Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Wednesday

Ahhh...with MSA testing behind us, we are back to some sense of normalcy.  There are still some schedule related changes but I get to instruct and the students get to learn.  YIPPEE!

This morning we focused on our realistic fiction writing project.

First I did a mini lesson about homophones.  We watched a short video clip, from Behind the Lions, and identified homophones as words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.  Then I told the students I had noticed that many students were using the wrong spelling of "there" in their writing.  I wrote all three spelling and the meaning of each on chart paper.

I also took this opportunity to explain to the students that I want to begin celebrating our mistakes.  Too often, we tell students that mistakes are good and we learn from our mistakes but then we acknowledge and celebrate work that is close to perfect.  In my opinion, that sends a mixed message.  So, my goal, from here on out, is to have students note the corrections they make and to honor and celebrate these.  After all, isn't that why we are learn from our mistakes and get smarter??

Next, the children reviewed their rough drafts and looked for the word there in their writing and corrected any mistakes that were made.  After that, they finished their peer conferences (from yesterday).  Finally, they went back to their typed version (either on the iPad or the laptop) and updated these using the corrections they made on their paper copy.

Towards the end of our work session, I gathered students on the carpet to share different ways they can illustrate their books, once they are ready to do so.

In math we split into two groups.  One group practiced identifying equivalent fractions and comparing fractions, both using worksheets.  When this group was finished, they played games that were introduced at the end of last week, practicing both skills.

The second group attempted to solve a multi-step math problem, using a tool on the lap top.  This problem required to follow clues to identify an unknown number.  I met with students in this group individually to listen to them explain their thinking.  Both the notes and the final answer will provide data as we move towards identifying students who will engage in the compacted math curriculum next year.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students went to PE.

When they returned from PE we reviewed the question we discussed in science yesterday...what will happen to the temperature  of two cups of water (one 99 and the other 1 degree Celsius_ and the air temperature near these cups, over a period of time.  Today we discussed which variables would stay the same (the cups) and which would change.  We also discussed what data we would need to collect and how to record it.  Finally, we talked about how often to collect the data.

Then, the students got to work conducting their experiment.

We will discuss our results and conclusions tomorrow!

Again, there is now homework (MSA reward) BUT we will have a math quiz on Friday (use last week's to prepare) AND students should begin memorizing the multiplication basic facts!!!!

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