Friday, April 22, 2016

What Else is New?

I know it has been a while since I have posted on my blog.  Many parents have shared with me that they would rather see things on our Facebook page than read my blog.  I understand. Life seems to be  all about quick and easy information.  But if this information helps one parent know more about his/her child's education, than it is important to share in my mind.

So here is a quick rundown of some of that activities that have been going on in 3B:

Writing:  We have been discussing and learning about different ways authors can write nonfiction pieces.  Whether it is in question/answer format, chapters, alphabet book, or told from viewpoint of an animal or object, writers need to think about how they would like to share their writing.  After reading many different model texts, students are now working on a nonfiction piece of their own in which they will select the format in which to share their learning.  Currently, students are researching a topic of their choice.  I am please to see that the students are gaining an understanding (not perfect, but the basic idea) about referencing their research and how to write notes.  There has been so much progress since the beginning of the year in writing.  It is kind of amazing to me!

Literacy:  I love the excitement that continues to grow from book clubs!  It is not uncommon to hear a group that has recently finished a book ask when they can start a new one!  I absolutely love the conversations and deep thinking that happen during their discussions.  I am a little sad, to be honest, about some students continually forgetting to read or record their thoughts for book clubs.  It has become a little bit of a problem lately, even though it is only a few students.  Let's keep reading these awesome books and building our reading skills and strategies.
     Some of the skills and strategies we have been working on or recently focused on were analogies, recognizing mood of a story, genre types, and visualizations.  Besides book clubs, we continue to slide in guided reading with other literature pieces that are shorter so students can focus on a specific skill or strategy.
     Students will be creating video blog post for their most recent book club. These are called "vlogs".   Stay tuned for information on when these will be posted to their blogs.

Social Studies:  Oh my how the students love social studies!!!  They can't get enough.  We are currently learning about the early civilizations of the Powhatan and Cahokia, as well as moving towards the settlement of Jamestown and the Boston Tea Party.    With all this nonfiction reading, we also focus on various reading strategies such as using context clues to determine word meaning and determining important information.

Math:  Everyone should have brought home his/her most recent math assessment on fractions. If you, parents, have not seen it, you need to ask your 3B child where it is.   This was a tough unit.  It was important for students to demonstrate an understanding of reading and writing fractions.  Most of the students can do this with great success.  We will continue to work on writing improper fractions into mix numbers and vice versa as this can be difficult.  I have also spoke to the students about effort in story problems.  Many students need to remind themselves to ask themselves what is the question asking.  It is not about finishing the problem quickly, but recognizing what the problem is asking and determining the best way to solve it.  
     We are now moving into multiplying large numbers!  We will also get back into our routine for multiplication facts as all the assessments we have had last week and this week have really tampered with our schedules.

As you can see, we are very busy.  The students and I joke that we need more time in the day as the day just flies by.  It is hard for me to believe the year is wrapping to an end in a month.  I really don't want to give up my 3B family......such great kids!!!


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