What's New in Room 322?
Happy Valentine's Day!
February 8-12, 2016
Chinese New Year:
Monday, February 8th, we celebrated Chinese New Year. I am always looking for ways to weave learning about other cultures from around the world into teaching and this was a perfect opportunity! In writing, we learned about the Chinese Zodiac. They learned the history behind it, what year it is now (Year of the Monkey), and what year it was when they were born. Then we read on about the characteristics and personalities that the zodiac animals personify for that year. They then had to write about whether they thought that description matched or did not match their own personality traits. We learned about traditional foods they eat during the celebration, and enjoyed a treat of our own (clementines) to bring us good luck in this new year. In reading, we did a reader's theater based on the history of Chinese New Year. Following this, students completed a comprehension questions based on what they had read in pairs. We also read the book Lon Po Po and created a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the text to the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story we know. Finally, we ended the day talking about the celebration of Chinese New Year with fireworks and the lion/dragon dance. We watched some videos of the traditional dragon dances in the streets and the competitive lion dances while we created our own dragon masks and listened to traditional Chinese music.
This week marked our final week of our measurement unit as students took their unit post-test on Friday. Students have worked hard to master the last remaining standards in the unit and review. We practiced how to solve measurement word problems using three strategies: using a ruler, using a number line, and making an equation. We played a "Guess the Measurement" game in which students had to estimate measurements of common classroom items then find the actual measurement. They were amazed by how close their estimates were--a true sign that they are understanding the units and can make solid predictions based on their knowledge! Instead of doing our usual four rotations on Thursday, I broke students into new groups based on their area of greatest need that I felt they needed some extra practice/support in. For the rotations this day students may have: been in a small group with Ms. Campo working on word problems (through fun camping themed problems), been in a small group with me working on finding the difference between two measurements (the problem we were solving here was that a marker company's machine had broken and all the markers were coming out in different sizes--they had to find all the differences to get the machine working again), completing a measurement worksheet, an addition math mystery picture, or being on Dreambox. This has been a really fun unit and students were so engaged! Our next unit of study will begin next week: Representing and Interpreting Data.
Word Work: Students took their word work test this Friday. Expect new words on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Writing: We have continued our informational writing unit by working on writing a book summary based on the non-fiction books they had chosen from doing their folder projects. We discussed how to write strong introduction sentences, write facts without copying from the book, and how to do a concluding sentence. Students worked on writing their pieces then graded them using the same rubric I will be using. Goal behind this being to get encourage metacognitive thinking and reflection. Students will get familiar with this process as we continue to do so throughout the following writing projects. On Friday, students chose someone in the school (custodian, bus driver, principal, ENCORE teacher, nurse, etc.) who they appreciated and created Valentines for that person. Students will get to share their folder projects and writing in small groups at the start of next week.
This week, both our mini lessons and guided reading groups have been focused on developing fluency and strategies for what to do when we come across an unknown word while reading. We began (and finished) our new read aloud book: Dinosaurs After Dark which is the first in the Magic Treehouse Series. We are now on the second book Knights At Dawn. Starting next week, we will be beginning our next reading unit which is all about how characters and other patterns change and grow across a series. Students will be forming book groups to more deeply explore these topics so look for information on that next week!
In science this week, we have continued exploring the three phases of matter and have began to talk about how matter can change from one state to another if you add or take away energy. Our first change we discussed was melting. We created an ice snowman (which the class voted on the name Little DJ for---hahaha) and measured the snowman's height and the height of the water at the bottom of the tub to get several data points. We learned that when you have a solid and it turns into a liquid that it is called melting.
Students are learning about Black History Month with Ms. Barber. She was very impressed with what they already knew about black historical figures and the importance of cultural diversity.
Group Pictures are Tuesday 2/16
Good Luck Treat
We researched that many traditional foods for Chinese New Year are eaten in hopes that it will bring good luck (just like some eat pork and sauerkraut or black eyed peas here!) The class enjoyed clementines because the Chinese word for clementines sounds like the Chinese word for success.
Dragon Pride took on a different meaning when students learned about the dragon parades. Many chose to color theirs to reflect the things the Chinese monster Nian was afraid of. (This legend is the source of many traditions for the New Year)
Working together to read their scripts with proper fluency then answering comprehension questions on what they just read.
Good Luck Treat
DE Reading Testing Tuesday
Students hold up their estimation for a classroom object
...vs. Actual Measurements
Students write on their desks as they measure the actual measurement of classroom objects
Some groups got the opportunity to create their own word problems, swap with a partner, then solve and check.
...vs. Actual Measurements
Make sure your kiddos get rest this weekend!
Upcoming Odell Events
All these events can be found in your copy of Draco's Digest which was passed out earlier this month--these are the ones specific to this month if you are interested:
- Cabarrus County Gymnastics Parents Night Out-February 19th 6:30-10 PM
- Chick-Fil-A February 23rd 3-8PM
- Staff Hospitality February 26
**Class Pictures moved to the 16th**
Book Fair at the end of the month