Our Week – March 22

Spring is here! Yay!  The snow has melted off the field and recess is full of running sliding and mud.  (Sorry, but they did have fun J).  The sun feels wonderful and we are looking forward to the final third of this third grade year.  This week we’ve spent time talking about the difference between having the ability to do something and actually doing it.  We talked about the importance of thoughtfully approaching each task and reflecting on how our choices can help us learn … or not. Keeping our reading logs will help us uncover patterns that can help us grow as readers.  Crafting sentences are thoughtfully can help us communicate more effectively with our readers.

Responses to Reading

This week we began a new round of book clubs.  The students are working in groups of two, three and four to read, write about and discuss what’s happening in their books.  The groups are reading: Please Write In This Book, The Case of the School Ghost, The Mystery of the Stolen StatueHachiko Waits and The Gadget War.  Each group is organizing their own reading times, amount and are selecting the type of response they would like to do with each reading.  I’m pleased to share that most of the children are taking the responsibility to meet the deadlines and to be prepared to meet and share.  They are using the following response strategies: Sketch to Stretch, Essence Summary, or A Line a Page.   Everyone in the class seems to be having fun.  They enjoy sharing their ideas and realize that they can do that more effectively when they take time to reflect on their reading.

Learning About Paragraphing with Mary Poppins

We are two thirds of the way through reading Mary Poppins.  She is quite different in the book, than she was in the play or the movie.  To learn about paragraphing to we brainstormed a list of statements we could make about Mary Poppins based on what we’d read so far. Once we had collected ten statements, we decided that the most important thing about her is that she is magical.

The next day we used that fact as our topic sentence.  We wrote, “Mary Poppins makes amazing things happen, almost as if she is magical. “ Our next step was to fill out a t-chart of subtopics and supporting details.  Our subtopics were:  she is sometimes stubborn, she is practically perfect and she does surprising and unpredictable things.  We added supporting details from the text as evidence and in no time we had a three -paragraph piece about Mary Poppins.

This is the same strategy we will use when we write about the Wonders we’ve found in our countries. We’ll practice this strategy a few more times as a class and individually before we write about our country research so everyone feels as if they know what a paragraph is and how to create them.

Exploring Force in Science

A force is a push or a pull. That idea was easy to understand when we watched a tug-of-war.  We understood the different forces that made our Hopper Popper jump HIGH last week. We discovered we could change the strength of the force by adding more rubber bands or by using thicker rubber bands or by changing the size and weight of the popper.

This week we expanded our understanding of force by looking at bridges.  How do the lines of force help engineers design bridges? How do they balance pushes and pulls so the bridges we build can hold weight?  How do they design bridges so they are safe to use? We learned some about pedestal, arch and truss bridges.  Once we knew about bridges, we took on an engineering challenge to design a bridge using just two pieces of regular copy paper.  The extra competition was to see which bridge could hold the most pennies (or coins when we had no more pennies to use).

The fun part of this challenge was that we hoped we’d fail, because each failure helped us to discover a solution.  We discovered that sheets of paper could become very strong when we change their shape by crumpling, folding or coiling.  We had fun building and discovering how force impacts a structure. Whether a bridge held 80 pennies of 280 pennies each team learned how to change a design at the point of failure. We discovered that paper is strong with the right design.  Ask your child what he or she did to strengthen the paper so the bridge would stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bits and Pieces –

  • Mr. Guidi challenged us to think outside the box with a puzzle challenge.  We had to create seven different rectangle puzzles without talking. Surprisingly, we realized that because we didn’t talk our process was more efficient.
  • We are all nearly ready to record our weather forecasts.
  • We’re creating the bodies for our apple head dolls in art. We continued making the bodies this week.

 

Our Week – March 15

It seems wild that we have already reach the mid-point of March, and that we are two-thirds of the way through our school year.  The days and weeks are flying by.  I guess they always do, but I wish things could slow down a little so we can fit in more book discussions and research projects and art and building and, well, just have more time together. I know we’ll accomplish all that we can, but I’m just wishing to fit everything in so it feels exciting and well done.

