Our Week – April 19

Thank you for the conversations you are having at home about behavior and effort.  Thank you for the conversations about friendship and inclusion. Thank you for helping your children to find ways to make our classroom a happier place for learning and fun.  It has made a difference.  What a great way for our class to move into vacation.

Wonder World

In addition to feeling better about how we are using our time in the classroom and being a friendlier classroom community, everyone put forth a great effort this week to meet research and paragraphing expectations of our project.  It is important to step back and consider how many different skills and abilities come into play in this learning process.  The children are reading complex information with little background knowledge.  They don’t know much about history, religion, politics, economies or geography, and yet, using the idea of “Wonders” each student identified places, people and events they found beautiful, interesting and amazing from their country.  Once they uncovered the Wonders, they dug deeper to understand each topic in more detail.  They learned ways of determining the importance of the facts and to organize them into subtopics.  In this project, their writing has become more organized and less list-like.  They’ve paid attention to proper nouns  – there were a lot of them – and tried to attend to sentence conventions as well.

As the displays are coming together, the children are feeling a real sense of accomplishment. They can see they have grown as researchers and writers since their Holiday Palooza presentation.  They deserve to feel proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

We can’t wait to share all our learning, research and information writing in our global geography museum.  Wonder World will be on Monday, April 29. We’ll be ready to share between 2:15 and 2:45 and again between 5:15 and 6:00.  We hope to see you there.

Book Clubs – Endings and Beginnings

We completed one round of book clubs and intend to begin another when we come back from vacation. The children kept up with their responsibilities to be prepared to meet and discuss the main events of the chapters. They practiced using a several different responses and, at the end of the club meetings, were able to select the response type that helped them recall and question what was happening in the reading.   Most exciting for me has been seeing children begin their own book clubs and use the response strategies independently.

The children can see the benefit of reflecting on what they are reading and taking time to note the important details.  Some of the children have tried to write everything, so we’ve been trying to decide what they author’s essential message is and talk about (rather than write) the details that we notice to support our ideas.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We have continued our work with fractions.  We’re labeling parts of groups and parts of a whole when it is divided into pieces.
  • Green Ember is an exciting read-aloud.  We are still putting all the pieces together and can’t wait to figure out what the battle is about and who the sides are in this fantasy adventure.
  • We’ll be welcoming Ryan Harrington into our classroom when we return to school after vacation.  He is moving here from South Hampton.
  • We were able to transplant our Swiss chard seedlings into our square foot gardens and can’t wait to see how they will have changed when we return in a week’s time.
  • A REMINDER –  The Parade of States will be on Thursday, May 23th.  The event will begin with a Recorder Concert in the cafeteria. The Parade of States will follow in the gymnasium.  We’ll ask the children to arrive at 4:45 with the concert to begin promptly at 5:00 with the float parade to follow.  The children will be selecting their states to research the week we return.  They’ll identify their wonders – the items they’ll be placing on their floats – that week and into the next as well.  Please be on the outlook for details about this project the week we return.
  • It was a really busy week.  I didn’t take the usual amount of photographs.  Sorry that so few children’s photos are included in this week’s family letter.