Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Spring!

Ahhh...the sun is shining and spring is in the air...what a great way to start the day!

It is flip flop day so we began with math rotations.

Students worked with partners to correctly place 10 digit cards on 10 fraction comparison sentences during the teacher rotation.  I spent time questioning the group's reasoning for their placement of the digits.  It was a great opportunity for me to listen to their math discourse and dive into their logical thinking skills.  During guided practice the students rolled a die 4 times to create two fractions.  Then they drew circle models of the fractions to compare them.  Finally, at the technology rotation, due to a mistake on my part, the students had free choice.  They were able to choose any fraction game from the third grade web site.  :-)

There is a two sided worksheet (for some the back is optional) for HOMEWORK and we will have a QUIZ, covering fractions, tomorrow.

After math the class went to music.

When they returned we went over the options and directions for publishing the final copy of the realistic fiction picture book.  All students received a copy of the direction we typed up together.  Basically the children can choose to hand write the text or type it on a lap top using Microsoft Word.  Then they can decide to draw the illustrations by hand or use the software package, Pixie, to create pictures. 

Reviewing the expectations and steps for publishing the text took a while.  So, we will go over the same type of information, for the illustrations, tomorrow.

While I met with students to conference on their writing and small groups to conduct reading lessons, the students completed independent reading group assignments and worked on their picture books.

Sharks:  We reviewed the concept of cause (how or why) and effect(what happened) and created a chart in the RRJ.  Then we began reading chapter 7.  We ran out of time.  :-(  So tomorrow we will finish reading chapter 7 and add examples of cause and effect to the chart.

Following lunch and outdoor recess I distributed a couple of resources for the students to use, and store in their writing section of their notebook.  This included a list of transition (temporal) words and phrases and directions for publishing the text of the picture book.

Then the students continued working independently and I met with more students and groups.

Dolphins:  The children reread Elephant and Tiger and added an example of cause and effect, from their book, to the chart in their RRJ.  In group we whisper read the book and discussed the positive and negative traits of both characters.  We also identified how each improved upon their less than ideal characteristics.

Cheetahs:  The students used their novel to identify an example of cause and effect in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed, for the last time, the main idea and theme of the book.  I stressed that I wanted them to think of this book and the theme (more importantly that the theme is a lesson NOT explicitly written in the text) when they are required to identify theme in future assignments.  Then I collected their books.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 24 and prepared to discuss how the Germans treated Poland.  In group we revisited the chapter focusing on how the Germans captured, and gained the help  of, young Polish males.  We also discussed the request of Jan, the Polish captive.  During our discussion I compared a chapter in a novel to a paragraph, explaining that, often, the important events are at the beginning and end of the chapter.

Before the day ended we reviewed the required elements of a map, such as a title, compass rose, borders, a key or legend and symbols.  Then the students began working on a hand map island including these elements and at least 2 human made and 2 natural physical features. 

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