## Thursday, May 31, 2012

### Thursday...Staging our Plays

This morning my reading class worked in their small play groups and rotated through three stations, or tasks.  These three activities included; staging their play, completing their props, costumes and materials lists and finishing their scenery sketch, and reading through their play working on inflection and fluency.

In math we practiced identifying coordinates on a grid by creating a mystery picture (a kite).  The important things for students to remember is that you go over to the first number and up to the second.  For example, (2, 1) would be going over to 2 and then up to 1.  I taught them two tricks; you need to walk OVER to the stairs before you can walk up the steps OR O (for over) comes before U (for up) in the alphabet.  There is a coordinate graphing worksheet for homework.

After math the students went to art, lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess, my reading class continued working on their plays.  They practiced staging the play and running through their lines.  Additionally, the groups began working on their scenery.

WE will end the day with the children using the iPads to publish their Aztec brochures.

## Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This week seems to be flying by...

This morning, during our reading block, the students worked in their small groups, reading through their plays emphasizing fluency and inflection.  I had the chance to meet with all three groups and help them read through their play once.

In math we identified the total capacity of a container and the amount of liquid shown in that container.  The students worked, independently, on a capacity worksheet and an elapsed time worksheet, before heading to anchor activities.  I met with a small group to practice identifying elapsed time.  There is a worksheet for homework.

After math, the children worked in their small groups on their Aztec brochures.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, my reading class got into their small play groups and reread their play.  This time, as they read, they created lists of props and costumes ideas.  They also sketched out a picture of the scenery they plan to draw.

## Tuesday, May 29, 2012

### The Countdown is On!

After such a wonderful, summer-like weekend, the children are ready for Summer!  With that in mind, I have planned some fun, and educational, projects to help us wind down the year.

My reading class is working on plays.  The students will form small groups to produce a play.  They will choose parts, stage the action and create sets and costumes.  We are hoping to perform these plays for the second graders before the end of the year.

This morning we read through the three plays so that the children could begin to decide which play they want to perform.

In math we practiced reading a calendar focusing on days after, days before, weeks after and weeks before.  While the students worked on a practice worksheet and went to anchor activities, I worked with a small group calculating elapsed time.  There is a calendar worksheet for homework.

After math, the children went to PE.  Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

This afternoon, the students were assigned their plays (based on their requests) and got into their small groups and assigned parts.  After that, I met with each group and discussed the importance of delivering their lines using the appropriate expression based on their character's emotions.  We identified the emotions of each character in the play.  Then the students worked in their groups to read through the plays using correct expression and fluency.  For homework the children are expected to practice reading their assigned part practicing inflection and fluency.

We ended the day with the children working in small groups to create a brochure, on the iPad, using the information they have gathered about the Aztecs.  While the children did this, I met with students individually to review the work they completed on their graphic organizers and ask the child a few questions to assess the knowledge they gained about the Aztecs during their research.

## Friday, May 25, 2012

### TGIF

The children had a blast at Field Day yesterday!  Thanks to all of the parents who helped make this day so successful!

We started our today today by taking our final spelling test for third grade.  These will be scored and returned to the children by the end of the day today.  After that, we reviewed the spelling packet and the children had a chance to ask questions and correct their own mistakes.

Next, I introduced the structure of plays.  Over the next few weeks, our class will be working in small groups to perform plays.  They will not be expected to memorize the text but will need to read their lines fluently and with proper inflection.  They will also be responsible for staging their play and creating props, scenery, and costumes.  I have done this with my reading classes for the past three years and it is always a fun way to end the year!

In math we continued to calculate elapsed time.  I reviewed the strategy of using a timeline with the class and then showed a similar idea using a t-chart.  After my lesson, the children worked independently on a follow up worksheet, while Mrs. Benson and I helped students who were struggling.  Then the students went to anchor activities.

After math, the students visited the media center.  Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

Mrs. Howard visited our homeroom following recess.  She continued her career unit with the children.

We will end the day by exploring the options we have to present our research using the iPads.  Students will use the Keynote app to create a brochure.

