Friday, January 29, 2010

Fluency Work

As a part of their reading development, the students are expected to read with fluency and expression. A great way to help them practice "reading like they talk" is by using a recording software that allows them to hear themselves. At the school we use a recording software program, Audacity. Our class frequently practices reading our weekly poems into the program with a goal of becoming better with each reading. Because they get immediate feedback, the students become extremely engaged in the activity and even the most reluctant readers love to be the star of their own reading show. One of the best features about Audacity is that it is completely free to download and your child can begin immediately using it in conjunction with your computer's microphone.

Read with Roy

If you are looking for more strategies to help your child learn to read and write, visit Guided Reading and Reading Games with Roy the Zebra. The website is based on stories about Roy the Singing Zebra. This fun site offers progressive, animated stories along with matching discussion cards, worksheets, and games. The discussion cards are a great way to help your child think about what the story means in order to move beyond literal retells of the story. The games span a wide variety of topics that help in reading and writing including focuses on capital letters, punctuation, vowel sounds, blends, and rhyming words.

The Napping House

This week we read The Napping House by Audrey Wood to learn more about cause and effect. We learned that cause is why something happened and that effect is what happened. After reading the book through, the class made a Multi-Flow Map to retell the key events and discussed how each event caused another event to happen. The students then chose their favorite cause and effect from the story to write and illustrate about. Below are a few examples of their quality work:

Johnny Appleseed

This week in Social Studies we read and studied about several American historical figures. One of our historical figures was the legendary Johnny Appleseed. As a part of their study, the students created their own apple tree graphic organizers. Each student wrote at least one fact about John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, on each apple.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

U.S. and Texas Symbols

In Social Studies we are learning more about symbols and mottoes of both The United States and Texas. A great site for you child to visit is Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids. The site is full of information that the students will love including American symbols and songs. Although the site is intended and designed for students in Kindergarten through Second Grade, you may need to help your child read portions of the website. To learn more about Texas, we read L is for Lonestar: A Texas Alphabet by Carol Crane. The students then made diagrams of several of the symbols. For more information on Texas symbols, visit the State Symbols page to see actual pictures of the symbols.

The Mitten

Last week we read The Mitten by Jan Brett to practice retelling a story. After reading the story several times, we worked as a class to create a Multi-Flow map of the story's main events. The students then worked in partners to create their own mittens. On their mittens, they wrote one key event from the story which we then pieced together in order.

Play the Game: Place Value

As we continue our study of larger numbers, we have been playing many math games to help us practice comparing the numbers. One of the class favorites is a game in which the students roll two dice and then decide what is the greatest possible number. They then build the number using Base Ten Blocks. Once each player has rolled and built their number, they compare them to see who had the greatest number. To practice building larger numbers at home in the Base Ten Block format, you can use items such as toothpicks, straws, pretzel sticks, or pencils as the "tens" and items such as buttons, pennies, or marshmallows as the "ones." To see a glimpse of the game in action, enjoy the short slideshow of pictures below:

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Play the Game
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Interactive Hundreds Chart

In our class we use a hundreds chart for many different math skills. Today we used an interactive hundreds chart that you can also use at home. We practiced skip counting by coloring in the patterns of counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's. We also created designs by identifying place value numbers. For example, if we heard 2 tens and 5 ones, we colored in the number 25. We also created our own designs that we will write clues for to be added to our math tubs. You will be surprised what your child will do with this chart!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pennies for Pasta

Our school is currently participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pasta for Pennies fundraising program. To learn more about the program and ways you can help, visit The Moseley News page. You can also visit the school's online donation page if you would like to make a contribution. As of today, our class has raised approximately $73 dollars in just two days! What a great way for the students to learn the character traits of caring and generosity.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doubles Facts

A strategy to help children learn their math facts at home is to help them learn the Doubles Addition Facts (1+1=2, 2+2=4, etc.) as well as their related subtraction facts. For example, if I know 4+4=8, then 8-4=4. We have previously learned the Double Facts in class and are now working on Doubles Plus 1 and Doubles Minus 1. For extra practice at home visit the interactive flascards pages Doubles Addition, Doubles Subtraction, Doubles Plus 1, and Doubles Minus 1.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spin and Spell

Are you looking for a way to help your child with spelling? In addition to practicing our weekly word wall at phoincs words at SpellingCity, you can visit Spin and Spell to help your child learn common, everyday words. Through this interactive website, your child will choose one of five categories: In and Around the Home, What We Wear, What We Eat, How We Get There, and The Animal Kingdom. Each category has numerous pictures to choose from. Once your child chooses a picture, they choose the correct letters to spell the word. The game is great because it allows the students chances to correct any misspellings and the students have the choice of having the word spelled for them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

As a reminder, school will not be in session on Monday, January 18th, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This week we have been reading various books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his contributions to society. In particular, we have been focusing on the character trait of fairness. Through art and writing, the students are expressing their "dreams" for the future. Here are a few of the students' "dreams":

  • to go to the moon
  • to plant trees and flowers over the entire world
  • to give people love
  • to help children get food
  • to give everyone clothes
  • to treat everyone the same no matter what
The students also created multicultural handprints as graphic organizers to list five facts they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shark Numbers: Place Value

During the third six weeks we have been working on furthering our number sense and Place Value through the use of Base Ten Blocks. Students have been building numbers with various objects, including the Base Ten Blocks, drawing reprentations of the numbers with sticks (ten longs) and dots (one units), and comparing numbers. In comparing numbers, students have been taught to look at the tens place first. Whichever number has the largest number in the tens place has to be the greatest number. If the numbers in the tens place are the same, then the students compare the ones place to see which is the greatest. To help your child identify numbers based on the Base Ten Block system, visit the Shark Pool Place Value game to have them identify the represented number. During the upcoming six weeks, we will be looking at numbers to 99.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Art in Motion

This week in math we have been identifying and exploring 3D shapes. In science we have been experimenting with motion. So, today we combined both in an art project. The students rolled spheres, or ping pong balls, covered in paint across their paper to make various designs. As the students worked, we discussed the attributes of various shapes and if they will roll, slide, or do both. The students are currently reflecting on their learning through writing. Enjoy a quick slideshow video of the students experimenting with shapes and motion.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Art in Motion
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Money Matters

This six weeks we have been learning more about money; in paticular, we have been focusing on coins and their relationship to the penny. Students should be able to recognize a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter by sight and identify their value. As a part of the value, students are expected to know that a quarter is the same as twenty-five pennies, etc.

To help your children learn, we have been practicing the following poem in class:

Penny, penny, easily spent,
Copper brown and worth one cent.
Nickel, Nickel, thick and fat.
You're worth 5,
I know that.
Dime, dime, little and thin.
I remember, you’re worth 10.
Quarter, quarter, big and bold.
You're worth 25 I am told!

In addition to helping your child with this fun poem, you can visit ABCTeach to print the coins for your child to practice with at home.

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