Friday, June 09, 2006
We started out today by going over our homework and having the spelling test. Students are having problems with multi-digit multiplication; spelling was generally good. Both scores should be on the Gradebook now. Big thanks to Mr. Benitez for helping here since I had been asked to go off to a Friends of Third board meeting to discuss our arts education plan. We then started a short unit we’ll be doing on various native groups — beyond those in our area — and their art. This will help prepare the students for our trip to the Southwest Museum a week from Tuesday. We read a couple chapters in the old social studies text. We did some comprehension questions on one chapter and did a Kwakiutl mask project on the other. We also played some good softball today.
Things are winding up. Remember we have two field trips in the last week — the one to the Southwest Museum and the other our walking trip for the picnic in Pan-Pacific park. I already have signed permission forms for these on file.
Homework: Do the division review study sheet. Be sure to include the check step.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
We played softball again after recess, and they're finally starting to do some decent teamwork in the outfield. That's as much a social skill as it is an athletic one! I read them some more of The Wind in the Willows after PE while we waited for our lunchtime.
After lunch, we reviewed the various solid geometric figures and how they can be combined in drawings of houses and other buildings. Students then went on to do some pictures of farmhouses connecting this math topic to our OCR unit. We'll have some of them on the blog tomorrow (if I remember to bring fresh camera batteries from home....)
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the math worksheet -- side 1 deals with comparing numbers and the other with addition and subtraction. We'll really stress this in the last few days because this is a skill which should be second nature to them by now.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
A nice day! We worked on our “To the Moon” unit in Into English!, particularly reading the retelling the Peruvian folktale. We started work on some flow maps here — we’ll finish these tomorrow. We did the blending and vocabulary for our last story, “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse.” We read through and briefly discussed this. We’ll talk about it more tomorrow in greater detail.
After recess, we continued our softball tournament. Students and starting to get pretty good. We also finished correcting the Open Court unit 5 test, our last for the year! Hurray!
After lunch we did the Open Court fluency assessment, again our last of the year. We also did some work with the Hands-on Equation program. Some students really understood what we were doing, while others were clueless. That’s OK: it’s really enrichment at this point.
Homework tonight focuses on getting a jump start on fourth grade map. Here we take place value from the 10,000’s place to the 1,000,000’s place.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the Expanded Form worksheet. Be sure to write the answer in word form on the back, too. (3) Do the Addition and Subtractions worksheet.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
They went off to the library and checked homework after recess; I had to attend a private school due process IEP. After lunch we played softball, practiced cursive, and had a brief time to get a head start on our homework.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the rest of the chapter review in Science, page E27. On 16-19 just write the correct letter answer; on 20 and 22 write two or three sentences to completely answer; on 21 and 23 carefully draw the food webs as indicated. (3) Do the Roman Numerals worksheet and the Area and Perimeter Review on the back.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
We had Independent Reading and Writer’s Workshop today. We continued work with the “Too the Moon” ESL unit that will be mandatory next year. It’s kind of fun really, and though primarily designed for English learners it has a bit to offer other students, too. We worked on creating a chant or rap out of a little poem about “What do you see in the Moon?” today. We also did the blending for the next Open Court Story.
We continued reading The Wind in the Willows. We checked our homework with Mr. Benitez’s help. We looked at form in music, particularly binary (AB) form. After lunch we went to play softball, and then just got a head start on homework during math class. Lots of parents had forgotten about the end of early dismissal Tuesdays, so we were a somewhat smaller group by the end of the day.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the Connecting Concepts diagram in Science, page E26. This is problems 10-15. And problem 10 really is there. (3) Do the Rounding to the Nearest 10 worksheet. Follow directions here carefully! (4) Do the Regrouping in Addition and Subtraction worksheet. This skill is still a lot shakier than it should be at this time of year!
Monday, May 22, 2006
But before I discuss what we did today, a big "Thank You!" to all the families who helped make our class basket the hit of the Country Fair. It was amazing how full of tickets our box was. Special thanks to Cameron's mom for organizing this and making the purchases.
We started today by discussing the Fair and sharing other fun things we had done during the weekend. We then started a little bit on a literature study unit about the Moon by doing a Circle Map and a quickwrite of what we know about the moon. We then put together some writing folders, as we will be doing some concentrated writing during these last five weeks. We're going to keep the focus where it belongs! Well, we will at least until the last couple days....
