Sunday, March 16, 2014

T is for Time

Hi Parents and Students,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We had a busy week with lots of learning.

For Math last week we finished our unit on telling time and doing problem solving using time. We took our test on Wednesday and it turned out to be a difficult unit for the class. In order to make sure our students understand this concept, we're going to spend this week reviewing time and the second grade concept of measurement. We will have another assessment on Thursday to check for understanding.

In Writing last week we focused on understanding literary hooks. Students practiced creating hooks by taking dull narrative introductions and updating them so they captivated the rest of the class. We will continue practicing the skill this week and will apply it to our new narrative.

We read the short story The Mysterious Giant of Barletta last week and students practiced citing information from the text in the answers to their comprehension questions. Students made progress on the skill of citing last week, but still need to put more effort into crafting complete answers. This week we'll continue to practice this skill as well as identifying story movers.

Last week in Science we finished our matter and energy unit and we briefly discussed phase changes in matter. We also reviewed how to identify matter. This week we will start our study of the sun, moon, and stars.

In Social Studies we had an Ohlone presenter. He talked to the students about the Ohlone lifestyle and showed them how to crush acorns. He even built a small fire on the blacktop. Students got to use a drill press, play the game of staves, and paint their faces with special rocks. We'll continue our Ohlone study this week.

Keep an eye out for those leprechauns tomorrow and don't forget to wear green!

Mrs. Andersen

Sunday, March 9, 2014

O is for Oobleck and Ohlone

Dear Spectacular Students and Parents,

I hope you all remembered to turn your clocks ahead for the beginning of Daylight Saving Time this morning. We may have some drowsy students tomorrow, but we have a lot of great things going on this week that will be sure to help them adjust quickly.

Last week in math we started our unit about time. Students practiced converting between measures of time and determining elapsed time. As we move into this week, we will practice telling time to the minute and problem solving using a combination of time-calculating strategies. Our topic test covering these concepts will be on Wednesday.

In writing last week we reflected on our personal experiences. We also continued to refine our "Paintings Came to Life" narratives. This week we will be starting our "ABC Fairytales", through which students will tell a traditional fairytale in 26 sentences, each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet. We will begin this piece by learning and analyzing various literary hooks.

We wrapped up our study of Los Altos history in social studies last week by comparing Los Altos then and now. We also began our Ohlone study with a wonderful field trip to Coyote Hills. It was so fun to see social studies come to life for our students. We're very thankful for all of the parents who made the trip possible. Coming up this week, we will officially end our study of Los Altos history with an assessment on Tuesday. We will then continue our Ohlone studies for the remainder of the week.

Last week in reading we worked with a narrative selection called Dogzilla. During our reading time, we focused on the elements of fantasy and realism that the author used to create this humorous piece. We continued to develop our skill of using text evidence to answer questions. This skill continues to be challenging for our studies, so this week, students will have the opportunity to review and correct mistakes made on their selection test. We will also practice this skill as we read our next piece entitled The Mysterious Giant of Barletta.

For science last week we studied the different states of matter. First, we experienced non-newtonian fluids by creating Oobleck. A wonderful teacher from Camp Edmo visited and taught our students this lesson. In the Stem Lab students sorted various objects by their state of matter and created rules for each state. In our own room, we reviewed the states of matter through a reading and discussed the difference between opinions and evidence. This week we will finish our study of matter and take an investigation quiz.

As a reminder, report cards will go home on Friday. It has certainly been a great trimester. Please read below to hear from last week's Scout of the Week.

Mrs. Andersen

This week our class had a fun field trip at Coyote Hills to learn about the Ohlone Indians.  It was exciting to play some the games that the Ohlone played and makes strings out of thule.  We learned that the Ohlone used obsidian to make their spiers.

We had a visit from a camp counselor and learned about the three parts of matter.  Solid, liquid and gas.  During this visit we learned how to make oobleck, which I thought was totally cool!  So did my sister!  

In class, Mrs. Andersen taught us how to find the elapsed time.  During the week we enjoyed hearing all of the different historical fiction presentation from all of the class.  

Thank you to all our parent volunteers who were able to chaperone at our field trip and to our 3rd grade teachers for organizing such a fun day of learning for us.  

Enjoy the week and longer days,
Scout # 7

Sunday, March 2, 2014

C is for Colored Light

Dear Amazing Parents and Hardworking Students,

We have been doing a lot activities in class. A few of these projects are very exciting. Here are two of the many subjects we are having fun with:

In Science, our class is learning about matter and energy. As you may or may not have already seen, your student has a light tube. They made it and have had a lot of fun using it. The light tube makes color out of white light.

In Social Studies,we have learned about Los Altos history. We have learned that where Foothill Expressway runs today was where two main railroad tracks once ran.

Thank you for all your support!

Special Thanks to Roomparents!


Scout of the week #16

Dear Wonderful Parents and Students,

I just wanted to add to what our excellent scout has already told you about last week and give you a heads up on our upcoming adventures this week.

We just finished up Math Topic 15 with a class average of 85% on the test. Most Students who struggled with this topic need to work on their mastery of multiplication facts. Since multiplication and division are so closely related, the ability to recall facts is so important for simple two and three digit division. Additionally, many students lost points for failing to label and show their work. Students were repeatedly reminded to show what they were doing in their head on the paper. Please encourage your students at home to show their work. Last week we will be starting Topic 16 which focuses mainly on time measurement.

In social studies we dove into Los Altos history a bit more, looking at the time spanning its establishment all the way to the population boom after World War II. In addition, we looked at where Los Altos is located geographically. Next week we will be working on how Los Altos fits into the global community. Last week we are also kicking off our Ohlone studies with our upcoming field trip.

In reading we finished our study of our Martin Luther King text. We will continue to work on text connections and citing evidence as we head back into our HM reader. We will be reading Dogzilla last week.

For science last week we worked on understanding how the eyes see color and the difference between colored and white light. Part of this exploration included making a light tube with diffraction grading. This allowed students to see the spectrum of light being reflected in our classroom. We will be finishing up this unit with matter in the upcoming weeks.

Writing was exciting last week. We wrote poems about various colors as a tie in to our science activities. We also revised our "paintings, come to life" narratives by removing the word "said" in our dialogue to create a more vivid picture.

This is the last week of the trimester and we have two weeks until report cards come home. I'm sure it will be a great week!

- Mrs. Andersen