Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Group Solutions

We have been using the Group Solutions kit from IUPUI the last couple weeks. I particularly like this kit because it encouages cooperation and teamwork, as well as promoting thinking skills and logic. We have also been learning about maps in social studies, and the kit has several mapping exercises that the children love to do. Another activity uses coins which ties in nicely with our unit on money that we finished up recently.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy 100th Day!

Today is the 100th day of school! All students created special t-shirts for this day with 100 items on them. We have t-shirts with safety pins, stars, band-aids, googly eyes, dots, snowflakes, and others. Several students are showing their support for the Colts and have footballs or horseshoes on their shirts.

Each student also brought in 100 items in a bag today. We measured them by length and weight. We wrote about what we would do with 100 legs, pencils, dollars, eyes, etc. Students chose their favorite sentence and wrote a story about it. We have read several stories about the number 100 also. For math we tried to write equations that equaled 100 after we read the book 100 Ways to Make 100 by Jerry Pallota. Students also clapped, snapped, jumped, hula hooped, and tossed a ball 100 times.

Friday, January 19, 2007

1/19 Weekly Update

Reading Workshop- response sheets, finding facts, biographies
Writing Workshop- using a dictionary, editing and revising with partners, classbook story
Math Workshop- adding without regrouping, regrouping with manipulatives, menu math games
Social Studies- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., map skills
Project- money, ordering pennies by date and mint stamps
Computer Lab- map software, LT Online: journal prompt, Dr. King quiz, weekly poll, thinking skill games
Thinking Skills: word analogies, group solutions kit
We read the following books this week:

Meet Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
What is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day? by Margot Parker
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
100th Day Worries by Margery Cuyler

Questions to Ask Your Child This Week
  1. Do you consider Martin Luther King Jr. a hero? Why or why not? What makes a person a hero?
  2. How would you feel if you lived when Martin was a boy? How might your life be different?
  3. What have you done to make progress on your classroom goal? What can you do next week to accomplish it?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


In math workshop this week we have started a new unit with regrouping when adding double digit numbers. Many of you parents learned this as carrying. We call it regrouping because the children learn the reason behind why they have to "carry the one"- when your number adds up to more than 10, you have to separate it into tens and ones. For example 14 becomes 1 ten and 4 ones. You regrouped 10 of the ones as 1 ten. That 1 ten is the 1 that you carry.

We practice regrouping using rods and cubes today and will move on to paper pencil addition next week. It is important for your child to understand why you solve a problem a certain way, and not just memorize a formula or method.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day, and students were out of school. We talked today about why exactly we celebrate this holiday. Students learned that Dr. King believed in using words not violence, and that he believed everyone to be equals. We learned about a new genre of books today- the biography- when we read about Dr. King. We also watched the movie Our Friend Martin. Tomorrow for social studies, we will read another biography about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and write about our dreams for our school and world.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dictionary Skills

We have learning about the dictionary this week and how to look up words. Students practiced finding words in the text based on the guide words at the top of the page. It was important to figure out whether to open the book to the beginning, middle, or end section to start your search, because you don't want to flip through pages forever. They were excited as they combed through the dictionary to find a picture of Hedgie too! We will be continuing to use the dictionary as the year progresses, especially to look up how to spell words, and for learning new vocabulary.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Semester Goals and Resolutions

Students have committed themselves to making their own goals and resolutions for the new semester. Some of their goals include:

  • writing a chapter book
  • getting better at math/passing a timed test
  • reading a variety of books
  • becoming a better artist
  • adding details to their writing
  • improving their handwriting
  • being able to count money correctly

Each student has a plan in place, and even came up with obstacles he or she might face and how to overcome them. Each goal had to be worthwhile, measureable, and appropriate for that child. Ask your child what he or she would like to accomplish this year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Computer Lab

Today in computer lab the students discovered that when they went on LT Online, they had an assignment. From now on when they log in, they will need to read their assignment on the class homepage, and complete it before doing the "fun" activity at the end. I am writing up the steps they must complete for each time we go to the lab twice a week to teach them to be more self-directed in their learning. It also reinforces the standard of following written directions. Have you child show you what is on LT Online if you have not already looked at it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope you all are having a great winter break and are enjoying our warmer weather. I wonder if it will ever snow? I am having a wonderful time relaxing and getting organized for the coming year, both at home and at school. I am spending today in the classroom getting ready for the students' return next Monday. We will be spending some time next week reviewing the Mary Castle Expectations, setting personal goals, and working on small group interaction. Here are other lessons for the week:

  • Reading Workshop: Jan Brett author study, personal books, reading logs
  • Writing Workshop: writing goals, dictionary skills
  • Math Workshop: money review
  • Science: understanding the science fair
  • Social Studies: expectations, teamwork, map skills
  • Thinking Skills: more analogies
  • Computers: Harcourt Math, speech bubbles, inserting pictures in Microsoft Word
  • Project: types of money
  • Spelling: 00 vowel patterns

See you all soon!


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