Here's what we were working on in the classroom last week:
Reading : Last week, we started learning about fluency. In the classroom, we say that reading books fluently means reading with a 'storytelling voice.' We went over two important aspects of fluency - smooth reading and giving the characters different voices. Even if you get stuck on a tricky word, once you figure out the tricky word, you should go back to the beginning of the sentence and re-read the whole sentence in order to make your reading smooth.
Author Study : We've just about finished up an author study on Frank Asch. The students enjoyed reading all of his bear stories, as they think the bear is very silly.
Writing : We're currently working on various ways to add details into our writing. Last week, we spoke about adding the weather, number words, size words, and shape words into our writing. We also made a point of talking about how each of these details may not necessarily be important in every single writing piece. For example, we would only describe the weather if it were an important aspect in that particular story.
Math : We had another big week in math last week. We learned about how to figure out the rule in a frames and arrows problem, how to skip count on a calculator, and how to count dimes. Please continue to practice counting combinations of dimes, nickels, and pennies at home!
Handwriting : At this point, we have gone over most of the letters in the alphabet and I expect the students to be forming their letters correctly. If you notice your child forming a letter incorrectly when he/she is doing homework, please draw attention to it and have him/her correct it.
Phonics : This week we will be focusing on our fourth short vowel sound, the short e. While I don't expect the students to be perfect every time, at this point they should be able to differentiate between the regular short vowel sounds for a, i, and u. We do hand movements in school to practice these sounds. Ask your child what they are for short a, e, i, and u. (A sheet explaining these hand motions will be going in your child's binder once we review the short o next week.)
Science : Last week we continued our short science unit on the weather. We'll be finishing it up at the beginning of this week by talking about the water cycle. Then, we'll be diving into our next science unit - objects in the sky. We got a preview of this unit when we visited the Discovery Lab on Friday. We used globes and flashlights to model how day and night occur.
Odds and Ends : Please keep in mind that next Friday, December 21st is a 12:45pm dismissal day.
Here are some pictures