Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The students began their day in PE.

When they returned to class we had a discussion, okay, maybe it was more like a lecture, about responsibility...as it pertains to school work and homework.

Next we revisited the Greek myth "Arachne" and identified how the illustrations helped us to understand the mood in the text.  We also used context clues and the illustrations to help predict the meaning of unknown words...and then we used the online dictionary to check ourselves.  During this time I tool the opportunity to remind the children that words in our language often have multiple meanings and it is imperative that we choose a meaning that matches the text in which it appears.  Determining the part of speech can help simplify this process.

After that we reviewed the pros and cons graphic organizer which the students are using to capture the research about their chosen issue.

Independent work today includes individual reading group assignments, researching their issue using links found on this blog and illustrating a selection from the myth "Arachne" to demonstrate understanding of the mood and vocabulary.

Sharks:  Well, this was a frustrating group today...only 3/7 students had completed their homework and many had not done yesterday's class work assignment either.

In math we reviewed last night's homework IN DEPTH.  I reminded the class that they should be using the strategies that are taught, and practiced, in class, on their homework, too!  After identifying the knowns and unknowns, as well as, writing equations using variables for the unknowns, to solve last night's word problems, I modeled how to determine the number of occupied spaces in a parking garage by creating a known/unknown chart and writing (and soling, too) equations with variables.  Then the students worked in table groups to begin solving 3 similar problems.  Mrs. Benson and I pulled small groups of students to reinforce the strategies needed to solve the word problems.  For homework there is a 2 step word problem worksheet.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working on their independent work.

Cheetahs:  The children were supposed to read pages 44-53 independently and explain, in their RRJ, how Yingtao felt at the end of chapter 3.  Many students "completed" this assignment but the written answer clearly indicated that the reading portion had not been done.  We discussed this and I then assigned smaller chunks of the text to read with a purpose (a question to discuss).  However, the students skimmed the text instead of carefully reading (they admitted this) and could not discuss or respond to the purpose for reading.  Again, we talked about the need to put effort into their work.  I sent the children back to their seats to read the section and respond to the prompt.  For homework they need to reread pages 44-53.

Yellow Jackets:  The students independently read chapter 3 and explained (or tried to) why the question on page 14 was in italics.  After seeing that there was confusion, we discussed this in group (the answer...the author wanted to emphasize this question because it is the central question of the book...all of the main characters are struggling with this).  Also, in group, we talked about Journey's realization that he looks like his grandfather.  For homework the students need to reread chapter 3 and explain, on a sticky note, what motivated Cat to hand Journey the picture of his grandfather.

Snakes:  Independently the students read pages 18-20 and explained, in their RRJ, how the bees help the apples. We practiced reading and writing high frequency words (said, answer, what laugh, could and guess).  Then we reread pages 18-20.  For homework they need to reread these pages working on fluency.

We ended the day by discussing the issues that permeated our day and the need to refocus our efforts on our assignments. 

Please read the blog and ask your children about their assignments.  Remind your children that school is their job.  I am here to help but they need to meet me half way...if they need support or have questions they MUST ask...however, avoiding tasks will only create more challenges for them!  :-)

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