November 6, 2020


This week, we continued looking for the author’s purpose for writing (to entertain, inform, show how-to, persuade, etc.) The students have noticed that many texts are hybrids, for example The Magic Tree House series is written to entertain and inform. Next week, the students will practice using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. Using context clues together with their growing phonics skills will make the students into powerful readers!


This week the students studied words containing the vowel digraphs “ai”, “ea”, and “oa.” They learned that when these vowels are together, they often make the long sound of the first letter (or, the cuter version- two vowel go walking the first one does the talking.) We hunted around the classroom to find words to fit this pattern and we will continue practicing this important reading and spelling skill throughout the next few weeks. Next week the students will learn how to spell words containing the long “i” and “u” sounds. The students will review words like bike and cute and learn how to spell the long “u” sound in words like cruise and stew.


The students completed their first vocabulary unit this week! Our Vocabulary Workshop curriculum requires the students to do a lot of independent reading and problem solving. They also get the opportunity to read short pieces of text and answer comprehension questions in complete sentences (this reviews so many of the skills we they are learning!) Our next set of words will be bench, bridge, cross, crowd, deep, fresh, frown, signal, travel, and worry. The students will have the chance to learn the multiple meanings of the words, for example cross can mean to go from one side to the other and it can mean to feel angry.

Writing and Daily Language Instruction

The students are learning to write stories with an interesting beginning, detailed middle, and an ending that leaves their reader feeling like everything was wrapped up. They are currently brainstorming ideas from their lives for their next writing piece. In D.L.I. the students are learning about the naming part of sentences (the noun or subject) and the action part of sentences (the verb or predicate.) They are also learning more capitalization and punctuation rules.


Our third math unit covers time, money, addition, and subtraction. As the students learn these skills, new levels of challenge are being added, like subtracting two digit numbers and learning how the hour hand moves slowly to point to the next hour. A big focus this week was on shopping and making change. For example, if a toy costs $0.45 and you hand the cashier a dollar, then how much change should you receive? Many of the students were able to make change for five dollars and ten dollars!


The students have moved out of their social studies and science block and into their art block with Mrs. Lerner (more social studies and science will come later in the school year!) Mrs. Lerner has integrated our presidents research into her art lessons. Their first lessons covered the art of Log Cabin Quilts.