We had indoor recess today, though some of the students had to make up unfinished work from Friday. We resumed reading The Wind in the Willows after skipping this during testing. We went to lunch a little earlier than usual, and then students watched parts of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with students from room 17 after lunch. By that time it had cleared up enough for us to go out to PE. We returned after getting our exercise to doing a little math and then packing up for home.
A reminder here. Tomorrow is NOT a shortened day. There will be no more 1:30 dismissals this year on Tuesday.
Homework: (1) Science vocabulary, E21 numbers 1-9 only. (2) Multiplication practice worksheet. (3) Algebra worksheet -- use a "guess and check" strategy here to get the answers. Also, the problems with negative numbers are strictly extra credit.
Spelling words will follow tomorrow.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Today we corrected our homework first thing, and then took our spelling test. Results for the test are on the Gradebook. We reread the “Just Plain Fancy” story, and discussed why the Amish think certain things are “fancy” and others are “plain.” The students had some good insights here.
After recess we read about food webs and made some models of these. You can see a couple of these above. We had a good discussion here about predators and prey.
We had rotations during PE today, and we finished up by reviewing the procedures for multiplying three digit by two digit numbers.
Homework: (1) Finish the “Fancy” questions. (2) Finish the science questions on E 21. (3) Do the multiplication worksheet.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
We read a story by Patricia Polacco called “Just Plain Fancy.” This is fictional account of two Amish girls who accidentally raised a peacock instead of a chicken and feared being shunned on account of the bird being too “fancy.” It’s a cute story, and the students find the whole idea of a community shunning a member fascinating. They always want to know the exact list of offenses which might bring this punishment. Maybe they’re a little worried about pushing the limits too far at home….
We discussed food chains in Science, and the children made food chains like you see above. A few children need to finish these. Many more need to finish the chapter questions on page E12.
After lunch, we had a delightful visit from some children in room 16 who shared their student-authored books with us. Every year the children in this fourth grade room have books professionally published, and I think it is a fantastic experience for them. A few of our children will be fortunate enough to do this next year.
We discussed two digit multiplication. This is the key homework assignment tonight. This is a hard skill at first, but students get good at it quickly.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the wordsearch — which uses some of the words from the spelling list. (3) Do the Two Digit Multiplication worksheet.
In addition, some students need to finish the food chains and others need to finish the Science questions.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Today we continued to look at the “Amish” story. Students did a “double bubble” thinking map to compare and contrast their lives with the lives of an Amish child. You can see one of these maps above. We added a little bit of art to this by requiring the children to draw instead of using words on the maps. The children then took the ideas from these maps and wrote first and final drafts of a compare and contrast paragraph. A few children will be finishing these up as homework tonight.
We had library as usual and we also did some softball after lunch. The children are getting good at softball. Special thanks to Friends of Third for getting us a couple batting tees and catcher masks.
Speaking of thanks, we would also like to thank the many people who donated to our class basket. We’ve definitely got the most talked about item in the country fair. Everybody wants to get our iPod Nano and the iTunes gift cards.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the “Amish” study sheet. (3) Do the Multiplying with Money worksheet. In addition, a few students need to finish the thinking map and the paragraph.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Complete the three math worksheets on equivalent fractions, angles, and subtraction.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The homework below was assigned to complete after the art was done. As a result, some children have nothing to do at home tonight, while a few have a lot.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. Test is tomorrow! (2) Do the "Coded Words" worksheet. (3) Do the Equivalent Fractions review sheet. (4) Do the Section Review, Math, pp 356-357.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
It was another quiet yet pleasant day. We took the CST practice test in the morning, and most of the students seemed to do reasonably well. Testing starts on Monday and unfortunately third graders have 8 solid days of testing. I know you will make every effort to make sure your child is here each day on time. Making up missed tests is not only a logistical headache for teachers, but students never do well on make-ups.
