Our Week – March 8

I hope you had a restful and enjoyable vacation.  Sorry to those who were touched by the stomach bug or were hit hard by colds. That’s not a fun way to spend any time, much less a vacation.  I hope everyone is healing well and found some time for vacation fun.  It seems though we, in 3E, are back in full swing – everyone has been here each day this week, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

We’ve had a week filled with exciting opportunities. No school Monday, led to double lessons about reading response notebooks on Tuesday.  The snow on Monday allowed us to spend our challenge time snowshoeing. It was a gorgeous winter day – perfect for a short snowshoe walk.  We learned that snowshoeing is surprisingly hard work in new snow.  We were glad for the snowshoes and for time outdoors in the woods.  Wednesday was also the first day with our recorders – a much-anticipated day. Thursday we had the opportunity to see Mary Poppins at the Palace Theater.  It was a musical and it was wonderful.  We are looking forward to comparing the book, the play and the movie. Quite a week!

Personal Narrative Blog Posts

We’ve struggled to find time to work on our family stories, but little by little we are conferencing and the children are adding information an answering questions to expand their stories.  We also re-examined the three different types of sentences: simple, complex and compound. We’ve continued to learn about description and phrases and clauses.  The children have been asked to think about what they are creating and to make choices about the sentences they create so the include all of the different types.

You can see some of this work on the latest blog posts.  Most of the students were able to write and publish a personal narrative telling of a small vacation moment.  These posts are showing what they know about narrative writing and what they can independently create in a forty-minute timeframe.

Exploring Place Value with Large Amounts

This week we continued our exploration of place value.  Our schedule has been far from consistent, but we were glad to discover that most of the children remembered much about the concept and were able to apply their knowledge to some very large amounts.  At first working with millions and ten thousands seemed impossible, but after the first few, the children discovered the patterns and it began to feel easy.  We’ll keep working with large amount as a way to solidify the concept and to keep everyone thinking about the patterns that are part of mathematics

Bits and Pieces –

  • We began reading Mary Poppins.  It’s a fun book and pretty amazing to realize it was written 85 years ago.
  • We are continuing to explore force and motion.  Part of that exploration is with magnets.  They are fun to experiment with.
  • We’ve continued on with our global research project.  Many of the children have read at least one entire book about the country they have chosen to research.  They’ve organized their research notebooks so they are automatically sorting their notes by Wonder categories.  I’ve been impressed to see how their abilities to read and comprehend informational texts have grown since both our weather and holiday research projects.
  • We’ve had quite a bit of “little toy” distraction this week.  This distraction had been building before vacation.  I was patient, but it has now crept into the classroom during instruction.  Kids are talking about and playing with the things half-hidden in their pockets. They are totally missing what’s happening in class and they are keeping others from attending as well.  If your child feels he or she must have their toys at school, please help him/her understand they can only be used at recess – not in the hall, nor at snack or lunch.  Thank you for helping with this.  Balancing monitoring duties with teaching has been a challenge.  It’s been taking over 5 minutes for a some children to come into the classroom after a UA class, recess or snack because they are getting drinks from water bottles or sharing and showing and playing with their treasures.  Thank you for your help with this.

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