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Teaching and Learning Update
Teaching and Learning Update
Brian Ackerman
Friday, February 08, 2019

Another Learning Filled Week!

Keeping Up With Kindergarten

Dear Families,

It has been another exciting week here in Kindergarten! We celebrated the 100th Day with a visit from Zero the Hero… your very own Mrs. Lakeway and Ms. Staruch! We spent the day counting our hundred steps around the school, sharing our projects, making predictions and putting 100 stickers on Ten frames! It was a blast!

During Math Workshop, along with review of our math facts, we also began reviewing our teen numbers. We listened to the Harry Kindergarten learning video “Numbers in the teens have a group of Ten” to understand why teen numbers start with one. We worked on numbers 11-17. We will finish up 18 &19 next week!

Reading and Writing Workshop has been very busy in Mrs. Lakeway’s class. We continued to learn about the seasons and used these facts to inspire our writing! Our task was to pick a season for the setting of our new narrative. Then students could create a beginning, middle and end around different events that typically happen during that season! We finished our story maps this week and will begin writing the narrative next week!

Ms. Staruch’s class has been working hard on writing some fiction stories! After studying the Forest last week, the setting of our story is the forest! We made up our own characters and thought about what they were doing in the beginning, what problem happened to them in the middle, and how they solved their problem in the end.

This week’s/Last week’s Sight Words: into, white, there, came, eat, yes

This week’s/Last week’s Fundations Letters: S, T, U, V, & W

Learning and Fun in Grade One!

What a week it has been!!!! Our beloved Patriots won the Super Bowl again!!! Grade One prepared for the Super Bowl by dressing in red, white, and blue, reading with our fifth grade buddies, making predictions and graphing them, creating banners, listening to High Flying 2 by Julian Edelman (we all loved the GOAT in the story!!!) and doing some Collins Type II writing about how we celebrated Super Bowl Sunday. Our FCA’s (Focus Correction Areas) were an opening sentence, two or more details, and a concluding sentence.

We could hardly believe the 100th Day arrived on Wednesday! Wow, time sure does fly in grade one! The 100th Day brought quite an assortment of senior citizens (centenarians) to our classrooms. The children honored the 100th day by dressing up and writing about being 100 (what they’d look like, dress like, what they’d eat and what they’d do all day). We also discovered different ways to make 100, along with some 100th Day challenges ie, being silent for 100 seconds (seemed like forever), staring for 100 seconds, how many times they could write their name in 100 seconds, reading a poem that had 100 words and reading stories about 100, just to name a few.

On Monday, we went outside to discern if there was a difference between dropping our parachutes inside and/or outside. They were also dropped from different heights. It was an experiment that was enjoyed by all (and the weather was quite cooperative – 60 degrees!). After this experiment, students were asked how a parachute interacts with air – here are some of the responses:

“The air pushes up into the canopy and makes the parachute fall slower.”

“The wind blows the parachute sideways and even up higher.”

“With more passengers, the parachute goes down faster because it is heavier.”

Wow, first graders have learned quite a bit about air and air resistance.

In Math we began our unit on adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. This is proving to be challenging for some of our first graders. It is important that students remember to always begin adding/subtracting from the ones place. Be sure to monitor/practice this concept at home.

As the flu season is in full swing, we are washing the desks and spraying with Lysol each day to keep the germs at bay. We hope all our families stay well and healthy. Have a wonderful weekend.

What's New in Grade Two

On Wednesday, we celebrated the 100th day of school!

One of the writing tasks that we worked on asked the children to finish the sentence "If I had $100..." We are so impressed with the way that our second grade mathematicians split up their $100. In addition, it was heart warming to see how many of our friends would give money to those that are less fortunate. Enjoy these writing samples.

*If I had $100, I would give $50 dollars for pets like dogs and cats. I would use $25 to buy stuff for kids that don't have any toys. I'd save the other $25 for another time.

*If I had $100, I would get three turtles for 30 bucks and give 50 dollars to St. Jude's Hospital for kids. Plus I would get one magic bunny for 20 bucks. That is what I would do if I had 100 dollars.

*If I had $100, I would spend $50 on Legos, $30 on candy, and give away $20.

*If I had $100, I would save $90 for college. With the extra money I would get a dog for $10.

