Classroom Notes – May 20, 2015

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A permission slip for our last field trip of the year came home on Monday. This field trip requires lots of parent chaperones! We will spend the day exploring the Oregon Zoo. Please let me know if you are able to help out – it should be a fabulous time!

Our butterflies went into their “J” over the weekend and have moved into the pupa stage. The chrysalis’ are forming. We should have butterflies within the next week! We are observing, learning vocabulary, and thinking about insect roles in the world and how they are useful. We are still waiting patiently to see what will happen next with our mealworms…

The kids are finishing up their How To writing pieces. They have done a fantastic job with this genre. They’ve done a great job hooking their readers and including tips for the reader on how to be successful at their “How To.” We will be getting ready to work on our last big writing project – an animal research report. Hopefully we’ll be able to see many of our animals at the zoo on June 5th.

Our farms continue to grow. Last week we added goats and sheep. This week we will add some more animals, update our maps, and do some spending comparisons. Students will add up how much was spent on animals and land and then compare it to see which animal cost them the most.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes- May 12, 2015

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Art Night was a great success. Our class had a great turn out and impressive docents. Bravo! I hope you all enjoyed your Mother’s Day surprise – the kids were very excited to share those with you…so much so that they didn’t want them displayed at Art Night, but they were just too beautiful to not share with our greater community.

Room 3 will be full of busy bees as we move into our last month of school. We have begun our Farm unit, started our Drama residency, and are kicking our insect studies into high gear. We will be working on some more nonfiction writing, as well as continue our literacy work.

Our drama residency has started and will run for 2 weeks. Each morning the split class works on drama games with our resident artists. They came back this morning with lots to tell about the mirror game. Ask them about it!

Our math Farm unit has started with great success. These kiddos are doing an amazing job laying out their farm pieces, paying for them, and helping each other as needed. We will begin adding animals later this week as well as try our hand at making a map of our farms by transferring the information onto a coordinate plane. This gives us a chance to talk more about the elements and uses of a map.

Finally, our insect unit will be picking up with the introduction of a new insect larva this week. We will now have two larvae to observe. We will begin learning more about insect life cycles, metamorphosis, insect body parts, and some of the ways insects protect themselves to name a few things we’ll be covering in the coming weeks.

Cheers,

Ms Sarah

Classroom Notes – May 6, 2015

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Art Night is here! We have been working on our projects over the last few months and are excited to share them on Thursday night. I hope to see you there!

This week we are reading about simple machines. We have learned about 4 kinds in particular including the lever, pulley, inclined planes, and wheels and axles. We are on the lookout for different kinds of simple machines that we use in our lives. We brainstormed many examples of simple machines and tools, and then found examples of each kind in our text.

Our mealworms have molted several times and continue to grow. We are waiting to see what happens next. It could be a few more weeks so in the meantime we will continue to observe and care for the critters. We have a new insect arriving later this week giving us another example of the insect life cycle to observe.

We are finishing up our geometric shapes unit and preparing to start our final math unit – The Farm; Money, Place Value, and Mapping. This is a thematic unit in which students will build a map of a farm including roads, crops and fields, a house, barn, fences, animals, and much more. This should be a great way to wrap up our year in math!

Cheers!

Ms Sarah

Classroom Notes – April 29, 2015

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The first graders in Room 3 have been hard at work finishing up art projects for Art Night which is next Thursday, May 7th! Each year Lewis School transforms into an amazing student art gallery with student docents on hand to tell patrons about the art hanging on the walls. This is a fabulous night at Lewis and the kids love to share their art. I hope everyone can make it to this incredible night. I am sending home a sign-up for students who would like to be docents. Please indicate your 1st -3rd choices for times and I will do my best to schedule everyone at a favored time. Please try to get your choices back to me as soon as possible. My hope is to send home a schedule on Friday, or Monday at the latest. Docents should be dressed appropriately, on top-notch behavior, and able to host for 20-30 minutes. I would love to have a few parent helpers prepare docents on Wednesday or Thursday next week – morning or afternoon time- whatever fits your schedule. Let me know! Thanks!

In math this week we have been exploring fractions. We worked on sharing “sandwiches” and “pizzas” – figuring out how we might cut them into equal pieces to share among 2-3 friends. We noticed that the more pieces we cut a pizza into the smaller the pieces were – yet the fraction’s denominator got bigger. We will finish up this mini unit with a game of Fraction Bingo.

Our language arts work has us learning the /oo/ sound in “good” and “shook”, reviewing the -ed and -ing endings, as well as sequencing and retelling a story including details. We are revisiting the personal narrative unit in writing. Our focus is writing stories that have a beginning, middle, and end, and writing sentences that have details that answer questions such as when, where, and why things happened.

Finally, mealworms have arrived in our room! We had our first look on Monday as we prepared their temporary habitats. We learned that our insects need air, space, food, and moisture to survive. We also learned that insects grow and change. We will be observing the mealworms for the next month to see what happens.

For pictures and happenings in Room 3 please check out our twitter account at Room3Lewis@ SJamesbarry@twitter.com or the blog at https://msjamesbarry.wordpress.com

Cheers!

Classroom Notes – April 22, 2015

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Happy Earth Day!

We had a lovely visit from Teacher Dana’s kindergarteners on Tuesday afternoon. We shared our All About Books with them, and they shared their Riddles with us. The First Graders were excited to see some of their younger playground friends in our classroom. The kids put a lot of time and effort into these books over the last three weeks. Bravo First Graders!

We have been working together in Room 3 to earn some rewards for following classroom routines and being focused during work times. We are very close to earning a Special Day in the classroom. It sounds like it might be a pajama day – so if you hear wind of this you can congratulate your student on their help in reaching this goal.

We read the story Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney in celebration of Earth Day today. It is a beautifully illustrated story of a girl who learns from her grandfather that one should work to make the world a more beautiful place. After discussing what we might be able to do, the class wrote about something they might like to do to help make our world and community a better place. Keep an eye out for these!

We are also working on extending sentences. We have been practicing writing sentences that answer the questions when, who, what, and why. We are also having fun with our pattern blocks in Math and will begin to take a look at basic fractions later this week and into next. So any talk of halves and fourth or quarters at home will help this concept to be even more meaningful.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Classroom Notes – April 15, 2015

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This week we kicked off our Spring geometry unit by playing a fun game called Last Shape In Wins. It sounds simple, and it is, until you try to outwit your partner to be in the position to place the last piece. Along with this game, which uses our four basic pattern blocks -triangle, rhombus, trapezoid, and hexagon, we are creating pattern block puzzles by arranging the same pieces in various ways to fill a shape. Then we are comparing how many pieces each pattern takes, noticing how and why it varies. This is a fun unit and nice break from the paper pencil math we have been doing lately.

Our lead story this week is called Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! This week our story focus is on the problem and solution. We will be using the sentence form “Somebody, Wanted Something, But, So…” to summarize the story. We will also be using the narrative writing form “First, Next, Then, Finally” to write about the plot. Both of these are great ways to help your child at home as well. Simply ask them to use either form to briefly retell the story.

We are putting the finishing touches on the All About Books and will be reading them with Teacher Dana’s kindergarteners later this week. Having a real audience helps to motivate the kids to do their personal best! Then they will be coming home. Finally, we have been working hard on our second Art Night project. We’ll keep that one under wraps for a while, yet.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah