Friday, September 30, 2011

Busy Week

Today we were honored by a visit from Dr. Torres!!! What a surprise! He took a moment to speak to the kids and even took a look at our meal worms. He promised to return with a "little surprise" for us. We can't wait!

We did get our meal worms in this week and the students are busy doing their scientific observations. We are learning about insects.

Today we learned how important schema is to math...and more. The more you know, the more you will understand. We talked about how to build schema: reading, going places (museums, etc.), conversations with others--- all our experiences help us build schema.

We continued to work on our personal narratives..another place we use schema. We also learned more about expanded form in math.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oreo Cookie Count!

Monday we did our 1st online project with Projects by Jen: Oreo Cookie Count.

We first estimated how high we could stack our Oreo cookies. Then we made 2 attempts, counting our best stack to calculate our averages. Our classroom average was 14 cookies high.

We did our cookie stacking with our friends from Mrs. Maha's class during our weekly integration time. We also completed graphs and analyzed the data.

Today students began using a reading response journal to leave "tracks of their thinking" as they read. Writing a response to their reading helps them to go deeper in their thinking about a book.

We also began writing our personal narratives using the pictures they brought in. Tomorrow they will learn more about "show, don't tell" as they write.

In the afternoon, students took their math MAP test. Results of the reading and math MAP tests will go home Oct. 6 with progress reports.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Week in Review!

Another busy busy I apologize for not posting earlier. We had a bus evacuation drill on Wednesday. Our math MAP testing was postponed until this Tuesday afternoon.

We are learning to be voracious readers. Voracious readers build their vocabulary...they read fluently...and comprehend what they read. All students now have a book baggie that holds books that are at their independent reading level. They also have a reading log where they keep track of their daily reading so they read in every genre. This week they will get their reading response log to keep track of their thinking. Voracious Reading!

We went to the library this week. Students should keep their library book in their backpack so they can read at any free moment: before school...on the bus...voracious reading!!!!

We are learning to write Personal Narratives. We learned that a personal narrative is a story about an event in the writers life that adds personal comments and observations.

In math we finished unit 1 and a review of progress went home. The upcoming progress report (which will come home on Oct. 6) will also indicate if there are any concerns.

Here are a few pictures from our week...but my favorite is the video of the students listening to Dr. Layne read his book: Love the Baby. We listened two times and they wanted to hear it again!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Week at School!

As usual, another busy week! We had two visitors: Mayor Kelly of Bartlett and Mrs. Siegler, our 1st mystery reader. We learned a lot from both!!!!!

In readers workshop we learned about 3 reading strategies to add to our CAFE menu: Check for Understanding, Go back and reread, and tune into interesting words. CAFE stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanded Vocabulary. These are the goals of real readers and underneath we have the strategies to meet the goal. We will be adding more and students will have individual goals they work on in each area.

In Writers workshop we learned that IDEAS are the heart of all writing. Writers write what they know and they use expanded vocabulary to help paint a picture for the writer. We also have a CAFE menu for writing: Comprehension (my writing can be understood,) Accuracy (spelling, conventions), Fluency (word choice,) and Expanded Vocabulary. Just as in reading, each child has a goal/strategy they work on.

We finished unit 1 in Everyday Math on Friday. This was a review unit and we will take an assessment on Monday. This will help guide my teaching for small group work. We also worked on math stations. We also have a CAFE menu: Comprehension (I understand the problem and know what I am solving for,) Accuracy (I can solve problems correctly, I can add/subtract accurately), Fluency, (math facts), Expanded Vocabulary (I understand math words (difference, sum, equivalent, etc.) and use them in my writing.)

Under each goal we are adding math activities and students will have a choice of what to work on during independent math time. These choices, however, will be based on the specific math needs of the students.

We took our fall MAP reading test on Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon of this week, we will take the math portion.

On Monday, students will have a substitute teacher as I attend a district literacy meeting. Mrs. Graves is a certified teacher who has taught for many years and has completed many long term sub positions at various schools, including Liberty. We are very fortunate to have her and there will be no interruption in learning.

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather today! I'm stuck inside with a nasty cold! Yuck! I hope this is the ONLY one of the year!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Thrills

Mayor Kelly of Bartlett paid our classrooms a visit today. We are learning about government and how laws are made. Mayor Kelly shared with us how laws are made in Bartlett.

We also had our first mystery reader: Mrs. Siegler! The students were soooo excited to see her...and so was I! She read The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant. The boys and girls were enthralled as she read. Come back and read EVERYDAY Mrs. Siegler!!!!

Our focus in reading this week is metacognition-thinking about your thinking. Our first strategy will be checking for understanding as you read.

Here are a few pictures from our math workshop. We were playing addition top it to practice our math facts. We also wrote number sentences to match our cards and recording who had more by using greater than and less than signs.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Week at School

Even though it was a short was a busy one!

We learned more about picking just right books. We learned a new strategy called I PICK:
I=I choose a book.
Pick: what is my purpose?
Intrest: what are my interests in reading a book?
Comprehend: I understand what I am reading. I can retell what I read...I can remember what I read.
Know: I know most of the words--the 5 finger rule.

We learned more about different genre's as we continued to build stamina. In writers workshop we focused on where writers get ideas.

During math workshop we practiced math facts as we learned about different activities we will be able to do when our REAL math workshop begins.

Thursday was a Switch Day and we went to our specials. During our integration time with the ELL classrooms we learned more about laws and rules.

I hope everyone was able to get onto Let me know if you have problems. It was GREAT seeing so many faces at Open House this week. I'm looking forward to a GREAT....GREAT....GREAT Year!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Open House

Just a quick correction...Open House is Wednesday at 6:30. I hope to see everyone there!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Classroom News!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!
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Here are a few more photos from our week: