Time: 3:10 PM-3:40 PM
Monday: Library (2:40-3:10)
Wednesday: No Specialist
Read for 20 minutes every night.
Please check the student planner for daily homework.
Completed homework will be marked with a star and returned.
Notes about math homework:
If some problems are circled, those are the only ones that need to be completed.
If your student struggles for more than 15-20 minutes on their homework, they do not need to finish it. You may write a note on the homework to let me know, and I will provide additional support the following day.
In writing we looked at how sources could be used to research facts and information for an informational piece of writing. Here, we focused on how we could cite our source and rephrase information in our own words or use direct quotes. We also focused on finding a balance between our own ideas and source information. Later in the week we reviewed writing strong introductions and conclusions for each of the three types of writing. Next week we begin our unit on fairytales!
In reading we revisited making inferences in a fiction or nonfiction text. As always, we focused on using text evidence to support our ideas. We spent some time analyzing quality responses and answering questions on our own. We ended the week `with a discussion on author’s purpose. We learned the three main reasons authors write (to persuade, to inform, and to entertain) and categorized different types of writing according to their purpose.
In math we continued to learn about perimeter and practice geometry with math games and puzzles. We started by finding perimeter of a regular polygon, and looked at how multiplication can help us solve when all sides are equal. We also looked at non-regular polygons and how we could solve for perimeter of these shapes. We also found the side lengths of more complex shapes and used these to find perimeter. After the SBA math test on Thursday, we ended the week Friday with some fun tangram puzzles that asked us to deconstruct and create polygons using other polygons.
In social studies we have really just been working on our museum displays for Friday! The students did an amazing job and the displays looked wonderful!
In writing we finished writing our opinion, narrative, or information essays based on the rock cycle sources we read. We continued to discuss how sources can be used to improve these three types of writing, and reviewed some of the strategies for and components of each type of writing. We spent some more time revisiting narrative writing and focused on how to research and incorporate facts and information from sources into a narrative piece to make our stories more interesting and realistic. We analyzed some examples, then tried it out on our own!
In reading we continued practicing some nonfiction reading strategies. These included comparing and contrasting two different texts, and analyzing why an author might include a certain part in their writing, and how that part fits into the whole text. We also took our post assessment that reviewed all our nonfiction reading strategies and skills.
In math we have expanded our geometric vocabulary. We analyzed attributes of polygons and practiced identifying and classifying them based on these different attributes. We also have begun the discussion on perimeter. So far, we have started to discuss what a perimeter means and explored how it can change, even as area stays the same. We have also started measuring side lengths of various shapes to help us find the perimeter.
In social studies students have been working hard on their culture projects! Each student has chosen a country and begun their research. Students chose five cultural universals to focus their project on and have begun to take note in these areas and plan their posters.
In writing we are also using our writing time to review some test-taking strategies and some of the different types of questions that could come up on the SBA. These questions reflect the concepts we have studied throughout the year, but we are practicing how to apply our knowledge in this new format. The past couple of days, students were able to practice using sources to help write an opinion, information, or narrative piece and we also reviewed a variety of note-taking strategies and the importance of having a growth mindset!
In reading we have continued analyzing the structure of a nonfiction text. This week’s focus was on texts that have a cause and effect or a problem/solution structure. We used our understanding of the structure to help us take notes using boxes and bullets. We were able to work in groups to explore a variety of texts and use clues to help us identify which structures the texts had. At the end of the week, we chose one of the texts and took notes, then wrote a summary that reflected the article’s structure.
In math we have completed our short unit on graphing and analyzing data. This week, students were asked to go from analyzing line plots and graphs to creating their own by interpreting a set of data. We have also been working on solving problems and understanding questions about data. We took our final assessment and have started our new and final unit. The first few lessons focused on word problems. The emphasis was on explaining and justifying reasoning and evaluating others’ solutions and processes. This included identifying strengths and common errors in different strategies. We are working on being flexible thinkers, able to evaluate our own thinking and pull from a variety of strategies.
In social studies students got to use the interviews they had completed at home to interview each other about their own cultures, traditions, and heritage. They also chose countries for our next culture project. See the email for more details on this project!
In writing we have finished our opinion pieces and shared them in small groups. Because we wrote our pieces as persuasive speeches, we took some time this week to discuss public speaking skills, as well as listening skills to help our speakers feel respected and confident. Students analyzed and practiced some good speaking skills, such as standing confidently, speaking loud enough for all to hear, and using expression and emotion in their voices. Students did an amazing job sharing their writing and giving each other specific, positive feedback!
