Monday, December 12, 2016

December Updates!

As we move toward our winter break, here are some updates on our work the past month.

We completed our study of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  We used Kidblog to manage our study.  I recorded each chapter of the book and included it in each of the 14 blog posts. The students then listened to the chapter while following along.  They were often asked a question or two that required a comment on the blog post.  While they were reading, I expected them to mark in their books when they came across an interesting vocabulary word or could make a connection with the text.
Finally, they completed an extensive Study Guide that broke down each chapter.  Your students can show you the blog posts and their Study Guides after break.

We also completed a thorough study of the West Region.  This fit perfectly with our Lewis and Clark study.  After completing the Study Guide, the students wrote essays about this amazing region.  We are teaching a three paragraph format with topic sentences for each.  I require two of the three paragraphs to cover the geography and history of the region.  We also had a states and capitals test for this region.

Our class loves to read! Thank you so much for your commitment to our Book Bingo program.  Two of our students are working on their third Book Bingo Chart!

In math, we have just completed our fourth chapter in our new Math in Focus series.  To review, the four topics covered so far have been:
1. Place Value
2. Estimation and Number Sense
3. Multi-digit multiplication and Division
4. Data Tables and Graphs
After break, we will begin an extensive Fractions unit.

As you read the comment cards, please note the following comment from Mrs. Bailey about the math markers:

Dear Parents:
At the end of this week, your child's first-semester progress report will arrive in your homes.  It's always a great time to reflect on all that our students have accomplished . . . both as learners, friends, and classroom citizens.  You may notice that there are several markers in the Mathematics section of the report that are marked as "not introduced".  As you know, we've shifted our curriculum to Math In Focus (MIF), which has a different emphasis in content and sequence.  We will be revising the math section of our progress report for next year, giving us this year to implement MIF and identify our priority learning objectives in the curriculum.  Please refer to the narrative comments to gauge your child's progress in math this year.

We have completed 10 Spelling Lessons and the students are doing very well on the tests.
In writing, we continue to craft weekly letters as part of the V.I.P. project.  The students are also working on writing personal stories based on our work with the Lucy Calkins writing program.
We took our first WordMasters test last week and our scores were across the board   Although I believe the students knew the meanings of the words backward and forward, the challenge of using those words in analogies is a very difficult task.  We are committed to working harder in class to practice analogies and really examining those "bridging" relationships.  The students have received the second list of words and the test will be at the end of February.

Have a wonderful winter break!