Here is what we've been up to and what we are up to next.
November 11th: no school Veterans Day
November 23rd, 24th, 25th: Thanksgiving Break
Reading: We have been diving into our new Reading Street leveled readers each week. Every Tuesday we do a whole class lesson in which we review new vocabulary that the students will encounter in their leveled readers throughout the week. Then we have a minilesson on a specific skill. So far we have covered main idea and details, cause and effect and drawing conclusions. Throughout the week, I meet with each group and we read together as we dig deep into the text and practice our fluency. Over the next few weeks we will be covering theme, in which the students determine the lesson or moral in short stories and longer stories as well. We will also be determining the meaning of words in context, as we teach the students strategies for figuring out the meanings of new words.
Writing: Although, you have not seen their writing come home yet, the students have published three pieces so far. We worked on some personal narratives, of which one you will see hanging outside of the room at Parent Teacher Conferences on December 8th. They have published a fictional narrative about a pumpkin who lives peacefully in a patch, but might get picked soon. We have also worked on a small research project, where the students learned about one of America's National Parks and had to write a post card home describing its land forms, wildlife and activities. We have also been working on our grammar intermittently throughout each week and have covered such skills as, subject and predicate, common and proper nouns, there, their and they're and word choice. The students will continually be working on how to edit and revise their papers throughout the school year and use the appropriate tools such as dictionaries and thesaurus to make the necessary corrections.
Math: We spent the beginning of the school year introducing place value up through the millions. Students became comfortable with the concept of rounding, comparing, and adding and subtracting large numbers. Using knowledge of their facts, students studied factor pairs, multiples, and composite and prime numbers. This knowledge of factors and multiples will be extremely important for the remainder of the school year. Last week we dove into multiplication of a two digit number by a one digit number and by next week we will be learning how to multiply by two digit numbers on the bottom. I will be teaching, what I consider to be, the traditional method.
S.S. This past month, we have been using our S.S. text book frequently. We use it many times to review non-fiction text features and how they can be used to help us understand our reading better. Students often use the S.S. text as part of their guided reading center and answer quick multiple choice questions to help keep their reading focused. In the text, we have studied basic geographical features of our country such as the plains, mountain ranges, the oceans, the continental divide, natural and man made regions and boundaries of states and our country. Recently, we started learning about Rhode Island history and the five counties. We will continue to study Rhode Island geography and history for the next few weeks and move on to studying the Northeast Region.
Science: We have been studying erosion all trimester and have one experiment left to do. Students have been observing the effects of weathering and erosion on rocks and sand. They have learned about slow and rapid changes over time. They have discussed how humans and animals have contributed to erosion and brainstormed ways that erosion can be prevented.