## Wednesday, May 23, 2012

### Wonderful Wednesday

This morning the children got back into their groups from yesterday's word sort and used the book, Venomous Snakes, to make changes to their charts.  Then we got together as a class to discuss the changes made and recognize how this entire process improved our comprehension of what we read.

After that the students got into small groups and used their story maps to practice telling their story.  This was a rehearsal to help them get their thoughts in order and make writing their rough draft easier.  I explained to the students that when they tell a story they should have a video in their head.  Their goal is to get that movie into the reader's minds using specific, descriptive words.

In math we began calculating elapsed time.  I taught the students to draw a number line to identify the answer.  There is a worksheet for homework but it is not due until Friday because we have Field Day tomorrow.

After math, the class went to PE since we didn't have it yesterday.  Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess the students wrote the beginning, middle and end of their realistic fiction piece and finished reading the Venomous Snakes book while I met with reading groups.

Crabs:  We read the afterward and the author's note at the end of The Year of the Panda.  We also discussed the author's message.  The children handed in the book at the end of the group.

Lions:  The students made "help wanted" posters looking for a friend.  The characteristics listed on the poster were to reflect one of the characters from the book Gooseberry Park.  We will share these posters and try to identify the characters based n the description used on the poster.

Bears:  We began reading and discussing the final chapter of Bunnicula.

We ended the day working in small group, using the text Aztecs, to complete gathering information for our research project.

Don't forget...Field Day is tomorrow!!!

## Tuesday, May 22, 2012

### Tuesday

This morning we reviewed the tools we have been using to increase our reading comprehension. These include summarizing the text and identifying the main idea and author's message.

After that, the students got into small groups to complete a word sort for our next book, Venomous Snakes. Each group was given an envelop with approximately 30 words from the book. The students then put the words into categories and created a heading, or rule, for each. The purpose of this task was to recall background knowledge and encourage discussion, which, in turn, bolsters comprehension.

After discussing the children's categories and how this activity prepared us to read the book, we moved onto our writing lesson. I told students that their last writing piece was scored relatively easily. Student's scores reflected having a beginning, middle and end written in a logical order. However, there were many errors in the point of view (first person vs. third person) and verb tense. Our next piece will focus on these characteristics.

This morning the children thought of a topic for their next piece and shared their ideas, first with a partner, and then the whole group.

In math we reviewed telling time to the minute and practiced skip counting using time. While the students worked on a practice worksheet, I met with a small group to identify the time to the minute using an analog clock. There is a worksheet for homework.

Due to the lower grade field day, we will not have PE until tomorrow. So, before enjoying lunch and recess the students worked on researching the Aztecs using the Ipads and the Aztec textbook.

After recess the students read part of the Venomous Snakes book and identified 5 facts they learned. Then they completed a story map for their next realistic fiction writing piece. After that, they worked on a vocabulary quiz.

Bears: We reviewed the sticky notes from Friday where the students identified the "disaster in the dining room". Then we identified the meaning of vocabulary words in the next chapter, chapter 9.

Lions: We reviewed the vocabulary for chapter 19 and then read the chapter, thereby finishing the book!

Crabs: We finished reading chpater 7 and therfore finished the book. Tomorrow we will discuss the book and read the afterward.

We will end the day by continuing with out Aztec research.

## Monday, May 21, 2012

### Rainy Monday

This morning I was in a meeting, in the building.  So, Mrs. Benson led my reading/writing block.  The students reviewed the characteristics of a summary and how summarizing can improve reading comprehension.  Then they used the notes we took on Friday, regarding the important information on how people put out fires, to write a summary of that section.  Students who finished early either completed the final draft of their realistic writing piece or read silently.

In math we began the sixth and final unit.  The focus of this unit is measurement...of all things, not just length!  So, we began by creating a chart in our math journals naming attributes we can measure and the tools and units used to do so.  After that we reviewed telling time to the 5 minutes.  There is a worksheet for homework practicing this skill.

After math the students went to music and then enjoyed lunch and indoor recess.  This afternoon we will be treated to the chorus' production of Annie Junior.

