Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Real First Day

The second day of school in many ways is the first real day. There are so many special things to do on the first day that it is hardly a typical day at all. The second day starts to become a typical day, and with that, the students start to learn the procedures they will follow for the whole year.

We started out today, as we will in all the days to come, with our journal activity. Today they wrote about their favorite room in their house or apartment and also worked at distinguishing sentences from phrases or fragments. Our first theme in the new reading series is "Growing Up" and we did a couple activities to introduce this theme. First, the students started to create life maps. They will finish these tomorrow, so there will be some examples on tomorrow's blog post. They also created short free-verse poems which contrasted their lives when they were young to their lives today. Here is an example:

After recess, we started on our Environments unit in Science. The students completed a Circle Map and a quickwrite to summarize what they already knew about Environments. We read a short selection on terrariums and the students answered questions on it. They will be making terrariums next in Science, probably on Monday.

After lunch, we started reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. Besides giving the students an actual book to read instead of the mere selections from books provided in the reading series, Island provides them with a great introduction to the native peoples of California and the era of the Spanish exploration, a key part of fourth grade history.

We also started our rhythm unit in music. Today we were concentrating on the learning what beat and meter are. The students ran in place to find their own heartbeat, and we talked about the steady pulse which is the heartbeat of music. We tapped and clapped to our heartbeats, and then saw how much easier it was to keep up that pulse if there was a sequence of strong and weak beat. We practiced passing a hand drum and hitting it on the strong beat.

We started our work in the math book today. Our first chapter is on place value. Today we concentrated on numbers up to 100,000. We talked about standard form, word form, and expanded form.

Homework: (1) Do “Cursive Review” worksheet (2) .Do “Addition, No Regrouping 2” worksheet. (3) Do “Thousands,” pages 5-7 in the math book. Put all answers on your answer sheet. Also do “Changing Places” on the back of the answer form.

No comments: