The buzz in Room 615!
Reading: Reading was full of great work and extra practice this week as we did a lot of comprehension work, guided reading, predicting, and inferencing. We've discussed the term "schema" a good bit lately, meaning what we already know. We paired that with "evidence," or clues/facts from a book, to make inferences. They were especially good at it when we read No, David!, a class favorite.
Writing: Actual writing was not practiced as much this week as usual, with the exception of our normal morning writing work where they write the morning message. As the start of our informational writing unit, we have been preparing to write how-to books by really breaking down the process of how to make a pb&j sandwich as a class. We know that authors really have to think these things through before they write them, and be as detailed as possible when they're explaining. We made lists, told buddies, acted it out, and finally wrote a class how-to book on Friday. Next week will be their turn to become individual authors themselves!
Math: Shapes have been the topic of discussion this week, and it has been a lot of fun. Havefunteaching has some great youtube videos on shapes if you ever want to check them out at home!! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxkpNYPLSD4 - there's the trapezoid one!) We made a nice chart about all of the shapes we have covered this far, including the number of vertices and sides each one has. In addition, we made some awesome shape pizzas on Thursday that are being displayed in the hall now!
Social Studies: The children started getting a general understanding of maps and their main features, such as the key and the use of symbols. We learned that maps are usually made from an aerial point of view, or "bird's eye." We keep using the term "location" so that it can become a regular part of vocabulary before too long! (If they forget what it means, we defined it as "where something is.") On Friday we tied location/maps into the Superbowl festivities by locating both Denver and Charlotte on the map and seeing how far apart they were. It was a lot of fun!
Everyone had a blast during our introductory shape activity, shape twister! I wanted to get an idea of what the kids knew already as far as shapes go, and what better way than to tell them to put a foot or hand on it? We also practiced our right and left with this....which still needs some work. ;)
Good Readers Always...
We talk a lot about what "good readers" do. There are so many things! On this day, we learned that good readers always really think about what's going on in the book, not just about the words that they're reading. They take notes (mentally or on stickies) to help them remember important parts!
Math Fact Memory
To make sure we are always on our toes, one math station is still a review of addition and subtraction. Students have to match up the sum/difference with the equation on another card.
Good Readers Always...
One day, after discussing the term "attributes," students worked together to sort shapes based on their attributes. It could've been number of sides, colors, size, or any of the above. They came up with some interesting ways for sure!
When asked to identify a shape, it is usually pretty easy for any one of the students in the class. However, I found that having to make that shape on a geoboard was sometimes different - in a good way. This challenged some of them to work their brain a little bit harder and think about the shapes from a slightly different angle.
We had a couple of fun winter literacy stations this week where the students got to practice some essential skills that are usually hard to make into something fun. Here, two students are practicing the "magical e," (or "mama e", as we like to call it) on words such as rake, wave, mice, and lime. In the other winter station, students matched snowmen, which had simple words on them, to corresponding pictures, and then wrote them down based on what vowel was in the middle. They did really well!
The Week Ahead
New Sight Words: we, where, you, find
Writing: We're going to take what we practiced all of last week about telling someone how to do something and get it down on paper this week. We'll make use of graphic organizers to help organize our thoughts, and then go through and peer review each other's work (as well as Kindergarteners can do that).
Math: We'll be wrapping up 2-D shapes at the beginning of the week, take a break for some 100th day fun on Tuesday, and then get right into 3-D shapes on Wednesday! Some common misconceptions about shapes will hopefully be better understood, and we'll have just as much fun as we did with the 2-D shapes.
Social Studies: Our location unit will continue as we begin to learn about cardinal directions and how they help us better understand maps.
All week is Love the Bus Week, during which students will show appreciation for their bus drivers in as many ways as possible! Some of the ways will be by decorating the bus lot with chalk, making them Valentine's cards, and giving treats from the PTA.
February 9: 100th Day of School
Tuesday, February 9, is going to be a big 100th day celebration. As a class (and along with a few others classes in the school,) we're going to dress up like we're 100 years old! Again, this is by choice and the extent to which you dress your child as an elderly person is totally up to you. We'll be doing tons of fun things, from estimating how far 100 things will go in the hallway to popping 100 balloons.
February 11: Jump Rope for Heart Assembly
Students will learn all about Jump Rope for Heart, the program that raises money for the American Heart Association.
February 12: Valentine's Day
Since Valentine's Day is Sunday, February 14, we will be celebrating on Friday the 12th. As mentioned in the newsletter, I am asking everyone to bring in a decorated Valentine's box of some sort. It can be made from anything, and as plain and simple or cute and decorated as you want/are able to do. I am also asking that your child brings in enough Valentines for the entire class. The little paper ones are easy enough! We will be opening them all during one of our special Valentines stations that day. Candy is allowed, but please keep it to a minimum.
February 15: President's Day
Initially, we were to have a staff development day and no school for students this day, but we will have school due to the recent snow days. Some President's Day history and activities will be incorporated into reading and social studies on this day.
February 29-March 4: Book Fair
The next book fair is coming up! More details will be available closer to the event.
March 1: Blood Drive
Odell is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, March 1. Contact the school for an appointment to save a life!