In reading we started the week by completing our practice with cross text synthesis. Students took two texts and practiced writing a summary of a subtopic that merged both texts. We spent the rest of the week noticing and analyzing various nonfiction text structures, including main idea with supporting details, sequential order, and compare and contrast structures. When we return, we will continue this topic and practice using the structure to take notes and write summaries.
In math Students have learned how to collect data through surveys and measurement and place it in table. We have started to discuss different ways to display data, including using bar graphs, picture graphs, and line plots. We are also practicing reading and interpreting different graphs and charts to solve word problems.
In social studies we have continued our discussion on cultural universals, and the differences and similarities within these. Students got a chance to interview each other using the interviews they completed at home, and learned a lot about the variety of holidays, traditions, and customs within our class. We also read some stories that helped us learn a little more about other cultural traditions!
In writing we have nearly finished writing our opinion papers. We have reviewed some revision strategies and done some peer revisions, where students assisted each other by providing positive and constructive feedback. We also reviewed how to edit to correct punctuation and spelling. Students are beginning to finish their revisions, and we look forward to sharing our final papers with each other next week!
In reading we have continued building on our strategies for pulling out the main ideas and important supporting details in order to write a summary that includes the important details and omits smaller, less important details. We also began discussing some strategies for cross text synthesis. Students read multiple texts and practiced taking notes on the same topic across the different texts, leaving out details not related to the topic.
In math we completed our fraction unit with a discussion on fraction size, review of all the concepts we have learned throughout the unit, and our end of module assessment. We have now started a short unit on collecting, organizing, and graphing data. We collected some class data and placed it in a chart, then used the data to create a picture graph. We ended the week by learning how a tape diagram could be turned on its side to be viewed as a graph. This will help them start picturing equal units in a bar graph.
In social studies we continued to work on the puzzle pieces that reflect our own cultures, and began to learn a little more about each other. This unit is leading to lots of interesting discussion on the cultural similarities and differences in our class!
In writing we have learned how to make our reasons and details even stronger using different strategies, including using a survey or interview, writing a mini-story of a time when the reason was true, or using real life facts and examples. We also learned how to write a strong conclusion and discussed how to find a balance between logic and emotion, and use effective words to make the reader care about the topic. Students have continued to progress on their typing throughout the week, and I am seeing many examples of great writing strategies in their work!
In reading we have started another unit on nonfiction. We are beginning by revisiting how to summarize a nonfiction text by pulling out the main idea and biggest supporting details. Our focus has been on how to just pull out the most significant ideas in each paragraph or section, then use that to establish the main idea and write a brief summary that does not include any extra or less significant details.
In math we explored equivalence and have returned to the idea of comparing fraction size. We started the week by using a variety of models including the number line to identify equivalent fraction. We then looked at fractions equivalent to whole numbers and different ways to create equivalent fractions with different models. Students also learned how to compare fractions with the same numerator.
In social studies groups finished becoming experts on one of the cultural universals, created posters, and presented their posters to the class. We also did an art project that demonstrated how we personally relate to the different cultural universals.
In writing Students have continued to work on the first draft of their persuasive papers on a topic of their choice. We began the week by discussing how to write effective introductions with a hook and clear thesis that includes the opinion and three big reasons. Students used a “picture this” technique that helps the reader picture a scene of what could happen if the change is made, gave background information or facts, or used questions and addressed their audience directly to help make their writing more convincing. We also explored the different ways transition words could be used to help organize our ideas, and used a checklist as a tool to help write and revise.
In reading we continued to use our myths and legends books to learn different strategies for reading and comprehending fiction texts. We started with an analysis of cause and effect and how this can help us retell the important sequence of events in a story. We also discussed how to construct a strong reading response on different types of questions. We particularly focused on finding evidence, then explaining how that evidence connects to the answer we gave. We are working on not only providing examples, but clearly explaining why we chose those examples.
In math we began the week with some more practice comparing fraction size on a number line by reasoning about its distance from zero. We then started to explore the concept of equivalence, first looking at how a fraction must have the same size, but could be a different shape. We also began to recognize equivalence as fractions that appear on the same point on a number line. We also practiced creating our own equivalent fractions using various shape models, and observed patterns that helped us reason about why two fractions are equivalent. For example, if we split each part in half, we have doubled the number of parts, and the number of shaded parts, so the numerator and denominator have both been multiplied by two.