Because of our stops and starts lately, due to delays and professional development days sprinkled in too, it has been challenging to get into a learning flow.  Here’s a list of what we’ve been doing.

Reading

We’ve been reading picture books about friendships, feelings and kindness.  We’ve been reading about different places around the world and the ways that people are the same and different at the same time.  We’re halfway through Mary Poppinsand are excited to compare the book and the play.

The children are really making an effort to select books that help them grow and develop as thinking readers.  They are keeping track of the books they read, when the start them and finish them, the genre and a brief comment about the book.  This week we realized that at the beginning of the year when we set up expectations for book selection we said there should be two or three just right books in each book box – the one you are reading now, and, at least, the one you’ll be reading next.  You could have one or two “fun and easy” books and you might have one real challenge. These are still our guidelines, but in September Gerald and Piggie were the “easy” selections and now it is the graphic novels that are.  They have grown and are becoming more skilled readers.

We are exploring different ways to respond to reading.  We’ve learned three response types so far:  Sketch to Stretch, Essence Charts and A Reflection Each Page.  We practiced the final strategy together as a class while we were reading a chapter of Mary Poppins.  We are also beginning a new round of book clubs.  One group began this week and they’ve been able to see the benefit of keeping track of reading by writing.  It really helps you think about what happening and to remember it.

 Writing

The fourth month of the 3E book contest and awards is coming up.  The children are truly excited about creating innovative books and interesting stories.  Often the children work together building the stories a page at a time.  Some are really thinking of how they can include each of the elaboration strategies within each story.  The ideas always start off great.  Many of them leave us wishing for more when they end. The words, “to be continued,” often leave the class groaning.

We have continued to work on sentence construction.  We’ve practiced constructing simple, compound and complex sentences when looking at photographs of pictures of children from the countries we’ve begun researching. We’ve continued to focus on narrative writing and done a teeny bit of more revision with our family stories.

We’re learning note taking strategies and learning how to organize our information and thoughts into paragraphs.  We’ve been collecting information about possible Wonders from our countries. Each of the children wrote a letter on their blogs asking for information about the country they are researching.  We hope that we’ll receive responses from around the world.  We’re hoping to find out how far away our blogs are read.

If you know people from these countries, please send them the student’s blog URL so they can respond.  That would be fabulous.  Thank you!

Liam – Japan                          Emma – Thailand                  Logan – Argentina

Sophia – Germany                 Sutton – United Kingdom    Ellia – China

Ella – Russia                           Michael – Costa Rica             Mady – Italy

Olive – Canada                      Cooper – India                       Eddie – Madagascar

Ryan – Mexico                       Charlie – Turkey                   Gabriel – Spain

Hayley – France

Math

We’ve been working with large amounts and place value.  We’ve been reading amounts through the billions and identifying the value of digits in certain places.  We’ve learned about the periods in numbers and how each period has a ones, tens and hundreds place. We’ve also been dealing with equivalent amounts such as 4 hundreds equaling 40 tens or 400 ones.  We’ve also solved a variety of place value riddles.  This work with place value is to help all of the children feel comfortable using the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction.  Some of them are already there, while others feel nervous about making that step.

We continue to do a little basic fact practice every day, along with Number Corner when we share the calendar each day.  This month we are exploring different ways of measuring times and for organizing data. We’re reading digital and analogue clocks and reading pictographs and tally charts.

Social Studies and Science

In our study of global geography, we’ve continued to explore maps and mapping.  During shared reading we’ve been sharing books, poems and songs that allow us to explore what it is like to live in different places around the world.  And of course the children are each researching the country they were interested in learning about.

