Friday, January 31, 2014

Please Groundhog...Don't See Your Shadow!!!

Happy Groundhog Day!  Let's hope the little critter does not see his shadow.  I have had enough of winter. How about you?  We made some prediction about what we would like the groundhog to do.  Most of the students are ready for spring.  Some of the reasons were: so they can ride their bikes, see the pretty flowers, play outside and some are just sick of being cold.

Here are some of our groundhogs we have hanging in the hallway.

This week in reading we finished up Unit 3.  The students were given a weekly assessment test.  They were tested on skills like main idea and key details, prefixes and antonyms.  The next day we reviewed the test to see how well they did in preparation for our Unit Assessment next week.

We also began a technology project with the help of our favorite computer teacher, Mrs. Selby.  We researched a musical instrument.  We found information like when it was invented, what is looks like, what musical family does it belong to and any other interesting facts.  The students took that research and made powerpoint slides which even included a sound byte of the instrument.  Look for this presentation at Best of Heights Night.

In math, we actually started to dabble in some division.  The students were given very simple number stories and asked to draw pictures to begin to understand the concept of division.  We also had our Unit 6 Test.  These tests will come home next week.  We still need to practice subtracting.  Please try to remind your child of our Subtraction Poem.

More on Top, no need to stop;
More on the Floor, go next door and get 10 more;
Numbers the same, zeroes the game.

Today the students were given another math fact test.  I gave an incentive to beat the previous score.  Any student who beat their score received a homework pass.  Great job for those of you that earned it.  The homework pass looks like this:

This homework pass can be used for one night of homework.  The students are responsible to hold on to this pass and use it when they want.

This week in science, we tested our solids to see if they are magnetic or not.  The students were surprised to see that some of the solids even though they were metal did not stick to the magnet.  In social studies, we learned about how a product goes from a farm to a store to be sold.  We even  pretended to be different forms of transportation, and transported our clown toys from last week from the "factory"(front of the classroom) to the "toy store" (back bookshelf).

The weather should be getting a little warmer.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 24, 2014

SNOW days!!

3 snow days so far!! Hopefully, we will not have anymore this year.  Because of the holiday, the half day and the snow day, this was an even shorter week than what was expected.  With that being said, we were still able to accomplish a lot this week.

In math, we have started multiplying.  Yes, multiplying.  We began by solving number stories and drawing pictures.  Drawing pictures as simple as circles or boxes with tallies or dots in them help the students begin to understand multiplication.  By the end of the year, the students will begin learning multiplication facts.  Keep in mind that they should still be practicing addition and subtraction facts.

Our focus this week in reading was finding the main idea using key details.  We practiced by reading several stories like "Why People Drum", "They've Got the Beat" and "Many Ways to Enjoy Music."  We also reviewed prefixes, using punctuation in sentences and combining sentences.

We took something we learned about in reading, alliteration, and used that in our writing lesson this week.  Each student took there first name and create a sentence using alliteration.  Some of the sentences were very silly.

We were able to fit in two of our favorite lessons this week in social studies and science.  In science, we tested our solids to see if they floated or not.  Some of our solids actually did both.  In social studies, the students went to work in the Wells Toy Factory.  They became assembly line workers to create a clown toy.  They had a tough "boss" who wanted to production line to move faster.  It was interesting to see how thw "workers" began to change their work to keep up with production.

Look like more snow on the way!  Try to have a great weekend.

Friday, January 17, 2014

MAP Testing...Round 2

This week we spent two days taking the MAP test.  The students worked hard and patiently through this round of MAP testing.  Many of the students are on track to meeting their goal in the spring.  Good job class!!  Look for these results as they will be coming home soon.

In reading, our essential question was "How does the weather affect us?"  Isn't it funny how appropriate that is at this time?  We read all about several kinds of weather like tornadoes, blizzards, thunderstorms and hurricanes.  We practiced using the verb "have" correctly and learned that a book title should have capital letters and also get underlined.  We also practiced identifying the important or key details to help us determine the main idea.

I'm sure many of you were happy to see the subtraction math homework come home this week using the "old" algorithmn.  Many of the students were impressed that their parents knew how to subtract that way.  The students will continue practicing this way in class.  To help them remember we use this poster....

 In writing, the students have been working on opinion/persuasion letters.  Last week, they wrote letters to Mrs. Gansert asking her to change some things about school.  She responded to every letter.  Thanks Mrs. Gansert.  This week, the students wrote to some special people asking for other kinds of changes. You may be receiving a letter??!!

In science, we are continuing to observe the different properties of our collection of solids. In social studies we discussed air, water and land pollution and how they affect nature.

Today we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.  We watched a video and read a book called "Martin's Big Words."  I am so proud of the students as they were outraged by the things they learned about from the past. They each came up with a dream for the world for themselves.

Have a great long weekend!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wild Weather Welcome Back!

So far 2014 has come in with a bang.  Last week, we had our second snow day of the school year and today we had an icy start.  Let's hope Mother Nature is kinder to us for the rest of the winter.

Last week, Mrs. Taylor (or should I say) Dr. Taylor and I (Dr. Wells) teamed up to perform our annual contraction surgery.  We came dressed and ready for surgery.  The "medical" students were excited to witness the event and even more excited to learn they would be performing surgery as well.  One of our patients "Mrs." She Will came in to become She'll.  Dr. Taylor and I carefully removed her 'wi' and stitched her up good as new.

The students completed their own surgeries and all of the patients were sent to the recovery room as seen below...

This week we started right back in reading with an essential question.."How can people help out their community?"  We heard a story about one town in Arizona and how they tansformed their drab, crime-ridden community by painting a beautiful mural.  We read a story called "Biblioburro" about a man named Luis who loved reading books.  His problem was that he too many books in his house so he decided to take some of the books to different communities by burro, or donkey.  

In math, we learned about 3-dimensional shapes and parallel lines.  We also learned about symmetry.  As you know, we had another unit test that was sent home already to be signed.  Next week in Unit 6, our focus will be once again on addition and addition/subtraction number stories. 

We started our Solids, Liquids and Gases unit in science.  To begin the unit, we start observing just the solids and discussing their different properties.  In Social Stuides, we played a game of survival.  We imagined that we were dropped into a deserted island and what things we could use for food, clothing or shelter.  

This week in writing, we wrote letters to Mrs. Gansert trying to convince her of changing some things at school.  Some of the suggestions were having a class pet, having more recess, no homework, more homework, etc.  I wonder if she will consider some of the options.

It would not be winter without some winter decor, so I decided to give our door a winter theme.  The students helped out by making the snowflakes (after a snowflake making lesson).  

Have a great weekend!