Ask Me About Tuesday November 26, 2019
We spent time today working with geometric shapes and solids. This group loves to create art. They used shape stencils to make pictures and designs during math stations. They also had the opportunity to use the geoboards, table block solids, Magnatiles, Geostix, and the pattern blocks to solve puzzles. We worked with shapes today and used math talk to describe and sort our shapes. We used regular and irregular shapes.
In reading, we worked with identifying key details in a text about pumpkins. We used the title to help us know what to listen for, and the photographs and labels to help remember key details. Ask me to tell you about how pumpkins grow.
For our Book a Day, we read a Read the U.S.A. book about a superhero from New Hampshire. The book is called Thank You, Sarah, by Laurie Halse Anderson. Her name was Sarah Hale and her super power was writing using a quill and ink. She wrote the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, but is credited with saving Thanksgiving. She was bold, brave, stubborn and smart. Ask me to tell you what she did that shows she was stubborn.
We met with our third grade Bear Buddies today. We listened to a story called Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano. The story is about a turkey who disguises himself so he won't be dinner for Thanksgiving. Ask me to tell you what disguise works the best for the turkey. Then we worked with our Bear Buddy to create a turkey and a disguise. The children really had a good time and got to know their buddies better!
Have a great evening!
Ask Me About Monday, November 25, 2019
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so we are getting in the holiday spirit! We analyzed these two pictures. We zoomed in to notice the details and to spot differences. Ask me to tell you what I noticed!
We learned about solid shapes today in mathematics. We looked at the similarities and differences between plane shapes and solid shapes. We talked about faces, edges, corners and points. We focused on spheres, cubes, cones, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and pyramids.
In reading, we read an information piece about what bears learn from their mothers. The children then wrote a narrative by writing as if they were either a baby bear or the mother telling about what they learn or teach the other.
Have a nice evening!
Ask Me About Friday, November 22, 2019
When I was a kid, my family travelled all over the U.S. The very beautiful Bryce Canyon was one of my favorite places. I was fascinated by it's fancy hoodoos. Today we studied this photograph, then listened to Billy Blue Hair explain how erosion formed these amazing landforms.
In math, we continued our study of geometry. We also used positional words to place shapes around a duck. The children had to listen closely to the directions to find the shape, what color to use, and where to place the shape. We used words such as beside, above, below, behind, etc. Describing where things are using positional words can be a fun game. You can give your child directions of where to put some of their stuffies around a room. For example, put the teddy bear on the top shelf beside the book.
We have started a new unit in reading. We are learning about living things. Ask me something I learned about chimps today. We sorted picture cards by beginning sounds, and played a fun game of Switcheroo. This is a game that is great to play if you find yourself somewhere and having to wait. I told the kids about playing this game with my niece Sarah when she was around 5 at a diner, and the waitress was so impressed by her list of words, she gave her a free sundae. Of course, several of your children quickly asked what I got! I bought myself a piece of pie probably!
To play Switcheroo, start with a three letter word, such as cat. Give your child a new word to write that is just one letter different, such as can. Ask which sound changes. Start with beginning and ending sounds. We have worked with short a and short i so far, so if your child seems ready to change the middle sound, these sounds are the ones that are easiest to hear.
Have a great weekend!
We studied this beautiful photograph of monument valley. These landforms are buttes. There are many interesting things to notice in this photograph, but we focused on the lines around the buttes, the road, the flat land, the vegetation, the red soil/sand, and the mountains way off in the background. Then we found out more about how these landforms were made. We turned to Billy Bluehair once again to help us begin to understand how nature creates these amazing landforms.
In math we talked about circles and hexagons. Ask me to tell you about these two shapes. We have focused a lot of describing the shapes using math vocabulary. Here's a quick video that is a good review for this kind of math talk. We are working on "constructing arguments as the students are increasingly able to use shape attributes to defend identification of a plane or solid shape. Our students are analyzing and defining attributes such as “3 straight sides,” they are attending to precision." These are some of the Focus Standards for Mathematical Practice. Please check the math tab for ideas for talking with your child about the geometry they are learning right now.
Your child is bringing home a rocket they quickly drew using circles, squares and rectangles. They used rulers to make straight sides for their squares and rectangles. I was so impressed with the kids because as they began to draw I put Frank Sinatra on singing Fly Me to the Moon, and many of them chuckled and smiled. They got the connection right away, or maybe they just really like Frank Sinatra, or both!
