Happy New Year! We had a great first day back yesterday. We passed the Talking Fish and shared something special that happened on our Winter Break. We also talked about what a resolution is and thought of words that mean about the same as resolution. We came up with the words goal and promise to think about when we hear the word resolution. We thought fluently and made a list of several things we would like to try and do in the New Year. Then we zoomed in and focused on one resolution. The children wrote and illustrated their resolution, telling why this was an important goal for them this year.
Today we started reading testing for the middle of the year. This testing is much less involved than the testing done at the beginning of the year and we should be done with it by the end of the week.
We started a new unit of study in Writing Workshop. We are working on writing informational texts. Up until now, in Writing Workshop, the children have written from personal experience. Now they will begin to write about what they know using facts. We began this unit by thinking about topics we know about that would be good to use in writing an informational text, and topics we couldn't write about because we don't know enough about the topic to write. We discussed thinking fluently and brainstormed both topics, narrowing it down to one topic for our first book. This first book will focus on using text features found in informational texts and will not involve researching the topic. We will be doing that later in the year.
We also watched a short clip of the book Chicken Soup with Rice, by Maurice Sendak. This version has the great Carole King singing the book. We loved it, and listened to other Carole King songs written for children. Unfortunately, I looped the music and now still have Alligators All Around in my head. The children wanted to share Chicken Soup with Rice with you, so here it is!
In math, we have begun working with story problems involving addition and subtraction. We listened to several story problems to determine what the question was that was being asked, what information was needed from the story to solve the problem, determining whether the problem was a combining problem or taking away, and shared strategies to figure out the answer. We learned about acting out the problem, drawing a picture, and using manipulatives. We wrote number sentences to go with the problem, using the addition or subtraction sign. It's really important for children to think through the whole problem and what it is asking. Often, especially as the problem become more complex, students who do not do this do not answer the question that was asked, instead focusing on the numbers and doing an algorithm to arrive at an answer that may not be answering the question. The process of reading and thinking about the problem is more important at this point than the answer.
We met some little critters who will be in our room for the next couple months as we learn more about life cycles. The children got a quick peek of the mealworms today and are very excited to learn more about them.
Have a great evening!