In social studies we continued to discuss a variety of cultural universals. We finished reading our book on cultural universals, then moved into a small project in which students become experts on one of universals and share their knowledge with the class. We will continue this project next week. We will also be using the holiday interview questions students completed as homework, so thank you so much for helping us with those!
In writing we have continued our opinion unit, practicing brainstorming new ideas for persuasive topics. Students generated ideas that they were passionate about and began writing about something they would like to see change or something they wanted others to appreciate. We focused specifically on how to write strong, broad reasons, with a variety of types of details and examples to support each reason. We also discussed how to address the audience, and turn our plan into paragraphs for an opinion essay.
In reading we have started a short unit on myths and legends. Students used what they have learned about fiction and applied it to these stories in small book clubs. We also discussed identifying the theme of the story and explaining it using text evidence, and students got to practice a little more writing about reading. We ended by comparing and contrasting two of the legends we read aloud this week.
In math we began to discuss the number line as a model for fractions. We practiced placing different fractions that are less than one on the number line, then introduced fractions greater than one on the number line. We ended the week with a discussion on whole numbers and their equivalent fractions and how to compare fraction size by reasoning about their distance from zero.
In social studies we continued to discuss cultural universals and students continued to be excited about sharing their own cultures, similarities, and differences with the class!
In writing we have launched our opinion writing unit. We started the week by noticing different opinion writing strategies used in some opinion mentor texts. We then explored some different ways for brainstorming ideas for a topic, and practiced different strategies for planning out our opinion, big reasons, and supporting details and examples. We ended the week by looking at some different ways we can organize our ideas for reasons and examples.
In reading we are continuing to expand our fiction reading strategies. This week, we focused on the structure and plot of a story. We examined stories for their problems and resolution. We also analyzed how a character responds to the problems they face and what that tells us about the character. After discussing the plot, we looked at how supporting characters play different, important roles in the main character’s journey. Finally, we ended with a discussion of the climax of a story, focusing on how this is usually a turning point and the ways a character is tested in this moment.
In math we focused on how the whole relates to the parts in a fraction and how changing the whole can change the fraction. We looked also looked at how viewing the whole differently can create fractions greater than one (improper fractions). We ended the week by explaining the importance of comparing fractions using the same size whole, and reasoned about different fraction sizes.
In social studies we have started a unit on culture! In our lessons this week, the focus was on a variety of cultural universals-things we all share across cultures, such as ways to communicate, food, clothing, economy, education, art/recreation etc. We then explored some of the similarities and differences within our own lives and cultures. It was interesting to hear all the different traditions and languages we have in our class!
In writing we have been doing some writing about reading. This week, we revisited writing a brief summary that includes important events and story elements, but leaves out unimportant events and details. We looked at some samples of responses at different levels and studied what changed between each. Then we practiced writing a summary together and today they got to practice independently.
In reading we have continued with the discussion about character traits and focused a little more on character motivation and why characters make certain choices. Our word work this week involved contractions of words combined with am and are.
In math we continued to explore how fractions are made up of equal parts of a whole. We started to reason through the comparisons of different sizes of unit fractions and came to an understanding that the larger the denominator when the numerator is one, the smaller the fraction is.
In science we got to use all the properties we have been observing to help us identity the twelve minerals we have been studying by name! Students got to explore the properties geologists have gathered on different minerals and their own observation charts to guess which mineral was which, before revealing each mineral’s identity. We then analyzed which properties were most helpful in identification.
In writing we have finished our poetry unit with a freestyle poem, and studying the rhythm and rhyming pattern of a limerick. After finishing writing each type of poem, we put them together into a book that we will share next week!
In reading we have continued to focus on characters, this time looking deeper into motivation for why the character takes certain actions or is the way he/she is. In our read aloud book, “Because of Winn Dixie,” we decided that Opal was bighearted and kind. We looked more deeply at the evidence that she was bighearted and why she was this way toward animals and people. We decided she was likely lonely, and therefore reached out to a lot of people to make friends. Students then used these skills and applied them to analysis of the characters in their own independent reading books.
In math we finished our unit on area, continuing to work on decomposing shapes into rectangles or completing a rectangle to solve. We took our end of module assessment, and have also started our unit on fractions. Students have started to explore what it means to break something into equal parts, and the part to whole relationship that represents fractions.
In science we continued to explore properties of minerals, including shape, hardness, and magnetism. Students also compared their observations to a classmate’s and discussed the ways in which sometimes different varieties of the same mineral can look very different. Today they got to use their mineral observation sheets to practice identifying minerals.
