## Wednesday, February 20, 2013

### Wonderful Wednesday

Just some thoughts...

I LOVE this new curriculum...I really do!  Most lessons are very meaningful.  There is a lot of repetition so that new ideas aren't learned and then forgotten!

With that said, there seems to be times when it is a challenge to get it all in!  :-)  When we begin new projects or switch units, the first few days tend to involve more direct instruction and less small groups.  This creates an uneasiness within me because I fully believe that small group instruction is SOOOO important--it's essential to meeting every child's needs.

As we begin our latest project, writing a realistic fiction picture book, meeting with small groups is a struggle.  However, rest assured, this is on my radar and our instructional time is being used wisely!  Pinky swear!!  :-)

Okay...here's the lowdown on today....

After beginning the day in the media center, the students returned to class and we read the Cynthia Rylant story, An Angel for Solomon Singer.  We used this story to analyze how a character's actions as related to the setting, the problem and the solution, can be used to infer the theme of the book.  During this lesson, we reviewed the theme Power Point from earlier this year.  We also identified the story elements; character, setting, problem, events leading to the solution, and the solution.

Next, we turned our focus to the writing project, a realistic picture book.  Today we reviewed choosing a topic and then I introduced a story map that we will use to plan our text.  The link will lead you to what we did in class.

Next we moved on to math.  WE reviewed yesterday's lesson, using pattern blocks to name fractional parts of a whole and identify equivalent fractions.  Then the children worked independently, using pattern blocks, to identify unit fractions (wholes), name fractional parts and identifying equivalent fractions.  During this time, Mrs. Head and I met with small groups.  My group practiced identifying mixed numbers on a number line and then drawing a pictorial representation.  Mrs. Head's group worked on partitioning fractions of a set and naming fractions and mixed numbers on a number line.

For homework:  There is an Edmodo assignment.  In short, students will go to the virtual manipulative web site and use the pattern blocks manipulatives to practice identifying unit fractions (whole) and naming different fractional parts.  Then they will use this to identify equivalent fractions.  They need to turn in one set (two fractions) that are equivalent via Edmodo.  They can also print their work or draw a picture of their discoveries in their math journal.

Following lunch and indoor recess we went back to the realistic fiction book project and I explained that all fiction books have a problem or predicament that involves the main character.  This makes the book interesting.  Then I modeled listing 3 ideas for stories, with each idea naming the characters and problem.

While I met with small groups the students listed at least 3 story ideas in their journals.  To get ideas they were encouraged to use the clip art from last night's homework, various realistic fiction books provided in class or their morning work journals.

Sharks:  They reread pages 3-15 and marked the crew's solution using a sticky note.  We then reviewed this and I explained that last week, when they were to write about it, NOBODY mentioned the cable or the iceberg...so we discussed the importance of revisiting the text.  After that we read the rest of the book and identified the sentence that let us know the solution worked.

For homework:  the students need to reread pages 16-18 and list words from those pages that have -ed endings, on the sticky note they were given.

Cheetahs:  Independently they reread chapter 5 and marked, with a sticky, what Phillip was worried about and how he solved his problem.

For homework:  The students need to read chapter 6 and identify, on a sticky note, what surprises Phillip.

Yellow Jackets:  The students reread chapter 2 and marked a place, with a sticky note, that showed how Cat feels about her mom.

For homework: They need to reread chapter 2 and write a title for this chapter on a sticky note...they shouldn't explain it yet!

Snakes:  The students reread pages 2-7 independently then reviewed the root word and suffix chart.  Then we identified the main character and his problem.  We also described kaleidoscopes.  After that we reviewed the sound that the consonant clusters -ld and -mp make.

For homework: the children need to reread pages 2-7 and locate word that have -ld and-mp in them.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't get to our science lesson...BUT we did meet with small groups in math and reading!!  :-)