The latest highlights from our classroom
During the first weeks of school, I have introduced the students to reading groups. We have 4 reading groups, which means the students go through 4 rotations. These rotations are Work at the Reading Table, Centers 1, Centers 2, and Seatwork. During the Work at the Reading Table rotation, students come to the front table and work with me. Most days we will be reading a story. However, other times we may be working on new vocabulary, discussing elements of a story, or other activities regarding literature and reading. During the Centers 1 rotation, students are paired with someone else in their group, and they go to a buddy reading, computer, or iPad center. During Centers 2 rotation, students are again paired with someone in their group, and they go to book bags, give me 5, or word work center. Centers 2 changes each week. All of these centers focus around literacy and reading. (If you are curious as to what they do at these centers, ask your child to explain them to you.) The final rotation is Seatwork. This is the assignment aspect of our reading time. After they have finished working with me at the front table, I show them their seatwork. At this time we read through the directions, discuss what they are asked to do, and I give them the opportunity to ask me questions. They are then asked to return to their seats and work on their seatwork.
I know these different rotations may sound confusing to you, but I assure you your child is coming to understand them very well. As I said before, they are doing a great job adjusting to our classroom routine.
As I told you at Back to School Night, this year the students will be introduced to STEM activities. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
We have already started discussing STEM and completed our first STEM activity. The students were very engaged and excited. I can't wait to introduce them to more activities!
I have been introducing the students to many different strategies and manipulatives to help them better understand place value. Two of these strategies include arrow cards and the place value chart. The arrow cards help the students spread the numbers out into expanded form, as well as helping them see how the numbers combine together. The place value chart is another way for them to sort out how many hundreds, tens, and ones are in a number. Hopefully these pictures will help you better understand. Ask you student to explain these in further detail. We will be doing more practice with these and other strategies in the weeks to come.