In writing we continued our poetry unit with a sensory poem where we describe a feeling using similes with the five senses. We also wrote a number poem, a concrete poem in which we wrote the poem in the shape of the subject of the poem, and a Haiku.
In reading we have started a new fiction unit in which we will be analyzing various story elements. This week the focus was on characters and their traits. We observed a character’s actions and words to help us identify possible character traits, then continued looking for evidence to confirm our theories about the character. We also discussed how a pattern of certain types of behaviors is necessary to determine whether it’s actually a trait or more of a one-time occurrence. Our focus in word work is still contractions, and this week we looked at examples of words combined with “have.”
In math we have nearly completed our unit on area. Students began to go beyond rectangles to explore how to find the area of straight-edged shapes that are composed of rectangles, either by completing the rectangle or decomposing the shape into rectangles. As a final project in which students could apply their knowledge of area, we created a floorplan for our dream houses, finding the area of each room.
In science we continued to explore our twelve minerals, performing different field tests on them. The properties we tested for this week include how much light can pass through (whether the mineral is translucent, transparent, or opaque), what color streak it leaves, and luster (or reflection of light/shininess) of the mineral. The students have been recording their observations as we go using their new scientific vocabulary!
In writing we finished up our information unit by sharing our published books with the class. Students got to read each other’s books and leave thoughtful compliments for their classmates. On Wednesday we started our new unit on poetry! Each day we learn about a new style, analyzing the elements of each type of poem, then writing our own! We have begun with acrostic poems and poetry that uses alliteration.
In reading we have finished up our nonfiction unit. Students practiced all the skills we have learned this unit, including writing a summary on expository and narrative nonfiction texts, synthesis of ideas from two separate texts on the same topic, pulling the main idea and supporting details from different types of texts, and building our own ideas based on what we have read. Our Word Work focus this week was contractions with “would” and “had.” We have also just begun our new unit on fiction and character studies, and will jump more deeply into that next week!
In math we continued to build our conceptual understanding of area. Students have moved from tiling a rectangle, to viewing it as an array, to finally using side lengths alone to determine the area of a rectangle. We also looked at ways we could use the distributive property to break apart larger rectangles and solve, and also explored ways to find the different possible side lengths for the same area.
In science we continued to explore rocks and minerals. We have moved away from rocks and begun to discover the properties of different minerals. We have discussed what makes a mineral a mineral, and discussed some of the properties they can have, including color, smell, and how they feel.
In writing we have been finishing up our information writing unit. Many students are beginning to finish their books, and we are looking forward to sharing them early next week!
In reading last week we had explored the ways in which we can read a piece of narrative nonfiction through a story lens, identifying characters, setting, problem, solution etc. This week, we shifted focus and practiced reading through an information lens, much the way we would read an expository text to search for certain types of information. We discussed how even if something is written as a story, we can still learn true facts from it. For example, in Wilma Unlimited we were able to learn about her life story, but also learn information about history, the Olympics, and Polio, because there were facts about these in the story. We finished the week with some practice in cross text synthesis-putting together ideas from two different texts on similar topics. Our Word Work focus this week was on contractions with “is/has” and “not.”
In math we continue to build our understanding of area. We began by using tiling to make rectangular arrays, then explored some incompletely tiled arrays. This introduced a discussion on the tiles’ (or square units) relationship to side lengths. By the end of the week, students were able to understand why the side lengths are multiplied to solve for the area of a rectangle. We also discussed the importance of including units when we label and solve.
In science we have been observing and exploring the properties of rocks. Students got to sort a set of rocks and explain the categories they chose. This began the discussion on how rocks can be sorted by different physical properties and what some of those properties are. We also discussed different types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic) and tried to identity whether we had any of these in our set.
In writing we are finishing and publishing our information books! We will continue the information unit through next week when we share our published work. Next unit we will do a short study of different types of poetry, which should be really fun!
In reading we have continued to read narrative nonfiction articles and books, and discussed how reading nonfiction as a narrative can be different than reading an expository text for information. We reviewed the various story elements, then practiced using those to compose a short summary that includes important details and leaves out the unimportant details.
In math we began to study area. We discussed how the area of a shape is decided by the number of equal sized units contained within the space. We observed rectangles and looked at the relationship between the area and the arrangement of the units within various rectangles, noting that the area stays the same even if you rearrange the units. We ended by looking at the relationship between side lengths and area.
In science we began our unit on rocks and minerals! Students have come into the unit with some great background knowledge and lot of interest in the subject. We began by observing the properties of some different types of rocks.