We’ve been working with Mrs. Herlihy in technology to create a weather forecast.  We gathered the data in class, created the slides in technology and are now ready to write the script for the forecast.  In two weeks time we hope to film our forecasts.  It’s been quite a long process – surprising how our delays interrupted our scheduled technology times.  Even though the process this year has been more draw out than we’d hoped, I think the children are learning a lot about weather, climates, mapping and are developing many technology skills they will use from now on in making presentations.

And finally we’ve exploring force and magnetism.  This week we explored the notion that all forces are either a push or a pull.  Some are weak and some are strong.  We used this notion to see if we could launch a hopper popper.  At first everyone made the popper the same way and tried to see how high they would jump. Next we explored variables and tried to see what changes we could make to make them hop higher.  Ask your child what he or she discovered.  Some of the variations worked and some of them didn’t. That’s how it is when you work through a design process.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We went snowshoeing with Mrs. Yeaton during Phys. Ed.  It was fun to be outside and enjoy the snow.
  • We are having fun playing our recorders with Mrs. Oliver.  Please help your child find time to practice – but also always house their recorder in their backpack so it’s here at school on the days we need them.
  • FYI – For those who like to plan well in advance…the children will be playing in a Recorder Concert prior to the 3rdGrade Parade of States (more details to come in April) on Thursday, May 23.  We’ll ask the children to arrive at 4:45 with the concert to begin promptly at 5:00 with the float parade to follow.
  • The first Wonder that Eben found in The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs was an apple head doll.  Mrs. Sheridan is helping each of the children make their own.  The heads have been carved, the bodies built and the clothing designed.  Next they’ll be sewing and putting them together.
  • Report cards will be coming to you in the mail next week.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate contact me.  Children are receiving mostly 2’s and 3’s, which is to be expected.  I am proud of their time and effort and the progress that has been made by each of them since the end of November.

Wonders of Our World

We are beginning to learn about different countries.  We are interested in learning how we are the same and how we are unique.  We are really interested in learning how make it a better place through understanding and empathy .

We read a book called The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney.  In it Eben accepts a challenge from his dad to find seven wonders in his small, rural town in seven days.  If he does, he’ll earn a trip to some place far away.  As we read the book we realized that a “Wonder” is only wonderful through the story and history that accompanies it.

We have been blogging for a few months and we are hoping to reach out to the world.  We are hoping for lots of help.  We are hoping to learn about the wonders of the countries we are researching from people who live there. We wrote letters on our blogs asking for help.  You can find them in the Student Blogs on the right.

Here are the countries we are researching: Liam – Japan, Emma – Thailand, Logan – Argentina, Sophia – Germany, Sutton – the United Kingdom, Ellia – China, Ella – Russia, Michael – Costa Rica, Mady – Italy, Olive – Canada, Cooper – India, Eddie – Madagascar, Ryan – Mexico, Charlie – Turkey, Gabriel – Spain and Hayley – France.

If you can help us, or have friends from the different countries we are researching, please open our blogs and  leave a comment at the bottom.  Please share our search with friends you think might be able to help.

Thank you!  3E

Our Week – March 8

I hope you had a restful and enjoyable vacation.  Sorry to those who were touched by the stomach bug or were hit hard by colds. That’s not a fun way to spend any time, much less a vacation.  I hope everyone is healing well and found some time for vacation fun.  It seems though we, in 3E, are back in full swing – everyone has been here each day this week, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

We’ve had a week filled with exciting opportunities. No school Monday, led to double lessons about reading response notebooks on Tuesday.  The snow on Monday allowed us to spend our challenge time snowshoeing. It was a gorgeous winter day – perfect for a short snowshoe walk.  We learned that snowshoeing is surprisingly hard work in new snow.  We were glad for the snowshoes and for time outdoors in the woods.  Wednesday was also the first day with our recorders – a much-anticipated day. Thursday we had the opportunity to see Mary Poppins at the Palace Theater.  It was a musical and it was wonderful.  We are looking forward to comparing the book, the play and the movie. Quite a week!

