This Week at Winsor

Classroom Updates

Keeping Up With Kindergarten

What a great week! We are all trying to stay focused and work hard before the Christmas excitement kicks in!

In Mrs. Lakeway’s Reader’s Workshop, we are still focusing on Retelling a story. We are learning how to identify the main idea and the details that help make the story interesting. We are thinking about the concept of main idea/details like a pizza. The crust and cheese is the main idea and the toppings are the details. We have practiced this during our Guided Reading time and Independent Reading time.

In Ms. Staruch’s class we have been reading and writing about the past and present and how things change over time. We have been reading detectives and taken a close look at the fiction texts Four Seasons Make a Year and The Little House. We retold both of the stories and then completed a Venn Diagram to compare the two. In writing last week we wrote a personal narrative about something that happened when we were little and this week we have been writing about something that is happening in our lives now.

During Math Workshop, we have begun composing numbers. We are really trying to help strengthen our student's number sense. Shake and Spill has been a fun game to help us figure out different combinations of numbers. We have explored ways to make numbers 1-10. Ask your child to share these different ways!

During Social Studies, we have begun discussing different holidays around the world. The students love finding the different countries on a map!

This week’s/Last week’s sight words: have, was, by, he, she, they,

This week’s/Last week’s FUNdations Letters: z & q. Capital A-G.

Learning and Fun in Grade One!

It is hard to believe that we are already in the second week of December!! These next couple of weeks promise to be extremely busy for our first grade elves.

Speaking of elves, the children of grade one welcomed their elf on the shelf to their class last week. Students in both classes voted on their elf’s name. Can you believe that Jingle is in 1D and Jingle is in 1K! These elves have been keeping a watchful eye on our classes and report to Santa each and every night.

In Math, we are continuing to learn the various subtraction strategies to 20. These past couple of weeks, we focused on making 10 to subtract, related facts, fact families, subtracting doubles, missing addends, and problem solving. Be sure to review these strategies with your child at home along with knowing their doubles facts to 20.

We have begun Unit 7 in Fundations. This past week, we learned new glued sounds – ang, -ing, -ong, and ung. Future glued sounds in this unit will be –ank, -ink, -onk, -unk. The Fundations Unit 7 parent packet will be sent home early next week.

Our firstie elves are also working hard on top secret friendship poems for their classmates. These poems are so heartfelt and special. They are the children’s holiday gift to each other.

Also, we are most thankful for the donations to the Gingerbread Express in 1D and the nursing home donations in 1K. Keep the nursing home donations coming in. 1K will be making up their goodies bags next week. These holiday gifts are only possible through your kindness and generosity.

Lastly, we would like to thank you all for meeting with us and discussing your child’s progress and performance in first grade during parent/teacher conferences. The home/school connection is most important to aid in your child’s education. Remember, we are partners in your child’s education.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the countdown to Christmas – it comes ever so quickly!!! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

What's New in Grade Two

With a little bit of holiday flare, we strengthened our ability to identify, sort, and brainstorm different parts of speech. As a team, we brainstormed different nouns, verbs, and adjectives that we associate with December. We used those ideas to create stockings or hot chocolate mugs. All of the nouns were written on green, adjectives on yellow, and verbs on pink. The hallway is now full of ELA cheer!

As mathematicians, we are working on solving equations with several addends. We are applying our prior knowledge of sums of ten, doubles, and place value/expanded form to make the math easier. In order to solve more complex problems, these addition and subtraction facts must be solved mentally. Therefore, it is extremely important that your second grader(s) practice their addition and subtraction facts daily!

As always, thank you for everything that you do at home!

Happy Holiday Season!

Thrills in Third

It has been another exciting week in 3rd grade! We traveled to Australia and Sweden for our Holidays Around the World. Ask your children about an interesting tradition from each country. We have also continued our study of strategies to solve multiplication and division problems. The children are becoming very proficient with these. They continue to work on multiplication fluency as well. Please help your child practice at home to help move them through the fluency tests. We look forward to another fun week next week. We will be traveling to Mexico and Israel and doing more fun holiday activities! Have a nice weekend!

Learning More in Grade Four

The children began our next math chapter. Students will be exploring division using basic facts, place value, compatible numbers, and area models. This way of looking at division and solving long division problems is different from the way most of us learned how to divide. Upcoming homework may not always reflect what we do in class because we don’t want to stress anyone out!!

We kicked off Trimester 2 with nonfiction reading. This week, students learned about text structures. We started with description. A description piece explains/describes a topic using main idea and details. After reading how other writers write descriptive pieces, students practiced writing their own descriptive pieces. We will continue with this format as we explore the rest of the structures.

Spirit Week is next week. Everyone got a notice on Tuesday with information for each day. The 4th grade will have an afternoon celebration on Thursday. Students are asked to bring a special snack and exchange cards if they’d like. We sent the students home with class lists today!

The Fabulous Five

As we continue with our informational text unit, the focus in reading workshop has been on text structure of an informational text. This week we concentrated on interpreting cause and effect relationships within a text. The students worked in their guided reading groups and read text that required them to identify cause and effect relationships within a text and how each is related to the chain of events. The students then presented their findings in the story by sharing their cause and effect chain of events chart which helped them explain their thinking. Ask your child to share their chart with you and explain what they learned.

In math, the students extended their study of decimals to include multiplication. They explored more about rounding and compatible numbers when multiplying decimals and whole numbers, particularly as it applies to real-world situations. They also practiced with the standard algorithm to multiply decimals. They realized that they begin by multiplying as they would with whole numbers and then identify where to place the decimal in the product. The students continue to gain strategies and skills that will help them deconstruct multi-step word problems. We are working on identifying important information that will be necessary to solve the problem, as well as key words that tell us which operations to use. Most importantly, we are focusing on being able to explain our mathematical thinking.

We have begun our informational writing unit in Writer’s Workshop. The students are very excited to research and write about a famous person in their biographies. Organization is a key skill that they are working on, and they used an organizer to record their research and to help them plan out their writing piece. We also have created FCA’s (Focus Correction Areas) for our informational writing pieces. The students are required to utilize these FCA’s in their writing pieces so that their writing will be coherent, related to purpose, and appropriate to task and audience.

Our new science investigations have us working with mixtures and solutions. The students have learned that the combination of two or more materials constitutes a mixture and that every mixture can be separated. They are creating mixtures and experimenting with various methods as they attempt to separate them. They are finding that different methods are effective for separating mixtures with different properties.

In social studies we continue to study the Ice Age. We watched a video called, “The Pleistocene Age,” and then the students worked in partners to analyze the impact of the last ice age on prehistoric life in the video. Students were required to research an “ice age giant” with these guiding questions:

What did your animal need to survive? What do you think its life was like during the Ice Age? Do you think your animal survived the Ice Age or did it become extinct? Why or why not? The students will present their ice age giant projects in a museum gallery walk in the classroom.

We wish all our families a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!!