We made streams!

We’ve used our stream boxes for several lessons. . . but today was the first day we made a stream!!!  We attached a cup to our stream boxes with a small hole in it and ran 2ltr of water through them.  What fun!  It was a LONG lesson, but no one noticed because we were working so diligently.  Check out the pictures below  .  .  .

 We’ve been learning about erosion, run-off and soil deposits.  Ask your child to explain what they’ve learned about these important vocabulary words.

REMINDER:  Water consumption sheet is due on Friday.  Remember to pick a day to keep track of how much water you use.

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.

Need something to talk to your child about?  Ask them to tell you about one of these words we’ve talked about this week:  shunned, associate, staple, probability, outcome, haiku/cinquain, tunic.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It was nice to be back to school today  . . . the kids were GREAT!  Which was nice because I was sick over vacation and I’m still under the weather.  So . . . what did we accomplish today?

  • Seating changes . . . Students arrived this morning to new seats.  Not everyone moved, but many did.
  • Spelling this week will be NIFTY FIFTY words.  Students have 36 words to work with this week, however 22 of them were on the last nifty fifty test and all have been on spelling lists this year.  We focus on word parts:  prefixes, suffixes and root words to help us spell them.  Prefixes change meaning, but are usually just added to words and suffixes often require a spelling rule to add to a base word (ex. change y to i and add er).
  • Before vacation, students wrote an on-demand report about arctic adaptations . . . . they were great first attempts!!!  Today we looked at the prompt more carefully and discussed how kids can plan effectively.  We will have at least one more on-demand report this year!!!  FYI:  On-demand writing requires students to write an ESSAY from a prompt without teacher help.  It is an authentic reflection of a students’ independent writing. 
  • We started JOURNAL 2 today in math.  Everyone was excited to have a brand new book.  Nothing beats a new journal!!!  We are started a fraction unit today.   Today’s lesson was easy and kids should be able to complete homework fairly easily. 

It is so hard to believe it is MARCH.  We still have so much to do.