Wow! It was an insanely hot day today. Kids are really sensitive to changes in the weather, and any time it gets really hot I know it's not going to be anybody's most perfect day. But we all muddled through in room 19 and we actually did some really good stuff.
We began by correcting Friday's math and discussing it pretty carefully. Estimation and mental math are not easy for kids for developmental reason. They are still in fourth grade at what Piaget called a state of "concrete" thinking, so the idea that answers do not have to be exact seems a little foreign to them. So we took time to really go over some of the ideas and the problems we had with the assignment.
We then started to get organized. With some of the money parents have donated, I gave each student three colored folders: gray for Open Court Reading, black for math, and olive green for Science. We went through out desks and made sure that everything was where it should be, and that the students knew which papers, like their tests, should go home and which, like returned spelling work, could be recycled.
We then did the word study and vocabulary and some other preparation for the next story, an excerpt from the novella Sarah, Plain and Tall. We also changed our desks. After a couple weeks, I have an idea who will work best separated from somebody else, and also who absolutely needs to be a the front of the room. I have to say that the students did the best job I have ever had a class do at changing seats the first time.
We did math after recess, and also a little music. In music we are introducing the concept of body percussion. This means using the body as a percussion instrument through snapping fingers, clapping hands, patting hands on thighs or chests, and stomping. It's a fun technique and it really help student internalize rhythm. Plus, there's nothing to pass out or collect!
After lunch, we did our first work with reading journals. This will be a significant part of our reading program as I said in the Parent Meeting. We then went on to Science. We are supposed to be doing an Investigation with Isopods and Beetles. Unfortunately, Delta Education, the district's science vendor, only provided us with pill bugs and sow bugs. So I guess we'll just go ahead with half the insects we're supposed to have. If anybody knows a good local source for darkling beetles, please let me know! Today we just took a look at these critters under a hand microscope.
Homework: (1) Do "Estimating Sums and Differences," pages 32-33 in the math book. This is estimation and mental math - it should be relatively quick! Also do the "Camping Trip" on the back. (2) Do the "Isopods and Beetles" study sheet. This is the big assignment for the evening. (3) Do the "D" cursive page. (4) Do the spelling scramble. The word search is for Tuesday night.