Friday, October 25, 2013

Humphrey's Cage

This week we started reading our school book The World According to Humphrey.  We met with our book buddies who read to us from the book.  Then after hearing a description of Humphrey's cage, we drew what we thought the inside of Humphrey's cage looked like...with the help of our 6th grade book buddies.

This week our big question was "How do animals survive?", we heard a story about animals in the swamp and made some predictions about the story.  We used our "treasure chests" or background knowledge to make the predictions.  We also read a story called "A Visit to the Desert" about a boy who goes to visit his grandmother and learns about animals that live in the desert.  Today we started reading about a few puppies that are training to be sled dogs.  We will be finishing that story next week...

Our spelling words this week have used short and long "o".  We learned about nouns.  We did some practice during our Daily 5 identifying person, place and thing.

In math, we continue to practice our facts.  This week fact triangles came home for you to use at home. Please encourage your child to practice facts.  We want to improve our "fact power."  We had an assessment on Unit 2 which will be coming home next week.  Next week we will begin Unit 3.  In Unit 3, we will be practicing with time and money.  These are skills that could also be practiced at home as well.

The students shared with each other the personal narratives that they wrote.  This week we started discussing writing a procedural text.  We brainstormed some ideas that the students felt they were experts in and could write a Hoe-To book about.  As a class, we wrote a "How-To Make a Cream Cheese and Jelly Sandwich."  Next week we will use the materials and try to create the sandwich together to see how well we gave instructions.

In social studies, we continue to discuss maps and how they are helpful.  This week we practiced using a map grid and coordinates.  In science, we are wrapping up our balance and motion unit.  We had some fun rolling marbles on our ramps and trying to meet certain challenges.  

The Halloween parade is Thursday at 1:45.  Hope to see many of you there...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ugly Pumpkin

This week we did one of my favorite projects...Ugly Pumpkin.  We read a book called The Ugly Pumpkin.

In the book, the ugly pumpkin does not get included with the other pumpkins because it looks different from the others.  At the end of the book, it turns out he is a squash and finds a group of squash to fit in with.  We then created our own ugly pumpkins.

This week our big question in reading was "What happens when families work together?"  We read several stories about different families and how they work together.  We talked about how some families have different chores and how some even swap chores with each other.  Our spelling words and phonics practice included long and short i.  Thank you for your help in getting your child to complete the homework every night.  We continue to read books independently and add leaves to our hallway tree.  Good job students!!  Our trees is beginning to look like a fall tree.  Thanks again to Mrs. Moran our awesome art teacher who created our tree for the hallway!!

In math, we learned different ways to name a number and played a game called Name that Number. This game can easily be played at home with a regular deck of cards.  We also created Haunted Fact Family Houses.  Each house has three facts in the window and then the fact family inside the doors. 

In social studies, we began a unit on map skills.  We started out the unit by trying to find a "treasure" in the classroom.  What we found that without a map it was impossible to find.  We then created a map of the classroom and marked the spot where the treasure could be found and everyone got to share in the treasure.

We are still working on motion in science.  This week made more twirly birds and then introduced one of the elements of rolling....wheels and axles.

We are still reading the book "The Witches".  In keeping with this theme, our door is now decorated for the season. 

Have a great weekend....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fire Prevention Week

This week in honor of Fire Prevention Week, we had a visit from some of our local firefighters and the fire truck.  The students were shown what the firemen looked like when dressed in all of their gear.  They even got to hear their "Darth Vader" voice.  They got a tour of the fire truck and all of the special tools and equipment.

If you haven't been in school to see the display that our custodian put together...check it out.

We continue to work on our "fact power" in math.  We learned several shortcuts like adding 0 and 1 and 9.  The students have been working diligently to improve their fact scores.  I'm so proud of the progress they have made.  Of course, there are many ways to practice at home.  Flash cards can be purchased inexpensively and you can play math games, such as Top-It, which can be played with a regular deck of cards. Ask your child how to play...

This week our big question was "How do people take care of pets?' We read a story about different kinds of veterinarians.  

We practiced asking and answering questions when reading.  We looked for key details in the story. These are strategies that you can help your child do at home when reading.  We read other non-fiction narratives about how a boy takes care of his horse and how a girl became friends with a rhinoceros.

You probably are aware (since they brought them home) of what we did this week in science.  Yes, we make twirly birds.  The students had a great time outside making their twirly birds spin.  This was in conjunction of our motion unit in spinning.  We finished up our 3 communities unit in social studies.  Believe it or not, the students in this class voted on which community they would like to live in: a rural, urban or suburban, and the majority choose to live in a rural community.

In writing, we have been practicing writing a personal narrative.  We have been going over different elements and trying to add them into our writing.

It seems like fall is finally here.  Keep in mind that the weather changes throughout the day, therefore, it is helpful if the students have a light jacket to wear at recess or other times that we go outside.  Also, please make sure your child is appropriately dressed on gym days with the proper shoes.  We have gym on Monday and Wednesday.  If they do not have proper shoes, they are usually not permitted to participate....and that's no fun. 

Please enjoy the long weekend ahead and have some quality family time.  See you soon!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

One School, One Book

This week we launched our One School, One Book initiative.  We had a visit from the author and illustrator, Lee Harper.  Lee is a Pitman native and has written and illustrated several books including my favorite:

Mr. Harper even signed a special copy given to me by a generous parent.  Thank you!!  During the assembly, Mr. Harper showed the students how to draw one of his beloved characters, a turkey.  Here are a couple of our drawings: 

He also showed them how to draw the main character of the book we will be reading together as a school.  Can you guess what it is? 

Did you guess a hamster? Well then you would have been correct.  The book that we will be reading together as a school is The World According to Humphrey

You should have received a letter home telling about the book.  We will be doing fun activities with our book buddies from 6-Gloeckner throughout the year.

So this week in reading our big question was "How can a pet be an important friend?"  We read stories about special pets.  We listened to a story about a police officer and how her special partner, Echo was missing.  We also read a story about a boy who went to the animal shelter to get a dog. That dog became a special friend to him.  Our favorite story of the week was "Not Norman."  Norman was a goldfish and a boy got him as a present for his birthday.  The boy did not think in the beginning of the story that having a goldfish for a pet was fun.  By the end of the story, the boy realizes that he has a special pet and friend in Norman. 

This week we started writing personal narratives.  I used the analogy of a watermelon and a seed to talk about writing a small moment.  We want to focus on a seed topic, just a small portion of time. We talked about how the story should be written the same way you would tell the story.  We also practiced uses a "catchy lead" so that we can HOOK the reader. 

You should have seen and signed the first end of unit test in math.  The first test was basically all review.  We have started focusing more on addition facts this week.  We practiced writing and reading addition number stories.  We played several math games to help us get "fact power".

In social studies, we are still talking about communities.  We began to look and the three kinds of communities:  urban, suburban and rural.  We saw photos of the different communities and talked about the characteristics as well.  This week in science we had a lot of fun.  We made designs for tops and then spun them to see what would happen.  We also made zoomers.  Some of us had trouble getting our zoomers to work...but we still had fun.

Today we started our Footprints program.  You will be receiving a letter home to explain the program.  The children have a good time learning about the program especially since there are puppets involved.  

We also had a guidance lesson today with Mrs. Fletcher.  She came in to talk about respect and how next week is "Week of Repect." We have special things planned for this week.  Click here to see what to do each day.