In writing we are working through the process of publishing our final books, and about a week after we return from the break, we will be completing the publishing process and sharing our final information books with each other!
In reading, students continued to practice identifying character traits in narrative non-fiction. Students wrote a RACE reading response identifying a character trait to describe Wilma from Wilma Unlimited. When we come back from break, we will wrap up our non-fiction unit and move onto an in-depth fiction reading unit!
In math, students completed Module 3 by practicing two-step word problems that involved multiplication and division. They also took their end-of-module assessment. When we return from break, we will begin Module 4 on multiplication and area.
In social studies, students completed work on their region brochures. After break, we will have a brochure walk, where students will get to learn about each other’s regions.
In writing we continued to edit and revise, this time using a checklist that included 3rd and 4th grade expectations, so that those who felt strong in the third grade column could stretch themselves to the fourth grade column. Once revision and editing were complete, we began to write our final drafts!
In reading we continued to focus on using RACE to write a strong reading response. We read some narrative books that were based on true stories (Brave Harriet and Wilma Unlimited), then analyzed some of the character traits the main character in each book had. We practiced writing reading responses that communicated the character trait and used evidence from the text to support it.
In math we learned how to multiply and divide using zero and one. We also learned some strategies for understanding and solving tens facts. Students have been challenged to think about the associate property and the flexible ways numbers can be taken apart and put back together. We also revisited two step word problems and practiced finding patterns in multiplication facts.
In social studies we are creating brochures based on a certain region of the United States! Students consider attributes of a region, such as climate, economy, industry, culture, and people. They use these features and some information writing techniques to help create an interesting and informative brochure!
In writing we are moving into editing and revision of our rough drafts. Earlier this week, we brainstormed different types of text features we could incorporate in our books and discussed the purpose of each one. We also studied mentor texts to help with writing engaging conclusions that summarized the text or called the reader to action. We ended the week with a lesson on editing for varying sentence length, adding punctuation and capitalization, and breaking up large paragraphs to address a new main ideas with supporting details.
In reading we revisited RACE and really focused on writing a quality reading response. After completing an example together with a read aloud, students were able to try it on their own using their books from reading groups. We addressed how a character changes or learns a lesson and began to revisit character traits.
In math we learned some more strategies to make multiplying easier, including finding benchmark numbers from which we can solve more efficiently. For example, when finding a nine fact, we can use ten and subtract, or we can add from a friendlier five fact. We also looked at all the different types of patterns and solving strategies that can be used with 9 facts. We ended the week with more focus on problem solving and choosing efficient strategies.
In social studies we explored how maps can be broken into different regions depending on which attributes are the focus. Students got to explore different ways to create regions for the United States on their own, using features like population density, climate, natural resources, and annual rainfall. We ended the week by exploring how the United States is actually divided into regions. Next week we will begin a small project based on these different regions!
In writing we are making a lot of progress on our information books! This week, we discussed how to write an engaging introduction that interests the reader and gives an overview of the different sections of the book. We also practiced organizing and transitioning between chapters and within chapters, and using checklists and other resources to assist as we write and revise.
In reading we analyzed information texts to determine the author’s opinion or how the author felt about his/her topic. We also practiced how to have quality conversations with reading partners about the texts we read. In our groups this week, we focused a lot on writing about reading with a complete response. Students learned the acronym RACE (Restate the question, answer the question, cite where you found evidence, and explain your answer with evidence). We will be using this structure for many written responses throughout the year!
In math we are continuing to practice skills and fluency in multiplying. We introduced the concept of parentheses in math and how they determine the order in which we should solve problems with more than one operation. This led to our discussion on the associative property, and students practiced breaking apart larger numbers and moving parenthesis to help solve easier variations of the problem. We also revisited how to have engaging and thoughtful math discussions and be good listeners as well. We finished the week with our mid module assessment.
In social studies we have discussed geographic land forms and how they affect where people choose to settle and live. We began by identifying different types of land forms, then examined different types of land forms across the United States. Students compared maps of the landforms to population density maps and thought about why more people might live in some places rather than others. We did a picture walk that helped us analyze what types of jobs, weather, and activities can be associated with different types of regions (swamps, deserts, mountains, coasts, and plains) and discussed how this can affect the lifestyle of a community.
In writing we continued to talk about information writing strategies and students continued working on their drafts. We practiced writing strong, organized paragraphs and chapters and looked at how transition words can be used to help connect our ideas across different sentences and paragraphs. I’m seeing some excellent strategies being used and enjoying learning about the different topics each student has chosen!
