Monday, February 10, 2014

Marvelous Monday

I'm looking forward to a fun, full week of learning!  :-)

The children began their day in the media center.  They completed video taping their skits from last marking period's inquiry project and then viewed all of them.

When we returned to class we began math rotations.  The teacher lesson focused on identifying and counting thirds on a number line.  During guided practice the students gathered information and created a line plot to display it.  Finally, at the technology rotation, the children visited the site, Interpret Line Plot, to practice obtaining information from a line plot.

Note:  A really important understanding that some students are still struggling to understand is that one third is ALWAYS one out of three equal parts of a whole but the value of one-third can be different depending on the size of the whole.

HOMEWORK:  Students have a line plot worksheet to complete this evening.

Today we began the reading and writing block by revisiting the personal academic goal each child wrote in early January.  I explained to students that I have come up with a menu of activities for each type of goal and that, instead of meeting with reading groups today, I will meet with groups of students who wrote similar goals.

After meeting with me and determining how they will reach their goal, the students will begin working towards it, in the morning, before going to our special, and, during the day, after they have completed all independent work.

I explained that it will be up to each student to keep in contact with me regarding questions, confusions and frustrations ...or if things are going well.  After they reach their goal, they will celebrate it and choose a new one.

Main Idea/Writing detailed sentences:  The main idea portion of this academic goal group has decided they want practice worksheets.  Together we found several.  They will begin by reading a paragraph and identifying the main idea from a list of choices.  Once they have that under their belt, they will read a paragraph and write a main idea sentence.  Next, our plan is that they will read a portion of text, identify the main idea and 2 pieces of support from the text.

The sentence writing part of the group will be choosing a word from various parts of speech (I have magnets, word card and lists for them to use...their choice) and write a "juicy" sentence.  We haven't planned next steps yet.

Typing Fluency:  The second group I met with wants to learn keyboarding skills so that they become fluent typists.  As a group we decided they will use a prepackaged program called Mavis Beacon teaches Typing.  The first step for this group will be for each child to take the pretest.  Then we will use that data to choose an appropriate smaller goal.

After lunch and indoor recess, the students continued working independently and I met with more personal academic goal groups.

Spelling:  This group and I worked together for a bit until we came up with a plan that satisfied us all!  We decided that I would give the group a pre-test.  Then, after assessing their spelling, each child would receive an individual list.  The children were then given a spelling journal with their personal word list in it.  They can choose various methods to learn the correct spelling of the words.  When they are ready, they simply tell me they need a test.  Once they have memorized a list, we begin the process again.  Currently, they can write their words in their journal, write them on white boards, use an iPad app to practice the words and test each other.  We will begin collecting more practice options.  I have encouraged the students to share ideas with me, as well.

Reading (decoding and fluency):  This group met with me briefly.  We discussed their goals and I shared some thoughts.  We will meet to finalize our plans in the morning.

The day ended with a science lesson.  We defined and named examples and non-examples of friction.  Then we watched a video clip illustrating friction at work in race cars.  After that, we viewed photographs and discussed how friction was demonstrated in the picture and what materials were rubbing together.