## Friday, May 18, 2012

### Happy Friday!

This morning we used the graphic organizer from yesterday's reading lesson to write a summary about the first section of the book Wildfires.  Then the students read the next section in the book, Fighting Wildfires, and identified important information that answered the question, "How do people fight wildfires?"  They will use this information, later, to write a summary of the section.

After the children read the section and took note of the important information on their own, I modeled reading the section and explained my thinking, out loud, as I added information to the graphic organizer.  This allowed students to hear why I was or was not including ideas as important information.  Additionally, it gave the children to ask questions regarding what I put on my chart.

I actually heard students comment that this was a helpful lesson.  :-)

In math we completed the grade level portion of the unit 5 assessment.  We will begin the final unit on Monday by telling time to the 5 minutes.

Since we visited the media center on Wednesday, we had time for social studies today, after math and before going to lunch.  We began social studies with a few students sharing the information they had gathered so far on their graphic organizers.  Then the students worked in their small groups using the iPads to continue their research.

After enjoying lunch and recess the students wrote the final draft of their realistic fiction writing piece and completed any unfinished work from the week while I met with reading group.

bears:  We shared the sentences they wrote, using vocabulary from chapter 8, yesterday.  Then we began reading chapter 8 out loud.  The students finished reading the chapter independently and wrote about the disaster on a sticky note.

Lions:  After reviewing the portion of the text that describes the new home, the children shared the pictures they drew in class yesterday.  Then we reviewed new vocabulary for chapter 19.

Crabs:  We reviewed the pronunciation and meanings of the words they listed as unknown from pages 74-80.

We ended the day by continuing to gather information, and add it to our graphic organizers, about the Aztec people.

## Thursday, May 17, 2012

### Thursday

This morning, in our reading/writing block, we reviewed the characteristics of a summary.  These included; sticking to the main idea, using your own words, being concise and to the point and writing in a logical order.  Then we discussed how good readers automatically stop and summarize what they have read as they are reading to ensure they are comprehending the text.  We also reviewed that good readers have a question in mind or a purpose for reading as they read text.  Then we used a graphic organizer to identify information from a chapter in the book Wildfires that answered our purpose for reading.

After that, I did a review lesson on the difference between plural nouns and possessive nouns.  My main focus was on when to use an apostrophe.  I'm sure many of you have noticed that your child uses apostrophes ALL of the time, right?  Well, my hopes is this lesson will remind them when it is appropriate to sue one and when it's not...fingers crossed!

In math we took the first part of the unit 5 assessment.  As a side note, this unit consisted fractions, probability, money, multiplication and division.  This was a lot of material to master.  Therefore, we did not get to any of the challenge which included decimals.  We will complete the assessment tomorrow and begin unit 6 on Monday.

Before enjoying lunch and outdoor recess we went to art.

After recess, we had an unscheduled fire drill.  There was a faulty smoke detector, so we spent a little bit longer outside than usual.  Therefore, I had to adjust the assignments for the afternoon.

While I pulled individual students to do informal reading assessments, the rest of the class worked on reading groups assignments.

Lions:  Reread chapter 18 and drew and labeled Murray and Stumpy's new home based on the description in the book.

Bears:  Chose 5 new vocabulary words from their book and used them in sentences that showed they knew their meaning.

Crabs:  Read pages 74-80 and listed unknown words.

We will end the day making a special book for out awesome high school intern.  Since tomorrow is her last day, I wanted the children to have a chance to create something she can have to remember us.

## Wednesday, May 16, 2012

### Hump Day

Yesterday, as part of their independent work the students had to read 5 pages in the book Fair Day USA and respond to 3 comprehension questions.  This book is a level N which is considered below grade level.  I used a book with somewhat easier text to ensure the students could read it with ease and therefore concentrate om demonstrating their understanding in writing.  Across the board, the students did not do well.  So this morning's lesson centered around how to answer comprehension questions completely using the text and making sure all parts of the questions were addressed.

After that, the children worked with a partner to revise and edit their rough drafts.

