Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Welcome to the THIRD Marking Period!!

Today officially marks the beginning of the third marking period.  We are halfway through this school year!!

With the beginning of a new marking period comes a focus on two new thinking and academic success (TASS) skills.  This quarter we will focus on being original (coming up with new ideas, new ways to solve problems or communicate understandings) and taking intellectual risks (asking questions, explaining your thinking, taking on new challenges).

The students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center, or practiced keyboarding.  Then we began our math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we began locating, counting, and labeling fractions (halves and fourths) on a number line, using Cuisenaire rods.  During math with a partner the students utilized math discourse, with the aid of our fraction word splash, to complete a fraction chart using circles to demonstrate halves, thirds, fourths, sixths and eights.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the children watched a Learn Zillion lesson about plotting fractions on a number line.  As they watched, they used a newly introduced format to take notes in their math journal.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on Google Classroom, the homework page.  Students will re-watch, or watch, the Learn Zillion lessons from class and post one new understanding they gained.

After math, the students received new planners to get them through the second half of the school year.  This took some time as we had to transfer login information from the old planners to the new ones.  PLEASE keep the old planners at home and be sure that the new planners come to school daily.

Next we took a Brain Break using Mr. Benco's football theme Power Point..."The Benco Break"!  :-)

Then we began our literacy block and I shared a risk I am going to take!  I plan to incorporate word work (AKA spelling) into guided reading groups.  I am going to use a "tweaked" version of Words their Way.  AS I write this, I have spent hours planning but am still not suite able to visualize how this is going to, stay tuned for more information.

While I meet with guided reading groups, the students will work on the following independent work tasks.  First, each group will view a video or web site providing background knowledge for the new historical fiction novel they will begin this week.  After that they will watch a Brain Pop Jr. lesson about eating right. They will then use this knowledge to create a meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Next they will practice writing the letters x, y, and z in cursive.  Then they will watch the BES nominee, Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers, and rate it on their capture sheet.  Finally, students can catch up on past cursive or BES tasks and practice reading by themselves, with a partner, or using the Internet.

By the time we were done reviewing the independent work tasks it was time for lunch and indoor recess.

After recess, the students began their literacy tasks and I met with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  We began by setting up their word work journals...this took a while.  Then we did our first word sort.  Tonight, for HOMEWORK, the students need to resort their words and then do a written, or header sort, in their word work journal.  There are examples in their word work journals.  Students will copy the words into their journal...the cut apart words should be put back into their baggie to be used again.  I met with this group for the better part of an hour...but we didn't get a chance to begin their new book.

Leopards:  Independently the students watched a video clip, about the Jamestown Colony, and identified aspects, from the video, that depicted examples of courage and determination.  Once in group we shared and discussed the examples of courage and determination.  This was done to build background knowledge for the new novel we began today.  Next, before introducing their new book, I reviewed the characteristics of historical fiction, the next literary genre we will be reading.  Then I did a brief book introduction for their new book, A Lion to Guard Us, By Robert Clyde Bulla.  Finally, we read chapter 1.   For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 1, list the characters and one word to describe them, in their RRJ.

Lions:  Independently the students visited a web site to learn about World War II, building background knowledge for their new novel we began today.  They also visited to identify the meaning of the words; freighter, elude and disclose.  In group we briefly reviewed a few key facts about World War II.  Then I explained the characteristics of historical fiction.  We also reviewed the definitions of the words; elude, disclose and freighter.  Finally, we read the book's foreword together.  For HOMEWORK the students will read chapter 1 and list unknown words on a sticky.

Panthers:  Independently the students watched a video clip about the Blizzard of 1888.  Then in their RRJ they explained how they would feel if they were trapped in a blizzard.  In group we reviewed the characteristics of historical fiction.  Then the students shared what they wrote about how they would feel if they were trapped in a blizzard.  After that I did a brief book introduction for the new novel, Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm, by Carla Stevens.  For HOMEWORK the students should read chapter 1 and list unknown words on a sticky note.

By the time I had met with all guided reading groups, it was time to pack up and get ready to head to PE.

The students ended their day in PE with Mr. Benco.

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