Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Making Connections

Today was thankfully not quite so hot! It was easier for both the students and the teacher to keep focused.

We began the day with our Reader's Workshop. This is the independent silent reading with journaling that we started on yesterday. This will be the regular start of our day from now on. This gives me a chance to check the students' homework while they are engaged in a productive activity.

In Open Court Reading, we started the story "Sarah, Plain and Tall", an excerpt from the book of the same name. Our focus reading this story is to learn the reading strategy of "Making Connections." This refers to the way that good readers make personal connections with the text. Something in the text triggers a memory or a thought in the reader's mind. For example, as we were reading today, one of the students saw the words "cool, damp, and gray" which the author used to describe the weather in Maine. It reminded her of sitting in her family's house on a rainy day doing homework while the rain pelted against the windows.

We also worked on the skill of categorizing by studying the Tree Map. This is one of the thinking maps that looks most familiar to adults because it looks an awful lot like a corporate organization chart! The students brainstormed their favorite things and thought of appropriate categories for each one. They did some partner sharing of these - in LAUSD talk it's called "Think-Pair/Share" - and then did the rough draft of a paragraph.

We correct our Science homework, and we worked some more on rhythm using jump rope style rhymes. Again, the students used body percussion. I will be filming some of these and trying to get them on the blog. I say trying because recent "improvements" to the LAUSD firewall make doing anything with video very difficult. Since so many kids have internet-enabled smart phones, I am not sure who is getting protected here.

In math, we worked on telling the difference between important and unimportant information in a word problem.

Homework:  (1) Do the spelling word search. (2) Do "Sarah, Plain and Tall" crossword puzzle and the "Silly Sentences" on the back. (3) Do the letter E cursive. (4) Do "Extra or Missing Information," envision Math, pages 34-35 and the "Bird Houses" on the back side.

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