In math we finished going over the unit 5 review packet.  Then we practiced problems similar to those on the review packet that provided the most challenges for the class.  Tonight the students are expected to use the review packet to prepare for the unit 5 assessment which we will take in class tomorrow.

After math, the students met Mrs. Rose in the computer lab.  They had their media time today because Mrs. Rose will be busy with Kindergarten orientation during their regular time on Friday.

Following lunch and recess the children finished reading Fair Day USA and completed a follow up worksheet.  They also completed the revising and editing of their rough draft with their partner.  I met with reading groups>

Bears:  We reviewed new vocabulary from chapter 8.

Lions:  We finished reading chapter 18 in group.  Then the children partnered up to reread on their own.

Crabs:  We started to meet but ran out of time.  :-(

We ended the day with the students working in their groups, suing the text Aztecs, gathering information for their research project.

## Tuesday, May 15, 2012

### Book Fair Preview Tuesday

This morning we reviewed strategies that good readers use to monitor for meaning as they read.  These included thinking about background knowledge, making and verifying predictions, reading with a purpose and determining the author's message.  Then the students used these strategies to read and comprehend the book Fair Day USA.

First, we had a brief discussion to share our background knowledge about fairs.  Then students listed their own predictions in their RRJ.  After I set the purpose to read, the students listened to verify the predictions they had made.

Next, I used actual student rough drafts (with permission from the children) to model revising our writing.  I pointed out what was done well and how to add the necessary details that will help the writer create an accurate picture in their readers' minds.

After completing our warm up and going over the homework in math, we visited the book fair to create a wish list.  When we returned to class we began going over each item in the unit 5 review packet.  We ran out of time, so we will finish this tomorrow.  There is a division worksheet for homework.  Our unit assessment will be on Thursday.  A completed and corrected review packet will come home tomorrow.  Students should use this to prepare for the test!

Following PE, the children enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

When they returned to the classroom, the children revised their rough draft, read a portion of the Fair Day USA book and completed a follow up worksheet independently.

I met with each reading group.  During our small group time, the students read their rough drafts, received feedback from me and had time to revise their writing on the spot.

We ended the day by working on our Aztec research projects.   Today we visited Mr. Vogel's room and used the Ipads to access the Internet.  Students accessed bookmarked sites and continued to add information to their graphic organizers.

## Monday, May 14, 2012

### Rainy Monday

After such a beautiful weekend, today's weather is such a bummer, isn't it?!?!?!

This morning, in our reading and writing block, we used an anticipation guide to help us focus on our reading and improve our comprehension.  The anticipation guide was a list of 6 statements that the students either agreed or disagreed with, prior to reading.  This forced the students to recall any background knowledge they had on the subject, in this case whales.  After completing the anticipation guide, we read and discussed the book called Whales.

Next, I handed out the next spelling packet which is due May 25.  We reviewed the spelling words and previewed the grammar activities which focus on the use of commas.

After that we discussed good strategies to use when drafting a rough draft. These included skipping lines, writing on one side of the paper, circling words you think you misspelled and remembering that the bulk of the story is the middle where you state the problem and the events leading up to the solution.

This afternoon, while I meet with reading groups, the students will write a rough draft using their planning sheets from last week.  They will also practice using commas correctly as they complete an activity in the language arts textbook.

On to math--we will be taking the unit 5 assessment on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Today the students worked independently on a review packet.  Tomorrow, in class, we will go over each problem in the packet and the children will indicate which items were the most challenging.  On Wednesday, we will practice using strategies to solve problems similar to those identified by the class on Tuesday.  There is a basic facts math worksheet for homework tonight.

The students did not have music today.  Mrs. Thompson was out sick and there was not a substitute available.  So, we had extra time to begin our social studies research!!  :-)

Today the students divided up into small groups, received their research packets and used a text called Aztecs to begin gathering information about the culture of the Aztec people.  Prior to doing this, I introduced all four pages of the research packet and explained what information they would need to find.  Then I reviewed with the class how to use the table of contents and the index to locate information in the text.

Following lunch and indoor recess, the children worked independently while I met with reading groups.