We reviewed the Golden Rule today with a fun book called Do Unto Otters, by Laurie Keller. This is the same author who wrote the most sought after book in our library right now, Potato Pants. This book is about a rabbit who gets new neighbors. His old neighbor was a grump, so he's thinking his new neighbors may not be kind. Your child is bringing home a copy of this book that is a gift to them from me. I know they will enjoy rereading this book over and over, but also thinking about the Golden Rule and the discussion of polite behavior.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with a sneak peek of what we will be learning about in social studies. Ask me to tell you about this photograph.
We will be learning about landforms for the next couple weeks. Today we took a four minute field trip to the southwest and went on a beautiful journey over many different landforms that are found there. In this video, there are only a couple things that are human-made. Ask me to tell you about the landforms and what was human-made. Please enjoy this video with your child.
We really enjoyed the amazing slot canyons that we saw in this video. Here's Billy Blue Hair to tell you more about slot canyons.
In math, we talked about triangles. We made different types of triangles with popsicle sticks and Geo Stix. It was so interesting to watch the children with the Geo Stix. This manipulative is a set of plastic pieces with little buttons on them that snap into other pieces. They come in a variety of lengths, but each length is the same color. When the children began using them, they all made equilateral triangles, using the same color of stix for all three sides. It took a great deal of nudging and reassurance that triangles can look different, they just need to be a closed shape with three sides and three points, or vertices or angles. The children also need experience to understand that triangles are still triangles even if they are not sitting on their longest side. More experience working with shapes will help the children to understand what criteria is necessary for different shapes, but we sure had a great time today working with these materials.
In reading, we read The Little Red Hen again. We continued to work on adding an event to the ending. We did planning for this addition to the story together. We thought about the story elements of characters and setting, then came up with our own ideas for an additional event. The children worked on writing their new event.
Have a nice evening!
Ask Me About Monday, November 18, 2019
Today we read The Little Red Hen in reading. We talked about the beginning, middle and end of the story. We talked about the beginning of the story or what started the story, , the middle of the story where most of the action happens, and the end of the story that tells how it all worked out. As we practiced, what I noticed was typical in that the students had a difficult time thinking about what really started the story. Sometimes students have a difficult time going back to the very beginning of the story. Ask me to tell the story.
We are working through the writing process to write about what happened after the end of the story. We had a few very interesting ideas that the students brainstorming. We will continue to work on this throughout the week.
We also listened to another version of the Little Red Hen, but in this story the LIttle Red Hen makes a pizza. This version of the story, by Philomen Sturges, has a different ending than the traditional story. Ask me to tell you how this story ends!
We started a new unit in math. We will be learning about geometry for the next week and a half. Today we talked about flat shapes. We used words to precisely describe the shapes. We also looked at shapes that were closed and not closed.
We also finished up with our math testing from Unit 1.
In Health, we talked about feelings and how to manage them. We brainstormed feeling/emotion words. We often just hear a few, but as we brainstormed we came up with many more! Today we read the story Grumpy Goat, by Brett Helquist. This story is about a goat who had never had a friend. He never looked up, he just looked down and was mean to others. He was moved to Sunny Acres Farm, and his grumpy, mean behavior quickly led to the other animals staying away from him after trying to be friendly to him. But things change when the grumpy goat makes an unusual friend. The grumpy goat becomes friends with a dandelion. Ask me to tell you what happens and how things change again at Sunny Acres Farm.
Have a nice evening!
Ask Me About Friday, November 15, 2019
What a busy day! The children had a great time making their suitcases for our Read the U.S.A. books. As part of our Book a Day, we will be reading books that are set in a specific state, or are about a person from that state. We will work our way across the U.S. and the District of Columbia throughout the year. With each book read, I will send home a postcard that tells about the state and book we read. Your child can collect the postcards and put them in the suitcase they made today to keep track of the books and states. We visited Pennsylvania today and read Saving the Liberty Bell, by Megan McDonald. Ask me to tell you how John Jacob Mickley and his father saved the Liberty Bell!
The children worked on the Chromebooks today as I finished our Unit 1 math testing. If you go to our Google classroom, your child can log on and play some of the games selected for them. Some games are for everyone, and some will just show up on some of the students page, depending upon what they need to work on. Some of those same websites are on our homework page, as well as a few fun games to play that are listed on the right-hand side of the page.
I'm looking forward to a five day week next week with no half days! Have a great weekend!
Today was a busy day! We have math testing for Unit 1 to complete. This testing is all one on one, so it is time consuming. But, the children are doing so well, and I was able to get about half of it done today!
I shared a practically wordless picture book today called Nope, by Drew Sheneman. This book is about a reluctant baby bird's first flight. He imagines all kinds of scary animals on the forest floor as he looks down from his nest. His mother is anxious for him to fly, and is even shown giving him a little nudge with her wing. We talked about the thought bubbles and the emotions both the mother and baby bird were showing. Ask me to tell you about this book!
