Our Week – April 6

This post is illustrated with photographs taken by Gabby, this week’s class photographer.

It’s hard to believe that another school week has come to a close. Here’s what we accomplished.

Science –

We’ve continued making observations of our seedlings, both in the classroom and in the greenhouse. We’ve seen a lot of changes. And we’ve noticed that seed do not always sprout, nor do seeds of the same variety grow in exactly the same way.

Social Studies –

We’ve continued on with our state research. We’ve discovered that books are some of our best resources. If we look at just the pictures in the four books we have about our state, we can infer what is important there by noticing what images are repeated. Almost everyone realizes the need of reading sections and then taking notes about what is important. We’ve got fewer students copying what they read and that’s a great thing.

In addition to our research, we also completed the image of our state wonder and began the collage of our state hero. These are two of the pieces that will be included on our float for the parade of the states.

And finally in social studies, we put the large 4’x7′ map of the United States up in the hall by the library. This is the one we used at the assembly last week. Each student in grades 3 through 8 has a sticker to place on the map to show the state or national park each shared in their third grade year. It is fun to see the map fill with stars as we “celebrate the states.”

Math –

This week we began math with games. These are for fact practice. Some of the kids were having very little time with them when it was the last part of the hour so we switched it up. It’s fun and helpful at the same time.

We also began to explore fractions. We know that a fraction is a part of a whole. We also know that in math those parts must be equal or “fair shares” as we call them. We’ve continued to explore the idea of equivalence and will expand this idea as we learn more about fractions as well.

Writing –

In addition to our state research work, we completed an informational writing assessment. In the first few weeks of school the children wrote an informational piece to be scored on a rubric. And now, we completed another to use as a comparison. Over the course of the next two weeks, I’ll conference with the children showing them their pieces of writing, looking at the goals set in November and helping set up a final goal for the year.

This is an interesting process. The children will be surprised by the changes and growth they see. They don’t feel different, and yet they have accomplished a lot.

Reading –

We continue to read poems about seeds, planting and growing together. We alternate between sharing picture books, both fiction and nonfiction, about plants and about the United States each day.

We are about halfway through Wonder. We are learning about events from Jack Will’s perspective right now. You may want to talk to your child about what is happening and how they feel about the characters who are in school with August. They are Julian, Charlotte, Summer and Jack Will.

In addition to the books and poems we share as a class, the children are also reading books of their own choice. Popular in the classroom now are The Olympians – a graphic novel series of Greek Mythology by George O’Connor, the Aldo Zelnik series and The Origami Yoda series. The last According to Humphrey book club finished this week so we’ll be ready for another round of book clubs starting next week. It was a challenge for all the children to keep their commitments of reading the agreed upon chapters and completing their reading record. We are looking forward to meeting these expectations with more ease in this next round of book discussions.


Our challenge as a class is to stay focused. We are working on self-management. Our class talks and chats and gabs all the time. It happens when were at tables doing seatwork. It happens during instruction. It happens ALL the time. It seems that we can’t resist responding a blurted comment. We are all trying to monitor ourselves and find a way that will lead us on to greater success. On Wednesday we managed to write nearly silently for forty minutes. The results of that focused time were remarkable. We are looking forward to more of this.