have focused n addition story problems. The students need to write and equation, draw a representation (picture), and have an answer with a label.Students often work together during math time, to share their thinking and compare solutions. This way, the mathematicians learn that often there is more than one way (multiple pathways) to solve a problem.

We are also very lucky to have interns from St. Michael's College join us for math. On Thursday, 2 students from Professor Tapper's Teaching Elementary Math class come and help us out. The interns get a great experience seeing math in action and we get some extra help.