Reading : We finished up our decoding strategies last week by meeting the last decoding strategy animal, Skippy the Skip-It Frog. (See previous posts for more background information.) Skippy 'skips' over words he doesn't know, reads to the end of the sentence, and tries to figure out what would make sense. This is a great strategy to use when students are really stuck, and it is often one that they don't think to use themselves.
After we learned about Skippy, we spent some time going over the importance of making sense out of reading. Sometimes using decoding strategies leads us to say very silly sounding words that don't make sense at all. Our job, as the reader, is to use multiple strategies to figure out tricky words so that the word we come up with makes sense. I would much prefer that students come up with a word that makes sense (but isn't exactly the word they were trying to decode) than for them to try and sound out a word and come up with a nonsense word. The whole point of reading is to make sense out of text, regardless of what you are reading (a book, a shopping list, a street sign, an email, etc).
Writing : Last week, we learned about a few more steps in the writing process - adding the words and re-reading our writing to make sure it makes sense. The next thing we'll be working on is adding details to make our writing more clear.
Math : Last week, we spent lots of time working on various kinds of shape and number patterns and odd and even numbers. We also learned a new math game called Before and After. It was a tough game to learn, so we played in partnerships a few times. This game will be going into your child's binder some time this week.
Science : We started learning a little bit about the weather last week. Ask your child what controls the weather. (The answer is the sun.) On Friday, during a Discovery Lab lesson with Mrs. Crawford, we went outside to measure the wind speed.
Odds and Ends : Please remember that this Wednesday, November 21st, is a 12:45pm dismissal. There will be no lunch that day, but we will have a 'snunch' about half way through the day. (If you don't know what a snunch is, ask your child.)
Report Cards : Report cards will come home on Monday, November 26th. We will discuss your child's report card at his/her parent teacher conference, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 27th or Thursday, November 29th. Please let me know as soon as possible if something comes up and you will not be able to make your scheduled time.
Here are some pictures from last week: