## Thursday, January 2, 2014

### Happy New Year!!

It's so great to be back!  I had an awesome Winter Break but I really did miss the kids at school!

We began our day by quickly sharing something about our break.  Then we jumped into math rotations...since it is Thursday, our flip-flop day.

Students working with me identified a fraction as a comparison of parts to a whole.  We are calling the whole the "unit fraction".  Using Cuisenaire Rods we identified "unit fractions" and then identified and names fractional parts.  One big idea is that 1/2 means 1 out of 2 equal pieces...1/2 can be diffe3rent sizes or values but it always refers to one out of 2 equal parts.

The second rotation had students working towards memorizing their basic facts using That's a Fact.

Finally, at the third rotation the children watched a Learn Zillion lesson about understanding fractions as a fair share.

There is NO math homework tonight and NO quiz tomorrow.  I am trying to ease back into the routine!  :-)

After math we reviewed the reading and writing block assignments which included vocabulary entries for the Cheetahs and Pandas, publishing the first three paragraphs of the inquiry project for all and gathering information about a place to create a travel brochure.

The new assignment, the travel brochure, encompasses reading, writing and social studies.  The students will choose either Cairo, Zimbabwe or Timbuktu.  They will view resources on the third grade web site and takes notes on a chart in their social studies journal.  After that, they will create a travel brochure, using a template I provide, about their place.

Sharks:  We read and discussed the first two paragraphs of an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?".  After each paragraph we identified the main idea of it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the first two paragraphs.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued their independent work while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  We began a new program called the Fountas and Pinnell Intervention.  Today the students got word bags and three words to practice.  Then we used sounds we knew from other words to help us read new words.  After that, I gave a book introduction and then the students read their new book independently, as I listened in.  Afterwards, the students identified the problem in the book with a sticky note and we discussed it.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the book and practice reading their word cards.

Cheetahs:  The students read an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pops".  As they did, they listed unknown words on a sticky note.  Then they chose two of the words from their list and created vocabulary entries in their RRJ for each.  In group we reviewed using a thesaurus and then referred to the article to identify examples of cause and effect.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?"

Pandas:  The students read an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pops". As they did, they listed unknown words on a sticky note. Then they chose two of the words from their list and created vocabulary entries in their RRJ for each. In group we reviewed using a thesaurus and then referred to the article to identify examples of cause and effect. For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?"

Of course, we didn't have social studies at the end of the day since it was integrated into our reading and writing block!  :-)