We finally finished our read aloud~Soft Rain about the little Native American Indian girls journey on the Trail of Tears. We tied NC history with our reading goals. We focused on theme, mood, character conflict, characters changing over time, summarizing, comparing themes across different genres and we revisited a first hand account and a second hand account. On our poetry Fridays, we talk about how to read poetry, the different forms of poetry and we have read and analyzed over four poems. We have had fun discussing some of the visuals that come to mind when we read the poems. One strategy as readers we must use is making inferences and a reader can really infer when reading poetry. Check out the poems in the Friday folders.
We have been forming opinions, learning how to speak respectfully about our opinions and then composing a well written essay. We have written three opinion pieces and have improved as writers after each one. Our topics have been the following: Should we be able to bring school lunches from home, Do Manners Really Matter, and our last topic is What makes the best Pet? Students have been learning how to create a topic sentences, infuse their opinion, use transition phrases, cite evidence from an article or use a quote, and create a well thought out essay on their opinion. Those students who have used the writing process have really improved.
We are well into our fraction unit this week. We have been applying what we have learned about equivalency, adding and subtracting, and comparing fractions in the form of games and activities. Please continue to practice and play with your child's fraction kits at home. More hands on and math talk about fractions will help them to continue to develop their skills for the future.
Throughout the last two weeks we have been utilizing different technology into our lesson plans. One application we tried out was called Padlet. This software allows different students or groups of students to write on an electronic sticky note that displays their response on the main board of the classroom. So we can have groups of students talking and summarizing their work in various parts of the room, have them post to padlet, and then when we are done it all comes together in one place. It is a great assessment tool and allows us to monitor and facilitate around the room.
Another strategy we tried out is a website called AnswerGarden. This piece of software allows a teacher to pose a question to a group or class and it formulates the answers in a Wordle type format. The words that are used most often become bolder and bigger in size, thus allowing discussions and patterns to arise. The kids have been enjoying this at the start of a lesson.
Have a great weekend
Wanda Hanley and Sue Parent