Sunday, September 20, 2015

Weekly Update

Reading Workshop:
Last week students learned how to complete their reading log.  It is our hope students will record each book he/she reads by writing down the title, genre, pages read, and a sentence where he/she left off for the day.  This way when we confer with students we will see the types of books they are reading and how much they are reading.  We also discussed Reading Workshop Rules.  Our class is doing an AMAZING job at reading quietly during IDR time!  We are so proud of them!  At the end of the week we reviewed some of the fiction genres, including realistic fiction, fantasy, traditional literature, and mystery.

Writing Workshop:
Most students filled the front and back cover of their Writer's Notebook with pictures from home early last week.  Thank you so much for taking the time to send pictures in!  These pictures will help students think of a topic to write about when they are in need of an idea.  Students also listened to several third grade exemplars--stories which he/she can emulate in his/her own writing.  Each student also wrote a writing goal for our first unit...something he/she hopes to do in his/her personal narrative writing.  Students also created lists of special people and special places in their lives.  They can refer to these lists throughout our personal narrative unit when they need an idea to write about.

We continued to practice multiplying by 5s and 2s.  We showed students how to use fact triangle cards to practice multiplication facts.  Your child should cut out his/her fact triangle cards at home as well.  He/she can pull out all triangles with a 5 or 2 on it to practice.  Your child will take his/her first fact fluency quiz Tuesday--5s multiplication.  If he/she passes the quiz, he/she will take 5s division on Thursday.  If the quiz is not passed, he/she will retake the 5s multiplication quiz Thursday.  If you have any questions about this, please let us know!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekly Update

Oakland Yard Field Trip:
We celebrated both the end of the school year and the end of our region tour with a Hawaiian celebration at the Oakland Yard in Waterford.  The kids had a blast playing Hawaiian-themed games, as well as enjoying all that the facility had to offer.  (Double click on the slideshow to view larger versions of the photos and download individual pictures.  If you can't see the slideshow, click HERE to view the album.)

Field Day 2015:
Although the weather could have been better, the students enjoyed a (soggy) field day with tons of exciting stations and games!  (Double click on the slideshow to view larger versions of the photos and download individual pictures.  If you can't see the slideshow, click HERE to view the album.)

Poetry Workshop:
Students finished their poetry books and will bring them home this week for you to read and enjoy!  We loved reading the different types of poems that the students published and seeing the many poetic devices they used in their poems.

Students took the final math test last week for our last unit, Fractions.  The test will come home this week in your child's homework folder.

Social Studies:
The students took their Southwest Region test on Monday.  The graded test was sent back home in your child's homework folder.  Below are photos from our last Southwest tour stop in Guthrie, Oklahoma.  In Guthrie, we learned about the Oklahoma Land Rush.  The students reenacted the land rush outside.  As students pretended to run into the little town of Guthrie, they picked up fate cards.  The goal was to find a card with a good fate.  If the fate was good, students kept their card and stayed on their piece of land. (Good Fate Example: You found a piece of land with great soil.  You were able to grow corn and became rich by selling it to others.)  If the fate card was bad, students threw it back on the ground and kept running to find a better fate before the time ran out. (Bad Fate Example: Your horse couldn't keep up his pace and collapsed to the ground.  You tried to run by foot, but all of the land was taken before you could find a place to settle.  You headed back to Texas.)  Check out the photos and video below of our Land Rush!


On Tuesday, we began the West Region with a tour stop in Hawaii where the students learned about 4 of the Hawaiian Islands and planned a trip to Hawaii by choosing from a list of possible excursions on each island.  We then headed to the Oakland Yard where we pretended to actually be in Hawaii.  We will be zooming through the rest of the tour stops in the West region this week.  There will not be final test for the West region.

All-Star of the Week:
Ariella was our final all-star of the week for the school year.  She loved sharing special items from her sharing sack and brought in tons of family pictures!  The photos included adorable baby pictures of Ariella as well as some photos of awesome family trips to Mexico and Greece with her parents and her siblings.  She read Princess Pigsty as her read aloud book and was lucky to have her parents join her in the cafeteria as her lunch buddies.  The class loved Ariella's thoughtful parent letter and learned lots of new things about their classmate!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekly Update

Poetry Cafe:
It was fun to see so many parents and students attend our Poetry Cafe.  The students did an outstanding job reading their poems, and we loved having some parents and siblings participate as well.  Double click on the slideshow below if you would like to see full-size photos.  (Double click on the slideshow to view larger versions of the photos and download individual pictures.  If you can't see the slideshow, click HERE to view the album)

We have just about wrapped up our final math unit.  Students have learned many different concepts about fractions.  Students are able to place fractions less than one and greater than one on a number line.  They are also able to compare fractions, deciding if fractions are greater than, less than, or equal to one another.  We have also learned about equivalent fractions.  Your child should be able to write an equivalence chain, such as 1/2=2/4=3/6=4/8=5/10.  Your child will bring home a math review on Monday.  It will need to be completed and turned in by Wednesday.  We will take the Unit 7 Assessment on Thursday morning.

