Friday, January 25, 2013

Classroom Update

Reader's Workshop
This week, we began the reading portion of our author study. I have been modeling Kevin Henkes as my author of study.  Small groups of students read and researched mentor authors to learn more about them and their stories. Our authors are: Jan Brett, Patricia Polacco, Mo Willems, David Wiesner, and Tomie dePaola.
We study authors to learn more about why they write and learn about their craft. As readers, we can enjoy and learn many new things about our authors through reading and analyzing their stories. Students spent reading time this week getting to know their author and recording books that they have completed in their author study reading logs.
Writer's Workshop
We continued learning more about Jonathan London as a writer. We read Dream Weaver, Hurricane!, and Pigsty this week. Students pointed out things Jonathan London did in his writing that stood out to them (we call them noticings). We discussed what purpose our noticings had in the books. Students shared ideas they had to include in their own writing. Students are encouraged to try something the mentor author did in their own writing. When I was conferring with students about their writing, I noticed many students trying onomatopoeia (sound words, like pop), repetition (important repeated words), and dialogue (conversations with talking marks).
Math Workshop
We completed Unit 5 of Math Workshop this week. Students learned about symmetry. Students completed shapes to make them symmetric and shared ideas of things they knew that were symmetric, like people! In computer lab, the class practiced their math fast fact skills on Math Magician.
Here is a math practice website for more help at home:

Sheppard Software

Math Magician

We continued the wind portion of our Air, Wind and Weather unit of Science. Students used three straws, a cardboard triangle, a cardboard trapezoid, and tape to create their very own wind vanes. The class predicted where the wind vane would point. Most of the class guessed that the wind vane would point where the wind was going, but a few students stated that the wind vane would point where the wind was coming from! We took the wind vanes outside in the chilly weather to prove that the wind vanes pointed to where the wind was coming from. Students learned that wind vanes point in a certain direction, but do not tell us the wind speed.
Social Studies
We continued our Geography Unit of Social Studies. Students created definitions for landforms. We identified and drew mountains, deserts, plains, valleys, islands, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Students listed things that might be found in certain landforms and what they would look like. Students constructed and labeled landforms flip books.

- Report Cards will be sent home on Monday, February 4th. Please promptly sign and return only the envelope.

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