We finished our Chapter Book Read Aloud - The Wind in the Willows. We had a lot of fun giggling at silly Toad and his crazy adventures, but also discussed what it means to be Smug or Conceited.
The OK Google App definitely came in handy as we read together, especially at the end when (spoiler alert) the Weasels, Stoats and Ferrets took over Toad Hall and the friends had to win it back. We needed to know what those Wild Wood Animals looked like in real life, because we had no prior knowledge or schema about them, before we could start making mental images of the battle scene. *If anyone has a DVD or VHS copy of The Wind in the Willows (or even another in the series, like Willows in Winter?!) we'd love to borrow it for a class viewing :D
Next up for a chapter book read aloud - James and the Giant Peach; another fictional story full of animal adventures (and we go to see the play at Young People's Theatre this upcoming month!)
Daily Five Centres are running smoothly and we’ve begun Guided Reading at the Teacher’s Table. As students rotate, I call small groups to come and read with me – sometimes to focus on reading above their level, sometimes to read just right books to focus on comprehension, but this time we’re focusing on fluency in reading with a Reader’s Theatre piece. Our four groups are reading: Little Red Riding Hood, The Bremen Town Musicians, Little Red Hen and Jack and the Beanstalk – ask your son or daughter what role they play!
We've been meeting some of the Trait Mates (the six writing traits) during Writer's Workshop over the past few weeks and so far we've met:
Just like as an artist paints pictures with paint, a writer paints pictures with words. Willy uses colors like red, blue and green, but he also uses chartreuse, and crimson, and cerulean. In the same way, writers use plain words and fancy words. Willy Word Choice reminds writers that they must use just the right words to tell a story and paint a picture in the reader’s mind.
Just as clues are important to a detective, details are important to a writer. The trait of Ideas is about on generating details on a topic. Donna Details encourages writers to choose topics that they know and care about, and to add rich details that will be interesting to a reader. And just like a detective is always digging deeper for important clues, a writer must "dig deeper" to elaborate and extend the details they write.
We've been talking about our science theme - seasons and snow - and doing lots of Willy and Donna writing. After reading "All You need For A Snowman" students wrote their own Willy sentences in their writers journal, using the list of brainstormed words on our Smart Board as well as the sentence closer "is all you need for a snowman". Some of our sentences were: Three ginormous snowballs; Two shiny sparkly rocks; A nice crunchy and juicy orange carrot". Then, they chose their best one and 'published' it on chart paper - we cut out our sentences and combined them all for display on our Writing Board.
Later that week we read The Snowy Day and talked about all the `Willy Words` that Ezra Jack Keats used in her writing, as well as all the `Donna Details`. We brainstormed a list of `snowy`words, I modelled writing for the students, we co-created our success criteria - and then they were off! They wrote their own short pieces about a Snowy Day.
ote, I saw Lori Jamison, developer of the Trait Mates, speak at the Reading for the Love of It conference last year - she's amazing!).
*Going back to Parent Teacher Interviews earlier this month, I showed many of you the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) levelling Chart, so I thought I should share it digitally with you:
This is a Correlation Chart for when you`re at the library or buying books for home, because there are SO many levelling systems out there it could drive a person mad :P
We reviewed a bit of Number Sense this week and added a few pages to our Red Math Folders. First, we started with a BLANK hundreds chart, NO numbers were on it except for 1, 10, 25, 62, 75 and 100 as anchors. Using those #s as clues, students were asked to fill in a few other #s. For example, where would 69 go? Should we start at the way at the beginning and count by 1s? Some students used these strategies: start at 62 and count on until you get to 69; start at 10 and skip count down the last column by 10 until you get to 70, then just count back 1; count on bys 1s until you get to 9, then skip down the columns by 10s until you get to 69 (9, 19, 29 ... 69!); count back from 75. Try printing this blank 100s chart at home (you can add a few numbers to help as anchors) and then ask your son or daughter to find some missing numbers!
*Note, don’t just fill in the whole chart – that’s easy ;) Take the time to talk about how to use the chart: count on by 1s to the right of each row; count back by 1s to the left of each row; skip count by 10s as you move up or down in each of the columns.
If you’d rather try something interactive, this is a fun missing numbers 100s chart game.
Sorting and Patterning are still our focus. Grade 1s are using Snap Cubes to: create repeating colour patterns; name the core; share with a buddy and ask ‘what comes next?’; create NEW and DIFFERENT patterns with the same attributes (e.g., red & blue: red, red, blue is an AAB pattern, but you could swap it and try red, blue, blue to make an ABB pattern too).
Grade 2s are: creating their own repeating patterns (shapes, sizes, colours etc.); describing (naming) patterns in various ways using letters (AAB), words (red, red, blue) numbers (112); and also answering questions like ‘What are 4 ways to show an AAAB pattern?’. Soon, we will get into growing and shrinking patterns with the grade 2s. Try some of this game at home as an extension activity, PLEASE be sure to click on the 1-100 Chart when you use this interactive Number Patterns Game
Skip Count and find repeating number patterns (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 OR 5, 10, 15, 20) or harder still, creating a GROWING pattern, for example, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 (doubling) OR 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16, 22, 29 (grows by 1 more each time). Play with it and have fun! If you print any, be sure your son or daughter writes about the pattern rule, then bring them in and I can support your homework practice by offering descriptive feedback.
If you’re having trouble, check this example online before you begin with your son or daughter. Full of visuals and examples of number patterns.
Scholastic Holiday Gifts: The Scholastic Flyers went home this Wednesday and are due back by this Monday December the 1st! We need to get them to Shelley ASAP as the December items sell out quickly AND because we want to ensure delivery before the holidays :)
Royal Winter Fair on Wednesday November the 12th was SO MUCH FUN! First, we all sat down in a huge arena to watch a horse show; we noticed some similarities and differences in the animals, like some could jump or run really fast, while others were big and slow. Afterwards we were lucky to see a Super Dogs performance! Ask your son or daughter which dog trick they liked the best. Afterwards, we divided up into our groups to explore until the end of the day. Some highlights were: the petting zoo; live cow milking; live sheep shearing; the aMAZEing maze (of foods); food competitions (best of, biggest of etc); but most of all – the stalls upon stalls and cages upon cages of ANIMALS that we could see and sometimes touch, but also ask the owners tons of questions about!
Roots of Empathy is an amazing program that we will begin NEXT WEEK! Our facilitator, Ilse, met with me last week and told me a little but about our momma Melissa and her baby boy, Sasha. The students will have their first session with Ilse next week, to learn a little bit more about what the program is and then we will get to meet our family. Check out Roots of Empathy.
Respect & Responsibility while I'm away: A big thank you to parents and students alike, for checking in with one another and making use that the days run smoothly when I'm away, at sporting events or PD. I appreciate your support!
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.