Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Terrific Tuesday

To be very honest---any day that I am back in the classroom is a terrific day!  I sat in a meeting/training from 8:30-3:30 yesterday.  While I learned a lot, sitting still for that amount of time does not match my personal learning style!

So...it's good to be back!

The students began their day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.  Students working with me practiced different strategies for subtracting across zeroes (ie 700-163= or 607-169=).  The guided practice rotation involved re watching my lesson from yesterday  and completing a problem in their math journal.  Finally, the technology rotation had students practicing their basic facts using the site, Subtraction Speed Grid.  There is a worksheet for HOMEWORK.

We began our reading and writing block by reviewing text features used in print.  Then we discussed, and attempted to access, text features specific to digital texts, such as, an option to have the text read aloud and using on;line dictionaries for pronunciation and meaning.  We ran into a few technical difficulties but, all in all, I think the students got the idea!

Next, we identified the research process, focusing, in particular, on identifying questions you wish to answer.  Then I modeled both the Step 2 and Step 3 worksheets the students are using for the inquiry project.  Step 2 involves identifying your topic and planned action, 3 reasons explaining why you chose  your topic and your  "I Pledge" statement.  Step 3 has the students identify their topic and list 6 questions they plan to answer through their research.  Today they were instructed to choose 4 questions from the class flip chart.  Then they were to identify two questions on their own...these could be done today OR they might be listed later, as they are in the midst of the project.

While I met with reading groups, the students reviewed their Step 2 worksheet and then handed it in to be graded.  They also listed at least 4 questions they plan to answer through their research on the Step 3 worksheet.  Finally, groups had individual reading group assignments.

Sharks:  We met and shared/revised their cause and effect statements, from Jordan's Catch, that they wrote yesterday.  I collected their books and promised we will start a new one tomorrow.  Students are expected to read for 15 minutes this evening--free choice!

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  We met and shared/reviewed their cause and effect statements they wrote in class yesterday.  Then we created t-charts, in their RRJs, and identified more examples of cause and effect using the text Molly's Hard Bargain.  Tonight they need to read for 15 minutes---free choice.  They WILL get a new book tomorrow.

Cheetahs:  We shared and reviewed the cause and effect statements they wrote after reading chapter 9.  Then we discussed the central message (lesson) of the entire book.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read the "about the Author" section and identify the central message (no support needed yet!) on the sticky note I provided.

Pandas:  We shared and discussed the cause and effect statements they wrote for chapter 9.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter 10 and write an example of cause and effect, from this chapter, on the sticky note I provided.

We had a busy end of the day.  First, we nominated and voted for our first set of Star Students.  We identified three students who are models of responsibility.

Then we learned about Elementary Engineering Design Process.  The students will use this to create a vehicle that meets a criteria they set forth (fastest, travels farthest, etc.).  This will be done in school over the next few weeks.  The purpose is to use knowledge we gain through instruction and experiments to meet a predetermined goal.

So, after learning about the design process we began gathering some information.  Given two balls, we predicted and tested which would travel fastest.  We ran two trials and got the same results but will retest tomorrow.

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