Bears:  We reread and discussed page 82, especially the quotes, "today vegetables and tomorrow...the world" and "sometimes you got to be cruel to be kind".

Crabs:  We reviewed the vocabulary for chapter 7 and then began reading chapter 7.  We continue to struggle with our reading fluency.  For homework, this group needs to reread pages 72-74 twice and get a parent signature in their planner.

Lions:  We continued reading and discussing chapter 18...hopefully we will finish it tomorrow.

The students ended the day by using an app on the Ipad to continue their research about the Aztecs.

## Friday, May 11, 2012

### Happy Friday!!

This morning we completed our reading of Flat Stanley.  We continued to make predictions before reading each chapter.  Predictions, whether right or wrong, help readers stay focused and improve their comprehension of what they read.  After reading each chapter, the students took notes on what actually happened.

Before going to math, the children had a chance to finish any unfinished reading/writing assignments from this week.

We began math with Mrs. Benson conducting our regular warm up while I met with a small groups to review mixed numbers, fractions on a number line and subtraction involving money.  After that, the entire group continued solving for unknowns using Hands on Equations.

Before going enjoying lunch and recess, the students visited the media center.

After recess, Mrs. Howard joined us to do a lesson about careers.

We ended the day with a social studies lesson.  I introduced a research project we will begin on Monday.  The students will be using different resources, including books, iPad apps and the Internet, to learn about the Aztecs.  After gathering information and charting it on graphic organizers, the children will present their new knowledge is a slide show or brochure they create on the iPad.

## Thursday, May 10, 2012

### Thursday

This morning we continued reading Flat Stanley.  We made predictions before reading each chapter and then checked our predictions after.  Additionally, we discussed the underlying humor in the story.  All of this helps to strengthen comprehension as we read.

After that, students had the chance to share the ideas they wrote on their writing planning sheets yesterday.  We focused on a strong beginning, middle and end.

This afternoon, while I meet with reading groups, the students will construct and complete a chart showing the beginning, middle and end of their writing piece.  Then they will read the article titled, "Living Colors" in their National Geographic and complete a comprehension multiple choice worksheet.

In math the students used a price list to complete word problems involving money.  Then they went to anchor activities while I met with small groups.  My fist group practiced placing fractions and mixed numbers on a number line.  The next group practiced multiplying 3 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers.  Finally, the last group practiced subtracting money and making change.  There is a basic facts division worksheet for homework and we will not have a quiz tomorrow.

Following art, the students enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess, the students worked independently while I met with reading groups.

Crabs:  We reviewed vocabulary from chapter 7 and summarized chapter 6.

Lions:  We began rereading chapter 18 and discussed what Kona's "heroics" were (saving Stumpy).

Bears:  We reread chapter 7 and began discussing the chapter.  We are going to revisit a few ideas on the last page of chapter 7.

We ended the day by threshing our seeds from our plants and recognizing that one plant produces MANY seeds.

## Wednesday, May 9, 2012

### Wednesday

This morning we began a short novel study of the fantasy book Flat Stanley.  Today we previewed the book and used textual clues (chapter titles, pictures, etc.) to make predictions about chapter 1.  Then we wrote the actual events after we read the chapter.

After that, the students had a chance to share a topic from their realistic fiction topic list they created yesterday.  As a group we discussed what actually happened and what could have happened, paying special attention to the problem and solution in their "story".  This was a rehearsal to help them get their ideas straight before writing their piece.

This afternoon, their independent work will include completing a planning sheet for their writing piece and using a new WOW word (hasty) in a cartoon.  They will also catch up on any unfinished work.

In math we continued using Hands on Equations to solve for unknowns.  There is a division worksheet for homework.

After math we continued the social studies lesson, on culture, that we began at the end of the day yesterday.  After finishing their posters in small groups, each group had a chance to share their ideas with the rest of the students.  Next, the students were given an informational piece of text defining culture and its importance.  There were two focuses of this lesson; one was to identify what exactly is meant by the term culture, the other was to learn how to properly highlight text.  So, as we read through the article, we highlighted important information using the headings as our guide.

