Friday, October 24, 2014

"Wonder"-ful and Awesome-"Ish" Week!

The kids arrived after a long weekend ready to go!  In reading, we continue to read Wonder and are closely examining character development, voice and perspective. Our Global Read Aloud (GRA) books for the past two weeks were I’m Here and Ish. Students have engaged in rich discussions in class about the author’s message and connections to other texts and have shared their insights via Kidblog. Breaking news this week included personal comments (by famous author Peter Reynolds) on Ms. Ward's student blog posts (Emily was first!!!), and Peter Reynolds’ favoriting and retweet of Ms. Schoolcraft’s “Pictionary-ish” tweet (also connected to GRA). We are loving being connected to the greater literary world!

In math, Third Graders launched unit 2 this week. This unit focuses on various models for multiplication. Students participated in two math forums this week: one involving arrays of stamps and the other examined proportional relationships using units of measure. Students worked in pairs to determine lengths of animals illustrated in a “seascape,” when the length of only one animal was known and the use of rulers and standard measuring tools was off limits! Our number corner work this week revealed a new work place, where hands-on measuring is key! Fourth Graders continue to build multiplicative reasoning as they work with multi-digit multiplication and early division. In Module 1, students use base ten area pieces to investigate place value patterns, as well as model and solve single- and double-digit multiplication problems. In Google Classroom, a Doc with support games for Unit 2 has been shared. They are welcome to use this valuable resource as their fact practice. 

We are well into our science investigation - Variations and Adaptations of Living Things. Students are really enjoying this science and literacy integrated unit, and are observing characteristics of living things that show relatedness and variation. Students are reading nonfiction text, observing animals in photographs, watching videos of animal movement and listening to bird calls to distinguish songbirds from non-songbirds.

In writing we are guiding students into what many fiction writers consider the heart of fiction: character struggle and motivation. We have created believable characters and now we will decide what this person wants or hopes for. In our next writing sessions we will try to balance a combination of hopes and obstacles. 

There will be a book order in the folder on Monday.   If you would like to order some items secretly for the holidays, send an email and I will hide the order when it arrives.  

Thank you all so much for visiting for conferences.   I really enjoy working with you as a team.   It is especially exciting when a child shows eagerness to show off some work!   If there are follow up questions you would like to review without your child present, get in touch so we can arrange a time to meet. 

On Friday, October 31, we will be having a Harvest Celebration.  As part of our celebration, we would like to make a community soup based on the story: Stone Soup.  You can help in two ways:

1.  Please send your child in with an old coffee mug.  We will use these in the garden to drink hot apple cider, and for our soup later in the day.
2.  Please send your child in with 1 cup of vegetables chopped up, and held in a plastic bag.  For example:   carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, peas, mushrooms, garlic, basil...  The soup will simmer in a crock pot until we dine in the afternoon.  
Thanks for the home support as always!

Lindsey got the SMART student of the week, as voted by her peers.  Sally chose Naysan for the Bucket Filler Award!  Congrats to you both!

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