Here's what we've been working on in the classroom recently:
Reading : Last week, we finished learning about all of the reading strategy animals that we're going to learn at this point in the year. In addition to the other animals that I have mentioned previously, the students learned about Skippy the Skip-It Frog and Hoot the Owl of Many Questions. Skippy says that one way to try and figure out a tricky word is to skip over the word, read the rest of the sentence, and then go back and try to figure out what makes sense. Hoot goes along very well with Skippy because Hoot says that once you figure out a tricky word you should always ask yourself if it makes sense and if it looks right.
As your child is reading at home, please suggest various strategies for your child to use when decoding unknown words. Adults often say "sound it out," but that is only one of the many strategies that we have learned. Depending on the word, have your child find a smaller word within the bigger word, look at the picture, get his/her mouth ready by saying the first sound, skip over the word and see what makes sense, etc. It is important that your child is making sense of his/her reading and using his/her understanding of the text as one tool to figure out tricky words (rather than relying just on phonics).
Read Alouds : We're currently in the middle of doing a Mo Willems author study. We started by reading Mo Willems' Pigeon books and then we moved on to his Knuffle Bunny series. Next week, we will start working on his Elephant and Piggie books. The students LOVE Mo Willems and are always excited to read his books. I have a feeling there may be a few Elephant and Piggie book requests in your future. :)
Writing : At the beginning of last week, we continued working on our small moment writing unit by learning about how to stretch a small moment across pages. Then, we took a break for a few days to work on a fun writing project. Since the students have been enjoying Mo Willems' books so much, they are working on creating their own Knuffle Bunny stories with a partner. They're using all they know about Mo Willems' writing style to create new stories that fit right in line with the rest of the Knuffle Bunny books. You'll be able to see them out in the hall when you stop by for conferences in a couple of weeks.
Math : Last week, the students worked on solving open response math problems for a couple of days. We've been taking an in depth look at various kinds of number stories and how to solve them. Last week, it was all about finding the unknowns. While many of the students struggled at first, they've come up with some great strategies, as a class, to successfully solve these types of problems.
After that, we focused on using the number line to skip count, add, and subtract. We'll build on this knowledge by incorporating the number line as a strategy to use to solve number stories.
Social Studies : As I mentioned at the top of this post, the students have been learning about the history behind Thanksgiving. So far, we've focused mainly on the Pilgrims' point of view. We'll focus on it from the Native Americans' point of view this week.
Computers : Last week the students created their own Google docs! They successfully logged into their own Google accounts and have started working on a Google doc titled 'All About Me.' The students' favorite part last week was taking pictures of themselves to include in their Google docs.
Here are some pictures of 1-Bu last week :