I shared this book with the students to talk about negative self-talk. Sometimes negative thoughts slip into our thinking, and we start to think we will never be able to learn new things. We talked about what that would sound like, and what we could think instead. We also talked about how it's okay if we can't do something yet. Not yet means we just need to keep working. Here's the chart I shared with the children.
We talked about a time we were learning to do something new that was hard. The children drew pictures and using a thought bubble to write a positive thought.
In reading, we compared the mouse from The Little Helper and Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We made a chart to show how the characters were different and how they were the same.
Since the weather has gotten so cold, we have had to talk about wearing coats. I have some kids who hide them in their backpack, even after I tell them to be sure they have their coat on. Some kids don't want to zip their coat, or want to take it off outside. I'm insisting they keep their coats on when it's very cold, but I am not outside to monitor. Today I showed them how to put their mittens/gloves in their hat, then squishing their hat into the sleeve of their coat so they are not lost on the way to the lunchroom. I am also having them sit on their coats so they aren't wearing them and dropping food on their coats. Please help your child practice getting their coat on and zipped independently if that is still a struggle for your child. The room stays pretty warm, but as it is colder, you may want to send your child a sweater or sweatshirt to put on if they get cold during the day.
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy, fun day today! We started our day reviewing the unit in math we have been working in since the beginning of the year. We practiced putting number cards in order from greatest to least. We played a game with partners where the partner showed a card, and their partner used with math fingers to show one less. We also played a game with a die that had children working to recognize the die patterns to say how many without counting. The game also included spaces the kids moved to with bears arranged in an array to give the children practice recognizing how many without counting, or they had games with fingers to recognize the number without counting. As the children rolled the die, and moved around the board, they matched the space they landed on with the correct numeral on their gameboard. They had to get five in a row vertically, horizontally or diagonally to win. We talked about making smart choices when placing their counting to see which space would help them to win. They had a fun time working with a partner to play these games.
Today I needed to finish up more testing in reading. This testing is done one on one, so it takes time away from instruction, but it is necessary for planning future small group instruction.
We had a visit from Mrs. Kanter. She read a book called The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig. This is a book the whole school listened to today as part of Mental Health Awareness month. This is a great follow-up to the book we read last week called I Walk with Vanessa. The book is about being left-out, and how that feels. After listening to the story and talking about it, the children made hearts and drew a picture to show what makes them feel included. These hearts will be hung in our front hallway, along with hearts from the other students in our school.
Have a nice evening!
We have had a busy two days! In reading, we continued reading fables. We read The Little Helper, which is the story of the lion and the mouse. In this story, the mouse crawls up onto the lion accidentally and wakes him. The lion is angry. Ask me to tell you what happens next and how the story ends. We talked about making inferences. We used clues in the text and the illustration, along with what we know, to make a good guess about something in the story. We used used clues in the text and what we know about lions and mice to make inferences throughout the story to know how the characters were feeling. This was a really great opportunity for us to talk more about feelings, and how we have more than happy, sad and mad feelings.
We also talked about shades of meaning. We listened for words that told how the character was speaking. We found the words roared and cried that told us how the lion spoke. We found the words crawled and raced to tell how the mouse moved in the story.
In math, we practiced telling one less than a number to find a pattern of counting backwards. We also learned some new math games to use during math station time. We are working toward having this time each day to reinforce and enrich students in small groups and through games.
We started our day with a very interesting photograph. We studied the photograph and analyzed it to focus in on different parts of the photograph. We noticed the man on the horse and were able to infer that he loved his horse from the way he had his arms around his neck, and from the man's expression. And we aren't sure, but we think that horse just might be smiling! We talked about the setting as well, and used clues to infer where this photograph might have been taken. What do you think?
We took some time today to really study illustrations in books to tell the story because these books have no words! We read some of Mercer Mayer's wordless picture books about a boy and a frog. Some of these books have a couple more characters than just the boy and his frog, but most are animals. We could see how the characters were feeling through their expression and their body language. I modeled how to "read" a wordless picture book. We first read the title, then just took time to go through the pages studying the illustrations to get an idea of the story. Then, I told the story, pointing out how I knew what to say. I tried to use book talk so it sounded like someone telling the story. Then the children took another book with the same characters, and worked with a partner to study the illustrations then tell the story. We are putting additional wordless picture books in a new literacy station called the retelling station for children to have practice and to enjoy reading more wordless picture books. This is a great way for children to practice their comprehension of stories. They must pay attention to details and stay focused on the most important parts of those illustrations as they tell the story.
Enjoy this beautiful fall evening!
Miss Juliet Wolfe