Students went to library after recess, and I had to go to an IEP meeting. Because of this, the students had an additional lunch recess. They liked that. After recess, we did our exercises and ran our laps, and students continued with softball skills and a game. A big thanks to Mr. Benitez for helping out here.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Complete the Ox-Cart Man questions. However, the students in Ms Jan’s group will do these on Friday. (3) Do the two chapter review pages in the Math book, 352 and 353.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Complete the Thinking Map about the Ox-Cart man and what he did at each season of the year. (3) Do the multiplication review worksheet. (4) Do “Divide Amounts of Money,” Math, page 349, numbers 1-9 only. (5) Do “Solve a Simpler Problem,” page 351, all problems.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Thursdays are so regular and ordinary. As much fun as Tech Center and Library and PE are, it’s nice to have just a regular day in the classroom.
Today we basically finished off the Money unit in Open Court. Students successfully answered the many questions they had asked about money at the beginning of the unit, and added even more ideas to our Concept/Question board. We also worked a little on improvisation, with students practicing telling the King Midas story as if they were doing standup comedy. They liked that approach.
After recess we first practiced cursive — something we’ll really work on in these last two months as we get them ready for fourth grade — and we started on a music composition project. Today we rolled dice to generate pentatonic melodies. It worked surprisingly well!
We had a Science test after lunch. This was an open-book test, yet I think we will be disappointed in the results. I may send this home for a signature tomorrow after we correct it. We finished up with discussing how to do estimation in math. This one is always surprisingly difficult.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do “Estimating Quotients, “Math, pp 342- 343. (3) Do the regrouping practice sheet.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do “Connect Concepts,” Science, c94, 9-16. COPY! (3) Do Math review worksheets..
Monday, April 24, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do Vocabulary Review, Science, c94, 1-8 only. Copy the sentences. (3) Do Chapter Review, pages 336-337. Be sure to show ALL work, even on page 227.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
We’re continuing to plow on through division. Students who have truly mastered their times tables are finding this relatively easy, but those who are still skip-counting or using fingers are finding this nearly impossible. Please be sure to check your child’s work tonight and help them with this.
Homework: (1) Study spelling for the test tomorrow. (2) “Practice Division,” Math, pp 232-233, all problems.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
After recess, we started outlining a particularly dense chapter in the science book. We then turned our attention to learning long division. If students know their times tables, this will be relatively easy. If they are still unsure of sections of the tables, this will prove quite hard indeed. This is the bulk this this evening’s homework.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Math, page 329-330, numbers 2-29 only. SHOW ALL WORK! (3) Do all cursive lowercase letters three times each.
Monday, April 17, 2006
I had a great break, and it sounds like most of the children did, too. Still, it was great to see everybody today.
We had a perfectly regular Monday, including Tech Center and PE. We took the first part of the Open Court Test. We read the story “Four Dollars and Fifty Cents” from the Open Court book and discussed this amusing tale about a deadbeat cowboy. In Music we discussed “duration” and reviewed axial movements.
In Math, we’re did simple divisions with remainders. Most got the idea. The homework extends this slightly into 2 digit answers. They may need some help here.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. No cursive practice with this — they need more help here and we’ll work on this during Independent Work Time. (2) Do “Model Division,” Math, pages 326-327. (3) Do the Perimeter and Area review worksheet. Be sure to find BOTH for each problem.
Friday, April 07, 2006
We had a minimum day today, and the relatively short instructional time was cut in half by our earthquake drill. I was surprised by how well the children took the tedium of the drill. Learning to be bored, and making the best of wasted time, is a real art. We sometimes forget, as Einstein said, that "creativity is the residue of wasted time."
Homework: I have a backload of stuff to grade and I think it's only fair to give them a break while I catch up! However, reading, practicing times tables, and working a little on cursive are all worthwhile projects to do with your children to keep some forward momentum in these areas.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
This morning we started with a quick quiz on inflectional ending spelling patterns, and the students did quite well on it. We went on to silent reading, trying to add as many stickers as possible to the chart before Open House. We continued on in the Open Court book to the story “Kids Did It … In Business.” We did blending and discussed the vocabulary. We read and discussed the simple story.
After recess, students worked on a science wordsearch. In music we worked on hearing and imitating dotted note patterns, understanding and moving our bodies to four-four beats, perfecting a couple body percussion rondos, and working on our “fruit pie” canons. You’ll probably see some of these at Open House.