*If I had $100, I would spend $10 for charity. Also, I would spend $30 of it for a car. A gift card for Dunkin Donuts would be $35. Also, I would get a water bottle and it would be $25.

*If I had $100, I would give $20 to the poor. I would get a lot and lot of markers for $20. I would buy Legos for $20. I would give $40 to my mom.

Thank you for everything you do at home.

Have a great weekend!

THRILLS IN THIRD

Our third graders have continued to be very busy learners lately. In Math we have begun our study of division. We have learned several strategies to help us understand how division is related to the other mathematical operations that we already know. Students have also discovered that knowledge of their multiplication tables makes solving division equations much easier. Students continue to do an excellent job mastering their multiplication facts. Thank you to all of our families for studying nightly at home! In Writing we have focused on constructed responses in both Math and Science. Students have been working hard following a writing “recipe” that guides them through the components of a well-written response. This week in particular we have focused on how to edit and revise writing. Looking at rubrics and exemplars of student writing has helped students to understand more clearly what the elements of proficient writing look like and how to improve their own writing. We have seen amazing progress with every student’s writing and are very proud of their accomplishments. We continue to work through our integrated unit in Reading, Science and Social Studies. Students are doing an excellent job strengthening their reading skills utilizing materials from the ARC program and are learning new research skills each day as they focus on various research questions related to the different natural disasters they are studying. Students are also enjoying reading a book from the I Survived series as a class to connect our nonfiction learning to literature. We look forward to another week of learning and fun with our third graders! Have a wonderful weekend!

Learning More in Grade 4

Students in 4th grade have been writing up a storm! They have been writing 5 paragraph essays about scorpions. Putting all of the facts they have learned into organized paragraphs has been a challenge, but they are improving. They also finished taking notes on a specific animal they have researched. Next week, they will begin writing books based on these creatures! They have been looking forward to that part.

They have been learning about Rhode Island and taking notes on our great little state. We have looked up some basic facts and read about Roger Williams, the founder. They wrote a story based on a book we read, called Finding Providence, but from a different point of view. These are always fun to share!

The children have become amazing dividers in the last 2 weeks! They are now able to complete problems with long division. They have been practicing a lot and it is getting easier. They are beginning to see how important their fact fluency is!

Next week, the students in 4th grade will begin reviewing magnets. They are going to do an experiment that will test which types of materials will be attracted to a magnet, and learn about magnetic fields. Experiments are always fun!

The Fabulous Five

In Reading Workshop, we continue with our Poetry Unit where the students have been analyzing poems for symbolism, point of view, and author’s message or intent. We have moved on from making concrete meaning of poems to unpacking symbolic language in a poem. Ask your child about “The Lighthouse” poem that we read and discussed in class and to explain how the interpretation of this poem can have more than one message and symbolic intent. As we move through our poetry unit, we are using our critical thinking skills and deepening our understanding about author’s message through our written responses.

We continued our study of decimals to include division of decimal numbers by whole numbers. The students noted the similarities in the process of dividing decimals by whole numbers to dividing whole numbers. They learned the newest element in the process is knowing where to place the decimal in the quotient. This week, we also focused on strengthening our problem solving skills with a strong emphasis on perseverance. We reviewed the 4-Step Method of problem solving and added to that the requirement of explaining your mathematical thinking in writing to demonstrate how you solved the problem.

In Social Studies, we are concluding our unit on the Exploration of the New World. The students are currently working on their explorer projects in small groups. The project consists of following in the footsteps of an explorer and to research the life of the explorer and what he accomplished through his journey. Each group will design a board game that will teach about their explorer to another group when they play the game. Students are also required to write a daily journal of the experiences endured from the point of view of the explorer they are studying. The students are very excited to teach their classmates about their explorer through their board games.

The 5th grade students have been investigating the relationship between salt-solution concentration and density. Students worked with four salt solutions, each dyed a different color. Working with partners, they attempted to layer all four solutions in a clear drinking straw. This required them to discover the successive densities of the four solutions, as well as the succession of concentration. There efforts resulted in a colorful display as they discovered that the more concentrated the salt solution, the more dense it is.

Thank you for continuing to be our partners in education. Have a wonderful weekend.