Mrs. Lahr's Classroom News

December 2015

Language Arts

This month we have been working on a variety of language arts skills that help us build better decoding and fluency skills. Comprehension skills include understanding author's purpose and main idea and details.


Authors write books for three main reasons: to inform, to entertain, and to persuade. Knowing why an author writes a book helps us understand why we read certain books.


The children learned how to identify the main idea and supporting details of a text. Knowing how to identify the main idea and details helps us understand what we read and why we are reading it.


Understanding main idea and supporting details makes us better writers. It helps us know how to create a beginning sentence and support it with important details. We used what we learned about main idea and details to create "Writing Webs." Using the writing webs, the children were able to create informational pieces of writing that hooked the reader with a topic sentence, supporting details, and an ending.


How can you help your child develop these skills at home? After listening to your child read informational text, ask him/her to tell you the main idea of the text. Ask your child to tell you the important details of the text, and ask your child to tell you why the author wanted to write the book (to entertain, to inform, or to persuade/convince).

Math

Throughout the month of December, the children have been learning about geometry. Specific skills that were introduced included defining 2D and 3D shape attributes (faces, vertices, edges), comparing and contrasting shapes (cube, rectangular prism, pyramid, hexagonal prism, octagonal prism, sphere, cone, half sphere, 2D vs. 3D) making composite shapes, identifying equal parts of fractions (one whole, one half, thirds, and fourths. Students learned that equal parts of a whole make up fractions. They learned to write fractions and were introduced to the terms, numerator and denominator.


How can you help your child develop these skills at home? Ask your child to identify household items according to their 2D and 3D names. Examples might be to show your child a soup can and ask him/her to name its shape (cylinder). You might also cut a pizza in sixths or eighths and ask your child to name the fractional parts of the pizza, "If I eat 2 of the 6 pieces, what fraction of the pizza am I eating?" Your child may need a little prompting to state the answer as a fraction, 2/6.

Science/Social Studies

Some science and social studies topics include giving to others who are less fortunate, winter weather (blizzards, polar vortexes, freezing rain, and sleet), and polar bears.

Upcoming...

Annual Holiday Sing-A-Long: Wednesday, December 23 at 12:30. If you plan to take your child home at the conclusion of the sing-a-long (early release day), I will have sign-out sheets in the classroom.


Winter break: Thursday, December 24-January 3. School resumes January 4.

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