Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's Hump Day!

And so our wacky winter continues...

We missed another two days due to snow and our return today marks the beginning of MSA testing.

As has been the pattern, the children have been troopers and just gone with the flow!  :-)

Our Wednesdays usually begin with our weekly class meeting.  The students decided, through a vote, to forgo this week's meeting and continue learning about the Aztecs.  WE finished viewing and reading the PowerPoint presentation that we began last Thursday and then watched a 7 minute Discovery Education video clip about the rise and fall of the Aztecs.  See if your child can tell you that Cortes invaded the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan because the Aztecs mistook him for one of their Gods.  Also, ask your child what brought the city to ruins (first, it was small pox, but then after a brief Aztec come back, the city was burnt to the ground).  Finally, see if your students remembers what stands where Tenochtitlan once was (Mexico City).

After our Social Studies lesson we began our math rotations.

During the teacher rotation the students added fraction strips for thirds and sixths to their kits.  Then we added an additional whole to the thirds and one to the sixths.  We focused on the increase in the numerator while the denominator stayed the same.

During guided fractions the students played a form of, "Go Fish", called, "Go Darth", where they were looking for matches that were equivalent fractions.  For example, if I had 1/2 in my hand I would ask for a fraction equivalent to 1/2.  If the other person has 2/4, they would give it to me.  If not, they would tell me to, "Go Darth".

Finally, at the technology rotation, the students visited the Internet site Illuminations Equivalent Fractions and identified equivalent fractions using models, a number line and numerical representations.  They recorded their findings in their math journal.

While I met with small groups during our reading and writing block, the children worked on independent reading groups assignments.  Then they finished the story map for their realistic fiction picture book.  After that, they watched a lesson, that I posted to the third grade web site, about creating a character analysis graphic organizer for the main character in their realistic fiction picture book.  Once they viewed the lesson and felt they were ready to proceed, they completed a character analysis graphic organizer.  Finally, if time permitted, the read the Thomas Edison biography and completed the written comprehension sheet.

Sharks:  We met and reviewed the problem in chapter 1 of Lily and Miss Liberty.  Then I taught them the name strategy (say the first letter of the name).  After that, the students began to whisper read chapter 2.  I stopped them periodically to used strategies to decode new words or to discuss the meaning of new vocabulary.  After I felt confident they could handle the chapter independently, I sent the children back to their seats to finish reading chapter 2 and to mark places where Lily attempts to earn money, with a stocky note.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread chapter 2.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  The children practiced reading their word bag cards, independently, two times each.  IN group we used -er to compare two things and learned the various rules... for example, if a word ends in a y, change the y to an i and add-er, and so on...  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread Frog Songs and practice reading their word cards.

Cheetahs:  The students reread chapter 15 and wrote about the problem, in the chapter, and the reactions of the main characters to it.  IN group we revisited chapter 15 and identified the problem and Amanda and Jemmy's reactions to it.  Then we discussed how the way main character's react to problems can point to the overall theme of the book.  Finally, we revisited the problems we've read about, so far, in the book and thought about Amanda's reactions to each one.  From there, we discussed the possible theme of the book.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 16 and list unknown words.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 16 and, in their RRJ, identified the problem and the main characters reactions to it.  IN group we began discussing the problem and quickly realized that many had not identified the actual main problem on the chapter.  So, we discussed the problem and then focused on why the main characters visited the doctor.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 16 and revise their RRJ entries.

We ended the day by creating a class word splash  demonstrating our knowledge of fuels and technologies that produce light and heat.  Then we watched a video about energy sources.  After that, we began adding to our word splash to reflect our new knowledge.

There is NO math homework...and no good reason for it, either.  LOL!

We will begin the math MSA on Friday!

We are in desperate need of sharpened pencils.