Friday, October 31, 2014

Goodbye, October!

As another busy week comes to a close, we've got to give credit to our SBLC Shooting Stars...your effort has been out of this world!

In project, we've had a variety of things going - a great visit from the new counselor, Ms. Ward, we shared our fabulous and different ways we completed monthly homework, and enjoyed another cozy Breakfast and the Paper! We began exploring a wonderful book about becoming a problem solver -- Two by Kathryn Otoshi.

In reading and language arts, we've been closely examining the structure of fiction. Third Grade is getting to know Catherine, a thoughtful yet frustrated girl...we are creating theories about her struggles and watching our signposts for ways to hone our predictions and revise our thoughts about her struggle.

Like Third, Fourth Grade is using signposts with their character, Valli.We are delving deep with her, learning not only about her personal struggle, but also about the plight of any in villages of India.

Second grade used the book Monsters' Monster to formulate our first summary using our new knowledge of structure. It makes it so much easier to discern main ideas and themes from the many details in books. We all have been building our base of stories with free writing.

On Friday, we enjoyed Chris Van Allsburgs' lesson in acceptance in The Widow's Broom. In this symbolic tale, we learned how stereotyping can lead to inaccurate judgements, but one person CAN make a difference.

Our focus in science is the affect of heat energy on matter. We've spent the week observing, experimenting, and recording our ideas about how heat changes things and where we see it in our everyday lives.

Matter can change states, from solid to liquid and back again...

...and we can lessen the affects of heat energy by insulating objects. Here we are designing and constructing our own "coolers"!

In math second  grade had fun adding with regrouping.  They played a game with a partner called Soccer Sums and read a booked titled Nature's Numbers. 

Fourth graders shared what they knew about multiplying numbers.
Third graders showed what they knew about subtracting with regrouping on dry erase boards.

On the 31st all classes enjoyed using skittles to either make arrays, graph them, or make fractions. 

On Friday, we celebrated our fabulous Ms. Reiman! A few of our musicians gave her a special happy birthday, and we showered her with wishes for a wonderful day and year ahead. 

We've filled out our wish lists for the Book Fair next week, so be sure to check those out! 

Have a great weekend - hope to see many faces at the Fun Run on Saturday -- 8:30 for 2nd, 9:15 for 3rd and 4th! Should be a chilly and exhilarating time!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Light Speed!

Wow! We just completed our first nine weeks. Looking back to our first few moments together feels like just yesterday...we've been traveling at light speed!

In science, we completed our properties of matter unit with some fun review prior to our assessment. To deepen our understanding, we created tables to classify properties specific to the three main states of matter: solids, liquids, and gases.

We also applied what we knew about matter to develop our own games! We created Matter Mad Libs, Matter Matching Card Games, and a Matter "I Spy". 

In reading and language arts, we have been delving deep into analysis and synthesis! We have had such high level discussion of poetry from Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea. It's caused us to think and use inference to see that there are surface understandings which are more literal, but also an underlying understanding that makes BIG statements on the world. We are now prepared to start Mountain Language next week for homework -- a great way to practice our conventions and grammar skills. We talked about making this an opportunity to learn new words and create sentences we would want to use in our writing. Third and Fourth Grade began to learn about compound and complex sentence structure, and how to use multiple subjects and predicates in a sentence. Whew!!!

In math, all students had fun voting on the official SBLC money. This money will be used every nine weeks at our SBLC store. $uper fun! ;)

Third graders worked on their money project. They made a list of items they want, then researched prices and store locations. Next, they'll find the grand total. How much money will they need to save to buy what they want? We'll see!

Second graders enjoyed their first experience of finding the sum of their earned credits. Then it was off to the store for some shopping!

We've continued to strengthen our technology and netiquette skills by learning how to comment appropriately on this very blog. Students, feel free to show what you've learned by commenting below!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Empathy Website

Here's a great opportunity for us to practice some situations where we need to make empathetic decisions:

Take some time to explore and leave a comment!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Working Hard!

We've been hard at work wrapping up our eighth week!

