February 3, 2017

A month has yet again come and gone. We’re really letting our busy schedule get the best of us (at least I am!). Last week, we tried spending some time in the computer lab with the students making contributions to the blog using Padlet. It was an awesome way for the kiddos to get their ideas out, but it then actually made more work for me to try to sort through all of the ideas. So, this week we went back to our traditional style where we sit down and write the blog together.

Made with Padlet

In math, we’re completed chapter 4 and we are now half way through chapter 5, which is a continuation of multiplication. Today, the students completed the mid-chapter check point. We also continued our pattern block challenge. This time, the students were to make a design that equaled their class number plus 100. They came up with some really creative designs! They also did a great job using their multiplication and equation writing skills to prove their work. We’re saving them for Open House they look so great!

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In writing, we are nearing our publishing stage. Starting Monday, the students should have their whole books drafted. We will begin to focus on revising and editing next week. Our final week before break will be devoted to final publishing. On Friday, the 17th, we’ll be having our publishing party. As a wrap up for our informational writing unit, the students took a post-assessment on informational writing. The teachers spent the first part of learning day calibrating and scoring these papers. The students showed great growth.

Our book clubs are already almost over! The students are beginning to learn how to have an in depth conversation about a topic. I always remind them that they should come to school on Friday an expert in that section of the book. When they have those book talks, they should be discussing their thoughts and opinions, not relaying facts to each other. This is a very hard skill to learn, but one I think they are slowly developing. It’s exciting to see!

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In science, we’ve been talking about energy. We first talked about what energy is, how it is stored, how it can change, and how it transfers from one thing to another. Now we moved from the general topic of energy to specifically light energy. We are in the middle of an activity working with light reflection using flashlights and mirrors. The students are starting to discover how light travels.

Today in computer lab, we set up new accounts for Digital Read Works and Khan Academy. Both can be accessed from home. Feel free to log in and check them out! We will be working them into our regular computer lab routines.

We completed our amazing read aloud of Crenshaw. We LOVED it and everyone was sad when it ended. Today, the students voted and we are now reading Towers Falling. It’s supposed to be an amazing book. We’re only a couple chapters in and we’re finding some incredible connections between Towers Falling and Crenshaw. So fantastically unexpected!

Wednesday was Global School Play Day. The students had just over an hour of unstructured time. It was an amazing event, even more amazing considering four awesome substitute teachers ran it while the third grade teachers were at  a training. I’m so sad I missed it. You know I’m a big advocate for kiddos finding their passions and having the freedom to express themselves.

In art, we started our clay art project. This year we are making owls! We’ve created our owls. Now, they’re drying and waiting to go in the kiln. There was a mix up with the art schedule, so we may be waiting an extra week before we get back there.

Two weeks ago, we got a new student in our class. Welcome, Anderson!

In music, we did our annual Chinese New Year parade. This year, we added the recorder as one of the instruments we played. Happy year of the rooster!year-of-the-rooster

A few weeks ago, we had class picture day. The students really want me to type that it was “rad.” I used rad the other day and the students informed me that it was “old people teenager language.” I now feel old… Thanks, kids!

In wonderful, awesome news, our Donors Choose project was fully funded on the last day. Despite a news paper article about it, it almost wasn’t funded. At the last minute, an anonymous donor completed the job completely! A huge thank you to the donor! We now have three new under desk bike pedals and three under desk ellipticals! Another big thank you goes to Skyler’s family who will be assembling four of them for us! Such a great community we have!

 

thanks

We’ve got another busy week ahead. Next Thursday and Friday I’ll be joining the fifth graders at Science Camp. Mrs. McQuinn will be our guest teacher on those days. I’m not sure we’ll get a blog out next Friday unless she wants to be a guest blogger. 😉

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