In reading we began to explore how we can add to what we have read in nonfiction texts, by thinking about questions, additional thoughts and ideas, and connections that we make as we read. We also discussed having a positive reading attitude and sharing the important information we read in a conversation with others.
In math we continued to work on multiplication and division. The focus this week was on building fluency with sevens by using skip counting and different mental math strategies to help us add quickly to solve an unknown problem. We also revisited the break apart and distribute strategy as an option for solving not only multiplication, but division problems as well. We ended the week with some practice showing different strategies for multiplication and division word problems.
In social studies we continued to focus on how maps can help us understand where people live and why they live where they do. This week, our discussions focused on the United States and how the population looks in different regions of the country.
In writing we really started to think about what we would write in our informational books. We began by exploring the different types of organization we can use for the structure of our entire book or the structure within each chapter. We related it back to the organization we have been noticing in our nonfiction texts during reading. We also examined some types of information we can use (statistics, facts, anecdotes) and ways of delivering the information (narrative form, different text features) as we began to write out some sections of our books.
In reading we continued to explore main idea and supporting details in a nonfiction text. Students got to do a little more independent practice with the skill and we discussed how to revise as we read when our main idea isn’t quite accurate. We also practiced synthesizing information from two different texts on the same topic, and ended the week with a discussion on reading nonfiction with a positive learning attitude and “growing an idea” based on what we have read. For our spelling pattern this week, we continued to focus on the /aw/ sound (ough, augh).
In math we began our next module, in which we jumped back into multiplication. We revisited the commutative and distributive properties, but tried out new models to represent them. We also learned how to use a letter to represent the unknown number in a multiplication or division equation. We ended the week with a focus on building fluency with sixes and using strategies to help us see patterns and skip count accurately.
In social studies we examined a variety of world maps (population density, water scarcity, climate etc.) and discussed what we noticed and wondered. These questions and things we noticed led to a discussion on where people live and what factors might contribute to why many people live in some places and not many live in others.
In writing we launched our informational writing unit! We started by exploring some things we noticed in published informational books, articles, and student work. These included text features, organization, and strategies for writing with craft. Then we got to start thinking about topics on which we are experts and brainstorm some ideas for topics and subtopics!
In reading we began to explore nonfiction texts, which aligns nicely with our unit on writing nonfiction! We started with a look at some of the ways a text can be organized (chronologically, by type of information etc.), then focused for a few days on how to identify the main idea and supporting details using a box and bullet chart. We finish the week with a lesson on how to teach others using the important points we pulled from a nonfiction text. Our spelling pattern this week included words with the /aw/ sound.
In math we continue to work with measurement word problems, using addition and subtraction. We revisited the standard algorithm for subtraction and related it to the place value chart. We also focused on rounding again, and looked at how it can be used to estimate sums and differences using mental math when we can’t easily add or subtract the two actual numbers in our heads. We also assessed what made an answer reasonable and why the way we choose to round is important for accuracy.
In social studies we have continued to study geography. Using Google Earth again, students observed the different map features associated with each type of location (continent, country, state, city, and neighborhood) and discussed why it is important to understand that there are different ways to name a place. We also began a discussion on map keys and their importance, and students got to begin creating their own maps of places they know well!
In writing this week we completed our narrative unit, meaning students got to celebrate and share their final piece with the class! We finished typing and did a gallery style walk around the class to read and leave compliments on each other’s narratives. They did a great job and it was a lot of fun!
In reading we finished up our fiction unit with a reading response in which students analyzed character traits, made inferences, and summarized a story. We also launched our nonfiction reading unit with an exploration of the different ways a nonfiction text can be organized. We focused specifically on how headings and subheadings assist with the organization. This should also help us as we think about beginning our own nonfiction writing next week!
In math we have been learning about how to round. This week we learned both how to round two digit numbers and three digit numbers to the nearest ten, and how to round to the nearest hundred. We also got to apply what we know about different types of measurement to some measurement word problems, and practiced choosing when to choose a mental math strategy and when to use our knowledge of place value to help us apply the standard algorithm.
Social Studies We started our new social studies unit this week! We started the week with one of our social emotional, Second Step lessons in which students began to practice identifying feelings in others and discussed how understanding a situation and that people can have different feelings can help us have empathy.
We began our first unit from the new curriculum, which focused on characteristics of places and locations and the difference between the two. We explored Google Earth to help us get a better understanding of different types of locations and map features that help us identify them. We also focused on the different ways we can describe our own place and location.