After lunch, we worked on probability in math. You can see our experiments with spinners in the picture above.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Cursive practice, using words 23-30. (3) “Musical Palm Tree” questions. (4) Experiments, Math, pages 275-277.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
A reasonably productive day, all things considered. We spent the much of the morning working on spring haikus and doing drawings which showed overlapping and depth. Writing lines of the appropriate number of syllables was not that hard for the children, but making sure that this was really about nature and included a feeling or other personal response — well that was harder. Drawing a group of trees starting to bud was also surprisingly difficult for many, despite the good examples given in our art textbook. This is the way, though, that children begin to really grow in writing and art.
We sort of skipped recess — which annoyed more than one little one — but after that we spent a productive hour reading the science book and talking about energy. Their questions and comments were quite good, sometimes too hard for me to answer. (I’m a little fuzzy about the connection between magnetism and energy. I know there’s electromagnetism, but obviously there’s no energy in the magnets on the refrigerator.) As I’ve gained experience as a teacher I’ve learned to be a lot more comfortable saying, “You know, I’m not sure….”
We watched part of Jungle Book during lunch time, and they seemed to enjoy that. After lunch we checked yesterday’s homework, got today’s homework, and went home — in the rain!
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Practice cursive using spelling words 8-14. (3) Do the Addition and Subtraction worksheet. (4) Do “Likely and Unlikely,” Math, pp 270-271.
Monday, March 27, 2006
We went to the Tech Center where students worked on HyperStudio stacks. After lunch, we took a math test. The results are on the Gradebook, and they’re a little disappointing. We will go over some of the misunderstandings, and probably take the alternative version of the test in a few days.
Third grade teachers had a meeting at 2:00 p.m., so the students ended the day with a little free “P.E.” on the yard.
Homework: (1) Study spelling words. (2) Practice cursive by doing spelling words 1-7 five times each. Use the cursive paper. (3) Do “Possible and Impossible,” Math, pp 268-269.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
We also read about the history of money today in Open Court and talked about chemical changes in Science. We learned about “mode” and “range” in statistics (stuff I never learned about until college). These students must be a lot smarter than I was, because they do so well with this advanced content.
Homework: (1) Line Plots, Math, pages 256-259. (2) Equivalent Fractions worksheet. (3) Science questions, page C51 — please answer in complete sentences.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
It was a fast Tuesday. I had a meeting this morning with the ELAC group to discuss the GATE program. Students worked on the Flow map and Anna study questions during this time. We then practiced pantomiming “A Story, A Story” to the narration of a student. We corrected our math.
After recess we worked on Math again, this time discussing scale in bar graphs. We turned our attention to improvisation in music, specifically what is called “Question and Answer” in improvisation. This is a key skill, and though our questions and answers can be improved, we made a good start.
After lunch we had PE. Students did either relays, handball, or basketball. They did their laps, too — which they love so much!
Homework: (1) Complete Flow Map on “Anna.” (2) Complete the study questions on “Anna.” The students who work with Ms Jan do not need to do this tonight — they’ll work on it in group tomorrow. (3) Do Bar Graphs, Math, page 253. (4) Do Reducing Fractions Worksheet.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Nice day today. We had visitors from Korea in the afternoon and we had to rearrange our day so they could see what Mrs. Oh wanted them to see. Students we pleasantly flexible about this -- more so than me, actually.
Homework: (1) "Make a Graph," Math, page 251. (2) "Read Bar Graphs," Math, page 253. Spelling words will come tomorrow.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Feel free to bring a camera. There' s no need to pack any money -- no gift shop trips!
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the two mathematics worksheets. We discussed using subtraction to answer the algebra problems.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
We did some activities relating to our Open Court theme in the morning. Since the “Home Place” story had been a poem about objects which created associations and triggered fantasies, we brainstormed objects which might cause us to think of other things or ideas or memories. With the repeated use of “When I see…I remember” students created a free verse poem out of these ideas. Many still have to finish this tonight. We also work more on the tableaux for the different scenes in “A Story, A Story.” The students performed these for the rest of the class today.