We just have a couple more investigations before the end of our Measurement Unit.  Students have reviewed how to use a balance scale, measuring various objects.  Students have also reviewed capacity.  Last week they discovered a standard unit of measurement--a 100 ml beaker was the best tool to use to find out how much liquid a plastic cup would hold.  Students will not take a science test for this unit.  Many of the concepts learned in this unit were a review from math.  Students will, however, take a few short vocabulary quizzes in class.

All-Star of the Week:
Zavier was our most recent Room 13 All-Star!  Students enjoyed listening to Zavier share his items from his sharing sack and his photos of his family.  They also enjoyed hearing his parent letter and laughed out loud at his funny, favorite book, Splat the Cat.  Zavier enjoyed a special lunch with his mom and brothers as well.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekly Update

Greenfield Village Field Trip:
Students loved traveling back in time during our field trip to the historic Greenfield Village!  You can check out tons of great photos from our special day in the slideshow below.  (Double click on the slideshow to view larger versions of the photos and download individual pictures.  If you can't see the slideshow, click HERE to view the album)

Poetry Workshop:
Students learned to write 3 different types of poetry this week.  Read the descriptions below to learn more about Haiku, Odes, and Acrostic poems.

Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry characterized by the number of syllables in each line.  Haiku poems have only 3 lines, or phrases.  The first line should have 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the 3rd line should have 5 syllables.

An ode is a lyric poem, usually addressing a particular person or thing.  It originated in ancient Greece.

An acrostic poem is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase.

Sharing our Poetry
Students are given many opportunities to share their poetry.   Sometimes they share their poems with their poetry partner, and other times students share their poetry with the entire class in our Author's Chair.

We are continuing our study of fractions in our last math unit of the school year.  This past week, students learned how to locate fractions less than and greater than one on a number line.  They also compared unit fractions using fraction bars and number lines.

Social Studies:
We continued our travels in the Southwest Region during the past two weeks with stops at Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and the capitol building in Austin, Texas.  

All-Star of the Week:
Luke was our awesome All-Star of the Week!  He loved sharing special items from his sharing sack, especially a trophy that he won with his soccer team at a recent tournament.  He also shared great photos of himself that marked special moments in his life.  He read an all-time favorite book to the class, If you give a Mouse a Cookie.  He even celebrated his birthday this week and enjoyed the special day with a lunch buddy visit from his dad.  On Friday, his dad created an amazing PowerPoint with highlights of Luke as a baby, Luke's interests and hobbies, and as well as special times they've shared together. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekly Update

Poetry Workshop:
We are continuing to read and write poetry in both reading and writing workshops.  Students began the week by studying the mood of different poems and then trying to bring to life their own moods and emotions to the poems they wrote in their writer's notebooks.  Students also learned about personification.  Sometimes poets will give human qualities to objects that make them seem like they are alive.  After also learning how poets often use similes to compare two things (ex: My hands were as cold as ice) and alliteration (ex: full of fattening french fries), they began looking more closely at their poems to be sure they sounded like poems.  Many students' poems were sounding more like stories, so we helped students rewrite their poems to include short, more rhythmic phrases and line breaks.

A student took a poem he had written that didn't sound like a poem (version 1) and revised the poem to make it sound more poetic by using shorter phrases and line breaks (version 2).

Students looked for examples of personification in poems from books in our classroom.

A student's poem with alliteration

Another student's poem with alliteration

Students have assigned poetry partners with whom they share their poetry at the end of workshop on most days.

Students took the unit 6 test on Wednesday.  We are correcting those tests and will send them home next week.  In our final unit of the school year, students will explore fractions.  Be sure to read the parent note that came home with an overview of the unit.

Social Studies:
Students are really enjoying our current tour of the Southwest Region!  After making tour stops in Monument Valley (Home of the Navajo Indian Tribe), Phoenix Arizona (the hottest large city in America), and and the Grand Canyon, we arrived at the Hoover Dam.  During this tour stop, students worked in teams to solve two problems that engineers faced when building the Hoover Dam.

Problem #1: How could they harden 66 million tons of cement in less than 5 years?  (If left to cool on its own, that much cement would take 100 years to set!)

Problem #2: What should be done with the Colorado River during the construction of the Hoover Dam? (The Colorado River is a fast-moving river that runs right through the site where they planned to build the dam.)

Students worked in teams and acted as construction engineers when presenting their solutions to the 2 problems to their classmates.  The photos below show the teams presenting their ideas.

All-Star of the Week:
Emma S. was so excited to be our Room 13 All-Star this week!  She loved showing the class a special ribbon she won in a horse jumping competition as well as many photos of her riding horses.  Her favorite horse was Hercules, but, sadly, he passed away.  The class also loved listening to her read aloud her favorite picture book, Firebird!  On Wednesday, her parents and her older sisters created an awesome parent letter/collage with great photos, captions, and personalized messages for Emma.  She ended the week with a special visit from her mom who was her lunch buddy!