Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reflections Program

Hello Parents and Students,
Please check the Community Projects/Info page (look for the tab at the top of the blog) for information about the Reflections Program.  This is a chance for students' creativity to shine - I would love to see what they come up with!!  Good luck! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As usual, we have been very busy in Room 13!  Keep reading to find out more!

Yesterday, students were introduced to the reading anthology for the first time and today we read the first story, David's New Friends.  Ask your child to tell you about the story and the surprising new friend that David made at the end! 

We have also been working hard to identify characters and settings within the books/stories we read.  Students should now understand that the characters in a story are the people and/or animals that the story is about and the setting is the "where and when" the story takes place.  They have been using T-charts to list characters and settings as they read - encourage this at home, as well!

Yesterday, we talked about how it is sometimes hard to "find the math" in a word problem (AKA number story).  As a class, we worked our way through a few problems following these steps:

1. Read the problem carefully.
2. Circle the question.
3. Underline important/key words and information.
4. Cross out distracting information.
5. Make a plan/Choose a strategy (ex. act it out, draw a picture, make a chart, etc.)
6. Show your work.
7. Write your answer - including the unit.
8. Look/Check your answer - does it make sense?

Students have these steps printed out for them in the Word Problem folders, but they might be helpful to have at home too!

On Tuesday, we had our first Math Lab!  Students traveled among three stations including:  

1. Terrific Temperature: Mrs. McCarron introduced students to thermometers and temperature by guiding them through several activities.

2. Domino Addition: At this station, Mrs. Potenzone helped students sort dominoes according to their sum. Students then picked a sum and listed/drew the dominoes that equaled that sum.


3. Base-10 Block Building: With Mrs. Chambers and Mrs. Markey to guide them, students used Base-10 blocks to build a structure and then determine the “total value” of the structure by adding up all of its “parts.”


THANK YOU SO MUCH to our parent volunteers for helping out today!! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hello Parents!

As some of you may know, I was out this past week with a pretty serious knee injury. According to Mrs. Glazier, students did a great job following the rules and routines in Room 13 and had a very productive week. I am hoping for a smooth transition back to school this week and I just want you to know that business will continue as usual!

A few things to note
* This week's spelling list will look a little different in that most students will have 15 words, rather than 10.  This will be the case from now on.  Please check in with your child to make sure s/he does a spelling activity every week!!  (We had a few children forget last week!)

* I am looking for volunteers for our first Math Lab on Tuesday from 12:30-1:30.  I will send out an email as well - let me know if you are interested!

* Our fabulous Room Parent are putting the finishing touches on our volunteer schedules.  Those will come out this week! 

* I am putting together the final details for our Classroom Directory and I will get that information out to you as soon as possible.

That's all for now!  I'm looking forward to a great week! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

We had a very busy week!  Besides being our first full week of school, we also had Curriculum Night, Book Fair, and our first Mystery Reader!

Curriculum Night and Other "Parent Stuff"
I really enjoyed meeting you all at Curriculum Night!  I hope my presentation was informative and my expectations clear.  If you have any questions or concerns about any of our routines or any of the information, please let me know!   

I put together a distribution list for email and sent my first email out on Thursday.  If you did NOT receive this email, please contact me with your information so I can add you to our list. If you would like to add or delete any additional email addresses, let me know and I will make the appropriate changes.  I am asking all parents to email me back as a confirmation that you received the email.  I appreciate your help with this!

With Thursday's email, I attached our Classroom Directory, Conference Schedule, Mystery Reader Schedule, Emergency Snack Schedule, and Volunteer Sign-Up.  Please check the information in these documents carefully and contact me if I need to make changes.  The Mystery Reader schedule is a work in progress - I will send a final version within the next week or so. 

Our Room Parents this year are Tammy Gilbery and Jocelyn Edwards.  (Yay!)  I will be in touch with them early next week to start organizing schedules for our Computer Lab volunteers, Spelling Helpers, and Copiers.  I hope to get that information out to you all ASAP.  We had so many parents sign up to help this year - it's amazing!  I'm really looking forward to working with you all!  Thank you!!

Classroom/"Kid Stuff"
Students were very busy this week.  They are starting to settle into the routines and, as a result, are becoming more and more productive!!

In reading, we have identified different kinds of genres.  Students should now understand that books can generally be divided into fiction and nonfiction.  Within those categories, however, there are subcategories including:

Fantasy Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Traditional Fiction
Science Fiction
Historical Fiction

Informational Nonfiction

There are more, of course, but they ARE only 7-8 years old!

In math, students learned and played several new games this week - all of which reinforced important math concepts. 

Addition Top It
This game is like "war" except students flip over two cards each, find the sums, and the person with the highest sum takes all the cards.  (This can be played with a regular deck of cards - play at home!)

Money Exchange Game
This game is played with paper bills - $1, $10, $100.  Students roll a dice and start collecting $1 bills.  When they reach 10, they trade their 10 $1's for a $10 bill.  The first person to trade for $100 wins!

Penny Plate
To play this game, partners need 20 pennies and a plastic bowl or plate.  One child closes his/her eyes while the other places some pennies under the plate.  The remaining pennies are placed on top of the plate.  The child whose eyes were closed now counts the pennies on top of the plate and tries to figure out how many pennies are underneath (by counting up or counting down). 

Mystery Reader
Our first Mystery Reader of the year was Mr. Markey - Julia's dad.  He read The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Steves Crummel and Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis.  Here are a few pictures from his visit! :)