## Wednesday, January 23, 2013

### Welcome to the THIRD Marking Period!!

Wow!  It's so hard to believe that we are halfway through the school year.  Yesterday, I had the chance to work from home and really get into the curriculum for the next nine weeks.  I feel really good about where we are going and am super excited about upcoming lessons and assignments!  So, here we go...

After visiting the media center, the students returned to class and we began laying the ground work for the new marking period.

Our reading lesson began with exploring the concept of change.  We identified examples of change that fit certain generalizations, such as, change that is natural, change that is random, change that is positive/negative, etc.  This was a lesson taken from the William and Mary center for gifted education program.

After that, we viewed some pictures and identified a concept that tied them all together.

Next, I introduced the historical fiction novel, Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm, which is set during the blizzard of 1888 that crippled New York City.  Finally, we read the first chapter of the book and identified changes mention in the chapter, the characters and the setting.

Whew...we had already accomplished a lot and we still had our whole group writing lesson to do!!

In writing we read the book Brave Irene and spent time identifying the problem and solution, along with the events leading from the problem to the solution.  This book will serve as the basis for a writing assignment I will be modeling for the children.  Over the next three weeks, I will model and they will write an opinion paper where they will state an opinion about a character's actions and use events from the story to support their opinion.

As you can imagine, this took our entire morning reading and writing block.  So, next up was math!

We began math by reviewing Friday's quiz.  These have been scored and returned to the students.  It should be stored in the math section of your child's binder.  After that we learned about identifying fractions on a number line.  You can view the lesson here.  These is a practice worksheet for homework.  If your child gets stuck, view the online lesson for help!

Following lunch and indoor recess the students worked on independent reading group assignments while I met with small groups.

Snakes:  The students received a new book called The Bear and the Bees and used highlighter tape to highlight ch/sh digraphs in one color and ed/ing endings in another color.  In group we reviewed the sh, ch, ing and ed sounds.  We also discussed suffixes and root words.  Then we read and discussed pages 2-6.  For homework they need to reread pages 2-6.

Sharks:  The students read up to page 12 in The Tallest Boy in the Class and identified the main character and the problem in their RRJ.  Students who did not complete their assignment in class should do so for homework.

Cheetahs:  The students read chapter 1 in A Second Chance and then completed vocabulary entries for mane and crossly and wrote about the main character and the problem in their RRJ.  IN group we reviewed the format of a vocabulary entry and discussed chapter 1.  Students who didn't finish their assignments in class must do so for homework.

Yellow Jackets:  The students read chapter 1 in The Junkyard Dog and completed vocabulary entries for savagely and timidly and wrote about the main characters and the problem in their RRJ.  IN group we reviewed suffixes and base words.  We also discussed chapter 1.  Students who did not complete their assignments in class must do so for homework.

We ended the day by identifying our 2 learning skills that we are focusing on this marking period; originality (creating new ideas) and intellectual risk taking (taking risks...even when you are unsure...asking questions during instruction).

Then we looked at some political maps of the world, North America and the United States.  We listed and discussed various map elements including color, compass rose, scale, date, title and the key/legend.  We also discussed the locations of various parts of the continent of North America.