Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20, 2016 Update

     This week students continue to work on using models and representations to show their understanding of addition and subtraction to ten. One particular focus will be finding combinations of numbers through story context involving addition and subtraction. One of our menu lessons include a problem solving activity with some specific criteria.  Some of those brains were sweating trying this problem out.  All good though! Another activity asks students to tell me what subtraction is and create a subtraction story.  Finally, there are games to work on computational fluency and fact practice as well. 
     Today, I revisited our PBIS anchor charts, specifically the cafeteria and the classroom PAWS expectations.  There have been some challenges in following direction and some students have not making the best choices they can.  So I added a thumbs up/thumbs down next to each of the PAWS expectations on the charts. We practiced again what the work time should look and sound like.  Periodically through the day, students were asked to self-assess. You'll find this in your child's home/school folder.  I want students to be more thoughtful about the choices they are making so we can all maximize our learning time together. 
     This Friday we have a school-wide PBIS celebration. It's a blackout dance party.  There was a note sent in your child's folder.  Look for the "wardrobe" details.  


Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 5, 2016 Update

Happy New Year!  I know it's been a while since I've posted.  My apologies.  In math, we've been working on a context for learning called Double Decker Bus.  The work is based on a story where a girl has father who drives a double decker bus.  She gives him ideas on how he can keep track of how  many people are on the top deck if he knows how many people are on the bus altogether. The bus driver can see the number of people on the lower deck.  So based on the story, students use a rekenrek.

Some big ideas of this work include one-to-one correspondence,the relationship between addition and subtraction as well as the commutative property of addition (numbers added can be switched around and the sum remains unchanged). Strategies include the five and ten structure since each row of the rekenrek has 5 red beads and 5 white beads for a total of 10 in each row. The use of the rekenrek allows prompts compensation and equivalence. For example, 5+3 is equivalent to 4+4 and if you lose one (from the five) you gain it onto the three, the total stays the same.  This week we have played an addition and subtraction game using the rekenrek to support some of the ideas.  Later in the week we'll be writing and sharing bus stories.

We have spent quite a bit of time working on developing habits that readers have. Today students reflected on one habit they feel they are best at doing. Additionally, they get a goal for one habit they want to get better at. We will be embarking on a nonfiction reading unit.  I wanted students to create a toolbox in their reading binders that had all the habits we've been working on as a quick reference.  Ms. Dulude has begun nonfiction writing so this will support our work as nonfiction readers.  What I've experienced in the past, many students really enjoy reading nonfiction. Luckily, they get to select books of their interest.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be conducting the PNOA math
assessment which is essentially an one-on-one math interview.  It is done three times a year, with check-ins done January and again in May after the initial one in September.

Look for book orders to come home this week.  Due date is January 15th.

Additionally, could you look around your house to see if you might have black Columbia ski pants.  They are not bib style, but should have the initials WH in them.  Thanks for checking. Speaking of winter gear, please make sure your child comes to school with proper winter gear.  They playground can be quite windy, making it cold. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Things That Have Been Happening

In math, we have been focusing on learning about teen numbers; what they are, how to write, represent, compare and order them. Teen numbers can be tricky.  Often times children will reverse the digits (51 for 15), so we are spending quite a bit of time trying to solidify this idea of a teen is a ten and some more. Fortunately, they are catching on quite nicely. During our math lesson, students begin with number talks, then we work on a main lesson followed by menu lessons.  Menu lessons are activities that are centered around skills (practice from past work), games (based on current work), a problem solving activity and math journals. Students really seem to enjoy this work because they get to choice which activity they want to go to.  There are have-tos that need to be completed during the week.

We continue to build our bank of good reading habits during our literacy time.  Today, students were introduced to their personal book bins. They selected 12 books for their book bin. They will spend a week with those books, taking sneak peeks, rereading, smoothing out their voices, reading more carefully and doing something at the end (retelling, rereading a favorite part, rereading the whole book or think back over the parts).

Friday we had a neat lesson on ecosystems.  Thanks to Mrs. Kittell for coming in to teach us about that.  If you check out our FB page, you will find pictures there of the lesson.

We just emptied another jar of PAWScards.  As a small celebration, the students voted on chewing gum.  I will look to pick up sugar free mint gum. Mint helps with the focus. So if we're going to chew, we might as well get some benefit from it. Some students shared they can't chew gum, so I will respect that and try and find a different alternative for them.  Students also voted on a school wide celebration. We're getting close! The majority of the class wanted a dance party! (Yay....I like to dance so their choice made my heart happy. :-)  )

Just as a reminder book orders are due tomorrow if you wanted to order books and fundraisers should be returned by Thursday since we have no school on Friday (inservice).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Facebook Private Group

This year I will have a private Facebook Group for our class. If you would like to be part of our group, please email me at  Also, please let me know who your child is in the email as a way to help me keep track of who is a parent of in our class.  I don't want to let in folks who are not parents of my students. Once you email me, I will send you the link of our private group.