After recess, we went to the library. Music time focused on triple meter (moving both the legs and the arms at the same time to feel the meter — a surprisingly hard exercise) and soundscapes. We completed our PE testing in the afternoon. Most students did well, but a few really are appallingly out of shape, particularly when it comes to upper body strength (some couldn’t even do 1 push up even with the knees bent) and endurance.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Complete the rough and final drafts of the “When I see …I remember” poems. A couple students are done already. Final drafts should be done in cursive, though neat printing is acceptable if the student is still really uncertain of cursive. (3) Do “Make a Table,” Math, page 245. (3) Do chapter review pages, Math, pages 246-247.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
A great, great day today. We started out with Independent Work Time, and students did a number of activities. They took a couple quizzes which should be on the Gradebook shortly. They also worked on study questions about Home Place. A few students will need to finish these at home today. We also spent time today working on creating tableaux of the key scenes in “A Story, A Story.” Students will be learning to do pantomime with this story, and will later add elements of improvisation with a narrator and dialogue. We’ll be presenting this at Open House.
After recess, we worked on music. We’re exploring a couple different topics right now. Students have become quite good at identifying beat, so we’re now focusing on hearing strong and weak beats. We did this in duple meter (2/4 time) and now we’re trying it with triple meter (3/4 time). We’re also exploring dynamics and we started on a soundscape today to highlight our use of sound levels from pp to fff.
In math, we’re continuing with our Statistics and Probability unit. We’re discussed what data is yesterday, and also we talked about how we collect and present data. Today we focused on classifying data and presenting it in table form. This is a very common and extremely important math skill.
We are also doing PE testing right now. Students ran timed laps yesterday, and today they worked in pairs to test each other for flexibility and balance. Again, results will be on the Gradebook shortly, and we’ll also send home the results — maybe have them signed and returned.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do “Classify Data”, Math, page 242-243. (3) Do the money addition and subtraction worksheet.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Homework: (1) Spelling. (2) Fraction worksheet. Students have not had some of the improper fractions yet, so we’ll be working towards understanding on this. It may not be perfect. (3) Multiplying Money worksheet. Please double check this for accuracy, particularly with regrouping. (4) Finish Science, page C37.
Monday, March 06, 2006
This morning we had a very focused reading session. We reviewed the “Aunt Flossie’s Hat” story, and we started our study questions on them. Most students are nearly finished, but all should double check to make sure the answers are in complete sentences. Mr. Benitez helped the students go over and discuss the work from Friday afternoon. We changed seats.
After recess, we worked a little on pantomime skills. This is very closely related to the idea of storytelling, our OCR theme. We went to the Tech Center where Mr. Merkelson did an interesting project with the students. You can see an example of this above.
After lunch, we did PE with room 17. We took a math test (we’ll grade it tomorrow) and we went to the cafeteria for a fundraising assembly. A full but pleasant day.
Homework: (1) Finish the study questions. (2) Do the unit review problems, Math, pages 550-551.
Students will have spelling this week, but I’ll give them the list tomorrow. I was so busy getting the magnet school verification list done I forgot to write it our!
Friday, March 03, 2006
All that being said, it was still a pretty productive day. We had a particularly focused morning as we did Independent Reading, took our spelling test, and read and discussed the story “Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later).” The point of this story, based on the actual life story of an African-American author’s great aunt, is that object can focus memories, and that simple objects can tell stories too. We had a particularly good discussion of souvenirs and things we have that remind us of places and events.
After recess we correct and discussed homework. We also read a bit of The Wind in the Willows together until we were called for lunch. After lunch it cleared up a bit and we actually got out for a couple laps around the playground and some playtime. They needed it. So did I.
We took the rest of the afternoon to try to avoid taking home homework. We did a Tree Map of the Aunt Flossie’s Hats story. We worked on the Connect Concepts section of page C36 of the Science book. We also did pages 545 in the Math book (on Problem Solving) and the two Review pages, 546 and 547.
Homework: Just finish any of the work above that was not finished during our afternoon Independent Work Time.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
After recess, we heard a gentleman from the credit union talk about the history of money. He was very nice, but talked a little too long for our third grade attention span. In the afternoon, we read about the periodic table — a subject which seems to particularly fascinate many of our students — and we started our math assignments.
As I said before, it was a birthday kind of day, and we had two students who shared birthday cupcakes with us! Your children should be on a first-class sugar high coming home today!
