It’s Almost Hanukkah!

We had a wonderful week as the students prepared for the Festival of Lights! The highlight of our week was our visit to Zab’s Place, The Friendship Circle’s Thrift Boutique, planned by the awesome Mrs. Gamlin. We saw what happens when you donate things instead of throwing them away. This trip tied in perfectly with the students’ unit on being a good citizen and community member that they are studying in Project Based Learning. The wonderful staff at Zab’s place, gave the students a tour of the shop, showed them how they have “up-cycled” some donated items, and even let us explore their back room where donated items are sorted. The students really wanted to buy everything in the store, so head over to Zab’s Place the next time you are looking for a great deal (like a $500 dress for just $100! Whoa!)


See the “up-cycled” wooden pallets that the store made into shoe racks?

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This week the students studied how to draw conclusions and analyze characters. We used our class read aloud book, Charlotte’s Web, to practice these skills. To draw conclusions the students used what they already knew from the book to better comprehend what was happening and determine what would most likely happen next. In the book this week, the pig Wilbur tried to escape from his pen. The students drew conclusions about what would happen next. They determined that, since Wilbur is a young and often frightened pig, he probably wouldn’t try to run away, but instead he might look for his friend Fern to protect him! We also studied common nouns vs. proper nouns, splitting words apart using their syllables, consonants and vowels, and writing nonfiction paragraphs. Phew! Now we are tired! Next week, we will be reviewing the following reading skills from the past lessons: plural nouns, proper nouns, visualizing when reading, sentence editing, picking out “just right” books, and our past vocabulary.

We finished our lesson on words that end in the vowel “y” and words with the short “u” sound. There will be no new spelling unit next week, so we will be reviewing previous spelling patterns in class.

Our writing unit took us deeper into organizing our thoughts. We worked on writing strong leads and focusing our pieces on one big idea. We will continue working on these strategies next week, and we will pick our second pieces to put into our writing portfolios!

This week Mrs. Tracey’s math class took their unit 4 test on addition strategies and the pre-test for Unit 5 on Geometry. Mrs. Felter’s class began the geometry unit by looking at line segments, lines, points, parallel lines, and quadrangles (a four sided shape with four angles!) We have been filling in our “Shape Sleuth” books whenever we come to a new shape or concept! This book will be completed by the end of the geometry unit.

Throughout Unit 5 we will continue to review the partial sums strategy for solving addition problems. The partial sums strategy has the students add the tens in a number, then the ones, and then add the partial sums together. For example, 48 + 39 can become 40+ 30 = 70 and 8+9= 17. Then you add the partial sums, which is now a much simpler equation to perform: 70 + 17 = 87!  We will also be looking at the traditional algorithm for addition problems (the traditional algorithm is the way we were taught when we were little- you know “Line up the numbers on top of each other, add the first column, carry the one…”)

Here the students are equally sharing shapes between numbers (this is the beginning of division!)

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The students are practicing the partial sums algorithm!IMG_0982 IMG_0983 IMG_0984 IMG_0986

Our student council announced today, that next Thursday will be pajama day to celebrate meeting our first trimester goal for First in Math. We loved the cute skit that student council put on for us!