In writing this week we started to take our final steps toward completing a personal narrative story. We continued to use our checklists and feedback from classmates to make revisions, add and remove details, and catch mistakes. We also continued to type our stories and will continue to do this until we have a final draft to publish and share next week!
In reading we completed our read aloud, Stone Fox, and discussed the different ways we can ask questions as a reader. We examined what the author’s purpose might be in including certain details in the story or writing parts a certain way. We ended the unit with a reflection on what we took away from the story, what we have learned about ourselves as readers, and some of the skills we have developed.
In math we continued to discuss measurement, with a focus on liquid volume to start the week. Students practiced decomposing liters into milliliters and compared the process to decomposing kilograms into grams. We also learned more about how we can use a vertical number line to help with the process of measuring volume, and discussed the meaning of capacity. We continued practicing measurement word problems that required the use of different operations (division, multiplication, addition, and subtraction) and continued sharing some of our mental math strategies. We ended the week with our mid module assessment, and will be moving on to rounding in the second half of the unit.
In science we completed our unit on salmon. Students started the week by simulating the migration of salmon from the ocean to their home stream. As they entered from recess, they had to remember a sequence of scents and follow their scent path home to reflect the way salmon follow familiar scents back to their home stream. We also spent some time reviewing everything we have learned about the salmon life cycle, anatomy, adaptations, and dangers.
In writing this week we continued to work on narrative drafts. It has been great to read about everyone’s experiences and I’m seeing a lot of good writing strategies being used, such as using dialogue and adding descriptive, sensory details. Most students have begun to type up their final drafts, which we will continue to revise. At the start of the week, we learned some editing skills, specifically focused on end punctuation and punctuating dialogue. We also learned how to choose a good place to end a story, and looked at different strategies for doing so. The rest of the week was spent focusing on revision and adding the different types of details we have discussed throughout the unit.
In reading we continued our focus on understanding hard words. This time, we discussed the meaning of unfamiliar words using the context of the story. We also applied this strategy to identifying and understanding when we encounter figurative language. The rest of the week, we practiced coming up with questions about what we are reading and rereading and rethinking what we know about the story to help us come up with possible answers. Our word work this week focused on the CVVC spelling pattern: long a, e, and o (ai, ea, and oa).
In math we continued to discuss measurement. The first part of the week we continued telling time and using the number line as a strategy for solving word problems relating to time. In the second part of the week, we started to talk about metric weight, building and decomposing one kilogram, 100 grams, and 10 grams. We went on to building our reasoning and estimation skills by finding objects that we thought could be benchmarks for each of the weights listed above. Today we practiced using mental math strategies to help us solve word problems involving weight.
In science we are beginning our final activities relating to salmon. We continued to focus on the dangers salmon face, specifically the human dangers, and read a story that covered one salmon’s life cycle and the dangers she faced throughout it.
In writing this week, we continued our personal narrative unit. We began to focus more on revising and organizing our writing. We started by learning how to separate parts of our stories into paragraphs. We also revisited how we can add different types of details if our paragraphs feels too short. Following the paragraph lesson, we discussed how to effectively use transition words to help the reader understand the sequence of events. We ended the week by discussing how while revising, we can find words that are dull or common and replace them with exciting and interesting words.
In reading we used a reading rubric to help analyze the strategies we are using and those we are still working on. Students offered feedback to each other as they practiced retelling the events in their books based on the rubric’s guidelines. We continued challenging ourselves by reflecting on whether we persevere when reading gets challenging and setting goals for when we feel we don’t. This could be related to anything from reading outside a genre we are comfortable with, to stretching ourselves to choose more challenging (but still good fit!) books, to putting aside more time to read each day. We ended the week with a lesson on strategies for figuring out hard words instead of skipping over them.
In math we concluded our module on multiplication and division with a lesson on two step word problems and our end of module assessment. We will be revisiting the topic in Module 3, but the current topic is measurement. We started the unit with a discussion on time. Students practiced reading an analog clock and relating the intervals of five on a clock to those on a number line.
In science we continued our unit on salmon. We finished up our activities relating to the life cycle of a salmon, and began a discussion on the various dangers salmon encounter.
In writing this week, we continued learning strategies to help us write personal narratives. We also continued to practice thinking of our small moment and adding different types of details to make the story more engaging. To accomplish this, we compared a storyteller voice to a news reporter voice and discussed how we could establish a storyteller voice in our own writing. We also started to learn how to evaluate our own writing using a checklist in order to make revisions. We ended the week by discussing different ways to write a strong introduction.