Second Grade has been hard at work with Summarizing, Main Idea, and Inference. We read some wonderful books on acceptance called Yoko and The Invisible Boy. We are learning to use the text to give us clues for not only envisioning what is happening, but to also help us figure out meanings of unknown words and inferential ideas. We completed Love That Dog in Third Grade -- a wonderful journey watching the character, Jack, unfold as a writer. We have been using annotations -- AKA margin notes -- to show our thinking, questions, and deepen our understanding of the author's purpose. Fourth Grade also finished Hate That Cat (which Third Grade is clamoring to read next),, and completed a thorough analysis from both the perspective of a reader and a writer.

In writing, we are building our drafts and learning about revision, specifically how revising takes work and the help of others. We will be forming writing groups soon, so we have "critique" sessions to help us build, refine, and clarify each story for publication.

In math this week fourth grade worked on subtracting whole numbers and decimals. Tile Tabulations was an activity we played by making six digit numbers and finding the sum and differences.

Third graders found amounts of money by counting coins and bills. We read The Penny Book that was about subtracting and regrouping using pennies and dimes.
We also played a game called Mania Money and compared money amounts. 

Second graders used equations to represent addition and subtraction problems. The addition sentence had a missing number for example, 13-X=7 and X + 4 =9. We also read Game Time! Then  added and subtracted to find a
shin guards for the soccer players. We also played a game called The Ferris Wheel.

We've continued exploring physical properties of matter in science, both measurable and observable. Today's Classifying Matter stations proved to be exciting and challenging as we measured and observed texture, mass, relative density, magnetism, and states of matter.

In social studies, we completed our map study which resulted in some pretty fantastic work!

We introduced a new method to help us attentively listen and empathize. S.B.L.R. stands for Stop, Breathe, Listen, Respond.  We find that sometimes in conversations we are so eager to respond and relate to the other person that we don't slow ourselves down and really HEAR them. We have practiced role playing and getting a chance to feel what the other person is feeling, then responding. We've noticed that we leave the conversation feeling heard and valued. 

Thanks to all for the opportunity to sit down and conference together. We enjoy spending time with you, too!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

21st Century Citizens At Work!

This sixth week has flown by just as quickly as the previous five. October is here and we're in full swing! 

We culminated our Mars Rover Project by building and sharing our models with our homeroom classmates. These projects definitely generated excitement and provided some excellent opportunities to practice our 21st century skills:

Communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving...

flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills...

productivity and accountability, leadership and responsibility, and media/technology literacy.

We also had an opportunity to reflect (a common occurrence in the SBLC, as you may have noticed) about what worked well, what challenged us, and how we can apply it to future experiences.

Did we mention it was fun?!? :)

We deepened our understanding of patriotism in social studies. By analyzing and comparing the  United States and Texas Pledges and symbols, we have greater appreciation for the meaning of the words we say every day at morning assembly. We also began learning about map features and applied what we learned by making our own maps!

In reading we have been working on envisioning, making pictures in our minds of what we are reading. We know that using the text to create these images are what reading is all about. We have also talked about making meaning using context clues to get at words we don't understand. It's hard work, but making sure we are accurate with our vocabulary is crucial! Second is enjoying their Mo Willems author study, and Third and Fourth continue their journey with Jack and poetry in Sharon Creech's work.

In writing, we've also talked about envisioning, but as writers, it's our job to describe in detail so our reader can use the words to see what's happening in our stories. We've talked about revision - making improvements and changes on our stories, and developed stamina with one story by going back and working on it for several days, not just one sitting.

We've also discussed as a whole ways to improve and deepen our reflections in our 3, 2, 1 notebooks!

In math fourth graders compared and ordered decimals this week. Our project is to research racetracks in Texas and find the distance around ten tracks and then order the distances.
Third graders read a book titled Pizza Parts! Then they created their own stories about sharing pizzas. They also had fun playing Fish for Fractions. This game is played like Go Fish. 
Second graders worked on building 4 digit numbers. They used the greater than and less than sign to compare these  numbers.

The October Scholastic order will be finalized Wednesday, October 8th so please submit any orders by then.

Enjoy the first October weekend!

More rovers from Ms. Reiman's room