January has been a crazy month! We have had a lot of testing this month, delays and snow days, so I'm hoping for February to be back to normal!
Today, on our late opening, we dug a little deeper into thinking about settings in stories. We thought more about the time the story is taking place and how we can find that out. We know we can look for clues in the illustrations like what is happening, what characters are wearing, and clues in the background. We watched a story online that was a wonderful story called The Coal Thief. We watched it once, then discussed what we noticed about the setting, then watched it again, stopping along the way to notice clues about the setting. Ask me to tell you about the story and it's setting. It has a really good lesson about taking responsibility for your poor choices as well. Here's the story in case you'd like to watch it as well!
Have a nice evening!
We started our day by studying this photograph of an insect. Ask me to tell you the three body parts of the insect.
We had a very busy day with testing. I'm in the homestretch and will be finished with their reading assessments by Wednesday afternoon.
In math today, we worked with decomposition and conservation of quantity. We broke towers of cubes apart into two groups to find different ways to make 5, 6 and 7. We used the seven cubes to make different formations which reinforces the understanding that quantities remain the same even when represented in different ways.
Have a great long weekend!
We have started testing in reading. Yesterday and today I started pulling kids over to read different level books to find their reading level and to assess their comprehension. They are doing a great job. I am really impressed with how they are listening to themselves and self-correcting when their reading doesn't sound right, look right or make sense.
In math, we practiced writing numbers to 100. We also talked about how sometimes they mix up the digits in two-digit numbers. We watched this video of Ernie reading a poem about the number 12, but the digits keep moving on him. This was hysterical to my 22 little friends. We used ten sticks and squares that have a value of one, and made 2 digit numbers. The kids practiced counting the sticks by tens, then pausing and thinking to count on by one the remaining squares. They did an awesome job, in fact, I added the 100 square to the numbers and they figured out a couple three digit numbers. They were so proud of themselves!
Enjoy the warm weather!
We've squeezed a lot of learning into the past two partial days of school! Let's hope that we don't have anymore interruptions to our school calendar!
We read a poem and worked with the short o sound. We thought of words that ended or had the sound /op/ in them. The kids did a great job of coming up with a lot of words!
We listened to a story called The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz. We identified the main idea of the story was that people come in all shades. The book tells of friends and family in a neighborhood and compares the color of their skin to other things, such as cinnamon, butterscotch or ginger. It made us very hungry! It's a beautiful book that talks about diversity and celebrates the colors of all skin.
I'm so excited at where the children are in their writing. We have been working to be sure to do the things writers do to make it readable for others. At this point, the children should be putting spaces between their words, spelling the word wall words we have introduced correctly, beginning to use upper case letters to begin their sentences, and are beginning to experiment with punctuation! Punctuation is a tough one, but when given a sentence, they are doing better about remember to end it with a period, question mark or exclamation mark. Today we reviewed adding details to their stories. Right now, many of the students may retell and event and just go through what happened without adding details to tell their reader more. We will be working more on the content of their writing now that they have a good start in the mechanics of writing.
In math, we have been working with story problems. Last week, we learned about identifying the important information, listening to find out what the problem is asking, and used a quick sketch to find the answer. I am encouraging the children to arrange their sketches as a ten frame to help them see the relationship between the quantities, but the most important part now is that they use a sketch to solve the problem. Yesterday we used a number line as well to solve joining together and taking apart story problems. We will work with manipulatives as another way to solve a problem later in the week.
We are also using 2 dice to play some games. The children are learning to count on 1,2 or 3 to a number up to six, so we use a standard six dot die and a die with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on them to practice this. The Snowball Game has a game board that is a 120 chart, so they are also getting used to this grid. This is another way they are getting a better understanding of number relationships. This game is similar to Chutes and Ladders in that if you land in certain places, you can move ahead of many numbers. In our game, if you land on a snowman, you can move ahead 10 spaces. We know that the downstairs neighbor on the 120 chart is the same as counting on ten, or adding ten.
No spoons under pillows or backward inside out jammies tonight! We need a regular day!
Enjoy the evening!
We started our late opening day with a picture reveal of the bottom part of an penguin dad with an egg on his feet. I revealed just parts of the photograph and students talked about what they thought it was, and we thought of what else it could be. By looking at other parts of the photograph we were able to identify what was in the photograph. What looked like fur, icicles, the moon, and other ideas, turned out to be feathers of the penguin. We learned about penguins in two short videos. Ask me to tell you what I learned about penguin babies. We are starting a unit about the life cycle of animals and animal babies so this was a great introduction.
We worked with long and short i once again today. We read another poem called Icy and circled words with short i, and drew a line under words with long i. We also talked about the words in the poem, and the nuances in the definition of the words. We talked about what the words meant and acted it out as if we were playing charades.
Have a nice weekend!
Today we enjoyed a book called Chicken Soup With Rice, by Maurice Sendak. This book had some interesting vocabulary that we used context clues to unlock the meaning of some of the words. We also worked with short and long i in the January part of the book. We listened to Carole King sing the book, and it wasn't long before everyone was singing along! This is definitely a favorite every year for students! Ask me to sing along with Carole King!
In math, we worked with story problems. It is so important for students to think about what the information in the problem and what they are asking. We are using words only right now to think about the story problem and not talking about addition and subtraction. Instead we are focusing on what is happening in the problem; are they joining groups together or taking them apart. We use words like "and" and "join" or "take away" instead of plus and minus. Today we practiced using the draw a picture strategy to solve the word problems. The children did a great job, although they are eager to tell what the answer is, and unfortunately if they just look at the numbers in the problem and not at what is being asked, they may be wrong. Instead, I tried to ask children to show and tell their thinking to their classmates instead of focusing on the answer. We will be using other strategies, such as the ten fram, Rekenrens, number lines, and acting out the problem to understand and solve word problems.
Have a great evening!
We had a great first day back from our Winter Break. We passed the Talking Fish to find out what everyone did with family and friends over the break.
In math, we practiced skip counting. We are working on counting by tens, and because that is going so well, we also are counting by fives to 100 and by 2s to 20. We played a game called Do You Have It in math. This game rewards teams points when members have items on the list. We focused on cold weather clothing today. Some items were give one point, some ten points. We used links to keep track of the points, and had chains of tens for those valuable items worth ten points. Then we practiced counting the tens first, then counting on by ones for the remaining points. This enrichment is helping to build a good foundation for addition and subtraction strategies using numbers greater than ten and for counting money. We will play this game from time to time with different items and values.
We talked about the word resolution. Ask me to tell you what a resolution is and how it is different than a goal. We talked about how resolutions are a promise we make to ourselves to improve behaviors that will help us be more successful with relationships, our education, and day to day tasks. I didn't really explain it like that! The children thought of resolutions, and it might be of interest for you to know that one child shared he wanted to get better at sleeping, and a whole boatload of friends thought that sounded good and made that their resolution! It could be everyone was tired today! They started writing and illustrating their resolutions and will finish them tomorrow.
Obviously we will be having indoor recess this week. We pulled out some games we haven't played yet this year and I added a few additional activities. I notice many children doing the same activity in the same way during our play time or during indoor recess. I want to see them try new things, so this week I'm on a mission to sell alternative games and activities. This often gives them an opportunity to interact with students they may not have played with before.
The classroom cycles through warmer and cooler times throughout the day. The coldest area is my desk, so I have named it the North Pole. Many children today came with sweaters and sweatshirts so they could take them on and off as needed, but if you didn't send them in with layers, you may want to. The end of the week looks brutal!
Have a nice evening!