Friday, March 14, 2014


The students began their day in PE--gymnastics!!

When they returned to class we had a brief chat.  I asked for feedback on our math block.  The children had a chance to share what works for them and what doesn't.  While I braced myself for criticism (I did ask for it, didn't I?)  it seems that all-in-all the children are enjoying math.  One thing I will work on is having the students write personal academic goals for math so that they have something to work on if they complete their rotation early.

Next we began math rotations.  During the teacher led group the children used unit fractions (thinking about the whole) to compare fractions that didn't have the same numerator or denominator.  Guided practice had children using fraction spinners to identify and compare two fractions and justify their answer, using math discourse, to a partner.  Finally, during the technology session the students visited the site Fraction Shoot Out and used level 2 to compare fractions.

During our reading and writing block the children read assigned sections of their reading group books.  Then they worked on the rough draft (story board) for their inquiry project, the realistic fiction picture book.

Before meeting with reading groups, I met with individual students.  This round of conferences, the students are reading part of their story (rough draft) to me and we are working on revisions together.  Some revisions included using a word list to find more descriptive words than "said" and ensuring that verb tenses are all in agreement.  Additionally, I told students to visualize their story as a movie playing in their head...then they should write what they see.

After a handful of conferences I turned my attention to reading groups.

Sharks:  Being that it's Friday, the group wanted me to read to them.  So, I did!  We read most of chapter 5 and discussed inferences we could make along the way.  For example, the author mentions that a character wears the same dress everyday for a week.  So, I encouraged the group to think about why the author would even mention that...and led them to realize that was the author's way of letting the readers know her family is poor.

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

Cheetahs:  The children read the final chapter and listed unknown words.  In group we reviewed their word lists and discussed the text.  One focus was Jemmy hanging the door knocker above their father's bed.

Pandas:  The children read chapter 21 and listed unknown words and questions they had.  In group we reviewed their lists and retold the chapter.  They have struggled with the last couple of sections but seem very interested in this novel.  We will keep plugging away at it.

At the end of the day we previewed the culture project that I will assign and send home on Monday.

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