News from Room 208

Weekly Updates from Miss DeWitt's Class

December 18, 2015

Updates for Next Week

Parents! A BIG thank you to those of you who were willing to go out and purchase materials for our Log Cabin activity. Please make sure they are in by December 22, so I have time to run to the store if we are short on something. If you are willing to come in and help, another BIG thank you! The math project will be front loading the students for their upcoming geometry unit, which means a lot of the terms are new to them (no worries! There is a word bank). We will be starting the project at 9:00 and aim to end it around 10:15. This is a messy project with frosting! So again, a BIG thank you to those of you willing to come in and help!


We will be watching a G- rated movie in the afternoon on December 23rd, while we enjoy our hot cocoa in our new mugs. We will be connecting the book to the movie, and comparing the two different forms of storytelling. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Mug Exchange--Don't Forget!

This year we will be doing a mug exchange with the whole class. If you would like to participate, you can bring in a wrapped, newly purchased mug to school. On December 23rd, we will be picking mugs to open, and using them to drink hot chocolate! Below is a flyer that was sent home today regarding the mug exchange.

Math

We started our Division unit last week and we are continuing on with it this week. We started off with word problems, which is usually something I do last with my students. I wanted the kids to be able to see with a picture how division actually works. I taught an introductory lesson on division word problems and then gave the students a performance assessment titled, "The Baker". This used an example of a baker and how they might use multiplication and division to put certain baked goods in boxes. I had the kiddos work on this for awhile and then paused them and had them find a partner that solved the problems a different way. As I was walking around the room, here are strategies I saw:


*Math Mountains

*Standard Algorithm

*Pictures

*Guess and Check


We had a few students come up to the board and share their strategies with the class. This really opened up their minds to different ways of thinking and solving math problems. My goal was for the students to be able to see different methods for solving division and be able to pick a strategy that they feel comfortable with using from here on out. It was a very successful activity, and the kids are much more open to dividing than they were at the beginning of the unit.


This week we are using multiplication and subtraction to learn how to divide numbers with remainders. We have also learned how to use the area model to divide. This one has been tricky, but we are going to keep working on it. I had to explain to the kids that even I had to do some practice problems with this method before I really understood it! We are gradually learning other strategies!

Science

We have finished our Science unit this week. We talked about the digestive system and learned all about the steps that food takes through the body in order for us to soak up nutrients. We also labeled the parts of the digestive system: mouth, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, liver, large and small intestine. We learned about cells and tissue, and how our body is made up of a lot of cells! We got to see enlarged images of cells in our body and how each type of cell looks different.

Language Arts From Mrs. Edwards

In reading this week we continued to work on our text structures. We read different examples of each, then the students had to label which paragraph each sample was. There was a debate on a few compare/contrast verses problem/ solution paragraphs. The students did a great job defending their answer. We then moved into learning how to summarize non-fiction reading. The students learned how to find the author’s main idea, which is our opening sentence for our summary. Then the students had to decide which text-structure it is written in. This helps the students decide what details to add to their summary. For example, if it is a compare and contrast paragraph, then the students can focus their details on similarities and differences for their summary. Students become very overwhelmed with all of the facts contained in a nonfiction reading piece. Learning how to organize a summary will help them comprehend what they are reading.

Some groups are beginning to finish their Book Club reading and moving on to their final project. The students will be creating a game board to go along with the book. They will be in charge of writing the directions, creating questions/answers, a theme for the game board, and of course, working together as a team. We will start the project while some groups finish their book.


Writing: Our final copies are being published! The students are loving their freedom in coming up with their own ideas on how to present their non-fiction information. Some of the students are creating mini-books, others are doing newspaper articles, and we have a few traditional poster forms. They are looking great! We should be done with the project before break, and move on to assessing them after our wonderful holiday! Please look forward to the Language Arts Binder to come home soon after break. We are waiting for a new writing piece to be scored and ready to be shared.