# Monday, April 13, 2009

We had a busy day today . . . we started by our day reading Amazing Grace from Mary Hoffman.  Later we wrote an on-demand response to text based on this great story!  The class worked SOooo hard writing their essays and showing their best writing and thinking skills.  BRAVO!!

In reading we are practicing answering our questions by inferring.  To help us we are using a terrific nonfiction book called On Top of the World by Steven Jenkings.  Today we asked questions about how people prepare and climb Mount Everest.  Tomorrow we will search for answers to our questions.

It’s hard to believe how long we’ve been in class.  Check out these pictures from the beginning of the year during our Rainforest unit.

# March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Welcome Spring!!!!  Even though the first day of spring isn’t until Friday . . . we have enjoyed the warm weather.

We are still working on inferring in reading.  Today we practiced inferring the meaning of subheadings in nonfiction.  The kids got the hand of this skill quickly today.  We also worked on questioning in our daybooks this week.  We have 5 different daybook groups and I have been doing lots of juggling this week during our reader’s workshop.

We have started a new science unit:  Land and Water.  Teams of students will use stream tables to learn how water shapes land and how land can influence the path of waterways.  We will change different variables throughout our exploration of earth science.

In writing we finished our Powerpoint presentations yesterday.  THEY ARE AMAZING!!!  Today and tomorrow we will be working on a NECAP constructed response practice problem.

In math we continue to learn about fractions.  Yesterday we explored the fraction/decimal equivilants.  Today we began learning how to compare and order fractions.  We learned that comparing fractions to 1/2 is a useful strategy.  We also learned that if we are ordering fractions with the same denominator, we order them based on the numerator.  If the denominators are the same, but the numerators are different  . . . we know that the bigger the denominator the SMALLER the fraction.  This can be a challenging skill for kids.

Thank you for sharing your children with me.

# Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Guess what???  We have a new student in our class!  Ben joined our class on Monday and is making new friends and reacquainting himself with old friends.  Welcome Ben!!

This week we began a new “daily” warm-up activity:  vocabulary.  The kids seem to enjoy this new challenge-thinking about the multiple meanings and usages of words.  We continue to work on science “daily” warm-ups too.  These short daily problems review important science concepts and help prepare students for the science NECAP this spring.

We have been sketching arctic animal scenes this week in social studies for our arctic prints.  Students will be printing their image later this week.  They are using patterns to create texture and interesting details.  These will be mounted with arctic poems they have been writing this week!!  We have been having fun thinking creatively about the arctic.

In reading we have been practicing inferring.  Students learned that “reading between the lines” happens when we merge our background knowledge with text clues.  Today we inferred the title/topic of poems and used text clues to support our inferences.  Students easily identified the title for “Fireflies” and “Dolphin” but other poems were more difficult to determine.