## Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are you following me on Twitter?  You can...(@Runnerdana) and you will see what we did this morning in math!  :-)

Our morning began with our weekly class meeting.  Since we were having our Homeless Walk today, we shard what we would miss the most if we didn't have a home.  The answers ranged from our TV (no big surprise there) to a blanket.  Then we thanked and complimented one another.  Finally, we turned our attention to challenges.

The challenge we discussed today was how to ask for help.  We reviewed my belief that EVERYONE can get smarter but to get smarter you need to make mistakes and learn from them.  I also explained that without needing help, over the course of the year, nobody will get smarter.  My reasoning was that if a student gets through the year without needing help  or support, the work was too easy, and therefore, the child will not be learning.

Students shared the many ways they can ask for help in our classroom.  They can speak to me or another teacher in the room.  They can leave a note on the issue bin.  Also, they can ask three friends.

I also shared that it is MY responsibility to find the time and resources to help them BUT it is THEIR responsibility to tell me they need help!  :-)

Finally, I shared that it has been brought to my attention that some students are scared to ask for help because they think they will get in trouble.  I assured them that I WANT to help them.  Then I told them if they ever feel like I have been unfair or are too scared to ask for help, I want them to speak to Mrs. Howard or Mr. McGee.  It is so important to me that all students feel safe and comfortable in my room.  If they don't, they need to tell an adult so that we can resolve the issue.

After wrapping up our meeting, we began math rotations.

The teacher rotation focused on drawing rectangles with a given area and writing a multiplication sentence that matches.  For examples, if I said the area was 20 square centimeters, they could draw a rectangle with 2 rows of 10 or 4 rows of 5, etc.

Another rotation had the students playing Subtraction war.  This is similar to the addition war they played yesterday but today they had to identify the difference between the two cards.  The winner was the first to name it correctly.  This was to help with the memorization of the basic subtraction facts.

The technology rotation had the students watching a Learn Zillions video about using multiplication to find the area of a  rectangle.  After that, the students solved a challenging word problem, involving area, using Educreations (to capture their thinking, as well as, their writing) on the iPad.

After math, we had a visitor, Miss Andrea, from the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless.  The students heard some facts about homeless people and wrote poems.

We began our reading and writing block with a review of where we've been and where we are going in regards to our Inquiry Project.  I reminded the students that yesterday we worked on graphic organizers to plan the first paragraph of the writing piece.  This paragraph is stating and explaining our opinion.

Today I modeled using the graphic organizer to write a rough draft of the paragraph.  During this lesson I reviewed the structure of a paragraph and compared it to a hamburger...curious how the two are related?  Ask your child!  Additionally, I modeled using a digital resource (the word guide in Kidspiration) to identify synonyms for words I reused in the same paragraph.

Next, we watched a reading of the story Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter's, instead of listening to me read the book.  Tomorrow we will identify key details in the story and use them to state the central message.

Independent work today included individual reading group assignments and using the graphic organizer to write the opinion paragraph for the Inquiry Project.

Sharks:  The students set up a 3-2-1 summarizer in their RRJ and I explained how to use it.  There were a lot of great questions, so this took time.  Then we began watching the Learn Zillions main idea lesson.  We will continue this lesson tomorrow.

Following lunch, the students participated in the DES Homeless Walk at the beginning of their recess.

After recess the children worked with Mrs. Howard and created pictures, using Pixie, to display what makes them special.

When they returned to class they completed the science exploration from yesterday, determining the affects of different surfaces on the motion of an object.