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do Science Vocabulary, page c36, numbers 1-11 only. (3) Do “Adding and Subtracting Decimals,” Math, pages 541-543, numbers 2-39. Number 28 is extra credit.
In addition, a few students need to finish the “Oral History” questions that they did in the morning as well as the page from the Inquiry Journal where they discussed what the “Carving the Pole” and “Oral History” helped them learn about the theme of storytelling.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
After reading — and many of the students who were seriously behind in their reading points are making a concerted effort to catch up — we worked on the rough drafts of fairy tale retellings. We’ll be making these into a class book later with illustrations. We also read the story “Carving the Pole” which introduced the students to one of the key concepts in this storytelling theme, the idea that objects can tell stories as well as words.
After recess we studied about atoms and molecules and how heat determines the three states of matters. Several students volunteered to be atoms for this demonstration. We had fun! In music we worked on transcribing our names into musical notes and then putting them into standard notation. We’ll show some examples of this Monday or Tuesday when we finish it.
After lunch we did PE with room 17. We had stations today and it went pretty smoothly — just a couple boys who did not quite get the difference between wrestling and basketball. After that, we turned our attention to those pesky decimals places. The students did quite well with our problem of the day, even finding one solution to it that wasn’t in the teacher’s edition. Way to go!
Homework: (1) Science questions, page C 19, 1-4 only. Please copy the question. (2) Read and Write Decimals, Math, page 527.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Today was a little different, and it seemed less serene. As part of the rollout of the new ESL program, and the endless teacher training associated with it, all the third grade teachers were released in the afternoon for a meeting. I could have done without it frankly. But it meant that everything had to be crammed into the time before lunch. That made the kids a little confused and me a little frazzled. Oh, well. Tomorrow will be great again.
We studied the hundredth place in math today. I think that most of them seemed to get the concept. There will be homework on this, as well as on area and perimeter, two concepts that seemed particularly shaky on the quarter test.
Homework: (1) Complete the Grimm crossword puzzle. (2) Do “Hundredths,” Math page 523. (3) Do the Perimeter and Area worksheet.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
After recess we went to the Library and we also corrected our math homework. Mrs. Koneff read us a couple quite amusing new books. After lunch we had PE with room 17. We then returned to the classroom where discussed mixed numbers and decimals. Decimals are usually pretty easy for our students, and this year seems no exception to that.
Homework: (1) Complete the “Brothers Grimm” story sheet. (2) Do “Tenths,” Math, page 523 — all problems. (3) Do the multiplication study sheet.
Since we had a late start this week, and since we’re a little ahead of where we need to be in spelling, we’ll skip the spelling test for a week. Weel hav mohr speling nekst wik.
Continue work on that I-Search paper. I’ve glanced at a few rough drafts and they’re looking pretty good.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
The finale of the Dunham Dance program took up most of the day. We had the practice after our reading time, and then the performances of the children and the Marshall Dance Troupe. It was remarkably interesting -- a lot better in every respect than I anticipated.
An earthquake/fire drill consumed the time between 1:00 and 1:30.
Tomorrow things will be more on schedule.
Homework: Light tonight since there's not much follow-up to lessons. Children should continue with their I Search papers. Also, do the Introduction to Decimals on page 520-521 of the math book.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Anyhow, I we had a great day today. We came back today to looking at our fantasy stories. We worked in partners, and each student read his or her own paper while a friend listened and evaluated. We particularly were looking for the use of sensory details in description, the problem and solution of the story, and whether or not the author used dialogue. These are all areas where just about every paper can be better, and I think that our young authors got some good feedback.
Their only homework tonight will be doing the second rough draft of the assignment. Our purpose here is to improve the writing by reorganizing, adding details, and cutting extraneous material. We're not particularly worried about spelling, handwriting, grammar or punctuation yet. We can clear up those thing later on. Content is what matters now.
We also corrected our Quarter Two math tests. Results are on the gradebook. They weren't bad overall, and it certainly helped me see where we need continuing review and reteaching.
