Our Week – March 9

I am hoping you have weathered the storm easily and that few of you were among those who lost power. At least we can be comforted that this snow won’t last long now with our longer days and the water table is better restored. How’s that for looking at things as if the glass is half full?

Even short, our week has been busy and full. We’ve been researching and writing, reading fables and learning about magnets. We’ve been building and creating. Best of all, we’ve been having fun together.

Writing Grows

We have lots of different opportunities to develop our writing skills. We’re excited to share our second informational writing project next week. We’ve been exploring ways of making our writing more interesting by becoming more aware of using sentence variety to keep our readers interested. The children explored these ideas further in creating an All About Me page on their blogs. This was part of the Student Blog Challenge. We hope you’ll read them as they get published and tell us what you think. Page links are found on the Home Bar at the top of each blog. Our goal was to make sure everyone’s got published this week, but our snow day may make that impossible.

We’ve also begun preparing for a third informational writing project – a digital book to teach others about magnets. The focus of this project is to make certain that every word of the published text is original. We’ve been sharing books together and taking notes after the text has been put aside. Through this process we’ve been working to identify the main idea and supporting details of the text.

I hope you notice how your child’s abilities with information writing are growing and changing through each project. There are so many differences between what they shared at the zoo and what they are preparing to share at The Country Convention. They deserve to feel proud of their effort. We are looking forward to our next writing projects in the last part of the year.

Questioning Like a Scientist

We’ve been exploring the properties of magnets for the last few weeks and developing questions we’d like to answer. Magnetism is an exciting force because it is invisible, unlike many of the other pushes and pulls we observe. Through our exploration of magnets we’ve been thinking about the difference between thin and thick questions. Simply put, thin questions are those we can answer easily by asking Siri or doing a Google search. Thick questions are one’s we’ll have to research and develop experiments so we can gather evidence and data to support or dispute our ideas.

We’ve been learning about the line of force as demonstrated by the way iron filings line up when they come close to a magnet. We’ve been exploring magnet strength as well. It’s fun to explore our questions and fun to mess around with this amazing force.

Fractions as Fair Shares

We’ve continued to learn about fractions. They are making us think about numbers in different ways. We are learning how to label shares by reading them out as one of two, rather than one half or two of six rather than two sixths. We are doing this so we keep in mind that it is the number of shares that is important. Sometimes this study seems easy, and other times it feels confusing. I trust that by the end of our unit all of the children will be able to explain what a fraction is and how division and fractions are related. They will be able to show and name equivalence, compare fractions and add and subtract fractions with like denominators.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We’ve been reading several fables each day. We’ve been reading them in their original forms and also sharing many elaborated picture book versions. After we’ve explored many, we’ll being to craft our own. I am looking forward to discovering what morals they feel are important to remind us of.
  • We’ve begun a read aloud that takes place in Nigeria. It is called The No. 1 Car Spotter. It is sharing a very different way of life. We’re finding it very interesting and challenging to imagine. Talk to your child about what he or she understands and wonders.
  • We are focusing on the difference between common and proper nouns. The goal of this mini-unit is to help remind children of word that are properly spelled with capital letters. It is a small thing, but it matters when others are judging your work and will matter during the upcoming state testing. It is a habit worth cultivating.
  • Thank you for you time and support. We can’t wait to see you next Thursday at our Country Convention – our research, your reading. The museum will be open in the afternoon from 2:15 to 2:45 and later in the evening from 5:30 to 6:30.



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