Friday, March 8, 2013


Remember...due to the snow day, our MSA schedule has changed.  We will be taking the Math MSA on Monday and Tuesday of next week!

This morning we focused on our writing project.  First, though, we had a few mini-lessons.  We began by comparing and contrasting the Ipad and the laptop for the use of publishing our writing.  We charted the strengths of each and then the students were given the option to pick the one they preferred.  The only caveat...once they chose which technology tool they would use, they had to stick with changes!

Next, I modeled using my story map to write the events that will lead my main character from the problem to the solution.  I  pointed out the need for, and my use of, transition words to identify changes in the scenes.

After that, I reviewed verb tenses with the class.  I pointed out that I had noticed many students were changing the tenses as they wrote.  I shared a piece of student writing, which I had typed up, with the class.  We analyzed the piece, identifying the verbs in each sentence and determining whether they were past or present tense.  Then I shared that I prefer to write in the past tense and together we edited the sentences that needed verbs changed from present to past tense.

Finally, the students worked independently to finish their rough drafts and begin typing their writing.

In math we began listing rules we use to compare fractions and I introduced a new one...thinking of a landmark fraction.  A landmark fraction is one we know well, such as, 1/2 or a whole.  We think about how the fraction relates to the landmark fraction and use that knowledge to compare the two fractions in the problem.  For example, 1/3 and 9/10...1/3 is less than a half and 9/10 is almost a whole.  Therefore, we know that 9/10 HAS to be greater than 1/3. 

After practicing this rule, the students got to choose how they were going to practice comparing fractions or identifying equivalent fractions.  Their choices included new games I introduced today and a few apps on the iPad.  During this time, Mrs. Head and I worked with small groups.

My first group practiced identifying and naming mixed numbers on the number line.  My second group worked on partitioning grids into equal groups and naming fractions that identified the shaded and unshaded parts.

Mrs. Head's first group practiced identifying equivalent fractions.  Her second group identified and named fractions on a number line.

After enjoying lunch and recess the students worked on different activities.  Some students finished writing their rough drafts.  Other students typed their rough drafts on either a lap top or an iPad.  The rest practiced telling time to the minute (a review from last year) using an iPad app.

We ended the day by sharing what the children had learned about their family's culture.  It was so much fun finding out new things about each other!!!

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