In the afternoon, we finished our kickball unit. We also continued work on the Midway poem. Most groups have finished identifying the rhythm in the poem, using stick notation, and are starting to create melodies. They're improvising these with the xylophones. We should finish those tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, for a number of reasons we had to postpone the LACMA trip. I'm hoping to get it rescheduled for June. We do have a couple other field trips coming up, notably our whale watching trip on March 17.
I will be gone starting Friday for several days. Most of this will be for district-mandated ESL training. I'm finding it hard to be positive and enthusiastic about that, but I'm sure I'll hear something useful.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the second rough draft of the fantasy story as indicated above.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the "Bremen Town Musicians" study question. (3) Fration Review, Math, page H 58 (in the back of the book).
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I talked about perspective with the students, and how object appear to get smaller when they are father away. We also talked about how we give the illusion of three dimensionality in drawings or paintings by placing foreground objects on the bottom, and background objects on the top. Students then did a landscape which had to show at least two objects in different sizes and places in the picture. You can see some examples above.
All this took up an awful lots of the day, but it was worth it. We also worked some more on our Black History Month music composition project -- we're setting an inspirational little poem called "Midway" to music -- and we reviewed a good bit of math, getting ready for next week's district quarter test.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the Perimeter/Area and Equivalent Fractions worksheet.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The big news today, academically, was equivalent fractions. Students really have a hard time getting the idea that the two numbers mean exactly the same thing unless you draw a picture to show them. They're sure that 4/8 must be bigger than 1/2 because, after all, 4 and 8 are bigger than 1 and 2. They also have trouble with the idea of multiplying the numerator and the denominator by the same number. For some reason, they'll multiply the top number by 3 and the bottom by 2. I'm not sure why, but it happens all the time every year. Please check this homework over really carefully and discuss it with them.
Our next field trip will be a week from tomorrow, February 9th. We will be walking to LACMA. We can use a volunteer or two to help us, particularly someone who can drive over the lunches. Let me know if you can help out!
Homework: (1) Spelling. (2) OCR worksheets. (3) Equivalent Fractions, Math, pp 489-491.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Math review sheet -- extended form and polygon review. (3) Science questions, p B63, 23-27. Most students also need to finish “Roxaboxen” questions and the crossword puzzle. The students who work with Ms. Jan will do the crossword puzzle tomorrow.
Monday, January 30, 2006
After recess, we continued our work in Music. We're learning a rondo in body percussion, and we've mastered the "A" sectiond.We also continued our work with our birthday compositions. This was a fun way to compose a melody. Students were given this chart of a pentatonic scale:
do re mi so la
F G A C D
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 0
They then turned their birth date into numbers. For example, my birthday July 4, 1957 became 07041957. In notes it then became D G C C F C D G. Students took turns on the glockenspiels "playing their birthday." Above you can see a picture from last week when we did this the first time and they used xylophones.
We went to the Tech Center where we (almost) finished putting our rough drafts of our fantasy stories into Appleworks. Typing them up will make doing second (and third and fourth and fifth) drafts much easier.
After lunch, we continued our kickball unit mixing with students from room 17. In math, we studied fractions of sets. This is kind of a hard thing for students to get. It seems logical to us that 1/3 of 6 is 2: as a adults we just see it. But children have a hard time visualizing this. They may need some handholding with this tonight.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Multiplication worksheet (3) Subtraction with regrouping worksheet (4) Fractions of a group, Math, page 486-487
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Today we did our cubist self-portraits as you can see above. Students worked pretty hard on these and the results were good. I think that the students will understand cubism more clearly now than they would have had we just talked about the Picasso story.
We also went to the Dunham Dance program today. Our children were concentrating very hard here which wasn’t always easy because they were doing picture make-ups on the stage. It was an “artsy” day.
Homework: Study spelling for the test tomorrow. A few students have some independent work from the afternoon to finish — science vocabulary and a couple of math review worksheets.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
We have been looking at Picasso in our Open Court Reading theme of Imagination. The selection in the reader is a biography of the artist which connects the different periods of his art to what was happening in his life at the time. This selection lent itself well to a Thinking Map. We used the Flow Map to illustrate this. You can see one in the photograph above. In the middle row of boxes the students described something of what happened to Picasso in each of the four major periods of his career: the early years, the Blue Period, the Rose Period, and the Cubist years. In the bottom row of boxes students described his art during that time. In the top, biggest boxes, they attempted a drawing in that style. Some even tried to copy one of his famous works from a period. I think these simple graphics really helped students to organize their understanding of the artist and his work.
