Our Week – October 20

We’ve had a week of firsts. We had our first outdoor challenge with Mr. Caron. We set up our individual blogs and had our first blogging session. That means that very soon first blog posts will be published for the world to read and respond to. And we had an assembly to learning about safety with digital media with speaker, Katie Greer.

Blogging Begins

This week Mrs. Wyman helped us set up and personalize our individual blogs. We were able to create a tagline and choose font and background colors. We planned our first post on Tuesday and began typing it on Wednesday. It takes a long time to type (We can see why we’ve been practicing with Typing Pal and have accounts so we can practice even more often at home) but it is an exciting new format for writing. It’s very motivating. To date eleven of the children have completed and published posts. The other students are creating and planning. It feels pretty exciting to be using the computers – both laptops and desktops.

Ask your child if he or she has had the chance to complete a post. Have them show you where to find it. They would love to know that you are seeing their work at home. Please leave a comment when you have a moment. It will definitely put a smile on their faces. Please share the address with grandparents, family and friends. Having a wider audience for writing is exciting. Because of this the children often take more care with spelling and grammar though, of course, it’s not perfect. For the first posts, if the children asked me to, I edited their work. Soon those responsibilities will be all on them. Reading their blogs is fun! Their personality already shows. I can’t wait to see how they grow throughout the year.

Interestingly enough one of the main messages we heard from Katie Greer was to never talk to anyone we don’t personally know. We had that discussion in class and the children know that nothing will go on their blogs – post or comment – that is not purposeful or caring. We also learned of the permanence of our digital footprints – even a 3rd grade blog stays forever.

Science Switch from Forces of Flight to Animal Habitats

For the past two weeks we have been sharing books written using different formats. This week we were finally able to read a book, If Sharks Disappeared, to learn about a cause and effect format. We also read I, Fly. This mentor text showed us how me might develop a character to present the information in a narrative story format. Hopefully this mini-unit will provide the class with some examples to model their writing after as they present their information to those who visit our zoo.

This week we also began our research process. The children spent some time writing what they think they already know about their animal and some questions about things they hope to discover. They gathered resources from the classroom so far and have begun reading what they think of as easiest first. This is so they are able to build their background knowledge and are able to understand more information as the level of complexity increases. They began a note taking process of recording 3 facts from their reading, 2 questions they would like to ask the author and finally 1 thing they thought was most important. They are very excited to begin this process and are looking forward to sharing all they learn with you.

Bits and Pieces:

  • The distributive property is beginning to make more sense. We are working through each step and it is helping us understand the process of multiplying with larger amounts. We do not fully understand the process yet, as you’ll see from daily practice sheets, but we’ll continue to work with it.
  • This week our shared reading focus as been on math and how math helps us organize our world. Math really is everywhere. We’ve been focusing on how diverse math is from numbers, to graphing, to measuring, to probability and beyond. We are going to set class goals and finally, from these discussions, the children will set goals of their own.
  • We began “Wonderful Word” Wednesday. This is the day of the week we will begin our new set of spelling words. This week the our feature words were selected to help us review long and short vowel, spelling patterns for long /i/ and a few commonly misspelled words:
  • We enjoyed working together to help each other cross the swinging logs on the river runner challenge this week. Our other scheduled challenge dates with Mr. Caron are: November 20, December 18, January 22, February 19, March 19, April 16, and May 21.
  • From reading Dr. Anderson’s newsletter sent home on Thursday, I understand we are having Halloween event at 2:15. Staff has not been given details about this. If you have questions, please contact the office.
  • Remember – Our school pictures will be taken November 8.