In reading we used our read aloud story, Stone Fox, to discuss how to analyze a text to evaluate what we are comprehending. Students answered questions about what we have read, then practiced the strategies in their own reading. We also practiced making predictions based on what we know about stories and what has happened so far in the story. We ended the week with a discussion on how to retell the most important events in a story.
In math we returned to some familiar concepts to practice modeling them in different ways. We looked again at the distributive property and how to break apart a larger number of groups to make smaller, friendlier groups that are easier to solve. We also looked more deeply at the relationship between multiplication and division. We ended the week by applying what we know about multiplication and division to solve two step word problems.
In science we continued our discussion on the life cycle of a salmon. Students read a text that gave them a more in-depth look at what happens in each stage of the life cycle and we drew a picture that helped us better visualize the process.
In writing this week, we started our personal narrative unit. Students set writing goals for themselves and discussed some of the things good writers do as they explored various mentor texts. We also discussed how to make our writing stronger when we zoom in on a small moment, by picturing a scene like a movie in our head and using descriptive details that describe actions, dialogue, feelings, and thoughts.
In reading students were assigned reading partners and had some time to get to know each other better as readers through interviews. We also discussed why and how we recommend a book to someone, then came up with a process for book recommendations in our classroom. We ended the week with a discussion on comprehension, and strategies for doing a comprehension check as we read. We will continue on this topic next week!
In math we reviewed the concepts we have learned so far and completed our mid module assessment. We then revisited division, discussing its relationship to multiplication as a missing factor problem. Students learned to use a tape diagram as a tool to help model the unknown factor in a division and multiplication problem. We also focused on the difference between the missing factor as the number of groups and the missing factor as the size of the group.
This week in science we took our field trip to the salmon hatchery! The students really enjoyed seeing what they had been discussing in class in real life. We also continued to analyze and explain the life cycle of the salmon and finished up our discussion on the anatomy of a salmon and function of each part.
In writing this week, students learned some more strategies for generating ideas for writing topics. They drew a map of a place that is important to them and wrote memories based on the experiences they have had in that place. We also filled in a chart about important objects, people, places, and strong feelings to spark ideas for good narrative stories. At the end of the week we started to practice narrowing our focus to one small moment and adding details about that moment.
In reading we have started using our Readers Workshop model of learning. We started the week by discussing how we can make reading the best it can be. We discussed how choosing the right place to read, choosing books we have interest in or others have recommended, talking about what we’ve read, and approaching with a good attitude can contribute to a successful reading experience. We also reviewed a good fit book, and identified signs that show a book may not be a good fit. I encourage students to practice this in choosing books at home, as well! Finally, we ended the week by learning to set different types of reading goals for ourselves.
In math students were introduced to the commutative property of multiplication. We also continued to analyze the relationship between multiplication and division. We ended the week with an introduction to the distributive property, a useful strategy for breaking apart larger numbers to create friendlier multiplication equations that help us find the answer to the larger problem.
This week in science we discussed the anatomy of a salmon. We identified parts of the salmon, and continued to update our science notebooks. We also learned a new note-taking strategy, using a text about salmon anatomy to pull out the main ideas in each section.
In writing this week, we began to learn some of our writing procedures and expectations. We also discussed what good writers do. Later in the week we practiced generating ideas using an idea bank that had students reflect on moments in their life that could be turned into true stories. Today they got to use one of their ideas to write a flash draft.
In reading we read the story “Officer Buckle and Gloria” aloud, answered some comprehension questions, and practiced making text to self connections. We also discussed strategies for choosing a good fit book, including our five finger rule for identifying how many unknown vocabulary words we encounter on a page, and questions that help us determine our interest level and comprehension. We also discussed when it’s okay to abandon a book and how to branch out to give different types of books a try, even if they aren’t what we would usually choose.
Last week in math, students were introduced to the Read, Draw, Write strategy found in our Eureka math curriculum. This strategy states that students should read the problem, draw a picture of the problem, write an equation to solve the problem, and then write their answer in a sentence, and sometimes explain in words. We continued to practice this strategy this week as we started solving multiplication problems using drawings, arrays, and number bonds. Students were introduced to the concept of multiplication as equal groups, and division as having an unknown number of groups or unknown size of the group.
In science we learned how to set up a science notebook to take notes, draw diagrams and record important information. Students also learned to use a Box and T-chart as a method for comparing and contrasting, and we compared two different types of salmon to practice.