Tomorrow students will be doing their own cubist self portraits. I think you’ll find that these are particularly wonderful.
Not much homework tonight. We are actually ahead of where we need to be in the Math Pacing Plan, so we can relax and review a bit. The division worksheet is not due until Friday.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do the division worksheet by Friday.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Light homework tonight. In addition to the two things belong, try to make a little time for multiplication facts drill. Some students are having a hard time here, not because they do not understand division, but because they really do not yet know the facts “cold.”
Homework: (1) Study Spelling. (2) Do Chapter and Cumulative Reviews, Math pp 229-229.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do Practice and Problem Solving worksheets on finding unit cost. (3) Do “Work Backwards,” Math page 227. (4) Do Subject/Object Pronouns worksheet.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Despite this, we had a pretty good day. We did the study questions on "The Cat who Became a Poet" in class. We went ahead and started our comic strip versions of our fantasy stories. We read a good chunk of The Wind in the Willows. We corrected our math tests. We read about and discuss the solar system, a topic on which they already knew quite a bit!
Apparently yesterday's post did not make it to the Internet. We were again having some on and off network problems. Sorry for any confusion.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Division, Math, pages 218-219, 1-37, 39-43.
Also, a few students still need to complete the "Cat" study questions or the comic strip.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do “Dividing by 6, 7, and 8,” Math, pages 215-217, all problems, answers only.
A few students still need to finish the chart on page B 34 of the Science book. Most are finished with it.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do “Recording Concept Information” sheet. Read the directions carefully here. The point is to tell what each selection added to our understanding of the idea of imagination, not to recapitulate the story. (3) Complete the chapter 12 review, page 210 and the cumulative review, page 211.
Additionally, many students need to finish the drawing and description of the of the characters and setting of the fantasy story they plan to write for the unit culmination.
By the beginning of next week all students should have completed the lowercase letters in the handwriting book.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Do "Through Grandpa's Eyes" study sheet. Be sure to use complete sentences, and do not start any sentence with a pronoun. (3) Do "Dividing by 2 and 5," Math, page 201, numbers 2-26 only. (4) Do "Dividing by 3 and 4," Math, page 202-203, numbers 2-35 only.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
For our new Imagination unit, we will be reading The Wind in the Willows. I’ve added a little twist to it this time, however. Because students often like to follow along in a book as they listen — plus being kind of fidgety anyway without anything in their hands — I purchased a copy of the book for each student. We are also listening to an audiobook reading so as to allow me to help them to follow along better. If you’d like your child to have the copy of this classic when we’re done with it, just send along 6 dollars and it will be his or hers for good. Otherwise, we’ll just make sure that the book is in good shape so I can use it again with classes next year and beyond.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Review Test/ Cumulative Review, Math, pages 196-197. (3) Science, B 29, 13-23. Write answers as complete sentences.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Like or As
Today one of the things we focused on was figurative language. Yesterday we read the famous poem about the blind men and the elephant. In that poem the blind men each compared a different part of the elephant to something they were familiar with — a wall, a rope, or a fan.
Today the students tried their own hands at writing similes and metaphors. They picked a particular person, place, or thing. They then picked at least five parts or aspects of this and developed a metaphor for each. These were combined to form a free verse poem. This was not altogether easy for the students, but we had some striking metaphors and some great rough drafts. I look forward to finishing these up and posting some on our bulletin boards for everybody to see.
Homework: (1) Study spelling. (2) Family of Facts, Math, pages 191-193, numbers 2-29, 36-51 only. (3) Review, Science, page B28 only. Copy questions and diagram.
In addition, a few students still need to finish their metaphor poem rough drafts.
Monday, January 09, 2006
I'll get the spelling list to the students tomorrow. Network printers are fabulous unless the network crashes, so I could not print it out today. We started division today. The idea of division as repeated subtraction may be new to some of you, though it's pretty logical when you think about it. That's page 187 in the math book.
Homework: (1) Complete the Blind Men study questions. (2) Division, Math, page 187, numbers 2-18. (3) Division, Math, page 189, numbers 2-21.