Our Week – April 21

This week’s post was illustrated by Julie, our class photographer.

Our week has been full of research, state facts, poetry and fractions – with some reading, science and fun too. Seamus Bihari joined us for three days to teach the class about fractions with geoboards – he taught about congruent shapes – and pattern blocks – he taught about equivalence. Our broccoli is doing well in the greenhouse and our plants are thriving in the classroom. We wrote haiku poems about our plants and illustrated them. If you’re at the school, come and enjoy them in the hall. Those plants will be coming home Friday. If you’d like them to thrive, they’ll need to be transplanted into a bigger pot for now. As for the greenhouse broccoli, we’re hoping to harvest some as school ends.

State Wonder Research

The children have been researching, taking notes and writing about their wonders. It seems as though most of the children are feeling pretty confident about what they are doing. They have been drafting and crafting their pieces.   They have begun writing with the goal of persuading readers to visit and vacation in their state. They are coming up with the top five reasons you should visit their state and creating bumper stickers as well.

Preparing For Float Building

 Thank you for all your support for this project. Already as I type this on Thursday evening, 10 of the students have received their building permits and I see evidence in folders that other students have been planning as well. On Thursday the students brought home the finished artwork representing 3 of their required 5 State Wonders. These pieces are for their floats so that only two Wonder representations need to be created at home. Some of the children have found 7 Wonders. All seven do not have to be represented on the float – but certainly can be if it works out. If the art pieces were not finished, they are still here at school and will be sent home as they are completed.

It is not expected that the writing the children are crafting about the Wonders will be on the float. This will be put in the digital poster the children will create and will be on display the evening of the parade. As you are building, if you find the need to make changes in the plan – please do. If I can be of any help, please let me know!

Fractions and Problem Solving

Check to see if your child can tell you what the numerator and the denominator of a fraction is and what they stand for. I think all of the children can do that as of this week. We’ve been identifying fractions and comparing fractions. We’ve realized that fractions and division are related. At first problems where we had to figure out how to share amounts of brownies among different numbers of students seemed challenging. We can do that type of problem now.

Most days there are 4 problems for the children to solve. Their challenge is to choose problems that make them stop and think. Our hope is that it will be a little hard, because then we know they are learning something new. This year’s class has challenged themself even further. Most of them are trying to complete all 4 of the problems everyday. At the beginning of the year that was something very few could do and now it is something most of them can do. There is a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Here’s a student quote from Wednesday, “Remember when I couldn’t even finish one problem in the math time? I’m already on my third.” Effort, risk-taking and a bit of struggle pay off with learning. It is truly exciting to see what they can do now as mathematicians.

Bits and Pieces

  • We are nearing the end of Wonder. The class is really involved in this book and anxious to read more and more.
  • The 3rd grade state testing will be held during third and fourth weeks of May. During the first week we will take the English Language Art tests and the Math tests during the second week. We’ll have a bit of practice time so the children are familiar with the testing tools and the online format. If your child is feeling worried or stressed, please assure him or her that putting forth best effort is all we ask. They’ll know many things, but they won’t know them all. That’s okay! We’ll get through it and then celebrate with The Parade of the States.
  • Part of our Parade of the States celebration is a recorder concert and the singing of the 50 States that Rhyme. In the past we’ve always had 2 music blocks and the children had ample time to learn, practice and play about a dozen songs. With only one music block this year that cannot happen, but Mrs. Oliver is hoping the children will be able to learn 6, and possibly 8 songs. It would be a great help if the children had some practice time over vacation.   Mrs. Oliver put some tips in the Friday folders to help you help them. The children work hard all year in music to learn how to read and write music and the final accomplishment is for all to be able to play together and perform. Thank you for your help with this.
  • Congratulations to the 1- 4th graders who performed in the Talent Show on Wednesday evening. Special congratulations to our classmates, Rachael Dionne, who sang and Julie Allen, who danced. It was wonderful to see.


One thought on “Our Week – April 21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *