Our Week – September 27

It has been a busy, full week.  We are enjoying each other, the books we share and the opportunities we have for learning together.  We’re deepening our understanding of our class rules and the school expectations.  What does “acting responsibly” look like and sound like?  How do our choices impact others? Does that matter?  What is the right thing to do?

We’ve been exploring many of different math topics and projects.  We’ve been collecting different types of words and learning about sentence types – while also reading, writing and solving problems each day.

Number Corner

The focus of our calendar is 2-dimensional geometry.  This week we learned about the three different types of angles.  We made a set and labeled the angles we could find in a scavenger hunt around our classroom.  Right angles were easiest to find in our classroom, acute angles were the second most common and obtuse were third and challenging to find.  We learned that an angle has one end point and two rays.  Later, using The Grouchy Ladybug, we explored the angles made by the hands of the clock as time changes.  If you have an analogue clock at home, that might be a fun activity. I was surprised to realize that with hours and half hours there are only two right angles.  I hadn’t thought about it before and now I wonder if there are other times when the clock hands are at a right angle.

We’ve also begun learning about symmetry and congruence.  We know that a shape is symmetrical when it can be cut in half so that both halves are mirror images.  Through the wide variety of shapes on our calendar pattern we have learned that shapes with congruent sides and/or congruent angles are symmetrical.   Some shapes have only one line of symmetry while others have many.  We are also learning what congruence means.  We know that a congruent shape is exactly equal in size and shape.  When shapes are same in only one or the other (size or shape), they are similar but not congruent.

Math Problem Solving and Projects

Most days our math workshop consists of Quick Images (ask you child to explain – I hope they can), a mini-lesson about a new topic, a quick warm-up activity or practice worksheet and problem solving.  This week our mini-lesson and project work was centered on linear measurement.  We focused on standard measurement for length and distance this week – inches, feet, yards and miles.  We learned why a ruler is a foot long – and also why a foot is called a “ruler.”  Ask your child about the story, How Big Is A Foot and the graph we created.  It was a fun way to explore measuring in inches.  We used rulers, yardstick and measuring tapes to measure common objects around the classroom.  Some of the children made estimates and rounded to the closest inch, while others were careful to read to the closest quarter inch.  We also read Inch by Inch and created collages in the manner of the author-illustrator, Leo Lionni.  Each collage has the same elements, but each student chose which item would be how many inches long or tall.  Some have flowers that are 9 inches tall and other collages have 2-inch flowers.   It was interesting to see children’s varying degrees of comfort with measuring and cutting and checking and revising.  Some children were precise, others were okay with being close enough and still others got lost in creating and didn’t measure at all. “It was too hard to measure and do what I wanted.”  Next week we’ll do some measurement activities with the metric system and learn about perimeter.

Word Collections

Our shared reading’s focus has been words.  There are several really great books about collecting words and sharing them with the world.  Each day we read one and used some aspect from the story to guide our word collections. One Monday and Tuesday we collected words that popped out at us while we were reading.  We talked about syllables and looked for multisyllabic words on Wednesday. We learned about synonyms and listed a set for fabulous after reading The Boy Who Cried Fabulous.  We read Punnidles(two photographs that show a punny riddle), learned about compound words. Later created our own original drawn versions.  Bear + Feet = bare feet.  Finally we learned about homophones with Dear Deerand began making our collection of those. Homophones add a real spelling challenge so we’ll try to keep our challenges straight.

We spent some time reviewing the main parts of a sentence.  Hopefully your child will be able to tell the four things all sentences have.  We called the subject of the sentence both a noun and a “doer.”  We labeled the predicate of the sentence as both a verb or what the “doer” is doing.  We’ve practiced writing simple sentences and turning them into simple three to 5 sentence stories.  We’ve also practiced writing simple sentences with a compound subjects or compound predicates.  The more we can think about the parts of writing the more successfully we’ll be able to reflect on our writing choices as we are building our ideas and crafting our pieces of writing to publish and share.

Bits and Pieces –

  • Our field trip to Camp Lincoln is this coming Monday.  We’ll be there for the larger part of the day.  Please make sure your child has lunch – if they’ve ordered lunch from the school, we’ll be sure to have those with us – and snack.  Extra clothes may be helpful, but are not essential.  You know your child best.  We are looking forward to this fun opportunity.
  • We’re enjoying School Days According to Humphrey. Humphrey is a classroom hamster. He’s in his second year in Room 26 and he can’t yet understand why he’s back, but his classmates from last year are not.  At this point in the book he’s beginning to understand they are in other classrooms and that he has new students to help.  Hmm…he’s got a lot to think about. You may want to ask your child about the characters and what s/he thinks may happen as the story unfolds.
  • We’ve continued our conversation about Multiple Intelligence Theory.  We read a biography about Paul Erdos called, The Boy Who Loved Maththis week.  It was interesting to read about someone who was so extraordinarily strong in one way.

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