Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekly Word

Reader's Workshop
We added more reading strategies to our CAFE board.  There are several decoding strategies on our board now.  We talked about how readers have a toolbox full of strategies which they can use while reading when they come to a tricky word.  These strategies will help them read more accurately.
We also talked about a couple of comprehension strategies good readers use.  We learned that readers get their minds ready to read before reading by looking at the cover (title and picture) and by taking a picture walk through the book.  We also learned that readers need to check for understanding.  If a reader is not understanding the text he/she is reading, then the reader should reread the text.
Writer's Workshop
This week students have learned to use a revision checklist.  The checklist consists of various items which writers can try to revise in his/her writing piece.  Some revision decisions include:

  • Reread and ask yourself, "Does it make sense?"
  • Reread, revise or try different leads.
  • Reread, revise or try different endings.
  • Reread and add to the picture plan.
  • Reread and ask yourself, "Did I try my best to spell words correctly?"
  • Reread and ask yourself, "Did I write complete sentences?"
Writers also learned to include the "heart of the story" in their personal narratives.  Writers include the heart of the story to share a strong feeling, important message, or special event.

Math Workshop
This week we focused on subtraction number stories and fact families.  Students learned two different types of subtraction number stories--change number stories and comparison number stories.  Students wrote several fact families and practiced addition and subtraction facts using fact triangles.  Yesterday students were exposed to multiplication through an exploration.  Students rolled a die to determine the number of pumpkins they needed to lay out and again to determine the number of candy corn pieces to lay on each pumpkin.  A student may have ended up with 5 pumpkins laying in front of him/her and 3 candies on each pumpkin (5x3=15).

Science & Social Studies
Two new types of insects arrived in our classroom!  We now have milkweed bugs and waxworms.  The milkweed bugs are sharing a habitat.  They have hatched from their tiny eggs and are crawling around the habitat.  We have given them food (sunflower seeds) and water.  Each table has a cup of waxworms.  Students need to be more careful handling the waxworms than the mealworms.  The waxworms are softer and squishier.  Students also learned the waxworms produce silk.  We are waiting for the waxworms to pupate and then turn into moths.

We wrapped up chapter two in social studies this week and took our first social studies test.  For the first test, I walked your child through answering an essay question.  I would like for students to learn to use part of the question to begin their answer and write a complete sentence.  Your child will bring his/her test home Monday.

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