After enjoying lunch and outdoor recess the students worked independently on their writing planning sheet and their WOW worksheet.  I met with reading groups.

Lions:  We reviewed the pronunciation and  meaning of the unknown words they listed for homework last night.

Bears:  We attempted to use context clues to figure out the meaning of the unknown words they listed for homework for chapter 7 last night.

Crabs:  We shared and discussed the titles the students wrote for chapter 7 for homework last night.  We talked about the main idea that tied this lengthy chapter together AND the reason why the author might have included the arrival of an injured panda towards the end of the chapter.

We ended the day by finishing reading and highlighting important information about culture.

## Tuesday, May 8, 2012

### Tuesday...and a plead for help!

Mr. Lee is in desperate need for more parent volunteers for Field Day on Thursday, May 24.  If you have a couple of hours of time to give, PLEASE let us know!!!!

This morning we began by having the children's spring portraits taken.  If you didn't order pictures today, you will have a chance to order them online at a later date.

Before going to pictures, the students had the chance to cross pollinate their plants.

After the pictures, the children proceeded to their regular reading/writing classes.  In my class we read the story Big Anthony and the Magic Ring.  The students will reread the story this afternoon and identify the beginning, middle and end, as well as, clues each section gives about the author's message, on a chart provided for them.  The children will use that chart to identify the author's message in the story.

We also had the chance to review the characteristics of realistic fiction.  Our writing intent will be shifting from poetry to realistic fiction.  This afternoon the students will begin brainstorming a topic list for their next piece using events that have happened in their past.

In math we continued using Hands on Equations to solve for unknowns.  There is a multiplication practice worksheet for homework.

After recess the students enjoyed lunch and indoor recess.

While I met with reading groups the students completed the chart and identified the author's message for Big Anthony and the Magic Ring.  Then they began topic lists, in their writer's notebooks, for realistic fiction.  When they finished those two assignments they completed any unfinished work and read silently.

Crabs:  We continued reading chapter 6 both out loud and silently.  Then we discussed what Dr. Di said to Lu Yi about the baby panda.  For homework the students need to read the rest of the chapter (pages 58-71) and write a title for the chapter on a sticky note.

Lions:  After sharing the technological items that they listed for homework last night, we began reading chapter 18.  For homework, the students need to finish reading chapter 18 and list unknown words.

Bears:  We shared some of the surprises and questions from last night's homework.  Tonight the children need to read chapter 7 and list any unknown words on a sticky note.

We ended the day with students working in small groups making posters that show what the word "culture" means to them.

## Monday, May 7, 2012

### Marvelous Monday

This morning, after reviewing the characteristics of fantasy, we read Jumanji and identified the author's message.  Then, as a whole group, we began completing a chart, using the story elements, to help us arrive at the author's message.

In math we explored the idea of solving for unknown variables using a program called Hands on Equations.  Today, we worked as a whole group using pawns and number cubes to work through problems such as x+x=10 and X+X+2=8, solving for x.  For homework their is a money worksheet.

After math the students went to music.  Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

Following recess the students worked on the final draft of their bio poem and reread Jumanji and identified the author's message int he book.  I met with reading groups.

Bears:  We began reading chapter 6 and attempted to use context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words.  For homework they need to read the rest of chapter 6 and write one thing that surprised or excited them and one question they had as they read.  This is to be done on a sticky note I gave each student.

Crabs:  We begin reading chapter 6.  This group really needs to work on their fluency.  For homework they need to reread pages 47 and 48, three times and get a parent signature in their planner.

Lions:  We began to reread chapter 17.  For homework the children need to reread pages 117 and 118 and list the wonders of technology found in Professor Albert's house.

We ended the day by cross pollinating our plants.

## Thursday, May 3, 2012

### Final MAP-R Testing

This morning, during our reading/writing block, my entire homeroom took the final MAP-R assessment for this school year.  The MAP-R is the self adjusting reading assessment that is given on the computer 3 times a year beginning in third grade.

