January 10, 2020
Happy New Year and welcome back! I LOVE January. It’s my favorite month of the school year. The excitement of the holidays is behind us, the students know the classroom routine, and their skills improve at an amazing rate this month. The students are having fun learning and we get to do fun projects.
This week we are going to be very busy. On Monday, the 7th grade is going to come in and help us build umbrellas for our STEAM lesson. On Tuesday, students will make their Lego backgrounds for the upcoming penguin stories, and we are learning a lot about numbers and words.
I added a few activities to our morning calendar routine. Students are learning about “perimeter”. I changed the background to look like grid paper, add a square or rectangle of varying sizes and then we measure the length of the sides of the shape and figure out its perimeter. We continue to work on math vocabulary words. We are reviewing the terms- quadrilateral, polygon, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, plane shapes and solids. As part of our upcoming geometry unit students are learning how to draw 3 D shapes and learning new vocabulary words such as vertex, vertices, faces, corners, and edges. We are also working with clocks daily and practicing telling time to the hour and half hour. Here’s a suggestion for an activity to do at home: Go on a clock hunt. How many clocks do you have in your house? Are they analog or digital? Practice reading the time on both types of clocks. Ask questions about elapsed time. For example, if I go to soccer practice and 3:00 pm and I am done at 5:00 pm how many hours did I practice? Another good skill is to estimate how much time something takes. Then time your child doing that task.
We finished chapter 6 in our math book. Students completed a chapter test, unit test, and the Cumulative test for volume 2 of our math books. I will send them home soon so you can see how your child did.
I added a few skills to our morning calendar routine. Students are learning about syllables and suffixes. They are learning to identify past, present and future in words we use. Here’s how you can help at home. Watch this video with your child. Point out the dots between the syllables in words on the video. Look words up in a dictionary. See how the syllables are broken apart. Clap, stomp, chomp, and have fun!
The suffixes your child is learning are ed and ing. Here’s an example using the base word walk. I am going to walk to the store. (walk is the base word-tells what I will do in the future). I am walking to the store. (added an ing to the base word walk- this tells what I am doing right now, in the present). I walked to the store. (added ed to the end. This tells something I already did in the past).
We continue to work on skills in small reading groups. We are working on fluency and learning new words through context clues.
We practiced retelling the story of Tacky the Penguin. Students identified the characters in the story and where the story took place. They also had to identify the problem Tacky and his companions were facing and how they solved the problem in the end. This week students will practice writing their own narrative using a penguin as the main character. They will build their story setting out of Legos and place a Lego penguin which they have already built into the scene. Then they will write an original story of their own.
We began a new spelling book this week. Students will be completing lessons daily in class. There is no list to study or practice at home.
I wish you could have seen the excitement in the room over flashlights and shadows. It was a really fun lesson! A little chaotic but a lot of fun. I love hearing the giggles and laughter when it’s linked with learning. Let’s hope for the same success when making tiny umbrellas.
Have a good week.