Saturday, December 15, 2012

Geometry City

What a great week! We covered a lot of ground so that we can be ready for the holiday break. Thanks so much for sending in your recyclable shapes. They really enhanced our geometry unit. 

In reading this week we read The Mysterious Giant of Barletta. We focused on drawing inferences and following directions from the text. Some students struggled with inferring details based on contextual clues. Try asking your children to make inferences about hidden details from the stories you're reading at home.

We finished the rough drafts of our Critter Adaptation paragraphs and started typing the final drafts. We focused on using more specific verbs and understanding the difference between physical and mental verbs.

In science, we learned about the sources of electricity. The students identified different electricity sources in our classroom and we read about how to store electricity.

We started building Geometry City for math this week. Each day we added new elements to the city based on the specific geometric lesson of the day. The biggest struggle for the class has been understanding acute and obtuse angles. We'll be focusing more on them next week.

In social studies we studied the top inventions of 2012 and some key inventions from the past. We discussed their impact on society and the important role they play in our lives. 

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • Reading: Studying versions of The Elves and the Shoemaker.
  • Writing: Doing our first creative narrative on snowmen.
  • Science: Looking at the conversion of energy.
  • Math: Continuing our Geometry unit with a test on Thursday. 
  • Social Studies: Studying the highlights of 2012.
Students have the option of participating in our Secret Elf program next week, where they're assigned one person in the class and need to do nice things for them on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thursday they will bring a small gift that costs less than $5. The following student's numbers represent those who would like to participate: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 23, and 25. If your student did not sign up, but has changed their mind, please email me before Sunday night. Assignments will go out on Monday afternoon.

Have a wonderful, rainy weekend!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Creative Cranberries and Critters

We had a wonderful week filled with lots of learning, winter crafts, and the book fair! Thank you to all of you who also purchased a book for our classroom.

We started Theme 3 in reading, which focuses on incredible stories. We read Dogzilla and talked about how fantasy stories can have elements of realism. We also worked on identifying synonyms and antonyms.

In writing we wrote our Cranberry paragraph final drafts. We also finished our rough drafts of the presidential paragraphs and started working on our final drafts. We had a great time with our winter shape simile poems as well.

We worked on Unit 10 in Math, which is all about learning your division facts. In science we began our matter and energy units. We also worked on our critter adaptation paragraphs.

Here's what's coming up this week:

  • Reading: The Mysterious Giant of Barletta and the skill of following directions.
  • Math: Topic 10 test on Tuesday. Starting Topic 5 on Geometry.
  • Writing: Winter expository paragraph.
  • Science: Create-a-Critter final drafts.
  • Social Studies: Coolest inventions of 2012.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cranberry Extravaganza

It was great meeting with all of the parents for conferences last week. We had a very busy and exciting week in the classroom. Here's a quick recap of what we've been working on.

In reading, we focused on Trickster Tales from around the world. Each group was assigned a different Trickster Tale to perform on Friday. They designed props and wrote scripts to present to the class. 

We've been up to a lot in writing. First, we turned out cranberry facts into expository paragraphs. This tied wonderfully into the cranberry extravaganza we had with our buddies. Most of the class has completed the rough draft of this paragraph. Then we learned about similes and wrote a simile poem. 

In Math, we completed Unit 9, which was on division strategies and concepts. Creating division stories was the most challenging aspect for our class.

We've been focusing on adaptation in Science. We're drawing our own custom critters who have gone through adaptations. 

In social studies, we've taken our presidential reports and started turning them into persuasive paragraphs. The students are working on identifying the important characteristics of their presidents so they can try to convince the class that their's is the best president. 

Here's what's coming up next week:
  • Reading: Starting Theme 3
  • Writing: Finish cranberry paragraphs
  • Math: Topic 10 on division facts
  • Science: Start Unit 2 on matter and energy
  • Social Studies: Finish presidential paragraphs
 Have a great rest of the weekend!