Personal Narrative Blog Posts

We’ve struggled to find time to work on our family stories, but little by little we are conferencing and the children are adding information an answering questions to expand their stories.  We also re-examined the three different types of sentences: simple, complex and compound. We’ve continued to learn about description and phrases and clauses.  The children have been asked to think about what they are creating and to make choices about the sentences they create so the include all of the different types.

You can see some of this work on the latest blog posts.  Most of the students were able to write and publish a personal narrative telling of a small vacation moment.  These posts are showing what they know about narrative writing and what they can independently create in a forty-minute timeframe.

Exploring Place Value with Large Amounts

This week we continued our exploration of place value.  Our schedule has been far from consistent, but we were glad to discover that most of the children remembered much about the concept and were able to apply their knowledge to some very large amounts.  At first working with millions and ten thousands seemed impossible, but after the first few, the children discovered the patterns and it began to feel easy.  We’ll keep working with large amount as a way to solidify the concept and to keep everyone thinking about the patterns that are part of mathematics

Bits and Pieces –

  • We began reading Mary Poppins.  It’s a fun book and pretty amazing to realize it was written 85 years ago.
  • We are continuing to explore force and motion.  Part of that exploration is with magnets.  They are fun to experiment with.
  • We’ve continued on with our global research project.  Many of the children have read at least one entire book about the country they have chosen to research.  They’ve organized their research notebooks so they are automatically sorting their notes by Wonder categories.  I’ve been impressed to see how their abilities to read and comprehend informational texts have grown since both our weather and holiday research projects.
  • We’ve had quite a bit of “little toy” distraction this week.  This distraction had been building before vacation.  I was patient, but it has now crept into the classroom during instruction.  Kids are talking about and playing with the things half-hidden in their pockets. They are totally missing what’s happening in class and they are keeping others from attending as well.  If your child feels he or she must have their toys at school, please help him/her understand they can only be used at recess – not in the hall, nor at snack or lunch.  Thank you for helping with this.  Balancing monitoring duties with teaching has been a challenge.  It’s been taking over 5 minutes for a some children to come into the classroom after a UA class, recess or snack because they are getting drinks from water bottles or sharing and showing and playing with their treasures.  Thank you for your help with this.

Links For Information about Countries Around the World

When you’re ready, you may want to explore these links.  They have general information and some have interesting photographs to help you visualize and understand even more about the Wonders of your country.

These links have all of the countries we are researching:

National Geographic Kids – Type your country name in the search box and check out the information about your country arranged by topics.

Ducksters Geography – This website sort countries by continent/region.  There are many topics and basic facts shared about each of our countries.

FactMonster – This website begins with an alphabetical listing of countries.  It includes all the countries we have chosen to research.  Once you find your country, click on the link and it will share information.  There is more political history on this site and some of the others.  The index on the top right of the first pages shares other paragraphs about different topic about your country.

Culture Grams has all of our countries.  It is a product the school subscribes to.  Using the User Name and Password will allow you to find even more information.  You can get those from the list on the cabinet in our classroom.  This has great information – links to the national anthem, recipes and highlights one-of-a-kind features that you might decide are wonders.

These links have some of the countries we are researching:

Fun Facts for Kids:  Countries – Check out fun facts listed for most of the countries our class chose to explore – only Costa Rica is not included.  This is a website published from New Zealand.

Kid’s World Travel Guide – Fifteen different countries are featured on this website.  The information shared there is organized by topic.  It’s missing Costa Rica, Madagascar and Turkey.

While you’re trying to discover the stories behind some of the things you think could be Wonders from your country you can use these search engines.  They’ve been designed to filter information for kids – some of the articles are still challenging.

You could use Duck Duck Go,

Kiddle or

KidRex.

Once you’re there, type the name of your Wonder (spelling matters) and add the words “information for kids” or “information for third graders.”  Sometimes that helps focus the search even more, so the information might be more understandable for you.

