Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week in Review: 11/11/13

Hello, everyone! I hope that you had a great week! As promised, I'm back with a "week in review" update. And, as always, any and all feedback about the blog is much appreciated. 

The past couple of weeks have been busy for me, as I've been wrapping up assessments with students and working on their report cards. You will receive your child's report card on Friday, November 22nd. It will come home in the green folder. 

The focus of this week's math instruction was "frames and arrows" problems and counting coins--we added the dime to the mix and are now practicing counting pennies, nickels, and dimes. Students took the Unit 3 math assessment, and the results of this and the Unit 2 assessment will be sent in your child's green folder this week for you to review prior to conferences on November 25-26. Remember to read the Family Letter that comes home about once per month with your child's homework--it's an overview of what students are learning in math and ways you can support this learning at home. Counting money is a great (and practical) skill to practice at home, as is counting (by 1s, 2s, 5s, forward, backward...). 

Here are a few photos from our math workshop time this week:

Students enjoyed about 15 minutes of "math choice" one day this week. The lesson that day was a whole group lesson, so getting up and making a math choice felt good for everyone, and it helped make the rest of our work time more productive too! Learning to count pennies, nickels, and dimes is hard work!

Our whiteboard definitely makes instruction more interactive, and students sit with whiteboards in their laps to help them be more engaged in the learning and practicing the skills as we go. They come up to the whiteboard to explain their math thinking and to model solutions, too.

These students chose to practice math facts and number sentences on white boards. I was very impressed with their work!
Pattern blocks are always popular choice! Great designs!
This student wanted to play 'Penny Bowl'. There were ten pennies total. Six are outside the bowl. How many must be under the bowl?

We tried Mystery Number Skype this week! On Friday, we "met" with a class in Knoxville, Tennessee. We had a number between 0-30 ready for them, and they had a number ready for us. We took turns asking each other questions to try to figure out the mystery number. Here are some of the questions we asked:

Is your number even or odd?
Is your  number greater than ____? Is your number less than ___?
Is your number in the ones, teens, or twenties?

Our class chose 22 as our mystery number because we have 22 students in our class. The other class chose 21, as that is the number of students in their class. 
Students in Mrs. Sawyer's class in Tennessee took turns asking our class questions about our number, which we answered together. 
Then our class went up to the iPad to ask students in Mrs. Sawyer's class questions about their number.
On Friday, we started work on an interactive collaboration between our class and a class in Pennsylvania. We are both making iBooks about our math thinking. Our class is focusing on ways to make ten. We are making a book using the Book Creator iPad app, which we will send to the other class by next Friday. The other class is also making a book, which they will send to us. We will then meet via Skype to talk about our books together. Only half the class has started this project, so don't worry if your child isn't able to tell you about it yet! :-)

Students are taking pictures of ways to make ten and then importing the pictures into Book Creator. Later, they will annotate their pictures and record their voices telling about their math thinking.

Students are learning to use dominoes as a tool for thinking about addition and subtraction. Mrs. Lucier and I were VERY impressed by many students' ability to explain their thinking about how they figure out 'tricky' addition facts. Students are moving beyond the "I just know it" statement about how they solve things. Yippee! 
This week, we spent more time thinking about the main idea and supporting details of texts. Students are getting very good at identifying the main idea and supporting their thinking. 

We also revisited expectations for Reading Workshop. Together, we created large "anchor charts" to display what it should look like and sound like in our classroom during Read to Self time. We also discussed what the students' jobs are during this time and what the teachers' jobs are too. We spent a lot of time in September practicing these expectations, but our Read to Self time was not going as expected. Taking a step back to review expectations made a big difference! We did the same for the Daily 5 portion of our Reading Workshop. 

Your children are "wowing" me with their reading thinking on a daily basis! I honestly cannot get through a read-aloud without many children raising their hands to share predictions, connections, questions, and things they notice about the texts we read. This is a very good "problem" to have! Readers are thinkers! It's hard to turn it off once you're in the habit of thinking about reading. Our "just for fun" read aloud times have become amazing reading conversations. As a result, children's reading comprehension skills are growing. Hooray!

This student came to me to share that two of his good fit books had the same main idea. He was right! They are both about someone being told they are too little to do something and then they prove that they can do it and are not too little. WOW!   
Below are some pictures of Read with Someone time in our classroom last week. Students do have a literacy partner who they typically sit with during writing/reading mini-lessons and work times, but it's been a bit tricky to get partnerships together recently due to students being out of the room for a variety of reasons. One day, I told students to just choose an available person for Read to Someone time and start reading. There were some magical matches...

We will discuss Read to Someone time as a class next week and decide how to make it work best.


Science/Social Studies
I do not have any pictures of the start of our solids/liquids unit in science, but it did begin last week. Students took a pre-assessment so I could see what they already knew about the topic. We then made a chart to record what we THINK we already know as a class and what we hope to learn. We watched a movie about solids/liquids/gases on the ever-popular BrainPopJr. website and took notes and shared our thinking. Next week we will explore the properties of solids and liquids and discuss/explore how matter can change state from solid to liquid and vice-versa. 

We are unofficially exploring map skills as we make connections via Mystery Skype sessions. Last week, we connected with a class in Oklahoma! No one in our class has ever been there, including me. Have you? 
Skyping with Mrs. Timmons' class in Oklahoma! Students loved learning that their state's abbreviation is OK!

No comments:

Post a Comment