Saturday, March 9, 2013

Room 8 Update

Reader's Workshop
We finished up our Character Study Unit this week.  Students' character projects turned out great!  They are displayed in the hall.  We tried a Visible Thinking routine called Headlines.  Students wrote a headline to capture the most important aspect of his/her character.  The headlines are displayed along with the characters.  Students also completed their Character Study packets.  We discussed how characters change over time.  We also investigated our characters by making inferences.  On Friday, students dressed as a character from a book.  Some of the characters in our classroom were...Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, Greg, Henry, Jack, Thea Stilton, Kai, and Jade.  Students wrote clues about the character they were dressed as to see if others could guess who they were.  We also met characters from Miss Pronovich's and Mrs. Kellett's room.

Writer's Workshop
Rather than using paper and pencil this week, we used iPads everyday for Writer's Workshop.  Students worked on publishing their Pigeon stories as a Keynote Presentation.  They learned how to create a new slideshow, save images and insert into their presentation, insert text, change fonts and colors.  Students had fun creating their Keynote Presentation, and they did a fantastic job!  I'm working on a way to share these digital stories with you.

Math Workshop
We finished up Unit 7 this week.  Many students still have trouble finding the median for a set of data.  They remember the median is the middle number, but they forget to first put the set of numbers in order from least to greatest.  We will continue to work on this in class.  Look for your child's Unit 7 test in his/her homework folder on Monday.  We began Unit 8 Thursday.  I will upload the Unit 8 Family Letter by Monday afternoon.  Students will learn a lot about fractions throughout Unit 8.

This week we reviewed onomatopoeias--words that sound like the sound they make.  Some examples students came up with include: buzz, pow, ding, pop, woof, crackle.  We also took a sound walk.  We walked through the inside of the building and around the outside, listening and recording sounds we heard.  The next day we tried a Visible Thinking routine called Hear, Think, Wonder.  I recorded five of the sounds we had heard on our sound walk under the "Hear" column.  Then students worked in small groups to complete the "Think" and "Wonder" columns.  They brainstormed together to answer two questions--"What do you think is going on?" "What does it make you wonder?"  Some of the best thinking came together at the end during our whole class share.  One of the sounds we think we heard was a chainsaw.  Students many trees were cut down, who is cutting down the trees, why are they cutting down the trees, what will they do with all the trees (build a treehouse, make paper, use it for wood chips for playgrounds).  The thinking routine helped students dig a little deeper and extend their thinking.

Secret Readers 
We had two special secret readers this week.  A big thank you to Julian's grandma and Katie's mom for visiting our classroom this week!  The students enjoyed listening to the stories you read aloud.

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