Well it wasn't our first full week of school yet, but we sure accomplished a lot in four days. It has been a pleasure getting to know your children. We have continued to build our classroom community and get to know each other through different games, team building activities, and problem solving challenges. We have also spent more time discussing the school's positive behavior plan, and talked about what it means to be safe, responsible, and respectful in each of the different areas of the school.
In writing we are beginning a unit on personal narratives. We began with a discussion of different strategies we can use to help us come up with ideas for writing a personal narrative. I heard a lot of "I don't know what to write" or "I don't have anything to write about" when I asked the students to write a short narrative (story) for a pre assessment. One strategy, for example, involves thinking of the first time you did something and tell that story.
In reading we began to take a close look at the theme of stories. We learned that sometimes the theme of a story is quite clear, but other times it can be a little trickier to figure out. We all agreed that our classroom read aloud, Wonder, seems to have clear themes of courage and acceptance emerging.
In math we are studying area and will move on to volume next week. We spent a couple of class periods working on an Open Response problem in which we needed to determine how many square feet of material was needed to create a quilt. In addition to the EDM program, students will be working on basic computation skills each day. They took a pretest to determine how well they could add, subtract, multiply and divide. These skills are a first trimester goal. I strongly encourage computation practice at home. I will provide practice sheets to bring home.
We are beginning the year with Science. In about six weeks our class will move to Mr. Renner's room to work on Social Studies. In our first science unit we will take a look at cells. We began with the question, What is a Living Thing? We then asked, What characteristics do living thing have? For example, do all living things move? Are all things that move living? Is a colorful autumn leaf on the ground living? How about a log? Ask your young scientist what they think.
Next week we will begin our spelling and vocabulary programs. You will also begin to see a more regular homework pattern. I will post more about homework expectations early next week.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.