Thank you for your help with all of the new changes last week. The students did a great job filling in their reading logs. Please remind your child to underline the title of the book he/she read. The word wall homework moving to the binders went well, too. I know it's tempting to have your child do all of the word wall homework in one night, but please spread it out over the course of the week. (The students did a great job remembering to move all the word wall homework to their folders on Thursday night. It was a big help!)
Reading : All of the students have a firm grasp on the difference between 'real reading' and 'fake reading.' (See the post below for explanations of those terms.) At any point during a book, you should be able to ask your child what he/she is thinking and he/she should be able to tell you something that he/she was thinking about the book. This could be a prediction, a connection to something in his/her life, a question, or simply a judgment of a character's behavior. At this point, all thinking is good thinking. We'll work on making thinking more purposeful and focused in the coming weeks.
This week, we're going to learn about schema and how it can help us when we read. Schema is what you know about a given topic. For example, I have a lot of schema about the snow. I know that it has to be cold to snow, that snow is white, that you can use it to make a snowman, that snow comes from the clouds, that snow plows have to clear the street, that if there's enough snow you might have no school, etc. So, if I read a book and it's snowing in the book, I know certain things that the characters might do because I already know a lot about snow. I'll use my schema about snow to help me understand the book.
Writing : Our how-to unit is really going well! The students love being the experts and teaching other people how to do various things. This week we'll work on adding in lots of detail and warnings for potential problems/pitfalls that the reader may face. Toward the end of the week, we'll start the process of publishing our how-to books.
Math : We're going to finish off unit 4 this week by discussing math facts. From now on, we'll be doing a lot more work in the classroom with math facts in an effort to develop students' math fact power.
Science : We used our senses last week to describe snow. We also learned about the difference between a blizzard (which we had over winter break) and a snow storm (which we had last Friday). This week, we'll learn about the water cycle.
Extras : Thank you to all of you who volunteered to come in and help us out with math on Fridays. I will be setting up the schedule some time this week and will let you know when I've scheduled you to come in.
Here are picture of 1-Bu making close observations about the snow: