October 20, 2017

Hi There, Winners! We’ve had another couple busy weeks. We may have a trend going on here… In writing, we’ve wrapped up our first unit. The students had a publishing party last Friday with their first grade buddies. They each had popcorn and shared their stories with each other. I wish I had pictures to share with you. I had a family emergency and had to leave school early that day. The students were in really good hands with Mrs. Kropp acting as their substitute! Now that their stories are published, they are currently in our class library. They may even spend some time in the school library for students to enjoy! Sometime next week, we’ll send home the work from their writing folders from this unit. As you know, they do work in notebooks and folders. The notebooks will be used for the next unit, but the folder work will come home to you. Remember, at any time your student is welcome to bring work home to share with you as long as it comes back to school so that we can continue our work. On Monday, we’ll dive into our informational writing unit. We’ll be joined by ten new teachers from all over the Cupertino district for an observation during that lesson!

In reading, we’ve paused our Lucy Calkins reading program to participate in the Global Read Aloud. We’re reading The Wild Robot and loving it! It’s amazing how much humor and compassion can be found in a story about a robot without feelings. As a part of the GRA, we’ve done three Mystery State Calls now. These calls help us brush up on our geography skills while we ask each other yes and no questions to figure out what state they are in. After we find each other, we have a book talk about The Wild Robot. This week, we connected with a class in Connecticut that we plan on doing a weekly video call with to continue the discussion for the rest of the GRA. We’re also upping our Twitter game. We’ve posted some of our own Tweets on our class account (@MrsWinn21) and have started using our low tech twitter feed in the classroom. By reading, responding to, and posting our own questions on Twitter, we’re able to expand our book talk to the global level. On Friday, a class from another school posted a tweet about Roz (the robot) being lucky that she didn’t have feelings. Then they asked if people agreed. It sparked a really interesting discussion and it was wonderful to hear the deep thinking that the students were doing! In math, we continue to work with data. We’ve looked at many different ways to collect and display data. We’ve also worked on reading different graphs. The change in third grade is the use of keys and scales. While working with the graphs, students now have to add the layer that one item, or one block on a graph no longer equals one. It is a concept that most students understand pretty quickly, but are often tricked by if they are reading and working too fast and not paying attention to details.

Our first science unit is coming to an end. We’ve discussed the structures of plants and crayfish. On Friday, we explored the adaptions of many different species. All we have left to do now is review and assess our learning.

While our focused social studies lessons have been on pause during our science unit, the students have been getting a lot from our Mystery State Calls as well as our weekly National Geographic work that we do with Nidhi’s mom. On Friday, we had our first Music class. Thank you for all of your contributions to LEEF so that we may have these wonderful classes! The students already learned the difference between a beat and a rhythm. It promises to be a year full of musical learning! Maddox’s mom has come in twice since we last posted. First she came in to do a lesson on germs with us. We placed an untouched piece of bread in a bag, a piece that was touched with washed hands, and a piece that all of the students touched. Now, we’re waiting to see what happens next. The bread is hanging on our wall and we are checking on it daily for progress. She also came in to do a Dia de los Muertos art project with us. The students did some beautiful skull art. They are currently being flattened, but I can’t wait to see them on the wall!

We also had an internet safety assembly with Deputy Hick on Wednesday. We talked about ways to stay safe and things to look out for while on the internet.

Have a WINNing and restful weekend! Next week is promising to be just as busy!

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October 6, 2017

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks! Last week we had THREE different substitutes! That kept us from getting our blog post out last Friday. Here’s what’s been going on in Room 21…

In science, we’ve been studying our crayfish. So far, we have observed them and learned about their structures. Next, we’ll be studying their behavior before they leave us next week.

In math, we completed our first chapter. We then took our first computerized math test. There is always a learning curve with this. Their scores often do not truly reflect their understanding on the first test. The students are still learning how to take an online test and that impacts their scores.

On Fridays, we’ve started a routine that Nidhi’s mom comes in and helps us do a weekly rotation with our National Geographic magazines. We work in small groups of six either with Nidhi’s mom, Mrs. Winn, or independently to read and work with the articles in each month’s magazine’s.

In our reading, we finished Stone Fox. We were all shocked and saddened by the ending. Maddox said that Mrs. Winn and Alex were as red as tomatoes as they fought back tears. Now, we are moving into the GLOBAL READ ALOUD!!!! We’ve started with The Wild Robot (we’d still love some donations of the book if you’re willing). We’ve read the first few chapters and have even had our first mystery state call. We did a video call with a class and first asked geography questions to figure out where they were. We found out that it was Ms. Shen’s fourth grade reading group over at Faria! Once we figured out where they were, we shared some predictions for the book. We’ll continue reading aloud and connecting with various classes from all over. We’ll also be more active on Twitter to allow book discussions. Follow us @MrsWinn21 to be in on the conversations. We will be starting a student Tweeter of the day to share our thinking along with responding to other classes. We have a partner class that we will be calling every Friday of the GRA to discuss the book. We may even throw in some blogging! Today, we did a mini version of a Twitter chat. The chat had already happened, so we used the opportunity to write down our ideas. I’ll go through them and add them to our feed.

In writing, We wrapped up drafting and revising our second story in five sessions! We took a break to do our post unit assessment. Now, we’ll use the coming week to complete our revisions and publish one of our stories.

Last week, we had an author assembly. Max Brallier came. He writes the Last Kids on Earth series. We loved it! He signed our books for us! Room 21 even got a set signed for the class! He told us his dream was to be a professional baseball player, but he was really bad. He ended up not being played on the baseball team, which gave him a lot of time to daydream. Those are the first stories he started to develop and write.

Also, last Friday we met with our first grade buddies. We did an activity where we needed to build a structure that held an apple made from cards, a choice of 4 straws or 4 sticks, paper, and tape. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about engineering.

“Zombies are people too. Be nice to them.” – Alex

“What is a bird’s favorite type of math? — Owl-gebra!” – Karl

Have a WINNing weekend!