Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm not even going to mention the S-N-O-W.  Let's just say, we all practiced being flexible with our schedules this week!

Valentine’s Day
We will have a very small, brief Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14. Students are welcome to bring in valentines (no candy) for their classmates, as long as they bring one in for everyone. A class list will will go home with students on Monday so children can start making valentines next week (if they so wish).

Jurassic Junior
On Friday, students in Room 13 participated in the Jurassic Jr. Program presented by High-Touch/High-Tech (funded by HEF).  This program coincided perfectly with our current Science unit, reinforcing and solidifying students' understanding of fossils.  Here are a few pictures:

Our reading schedule was definitely impacted by the S-N-O-W this week.  Instead of trying to rush through a wonderful story (Click, Clack, Moo) and the important skills that accompany that story, I have decided to push it back until next week. 

In spelling this week, we have been working with triple-consonant blends!  In a triple-consonant blend, you can hear every letter...  Try!  SCR, SPR, SPL, STR. 

           str                       spr                       scr                     spl
         string                   sprout                  scrape                 splash
         strap                    spring                  scratch                split
         stripe                   spry                     scream                splendid

Students can expect to see these patterns again in their spelling list next week!  They can be tricky and definitely deserve another week of review!

Our focus in grammar this week was n irregular past-tense verbs.  We have talked about and discussed these verbs before, but this week we REALLY worked with them.  As you may remember, we do NOT add -d or -ed to make irregular past-tense verbs past-tense!  These verbs change entirely!!  Below is a picture of the list we created as a class:

Students have finished up their "surprise" writing project.  Unfortunately, parents will have to wait just a little longer to see what it is!  Keep your eyes (and ears) open... 

This week, students spent a lot of time exploring and experimenting with the concepts of multiplication and division through various manipulatives, stories, activities, and situations.

The children also had many opportunities to practice/review the trade-first algorithm this week. Continued repetition of this algorithm is necessary in order for students to internalize the process. To help at home, challenge your child to answer subtraction problems that require regrouping. See if you child can explain what they are doing and why!

To make things more fun, I will send home a copy of the game, Black Hole.  This game reinforces double-digit subtraction with regrouping and can be played at home with just a partner (or two), a pencil, piece of paper, and a penny!  (Students were introduced to the game during last week's Math Lab).  Have fun!

Next week, students will be introduced to the concept of division and then we will wrap up the unit! Students can expect an assessment next Thursday.

Earlier in the week, students learned about different kinds of fossils - specifically, mold and cast fossils.  As students now know:
     * mold fossils are the hollow spaces (imprints) that plants or animals leave behind
     * cast fossils are 3D copies or models of a plant or animal that are formed when minerals or other sediments (sand, clay, etc.) fill a mold

Students had an opportunity to create their own mold AND cast fossils on Tuesday and Thursday.  Take a look below!

STEP 1:  Push clay down to fill bottom of cup. Make sure the top is smooth.

STEP 2: Push down your "fossil" to make an imprint in the clay.  Remove carefully.

STEP 3:  Carefully smooth some petroleum jelly in the imprint.

STEP 4: Spoon some plaster-of-paris in the mold.  Do not tip/move the cup!

STEP 5:  Let plaster dry overnight.

STEP 6: Carefully "dig out" your fossil (plaster-of-paris).  Good luck!

Mystery Reader
This week, our Mystery Reader was Cassie's aunt - Mrs. Rolph.  This was a special treat for me because I had Mrs. Rolph's daughter in my class two years ago!  (Hi, Kinsley!)  Mrs. Rolph read two great stories to students on Friday, including Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser.  Thank you so much for coming in!

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