Monday, April 29, 2013


This morning we began with a class meeting.  Each child was given a blank piece of paper and 5 minutes to draw a picture of a person they trust.  Then they shared the picture, with the rest of the class, and explained the reason they trusted the person in their picture.  After that, we thought about how we would feel if we could no longer trust this person which extended to a discussion about the importance of being trustworthy.  Finally, we nominated and voted  for 3 students in our class who we think are the most trustworthy.

In reading we began the literary genre of autobiography by defining the prefix auto- and identifying how being able to break words apart, and identify the meanings of different parts of a word, can help us define and comprehend new words.  Then we discussed the title of Eric Kimmell's autobiography, Tuning Up, and began reading and discussing it.  We got a bit sidetracked when it mentioned that Eric Kimmell, as a young boy, would hop on the subway and visit various landmarks and museums in around New York City---without an adult!!!  The students were stunned, to say the least! 

In writing I identified, and gave examples, of different ways that writer's use facts to support their opinion.  These include; stating shocking facts,  using facts that point out problems and explaining facts that are solutions to problems.

While I met with small groups the students completed individual reading group assignments, read about producers and consumers and identified 3 new vocabulary words (and their meaning), 2 new facts and 1 question they have in their social studies journal and they worked on a vocabulary activity that determines the meanings of root words within a larger word.

Sharks:  We met and shared their second culminating activity for the Amber Brown book.  Unfortunately, their projects didn't reflect understanding of the novel.  Once again, we spoke about this and I reiterated the expectations for their next, and final, assignment.  Students circled their activity on the handout and wrote it in their planner, too.  They will be given some time to work on it in class and then they must complete it for homework.

We spent our math block taking the Map-M (measures of academic progress - math).  This is the computerized, self-adjusting math assessment that the students take three times per year and teachers use to plan for instruction.  Most students finished.  Those who did not will get more time later this week.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students continued their independent work, while I met with more groups.

Cheetahs:  The children read pages 115-119 and listed unknown words and the main idea of this section.  In group we reviewed the meanings of the unknown words and discussed both fathers' reactions to the recital.  For homework, the students need to reread pages 115-119.

Yellow Jackets:  Independently, the students read chapter 12 and thought about what Cat meant when she said Grandfather wanted to give Journey family.  Then, in group, we shared last Wednesday's diary entry assignment.  These were fantastic!  Then we discussed what Cat meant when she told Journey that Grandfather was trying to give him family.  For homework the students need to reread chapter 12.

Snakes:  The students received new books.  Independently they were supposed to preview the books and identify two ideas they thought they would learn from reading this text.  IN group we practiced reading and writing high frequency words, including, nature, many, give and replace.  Then we identified the table of contents and it's purpose.  For homework the students need to read pages 2-8.

We ended the day with an explanation and demonstration of a game that simulates the depletion of natural resources.  Tomorrow the students will get a chance to play it and we will discuss what they learned.

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