To say that I am proud of my student's efforts is an understatement.  YOUR children worked so hard!!  I could see them using strategies, including going back to the text, reading all of the choices and then double checking their answer.  THIS is why I come to work each day!!!!  Using their strategies paid off, too!  Most students really showed a lot of growth!!!!

In math we practiced adding and subtracting money.  While the students worked independently, I worked with a small group practicing subtracting money that included a lot of zeroes!  There is a money worksheet for homework and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

After art, the children enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

When the students returned from recess, they had time to finish unfinished work from the week while I called reading groups.  We did take a short break to visit Mr. Vogel's room.  Mr. Vogel's reading class has been working with Mrs. SPiradopolous' class doing a research project, involving the Ipads, about volcanoes.  They did a SUPERB job!!

Crabs:We discussed the bad news from last night's homework and then read the rest of chapter 5 to discover the good news.

Lions:  We attempted to discuss last night's homework explaining why the chapter was titled, The Wonders of Technology".  Unfortunately, several students didn't do the assignment and others seemed confused.  We will reread the chapter, in group, on Monday.

Bears:  We discussed what Chester's act was. ..he was acting like a vampire to warn the Monroes about Bunnicula.

The day ended with the children cross pollinating their plants.

I will be out of the building tomorrow.  No blog until Monday!

## Wednesday, May 2, 2012

### Wednesday

This morning during our reading and writing block we tackled the concept of inference.  We began by looking at photographs and noticing what we naturally infer, without written words. Then we read the story The Great Kapok Tree, a fantasy with a message about saving the rainforest, and stopped periodically to discuss inferences that could be made by using the author's written word and our own background knowledge.

After that, I modeled writing a bio poem using a planning worksheet.  A bio poem is a short biography in the form of a poem.

In math we practiced making change by subtracting money.  While the students worked independently, I met with a small group to review fractions of a set.  Mrs. Benson pulled a small group who struggled with the regrouping aspect of subtraction.  There is a making change worksheet for homework.

After math, instead of visiting the computer lab, we had a science lesson.  The students took notes on diagrams of a honeybee and a brassica flower regarding the interdependence between the bee and the plant.  Then the students used hand held lenses to observe the parts of the bee and flower that were identified on the diagrams.  Finally, the children used their bee sticks to cross pollinate the flowers.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students worked independently on their bi poem planning sheet.  Then they read an article, in the April issue of the National Geographic, about the Titanic and completed a follow up comprehension worksheet.  I met with reading groups.

Lions:  We began reading chapter 17 in group.  For homework the children need to finish reading chapter 17 and answer the question, "Why is this chapter called The Wonders of Technology?" on a sticky note.  BUT...they were given some time in class to begin their homework, if they wanted to.

Bears:  We began reading chapter 5 and discovered that a blight is a disease that kills plants.  For homework the children need to finish chapter 5 and explain what Chester's "act" was on a sticky note.  BUT...they were given some time in class to begin their homework, if they wanted to.

Crabs:  We began reading chapter 5, in group, after reviewing the titles for they wrote for chapter 4 yesterday.  Tonight, for homework, they need to read pages 32-39 and identify the bad news on a sticky note.

We ended the day with a much needed class meeting.

## Tuesday, May 1, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning we began our reading and writing block by reviewing the for math of diamante poetry.  Then students had the chance to share the diamante poems they wrote during independent work time yesterday.  After that we reviewed the characteristics of fantasy literature.  Next, using yesterday's read aloud, we discussed the author's message.  Finally, we read Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss, identified the author's message and provided support from the book to prove the message.

In math we practiced counting and writing money up to \$12.  While students worked independently, I worked with a small group, counting money.  There is a money worksheet for homework.

Following PE, the students enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After lunch the students worked on individual reading group assignments and wrote diamante poems to be turned in and graded.

Lions:  Read chapter 16 and answered the question, in their RRJ, "What was the sign and did the plan work?  Explain."

Bears:  Read chapter 4 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.

Crabs:  Read chapter 4 and wrote a title for the chapter, with an explanation as to why they chose it, in their RRJ.

We will end the day by making bee sticks to help us cross pollinate our plants and by recording our plants observations in our packets.