Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 10

It's hard to believe that October is coming to a close and November is right around the corner. We've had a great first 9 weeks of school and are really rolling and building a sense of community. This week in language arts, we had a review week. We reviewed the letters Pp and Ss. We introduced 3 new sight words this week, "had", "on" and "that".  Our focus book was Simon and Molly Plus Hester. We have been working on extending small moments in our writing. After drawing a picture in our writing journal, we are learning to write about who is in the picture, what is happening and where it took place. This helps extend our writing from one sentence to many sentences. Several students have started writing pages in their journals daily. This is a very exciting time for them. We read the books Good Night Moon and Good Night Goon and compared the two. We also listened for rhyming words.

In science, we learned about the three types of energy: heat, light and sound. We have already learned how heat can change the physical properties of matter. We learned about light this week. We talked about sources of light that are both natural and man-made and we sorted objects that produced light and those that do not produce light in our science journals.

We read the story The Very Lonely Firefly and learned that a firefly is a natural form of light. We enjoyed simulating fireflies with our glow sticks. 

We learned that sound is another form of energy and that sound puts off a force that is a vibration. We loved making sound with our noisemakers. We also used a tuning fork to hear the vibrations. We saw the vibrations a balloon makes when the air is let out too and thought that this was very funny.

We had a lot of fun carving our pumpkin and taking out the "guts". We couldn't decide if we wanted a happy or scary face, so we did both.

We read the book Too Many Pumpkins and we learned about the pumpkin life cycle.

And we had fun creating a craft of what is inside a pumpkin.

In math, we reviewed the numbers one through 10 and practiced by making our own snake and mice to practice counting from the book, Mouse Counts

We also began working on our numbers in the teens. We made something called a Rekenrek that will help us practice learning combinations and different ways to visualize mathematical thinking. Rekenreks are used to help develop addition and subtraction strategies, such as doubling or finding near doubles as well as thinking in terms of 5's and 10's instead of counting from one each time or counting on in addition and subtraction. Students improve their ability to regroup numbers when solving addition and subtraction problems. We had fun representing our teen numbers with these. 

We enjoyed reading the book, 12 Ways to Make 11, to help us learn different number combinations. 

I enjoyed seeing many of you at the Hill Carnival. What beautiful weather! Thank you for coming out to support our school.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Week 9

We continued our unit on pumpkins. Mrs. Langham read us a story called The Orange House. As she read the story about a witch that needs to find a home for the winter and finds an orange piece of paper, she cut out a door and windows for the witch and made a roof. The children were amazed that when she opened up the house; it was shaped like a pumpkin. Don't you love how easily amused they can be sometimes? 

Our focus book in language arts was called Friends All Around. This story taught us how many children around the world play the same games that we do. Our letter of the week was Pp. Penelope Pig helped us to learn the sound that Pp makes.

We learned the sight words "a" and "an" and learned when to use each. We sorted pictures according to the rule we learned and refreshed ourselves on vowels and consonants.

We also learned that a noun is a person, place, thing or animal and a verb is an action word or something you can do. Here are some examples that we sorted in class together.

In math, we worked on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. We are getting pretty good at counting and letting the snake know how many mice are in our jar.

We really enjoyed working in our new math centers too.

We also discussed symmetry and had fun painting symmetrical pumpkins. We painted just one side of the paper and folded it in half. We rubbed the paper to make the left side exactly the same as the right side. This display is outside our classroom. We have received many compliments.

We also enjoyed our pumpkin centers. We measured the height of pumpkins using unifix cubes.

We measured the circumference of pumpkins.

We counted the lines on the pumpkins.

We counted popsicles sticks and matched them to the corresponding numbers on the pumpkins.

We estimated how many unifix cubes were in the jar. There were 46. Carla was the closest with a guess of 50.

We measured how many pumpkins tall we were.

We practiced counting to 100 using 1 to 1 correspondence while counting with pumpkin erasers on the 100's chart.

And we predicted to see if a pumpkin would sink or float. Only 2 people guessed correctly. It floated!

In science, we studied about how changing the temperature of an object can change it from a solid to a liquid or from a liquid to a solid. We did an experiment called melting pots. We tested ice, butter, a crayon, a chocolate chip, a toothpick and a birthday candle by placing them in the sun.

In the sun, the ice, butter and chocolate chip melted.

Mrs. Langham was able to melt the crayon and the birthday candle in the microwave. I'm sure we could have melted those in the Texas sun on a hotter week. We learned the toothpick could not melt. We were surprised at how quickly the crayon, candle and butter solidified when returned back to our classroom temperature.

We also did an experiment called clothes dryer. We made t-shirts from paper towels. We had fun decorating them and writing our names on them.

We saturated our t-shirts with an eye dropper and hung them up to dry. We quickly learned that the water evaporated and learned the beginning of the water cycle process. We will go into much more detail about his later in the year, but for right now, we learned that the heat caused the beginning of the evaporation process.

We did another experiment called cups that change. We added heat to something and learned that sometimes a chemical change takes place and we cannot reverse the change. We had fun mixing cake mix and cooking it in cups.

And we had even more fun eating it!

On Friday, we got to meet our 3rd grade buddies from Mrs. Armstrong's class. We visited her room and enjoyed getting to know each other as they read stories to us.

Another highlight this week was making our Halloween Song book. We counted out different objects for our books and enjoyed putting them to song too.

And here is our masterpiece.  The children enjoyed making this video for you.


I hope you are able to make it to the carnival tomorrow. Thank you to all who volunteered to help with our booth and thank you to Arline for coordinating the volunteers.

Report cards came home today. Look for these in your child's Take-Home folder. Please remember to sign the yellow envelopes from the report cards and return them back to me as soon as possible. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you tomorrow.