News from Room 3

December 14, 2014


We are wrapping Unit 4: Place Value and Measurement this week in math and we will be testing on Unit 4 at the end of the week. Last week, students explored the idea that place-value exchanges can be used to create new representations of numbers. Students practiced making exchanges when possible to represent a number using the fewest number of base-10 blocks. Students also connected place-value concepts to computation when we modeled using base-10 blocks to add and subtract numbers. Students began to see the exchange that is made when we "carry" in addition, or have to "borrow" in subtraction, when we modeled addition and subtraction problems with base-10 blocks.

Students explored measurement by examining an inch, and seeing how many square pattern blocks (which were an inch in length), fit into a foot. Students then measured different objects in pattern blocks and in inches with a ruler, to show that both measurements were the same. This week, we will practice measuring in centimeters and we will introduce the tape measure as another tool used for measuring.

We will begin Unit 5: Addition and Subtraction in January. Unit 5 focuses on the following key topics:

  • Fact Power
  • Money
  • Open Number Lines
  • Number Stories and Number Models


We have been working on the skill of summarizing and making inferences in reading. We reviewed that sometimes authors don't tell us everything in a story, and we have to be detectives and infer what happened or how a character may feel. Students remembered from earlier that we use text or picture clues and our background knowledge to make an inference. Last week, we practiced making inferences with the stories, Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting and There's Nothing Like Baseball. Students were able to infer the setting, character feelings, what happened, and why particular events happened in both stories. Students played a "I have, Who Has" inferring game, and had to listen to a scenario read aloud, and had to infer what happened, and determine who had that card in their hand. Students had fun with the game, and wanted to play it again to beat their time!

We have also been working on the skill of summarizing. We discussed that a summary should be in our own words, and should use character names and tell the most important events in a story in sequential order. We also discussed that we don't want to use the word "said" in a summary, as it isn't important to include what characters specifically said. We have been practicing writing summaries together in guided reading groups, discussing as a group what is important to include from a story and what we can leave out.

Our vocabulary words we have focused on the past couple of weeks have included: coach, imaginary, tryouts, practices, uniform, starting, fluttered, recognized, snuggled, giggled, peered, and vanished.

Writer's Workshop and Social Studies

We wrapped up our ABC book on Evanston shortly after Thanksgiving. This unit tied in with our social studies unit on examining the community of Evanston. Students enjoyed learning about the history of Evanston, and writing about special people and places in Evanston for our class ABC book.

We dove right into our next writing unit, which has been book reviews! We began this short unit by reading several book reviews, and made a list of "noticings" of what is included in a book review. Students noticed that book reviews tell about the beginning and middle parts of a book, but do not give away the ending, includes their favorite part and why, favorite character and why, who they recommend the book for, a star rating, and a reason for their star rating. Students also noticed that book reviews often grab the reader's attention by opening with a question, and ending the summary with a hook, to get the reader to want to read the book to find out what happens.

Students selected a book that they wanted to review and wrote their summary for their book first, without giving away the ending. We then looked at opening with a question, and grabbing the reader's attention. Last week, we wrote our second and third paragraphs. We will work on revising our book reviews this week for word choice, and students will begin publishing.

In January, we will begin our next unit, which will be an author study of Laura Numeroff books.

Holiday Activities

We had a blast on Friday as the Polar Express train came through Lincolnwood! Students enjoyed listening to the story and drinking hot chocolate in their pajamas. Students also loved making a Polar Express train made of candy!

We are continuing to read different versions of the Gingerbread Man. This week, we will read a few more versions, and students will choose two of the versions to compare and contrast with a venn diagram. We will then decorate gingerbread houses on Thursday!

Thank you for all of your support and help with these fun holiday activities! Your supply donations and volunteer time is greatly appreciated!!

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 18: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Gingerbread Houses

Friday, December 19: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Winter Show

December 21-January 4: No School (Winter Break)

Wednesday, January 14: Early Dismissal at 12:05 p.m.