Reading : We continued learning about decoding strategies in reading. (See the post below this one for some background information and to learn about the strategies we learned prior to last week.) Last week, we learned two new animals to help us remember two new reading strategies.
Slither the Sound-It-Out Snake sounds out tricky words one sound at a time. He starts at the beginning of a word and goes through the word sound-by-sound, all the way to the end. In class, we spoke a lot about how Slither tends to make words sound funny and that we have to be careful to make sure a word makes sense before we read on.
Chunk the Skunk looks at tricky words and finds chunks that he can read. Then, he tries to piece together the chunks to figure out the word. Once again, Chunk the Skunk sometimes makes words sound funny, so we have to be careful to make sure the word makes sense.
Writing : Last week we continued working on our Small Moments writing unit and focused on the beginning of the writing process. (Please see the post below this one for background information on this writing unit.) The quality of the students' writing pieces has gotten remarkably better as we've learned about the ways that good writers approach writing. Before the students even get paper, they know that they should come up with an idea for a writing piece and 'tell their story across their fingers.' This forces the students to begin to organize their thoughts and plan out exactly what they are going to say.
At home, please keep working on oral storytelling with your child. This is a great way for your child to practice organizing his/her experiences into stories that others can understand.
Math : We finished up our second math unit last week by spending some time learning about addition and subtraction number models. We talked about the differences between addition and subtraction (and the plus and minus sign). We also learned a new math game, called High Roller. The directions about how to play this game will go in your child's binder early this week.
You can work on number models at home by giving your child a word problem and having him/her represent it with a number model. For example, take this word problem: 'John had five apples and he gave two apples away, how many apples does he have now?' The students are working on drawing a picture of the word problem and then representing the problem with a number model. For the example I gave, drawing a picture of five apples and then crossing out two apples (to show that three apples are left) would be a good picture representation. And then a number model of 5 - 2 = 3 would be correct.
Social Studies : Last week we took a little bit of a break from our recent geography unit to talk about the presidential election. We tried really hard to learn about electoral votes, but I think the concept is a little over their heads at this point.
Odds and Ends : Once your child finishes his/her word wall homework on Thursday nights, please remind him/her to take the homework out of the binder and put it in his/her home folder. It makes things a lot easier on Friday morning at school. Thanks!
Here are some pictures from last week: