Fractions and Music

We’ve begun to learn about fractions in math class, but the concept becomes even clearer when we’re learning how to read and write music with Mrs. Oliver.  Here are some of our first rhythms showing which fractions are equivalent to a whole note.  Four of the groups were able to finish their rhythm and performance.  Enjoy!

Our rhythm shows that four 2/8 beats equal one whole note.

Our rhythm shows how a whole note equals 2/8+2/8+2/8+2/8.

Our rhythm shows that 1/2 note +1/2 note =1 whole note.

Our rhythm shows that a whole note is equal to four quarter notes.

Our Week – December 21

Our week has been filled with reading and writing, math and social studies.  We are completing a round of book clubs, learning more about elaboration in writing, exploring estimation and rounding, and moving into the final phases of our national holiday research project.

I hope both you and your children are feeling ready to tackle the interview and family story project. I do not mean to place stress into your vacation.  I hope this is a fun opportunity for the children to learn more about their family.  We appreciate your help and support.  We are looking forward to the stories we discover.

Our week has also been filled with cooperative group work.  We completed our “door” gecko and it is really quite beautiful – who knew a lizard could be so festive!  We’ve also begun our Grade 3 weather forecasting project to meet the SAU competency initiative.  There’s a lot going on in 3E.

Exploring Fractions

This month our calendar pattern is designed to help us discover more about fractions and equivalence. Through the pattern so far we have learned about halves, thirds, fourths, sixths and eighths.  We’ve discovered how halves, fourths, and eights AND thirds and sixths help us understand equivalence.  We’ve been reminded of what was learned last year, so we can build on that understanding.

The class has been learning a lot of about fractions in music with Mrs. Oliver too.  They’ve been creating rhythms by combining whole, half, quarter and eighth notes.  It’s not easy to do and takes a lot of concentration.  Some of the children decided to share what they’ve been learning and creating for me to video.  We will share them in the next blog post.  What will be exciting to note and notice is how this learning grows throughout the year when they play in recorder concert before Parade of the States in May.

Learning About Description in Writing

We know that the best writing creates pictures in the reader’s mind.  Authors choose their words carefully.  We’ve been trying to do this too.  We’ve realized it is not easy.  Authors take time to stop and think about word choice.

We’re learning about the parts of speech.  We’ve been learning more about how adjectives describe nouns and how adverbs describe verbs. Adverbs are tricky.  This week we challenged ourselves to include at least one adjective or adverb in each sentence.  We also tried a descriptive writing challenge.  Ten classmates kept track of each adjective or adverb they used as they were writing on Wednesday.  Sometimes the writing was better and we could visualize more of what the writer was thinking.  Sometimes the writing wasn’t better.  It was too wordy and a bit confusing.  We’ll keep practicing.  We plan to use this elaboration strategy when we turn our family stories into published books.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We finished The Wild Robot Escaped.  We are sad that Roz and Brightbill will not be part of our classroom each day, but we’re going to write to Peter Brown to see if he has any plans that could lead to a third.  We’d also like to tell him how much we enjoy his books.
  • Inspired by the NH Ladybug Book project in the library, the class decided to have monthly classroom book awards.  The children have been writing up a storm.  Each month anyone who would like to can submit a book for the contest. They’ll be read over the course of a few days and then the each child can vote for his or her top three choices. The hitch is, you cannot vote for your own book.  We held our December vote on Tuesday.
  • The Weather Forecast teams have chosen the place in the world they would like to gather data from. We’ll be forecasting from all over the world.  This week the pairs designed the Logo for their TV station.
  • We’re learning how to round numbers to the nearest 10 and the nearest 100.  We’re using what we know to make estimates.

Have a restful, happy holiday and a wonderful vacation.