Monday, September 9, 2013

Ready, Set, GO!

So, today we began both math and reading groups! While there were many bumps in the road, the students did a great job of following both the directions and my expectations. I know things will run smoother as we get used to new routines.

First, though, the students began their day in the media center. Mrs. Rose introduced the inquiry project for this marking period and shared the topic choices. Some students picked their topic, too!

When the students returned to the classroom, I introduced today's math rotations and the groupings. Students met with me to review rounding three digit numbers to the nearest hundred and the nearest ten. One group began rounding four digit numbers to the nearest hundred, too! 

When they weren't with me, the children worked on other activities.  One was practicing number form and place value using an Internet game called "Under the Sea".  The other activity was creating three digit numbers, using their number tiles from last week, and rounding the number to the nearest ten and hundred, in their math journals.

Following math we moved on to our reading and writing block.  In reading we revisited Boxes for Katje and listed events from the story.  Then we identified how the actions of the main character led to the sequence of events.  For example, Katje wrote a letter to Rosie thanking her for the first box and explaining how excited they were to get chocolate since there was no sugar in her country.  This led to Katje receiving a second box from Rosie filled with 5 bags of sugar.

In writing I shared my observations and feedback after grading their rough drafts yesterday.  Some of the highlights included the word "I" MUST always be capitalized and that descriptions need to be clear and explicit.  They should try to create a picture in my head similar to the one in their own.  I also shared that the rough draft grade was based on including actions, thoughts and feelings in their writing.  I didn't count spelling, grammar, etc. 

After that, we identified pronouns as being words that take the place of nouns.  They are not specific but are used to make writing (and speaking) more interesting.  Then we took a look at a written paragraph and identified the pronouns and what nouns they represented in the text.

Independent work today began with each reading group using the title of their book and the illustration on the front cover to list predictions and questions they are wondering in their RRJ (reading response journal).  Then the children had to highlight 5 pronouns in their personal narrative rough drafts and correct pink words and add them to their personal dictionary.  Finally, the students practiced writing the letters "i" and "t" in cursive.

With all of the new routines and explanations, I didn't meet with any reading groups until after lunch and outdoor recess.

Immediately following recess, I gathered the students and reviewed the independent work expectations and assignments.  This new routine created a lot of confusion, so I spent some time going over it again.  Therefore, I was only able to meet with two reading groups.

Pandas:  We met and picked a group name.  Then we shared the predictions and questions they had about their book after viewing the title and front cover.

Cheetahs:    We met and picked a group name. Then we shared the predictions and questions they had about their book after viewing the title and front cover.

We ended the day with science.  The students worked collaboratively, in small groups, to create a device that changed the motion of a ball.  The groups were assigned the changes in motion which their device needed to achieve.  These changes included a change in direction, change in speed and a couple of others.  Tomorrow they will finish creating their device and share it with the rest of the class.

HOMEWORK:  Rounding WS and read for 15-20 minutes (any book---no groups have received their reading group books yet)

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