Sunday, February 23, 2014

V is for Valentine's

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful week off and enjoyed your time with your families. We're going to jump right back into the swing of things tomorrow, so get ready.

Two weeks ago in Math, we finished our Topic 14 on multiplication of greater numbers. The majority of our class did exceptionally well on this topic. Our class average on the test was 88%, however the majority of the students scored above 90%. This week we'll be dividing greater numbers and we'll have a test on Friday.

In Social Studies we continued to learn about Los Altos history and I hope that you have the opportunity to go on the Los Altos walking tour that was sent home in your Thursday envelope. You can also find it here: Los Altos Walking Tour This tour is a great way to bring history to life for your student. We will continue to study this topic for the next few weeks.

In science we started working on the movement of light. We also finished our study of fuel and energy. We'll be looking at reflection and colored light this week.

We started a new writing prompt two weeks ago about a painting that comes to life. Students are exploring famous works of art and creating an imaginative narrative using dialogue. We will continue to refine and edit these pieces this week.

We have continued working on our Martin Luther King book for reading. We have incorporated the use of poetry into our studies and analyzed the key vocabulary. We also continued to work on our text connections and citing evidence to support our answers. We should be finishing this book by the end of the week.

Additionally, we revisited our popsicle stick bridges and tried to determine which could hold the most weight. Our bridges were stronger than anticipated and the third grade teachers are currently finding another time for us to test their strength with more weight. Also, a big thanks to our wonderful room parents and the volunteers who made our Valentine's party so special!

See you bright and early!

Mrs. Andersen

Sunday, February 9, 2014

F is Fraction

Hi Class and Parents,

We had a lot of students coming in and out with the flu last week. Please keep your students at home if they're having a fever or other extreme symptoms.  We're trying to eliminate the spread of germs in our room by waving instead of shaking hands and by encouraging frequent hand washing.

In reading we're still working on our Martin Luther King book. Students continued making text based connections and learning how to provide evidence. We will continue to work on these skills this week.

For math last week, we finished studying fractions. Students generally performed well on this topic and many were able to understand the beginning concepts of equivalent fractions. The topic test average was 88%. This week we'll be starting topic 14 on multiplying greater numbers. This is an introduction to large scale multiplication and mainly focuses on the reason why the traditional algorithm works.

We almost finished our first section on the transfer of energy in science last week. We will be taking our first science quiz on Tuesday. We will then be looking at light and energy.

In social studies we focused on what makes a good settlement and then looked at five key events that shaped the settling of Los Altos.

We wrote expository paragraphs this week on either showing love or celebrating Valentine's Day. Students turned their paragraphs into a heart mobile. We also looked at the elements of narrative writing. This week we'll be working on simple dialogue in narrative writing.

Valentine's Day is this Friday. I sent home a flier last week outlining the guidelines for the day, including a list of student's names spelled correctly. If you need an additional copy of the list, please have your student let me know. This Friday will also be an Oak School spirit day. We will be coming to school in our pajamas.

I hope you've all had a chance to watch the olympics this weekend.! See you tomorrow.

Mrs. Andersen

Sunday, February 2, 2014

E is for Energy

Hi there parents and students,

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend. We certainly had many accomplishments last week. We set small goals about skills we wanted to improve during the week and reflected periodically on how we were practicing those skills.

In Math we continued to work on fractions. We spent an extra day going over equivalent fractions, which has pushed our topic test back to this upcoming Friday. This concept is still challenging for most of our students, but as mentioned previously, mastery isn't expected this year.

We were working on the skill of revision in writing last week. Students wrote paragraphs about the branches of the federal government. They then reviewed their own writing for overused words and phrases.

For reading we practiced the skill of citing information from a text in our Martin Luther King book and our science text. We discussed how a complete response to a question includes an explanation of how you know the answer. We also continued to practice text connections.

Science was a lot of fun this week. We looked at energy transfer on a small scale. Students got to interact with motors, batteries, solar panels, and many other exciting tools in the STEM lab. We also read about different types of fuel and how they produce energy.

This week in social studies we completed our discussion and review of the systems of government. Next week we will be discussing the idea of a settlement and how that concept applies to Los Altos.

Let's make it a great week!

Mrs. Andersen