Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Here's what's happening in our class this month....

The kids are currently participating in book clubs.  As they read each week, they are applying our current comprehension strategy which is asking questions.  Additionally, the kids are gathering and defining unknown and interesting vocabulary as they read.  The groups meet with me to discuss their text.  We discuss the theme of the book, the problems in the story, and how the characters take steps towards solving the problem.  On Fridays, they use share their questions and vocabulary with me on their google classroom page.

We are learning about the genre of opinion writing.  The kids are learning how to create a strong thesis statement, support that statement with powerful reasons and a multitude of expamples.  Thus far, we have practiced our skills by writing opinion essays about important people in our lives.  The kids have tried to be persuasive in their writing and convince others to believe in their thesis statement.  As we further develop our skills in opinion writing we will broaden our topics and begin to craft thesis statements based on bigger ideas that impact larger groups such as our community, country, and our world.  With the approach of Thanksgiving, the kids will also be writing an essay about the three aspects in their lives for which they are most thankful.  (This is great to share at the table on Thanksgiving!)

Our current math unit is on two-digit by one-digit multiplication and division.  The kids are learning how to decompose larger multiplication problems and use simpler, known problems to help them solve the larger problem.  Additionally, they are creating multiplication stories to help them take abstract multiplication problems and put them in context; they are creating a real world situation to help them make meaning of the abstract problem.  With regard to division, we are learning how to use multiplication to help us solve division problems.  Again, these division problems are embedded in division stories.  Some result in remainders.  The kids are learning how to interpret these remainders.  For instance, instead of stating 4 R1, the kids are interpreting the quotient and saying each student gets four dollars and the remaining dollar can be broken into quarters.  Each student can then get a $1.25.
The students are also completing a math performance task this week that is not only connected to Thanksgiving but allows them to apply their addition, subtraction, and multiplication skills.  They will be given a budget of $100, a guest list of five, certain parameters to follow, and they must then create a Thanksgiving Feast menu that may not exceed their budget.  (Thank you for the circulars you sent in for this project.)

Social Studies
After the end of our Science unit on ecosystems we started our first Social Studies unit for the year, Colorado History.  Thus far, we have studied the geography of Colorado and how the geography of where we live helps shape how we live.  In addition, we studied the early Native Americans who lived in Colorado and how they influenced how we live today.  As we continue our study of Colorado history, we will learn about fur traders, explorers and gold rushers.  Our main focus in the study of these individuals is analyzing how these groups positively and negatively impacted Colorado and how they influenced the way we live today.

Other Important Information

  • On Wednesday, November 16th we will have our annual Thanksgiving Feast.  Parents may register for this event online.  (Dr. Brown included information and links in last week's blog update.) You are invited to share a Thanksgiving Feast with your child during lunch.  Please note that the lunch times are a bit different this day.  Dr. Brown included the special schedule for that day in her blog.  I'll copy and attach it below.  In addition, we are having an open house technology session that day.  There will be a thirty minute session immediately prior to your child's lunch time that day.  During that session you are invited to our classroom so that your child may share some of the exciting and challenging work they have been doing with technology.  
  • The entry test for the school Spelling Bee is this Friday at 7:30 in the Gold Mine Room.  Your child just needs to show up if they want to try and qualify for the Spelling Bee. 
  • The Book Fair will be held the week of November 14th.  Mrs. Golish is still in need of volunteers.  Below is a copy of the information she asked teachers to forward to parents. 

Here is the sign-up for adult volunteers

Any questions and concerns can be sent to Stephanie Zimmerman at
Student volunteers (can not use sign-up link for parent volunteers) are able email Stephanie directly for volunteer service hours. Yeah!