Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Handwriting-  In handwriting today, the class used our little personal whiteboards to practice correct letter formation as they wrote some of the more challenging spelling words from list 8.  We talked out controlling our handwriting, keeping the letters on the line (no hovercrafts!), and letting the letters reach up and touch the lines that they need to touch.  Sometimes, as children learn to write, they mix lower and uppercase letters throughout their words.  I am working to help break that habit!  For fun, the class also learned a short song to help them spell Halloween!

Writing- The kids shared their writing assignments, "The Best Halloween Ever".  Each of them really went above and beyond with this one!  We compared the length of their stories, handwriting, capital letters, and punctuation to their earlier writing papers.  I that seeing how far they have come helps motivate them for  further improvement!

"Make & Do" - In art today, Ms. Bev taught a lesson about negative and positive space.  They looked at different books by Eric Carle, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Lonely Firefly, and others.  In these books, Carle creates the illustrations from a collage of colored paper.  The children made collages using tissue paper today.  Hopefully, the lesson on space and collage will "stick"!

History- In history today, Ms. Jennifer finished up her side discussion on the election process!  The kids each took turns in the voting booth, casting their ballots.  They reviewed the information they have learned in class about voting, political parties, and presidents!

Math-  The students have been learning new strategies for mental addition and subtraction.  I explained to the kids that these strategies are just like having "tools" in their mental toolbox.  Sometimes you come upon a problem that needs a wrench.  Some problems need a hammer.  Some need a screwdriver.  By learning different addition and subtraction strategies, they will hopefully be able to apply them to math problems in order to mentally calculate them in the easiest way possible!  Today, they learned a method for subtracting a single digit number from a two digit number, when the single digit is larger than the ones in the double digit number.  For instance, in the video lesson at home, the kids learned that you can subtract 14-2 without having to worry at all about the tens.  The 4 is large enough that they can simple subtract 2, and then plug the tens group back into the answer.  4-2=2, so 14-2=12.  However, this strategy doesn't work for problems such as 16-8=__.  A method for mentally calculating problems such as this one is to subtract the 8 from the ten.  10-8 =2.  Then, just add the 2 to the ones that were untouched.  2+6=8.  So, 16-8=8.  I posted a video of today's lesson so that parents can get a feel for the concept.

Spanish- Ms. Rose incorporated a review of Spanish shapes and the Spanish names for facial features into a Halloween Jack-o-Lantern activity!  The kids created Jack-o-Lanterns, labeling the shapes used and the part of the face, in Spanish!

Science-  Ms. Caroline taught a biology lesson today on the first chapter in their biology book.  They worked through an activity where they came up with different chores, and had to think through a list of materials needed for each chore.  When they think of washing the dishes, they seldom think of all of the things needed to wash them: soap, water, dishes, a rag or sponge, water, a sink or basin, a towel, a well to pump the water or access to public water, and so on.  In science, it is important for children to think beyond the obvious and truly think of the resources needed and the "why's" of things!

Language Arts- The students reviewed proper and common nouns, specifically the months of the year and days of the week.  They also learned about root words and suffixes.  If took a while, but the whole class was shouting out root words in no time!  In addition, the class learned that usually, when a word is divided into syllables, a vowel that is in the middle of the syllable makes a short vowel sound while a vowel on the end of a syllable makes a long vowel sound.  We read aloud together and discussed the passage from their Tiptoes book. 

It was a fun, wild, crazy, action packed day today!

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