Our Week – February 22

We’ve continued to explore the world, kindness and peace through the poems and books we’ve been reading.  The children have begun researching a country and are beginning to discover many Wonders around the world.

Reading Records

This month we’ve been keeping track of all the books we’ve read.  We’ve recorded all the books we’ve read together as a class.  The students have each recorded all of their own books. We’ve been trying to keep track of everything.  As a class we started and completed 28 books this month.  We mostly read realistic fiction, biographies and informational books. Our chapter read-aloud was historical fiction. Because of this record we’re going to challenge ourselves next month to read fantasy and traditional folktales and fables.  The children will be looking at their records to see how they can push themselves to read other genre as well.

We also used the books from our to learn how to create summaries for fiction.  We’re using the format that the main character wanted something, but had to overcome a problem.  While attempting to find a solution he/she attempted many different things until at last it was solved.  The children each chose a book that was completed this month to create a summary for. This will be our practice each month for the remainder of the year so we can further strengthen comprehension strategies.

Writing Narratives

All of the students have completed the second drafts of their family story.  They have focused on using description, dialogue, action, and inner thought to create the most interesting stories that they can.  We’ll go through one more step of conferencing, feedback, revision and conferencing again for final revision to create a final piece of writing that we’ll be ready to illustrate and share by mid-March.

The class voted for and awarded 3E book awards for our third month.  We have some very creative writers.  They have great ideas and have noticed that the authors who take the most time to develop their plot lines using the elaboration strategies create the books that are most often selected.  We’ve also noticed that lots of books submitted to be share each month are begun – but end with “to be continued” rather than being fully written.  We’ve decided to work on this.  Knowing how to end stories is as important as developing the ideas at the beginning.

News From PE  – by Mrs. Yeaton

For the past 2 weeks, the third graders have been having the opportunity to use the climbing wall in Physical Education class. We have been going on the wall horizontally so that we don’t need to use harnesses or belaying equipment.  This has added to our unit on fitness as climbing requires strength, flexibility and coordination.  It also addresses many social/emotional issues such as problem solving, patience, perseverance (grit) and courage.

I am including a list of climbing facilities in the area that you may want to take your child to over vacation.  Many of our students love using the climbing wall. At the climbing facilities they will be able to use harnesses and climb high (that’s what they really want to do!). Have a great February vacation!

  • MetroRock
  • (29) · Rock Climbing Gym
  • Newburyport, MA
  • (978) 499-7625
  • Open⋅Closes 10PM

 

  • Indoor Ascent
  • (43) · Rock Climbing Gym
  • Dover, NH
  • (603) 742-7848
  • Opens 5PM

Bits and Pieces –

  • We finished reading The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs. The last Wonder Eben found was a 3-D map of his town.  We are going to create our own map of Sassafras Springs to show how we imagine the town and the places where Eben walked.  We’ll add all that we know maps include as we make it.
  • We’ve continued exploring maps and mapping.  Everyone has completed a map of his/her yard or the neighborhood that they play in. These maps include a title, a key, symbols, labels and compass rose.
  • We’ve begun to explore the concept of force in science.  We know a force is  a push or a pull.  We’ve learned a bit about gravity and friction and about magnetism.  We’re looking forward to exploring this science topic in more depth when we return from vacation.
  • We completed another round of basic fact math checks this week.  We’ve also continued to explore the concepts of area and perimeter.  Many of the children feel more certain about how to calculate these for regular rectangles.  Ask them about our Cheez-it exploration today.

Have a fabulous February break.  Our family is excited about UNH hockey, skating, sledding and dinners with our children and grandchildren.  We might try to fit in some museum visits – and for me, time to read lots of books on my TBR pile so I’ll be ready for the new books that are published in April.

Here Are This Week’s Blog Prompts

We’re learning more about the world, and we’d like to do all we can to make it more peaceful.  Below you can see some of the books we’ve been reading to help give us different ideas.

