Friday, September 12, 2014

Our week in pictures

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A Great Start to a New Year!!

We have been having a great time getting to know each other and learning about life in our community. We have settled into the classroom, learned the rules, and learned many things that will help us have a successful year. We’ve read many great books together, written and shared stories, enjoyed feeding Mrs. Munch the spelling frog, and worked in groups to learn and to solve problems.
In writer’s workshop some of our favorite books were Treasures of the heart and Something to Tell the Grandcows. We are learning that writers get ideas from many places. They pull memories from their hearts and write about things that are important to them. We also learned that everyone has a story to tell. Our lives are living hiSTORY. Even the ordinary things in life can become incredible written stories. We will be continuing to learn about generating ideas for writing in the coming weeks.
The children are loving reader’s workshop. The first two weeks really focused on laying the foundation for the workshop model and expectations. We are now turning our attention to the fact that reading is more than word calling. Real reading is thinking. If a reader is unable to recall, understand and reflect on the text then they are not truly reading. At this age children become great decoders and can read the words of many books, but often are unable to comprehend the text. Our focus in reader’s workshop will be to teach the children to develop reading and thinking strategies that will help them understand and enjoy text in a deeper way. Readers must be metacognitive! We talk about reading being like making a pizza. A curst alone is not a pizza. A pizza needs toppings such as sauce, cheese, etc. I use this analogy to explain that the pizza crust is much like the words in a book. The words alone do not make reading. The thinking that we do when we read is like the toppings. Reading + thinking= real reading just as a curst+ toppings= a real pizza.
We have been reviewing place value and looking at how patterns are an important part of mathematics. Applying mathematical strategies to real world problems will be a primary focus during our math workshop. Next week we will be looking at strategies for solving addition problems with multiple digits.
Science was awesome this past week. We dissected lima bean and pinto bean seeds. We discovered that God created seeds in a very special way. Inside each seed is the beginning of a new plant. We found the radicle (new root) and the plumule (new leaf) nestled inside the seed. We also learned that the cotyledon contains the food that the seed needs in order to grow after it sheds its seed coat. The children also planted seeds in Ziploc bags so that we can watch the process of germination. Next week we will be looking at roots.
While this is only a small sampling of what went on in our classroom this past week you can be assured that a great deal of learning occurred. Our classroom is a laboratory of learning. You will find that you won’t see as many worksheets coming home because the children are engaged in more hands on learning experiences. Children learn best by seeing, touching and doing. I will be posting photos of our first two weeks of school on our class facebook page and blog. Be sure to check it out!