Next week we will finish up Topic 6. They did a WONDERFUL job yesterday with Fact Families. With lots of repetition and practice! They are learning how to use the same parts and whole to create 2 addition sentences and 2 subtraction sentences. I put an example in the picture for reference. We are using our number lines a lot and doubles to help us solve these problems. Many times, we like to rush so we don't accurately count backwards or forwards when we are adding. I have been reminding them to take their time! I am so proud of their work ethic in math workshop this past week too! They have been listening, working well to help one another, asking for help when they need it, working well in small groups! I think (fingers crossed) we got the hang of our math workshop! I am hoping that we just need a gentle reminder after break :)
This week we are going to officially read The Polar Express. The past week we've been reading various pages for text to self connections as well as visualizing. We talked a lot about when the boy lost the bell and how he felt. There were many connections to themselves about losing something or feeling upset about something being lost on accident or being careless. This week, we will read the story from beginning to end. Each day we will reflect on what we've read and write, kind of like journaling with prompts. They will write about how they would feel or how they would react to some of the same situations that happen to the little boy. They will get an opportunity to share out their own experiences similar to this past week with our connections. After a week of really exploring the book (if they can get it together :) we will watch the movie on Friday morning and they'll get to wear their PJ's and drink hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers!
Next week we are also going to be studying different holidays around the world and celebrated here among our friends! We will study Hanukkah, Diwali, Christmas. During this study, we'll look at where the holiday originated from, what the holiday is celebrating or about. For Hanukkah, we will play dreidel and learn about the different symbols (how to pronounce them)! During our study of Diwali we will color our own rangoli and Christmas we will make our own placemat with Christmas colors as well as write a letter to Santa Claus. Each of these holidays are unique and special traditions to many families and students here at SCE, so this could be a great discussion to have with your own family at home about differences in traditions and cultures and how we celebrate holidays!
We have learned that nouns are an important part of a story the past few months! Nouns are the characters (big or small), the places the characters go and the things the character uses! This week we will learn more specifically nouns are:persons, places or things! Each day we will add a fun winter word to our list and sort it where it goes! We have words such as snow, sleigh, bells, trees, lights, presents, Santa, candy canes etc! It should be a fun way to engage them!
We have done a lot of nonfiction research on reindeer and learned a lot about them! Here are our top 5 facts:
1. Reindeer/Caribou (I know they are 2 different species but we didn't get that technical :) are mammals.
2. They have hooves that help them walk on the snow and ice, as well as dig for food.
3. Both male and female caribou can grow antlers.
4. Each fall, the male antlers fall off and they grow new.
5. They can swim!
This was a great way to introduce research and nonfiction learning. We did some basic fact finding each day as a class and recorded various facts and new information as the week went on. We spent some time in the digital learning lab upstairs to see the ipads and other laptops there are and how we can use our information to create different products. (we'll do more research in the spring). You'll be able to read all about their facts in their reindeer packets this weekend!
And for fun, cause you have to have fun, we made our own "Reindeer Food" for them to spread out on Christmas Eve. That way the Reindeer find their house and have something to eat along the way! It was a great directional writing (first, next and then) as well as fun!
Topic 6 is the subtraction counterpart to topic 5. We will use 10 to help us subtract bigger numbers (up to 20). We will revisit fact families, and use smart board activities and small group work to work on those skills. We will also reinforce with Fastt Math (computer work). I will pre-assess them on Friday to see where our group work takes us and what specific areas of focus. The beginning part will be difficult (using an alternate strategy 'using 10' to help us subtract), but I will also teach them another strategy: to use pictures and then cross out or take away. They'll have access to cubes, counters and number line as well.
We are going to slowly dig into the Polar Express (more to come next week! and some surprises too!) This upcoming week we are going to use the Polar Express to help us make connections to our reading. The little boy gets on a magical train that takes him on an amazing journey to the North Pole. He gets to pick the first gift and carry a special bell that Santa gave him. On Monday, I'll read the first page about the little boy and his curiosity and they will recall a time when they have been curious in their "Polar Express Connections" journal. On Tuesday, I'll read the part where the little boy gets to pick the first gift and is so excited. They will share a time when they were excited about something in their life. On Wednesday we will talk about how the little boy lost the bell and make a connection to a time when we might have lost or misplaced something and how we felt. Thursday, we will do some visualizing and think about what our first gift might be.
For the next 2 weeks we are going to study the word patterns "sh" and "ch". We will do lots of activities including:
-making sh and ch word lists
-smart board activities
-Frame a Word (sentences)
-Cut and Sort
-Highlight a word
-Book/Room search for "sh" and "ch"
You'll see a need list of some example word study words in the front of their folders next week!
In the next week we will be studying Reindeer (you know those important animals that pull Santa's sleigh), commonly known to adults as Caribou. We will study nonfiction books and look up facts on the computer (if you have extra time-feel free to look up some facts at home and bring them in!). We will spend some time in the Digital Learning Lab to use the ipads and laptops and research or make something using one of our facts. We will also use reindeer to help us learn about the different parts of animals, using facts to help us identify verbs and nouns. As a class, we will create our own Keynote on all our reindeer/caribou facts! It will be a fun-filled factual week. At the end of it, we'll create a recipe for reindeer food! Even though they'll get a few weeks early, save it for Christmas night! Sprinkle it outside for the reindeer to find their way to your house!
This week we journeyed to The Netherlands (or Holland) and learned some very fun facts! Our journey took us through the country to see fields and fields of Tulips. I have been lucky enough to journey there myself, so I got to show them real pictures and share my experiences. We saw windmills both old and new and talked about why they were made. When we journeyed into the city, we saw that the buildings were all built very close to one another. In the past, they used to pay for the width of a building not the height or length. I showed them pictures of the dutch people moving in their belongings through their window (yes!!) with a pulley and ladder system. I saw it in real life and I was just amazed! We talked about how many of the dutch in the cities get around by bike (hardly any cars) and by water taxis or boat. I showed them how they make cheese and wooden clogs (a staple there) as well as shared some other food (donuts, pickled herring). They really enjoyed the trip! We made tulip hand print paintings. This visit was prompted by reading Gingerbread Baby, where we used our retelling skills to help retell this rather difficult story using words like in the beginning, next and then and at the end.