Today while blogging, some of us finished posts on different topics, but some of us thought and wrote about peace.

  • What does peace mean?
  • Describe peace in five words. Explain why you chose those words.
  • How can you create peace in our world?
  • Write a story about a peaceful world?
  • What are three things you can take to be more peaceful?
  • Write a poem about the world where all the people stopped fighting.

Our Week – February 15

Thank you for helping us have a wonderful Valentines Day.  The children were thrilled with their treats and trinkets.  We had a fun morning sharing and “squeaking” together.

We’ve rearranged our daily schedule and routines in ways that encourage the children to be more reflective and thoughtful.  I hope to help them get the most out of their learning.  I’m asking them to put forth a bit more effort so their products show more of what they know.  I don’t want them to over-analyze.   No one will finish anything.  I have been asking them to revise their writing, select different genre when reading or to consider solving a different type of problem.  I’m pleased with how many in the class are focusing their attention and effort.  Let them know what you see in the work that comes home on Friday, or in the content of their blog posts.

S.E.L – Open Circle

For the past several weeks we’ve been discussing behaviors and placing them on a continuum.  One end is labeled with “Positive, Helpful, and Productive” and the other end is labeled “Negative, Hurtful, and Unproductive.”  The children wrote scenarios and we’ve been placing them along this continuum.  We’ve had great discussion about saving seats, playing fairly and making comments about what others have or how they look.   We’ve also added behaviors like complimenting and being kind to our continuum, as well as annoying behaviors, chatting, teasing and destructive behaviors.  Behavior is one thing we can choose and control when stop to reflect on how we want to be in the world.

We talked specifically about bullying this week.  We talked about the anti-bullying law in New Hampshire and why it is important to understand what bullying truly is. Please talk to your child about this.  The definition we used is:  Bullying Behavior is when one or more people severely or repeatedly harm someone with actions or words.  There is an imbalance of power.  We often over use the term bullying when we speak of general unkindness, so it is helpful for the children to know that we – at school and at home – are working together to build a happier, kinder world.

Area and Perimeter

Most of the children know the difference between the terms: area and perimeter.  When we talked about problems that included fencing in an area to keep animals safe the concept began to take shape.  Each morning we are charting the growing patterns in our calendar and that is helping too.  See if your child can explain these to concepts and how each of them is helping us practice both, our basic addition and multiplication facts.

We’ve also begun to explore the standard algorithm with addition.  For some children it makes perfect sense.  They can visualize the place value changes and are relieved to have a one-step process for combining amounts.  For other children it is terribly confusing process.  It is challenging for them to visualize amounts ort o be certain of how amounts combine.  They are unsure of how place value can help us organize our thinking. With time it will come, but don’t be alarmed in problem solving work seems a bit shaky as we attempt to become more efficient in our problem solving process and maintain accuracy as well.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve been working on our family stories.  Most of the children have completed their first draft and are now revising to add more detail and description.
  • We’ve begun to chart our daily reading habits.  The goal is to see what we are reading currently and make plans for how we can push ourselves to read more and differently.
  • In December the class initiated the “3E Book Awards.”  They were excited about writing books. This week the class voted for their top three choices.  They’ve created an exciting process – and they’ve realized that the most detailed books are the ones that win.  Hmmmmm.
  • We’ve selected countries for our Global Geography project.
  • This week we had a cooperative challenge with Mr. Guidi.  It helped to reinforce the notion that the habits of cooperation – quiet, focus and kind – lead to success.

 

Here Are This Week’s Blog Prompts

We’re thinking about the importance of kindness.  We’ve realized that if we are quiet, kind and focused we are able to put forth our best effort and accomplish more.  It’s exciting to be more and more successful.

