Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday

We began our day with our weekly class meeting.  I used the group share to check in with the children.  They were supposed to share anything on their minds.  It proved to be insightful--some shared how they felt about school.  Others said they loved our class because everyone is nice (I agree!)  Finally, some shared personal challenges.

After that we exchanged thank yous and compliments.

Finally we discussed challenges.  First, I shared a realization--I had reflected on parent conferences and recalled discussing writing issues with many families.  I told the class that, with this in mind, it has become a personal goal to improve my writing instruction.  After that students shared and discussed challenges with keeping the coat closet clean and orderly.  This proves to be our biggest area of contention...while it does need to be addressed, it is nice that this is our biggest struggle--not bad!  :-)

Our class meeting ended early.  SO, I took advantage of the found time to share a poetry web site where a published author shares her strategies for writing poetry.  The students said they found some of her pointers helpful.

Next we began our math rotations. I had planned to have a normal rotation schedule but it didn't end up that way--

As many of you know, in fourth grade there are two choices for math...4th grade math or a compacted math class that covers BOTH 4th AND 5th grade math in one year.  The testing process for the compacted class falls on the third grade teachers.  Over a period of time, we involve our students in tasks, determined by the county, and take notes as to their thoughts and problem solving processes.  Students who persevere and correctly complete one task move on to the next (at a later point) while those who are completely frustrated and confused are not put through anymore of these tasks.  Afterwards, we use data to determine student eligibility for the compacted class next year.

So, with that in mind, students began the first task for the compacted math class today.  I got through one group only!  The other two groups rotated between a guided practiced word problem and using an Internet site Cuisenaire Environment to write multiplication and division equations based upon cuisenaire rods.  This is similar to what we did in small group yesterday.

For homework all students must practice their addition basic facts using That's a Fact (web site) for at least 10 minutes.  If you don't have Internet access, use flashcards...home made or store bought.  :-)

We began our reading and writing block by reviewing the characteristics of narrative poetry.  Then I modeled writing a narrative poem.  This lesson was captured using Educreations and uploaded to the third grade web site.

After that we viewed a Power Point presentation explaining and defining possessive nouns.  Students practiced turning the sentence, "Miguel owns that car." into a sentence with a possessive noun.

Following lunch and outdoor recess Mrs. Howard stopped by to teach about bullying and teasing.  Before her lesson, though, I assigned reading group homework:

Sharks:  Read chapter 3 and list unknown words.
Dolphins:  Read the poem, "Fire Drill" two times.
Cheetahs:  Read chapter 4 and list unknown words.
Pandas:  Read chapter 4 and list unknown words and any questions you have.

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of observable properties of objects and identifying which are changeable.  Then we discussed objects which have properties that are changed by heat.  Finally, we identified safe sources of heat that are available in our classroom.

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