Biography Book Projects: The students in Room 197 have just finished reading a biography of their choice. For a project, they did an accordian book. They wrote a summary of the book, found three interesting facts, defined five vocabulary words and then presented the information in the accordion books. These students are very creative and should be proud of their work!!
DARE: Students in Room 197 have started their DARE program. This is a 10 week program where students learn skills to help them make safe and responsible choices. An important part of the program is for the students to learn how to use the DARE decision making model. Ask your students to explain this to you.
Our next Science unit is going to be Ecosystems. As a part of this unit each pair of students will build an aquarium and a terrarium. These are made out of two-liter clear bottles like the one pictured. I’m hoping that between all of us we could come up with 30 bottles by next week. Please let me know if you have any bottles that you can contribute to our study of Ecosystems. If you have some bottles, it would be great if you could take the labels off and rinse them out before you send them into school.
Thanks in advance.
Mystery: Each student in the class is in the middle of reading a mystery. Before vacation, we spent time going over the elements of a mystery and the vocabualry associated with mysteries. The students have a gaphic organizer where they are tracking their thoughts about the mystery in their book and how it is being solved. They are keeping track of suspects and clues and trying to solve the mystery in their book.
For Home Reading this week and next, the students will spend about 30 minutes reading their mystery and then about 5 minutes tracking their thoughts.
Spelling: Since this is a three day week, we will not have spelling.
Division Facts: I’m proud to say that 85% of our class met the expectation on our division facts assessment. For the third trimester the students will need to know all the division facts with divisors up to 12. Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep reviewing all of the facts. I would like to suggest 15 minutes two times a week as a good amount of time to review. We will be doing some fact work in class and I will let you know if your child could benefit from more practice at home.
Parent Conferences: I look forward to seeing you at Parent Conferences on Monday and Tuesday. If you have not signed up, I still have times especially on Tuesday. Please call the main office if you need some help in signing up. Please know that I am happy to meet at another time as well.
Indoor Recess: Please enjoy our musicians. We were treated to a band concert today since it was too cold to go outside. The students are definitely ready for their concert next Wednesday at Colchester High School.
These are a few pictures from our “Can-struction” project with our third grade buddies. Each pair of students was given four canned goods and a couple of packages and the group was asked to make a castle. The students then had about 15 minutes to work together to come up with any design that they chose. The best part for me was to see how the 5th and 3rd grade students worked together.
A favorite part of our Friday is meeting with our 3rd grade buddies!!
I just thought I would share some things that are going on in Room 197. I am doing the Fountas and Pinell reading assessment on all students. This is a 1 on 1 assessment that takes place during our literacy block for about two weeks. At the same time the students are working independently or in pairs working on reading skills and reading independently. We are going to start a Mystery Unit (one of my favorites). While I’m completing the Fountas and Pinell the students will be working on Mystery vocabulary, reading some short mysteries, and working on “Mysteries for Writing and Critical Thinking’. When the assessments are completed, the students will be working in Guided Reading Groups with various mysteries. The unit will culminate with students doing a project around the mystery they read.
You may have heard that we are now in Journal 2 for math. I think that the skills become more challenging and more fun! Right now we are working on Exponents and Negative Numbers. Usually students find subtracting negative numbers more challenging than adding. Study Links may be frustrating this week. As always, all that I ask is that they try. I love it when they come in and have a specific question about homework. And … we will continue to work on division facts. In mid-February I will be giving the 3-minute assessment on division facts with divisors up to 10. It is expected that the students should do 60 problems in 3 minutes. The grade will go on their report card. This week we’ll do a practice run with divisors up to 9 and I’ll let students know how they are doing.
Thanks to everyone who donated canned goods for our “Can-struction Project”. (Pictures will be posted later this week.) Most importantly, the Colchester Food Shelf is getting a wonderful assortment of non-perishable foods. And . . it was great to see the third and fifth graders working together and using problem solving skills to build a castle out of the food that was donated.
Finally, I figured out how to print a word list from Spelling City, so from now on the students will have a Spelling list attached to their spelling worksheet.
Next week several classes in Harmony House will be collecting canned that will be donated to the food shelf in Colchester. We will be combining our efforts with Ms. McGrain’s third grade class. Of course, the goal of this food drive is to collect foods for needy families in Colchester, we will also have a little bit of fun before the food is brought to the food shelf. The third and fifth graders will work together to build a structure out of the canned goods that we collect. We will take a picture of the structures and display the photos on the bulletin board in the hallway. Once all the classes have had the same opportunity, judges will vote on the best “canstructions”.
Of course, the students can bring in any nonperishible food. Here are some suggestions for foods: Canned fruit like pineapple, pears, peaches, pasta sauce, juice (non-refrigerated), peanut butter, and jelly.
Below are some examples of canstructures that I copied off the Internet.
Thanks in advance for your support.
We were very lucky to be able to attend a musical presentation by a group called Heart and Soul. These two women are also part of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. They played beautiful music as well as explained to the students about harps and flutes. Not only are these ladies very talented, they also enjoy performing for children. The ladies had a friendly competition around which is the better instrument, the flute or the harp. Ask your students their opinion. I just loved the harp because of the beautiful sounds that come from it. Of course, listening to both instruments was awesome.