Some of us finished blog posts started a while ago.  Other chose our own ideas to blog about.  Still others chose one of the following suggestions:

  • How can you influence others to be kind? Write about what you do and what you will try to do from now on to share a little kindness.
  • What does kindness teach people?
  • Write about a time someone was kind to you? Write about the act of kindness and how it made you feel.
  • How can you share more kindness in 3E and our school? Something nice I could do for one of my classmates is…
  • What kindness means to me
  • Write a story about Kevin the Kind Koala
  • If everyone in the world did just one kind thing each day…
  • Other…

We’re trying to do something extra-kind each day.  We hope to make the world a better place.

Our Week – February 8

Thank you for making our Holiday Palooza such a success.  Thank you for touring the displays and talking to the children about all they’d discovered about holidays, researching and informational writing.  Thank you for taking the time to play their games and to learn from them.  Many of the kids were able to design a Palooza blog post this week – it seems like they had a great time sharing with all of you.

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

We’ve begun our 8thchapter read aloud, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney.  The book is set in rural Sassafras Springs, Missouri in 1923. Eben, the main character, wishes he could travel the world and see things like The Seven Ancient Wonders of the world.  He complains that his life is too dull and too boring to bear so he father offers him a challenge.  He’s got seven days to see if he can find seven wonders in his sleepy town.  If he does, he’ll get a train ticket to travel to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to visit cousins there.  With this exciting prospect and a pad of paper to keep track of his collection, Eben sets off to see what he can find.

So far in our reading, Eben’s been able to find two Wonders in two days and things are looking promising. We’ll use this book to guide our next research project.  We’ll be searching for Wonders around the world in different countries we explore.

Global Geography

We have read about each of the seven continents and completed K-W-L (What we think we Know – What we learned from reading- What we’d like to Learn more about.) charts for each.  In addition, the children were able to explore one longer continent book on Tru-Flix.  This is an online book that is linked to lots of videos and a variety of resources to extend their understanding.  (They can explore more at home by going to the eboard and choosing the Resources tab.)

We’ve begun to explore books that share pictures from many different places around the world.  I hope to inspire the children to begin thinking about places in the world they’d like to know more about.

Next week the children will each select a country they would like to learn more about.  You may want to talk to your child this weekend about places you’ve traveled to or know lots about.  Just like the national holidays, understanding how countries, habitats and cultures can be a little tricky and I don’t want to support the development of cultural stereotypes.  We’ll be talking about this so we are careful and develop respect for differences without calling them weird. We’ll also need to take care to not make assumptions based on only one piece of information.

Math and Measurement

We’ve continued to measure things using both inches and centimeters.  I think the children are becoming more familiar and comfortable with writing mixed numbers when parts are involved.  They are feeling more certain about what basic fractions are and how they are represented.

We’re also exploring the concepts of perimeter and area.  It is part of the pattern on our calendar this month.  It is reminding us of the relationship between addition and multiplication that we introduced at the beginning of the school year.  We are learning the perimeter is the total distance around the outside of a 2D shape.  Add up the length of all sides and you’ll know the perimeter.  We are also learning that you can calculate the area of shapes made up of rectangles by breaking them into individual rectangles.

Bit and Pieces –

  • Thank you everyone for your generous support of the 100thDay collection of shampoo for Gather.  We were able to reach our goal.  In fact 1stgrade shared that the school’s grand total was nearly 1,250 items collected to support families in need.  This is an amazing school wide community service project. Thank you.
  • We wrote about what it could be like when we are 100.  Most of the children wrote pros and cons of being old.  Those quick-writes will be posted in the hall next week if you happen to be in the school.  They’ll make you smile.
  • We are part of a Kindness read-aloud project.  We began by sharing I Am Human and writing about what our big dreams are.  We have a lot of dreams to be a professional athlete or to travel the world to discover new animal species.  A few children dream of becoming scientist – one want to be a nuclear chemist and another wants to be a geneticist who creates an entirely knew species.
  • Remember the Valentines Day brunch next Thursday morning.