Monday started off with journaling about our Thanksgiving breaks. We tried a new strategy this week. I came around and helped the students count how many words were in their sentence. I then highlighted the lines for the students to write on. This really helped the students with planning out their work, spacing, and recogonizing words.
Monday we also started learning about families. We talked about where families live, who is in a family, and what families like to do together. We discussed how all families are different, and not all look the same. Throughout the week, we read fiction and non-fiction books about families, and the students took turns sharing their family pictures with the class. This will be great background knowledge for learning about family traditions next month.
Last but not least, we ended Monday with self-directed play time and enjoying time with friends :) It was great to be back together!
Tuesday we started our new center rotations. This week, there were 5 choices the students had to go to at least once. The students practiced independence by using a chart to check off where they had been and where they still needed to go. Their choices were:
1. making a blueprint of a tower, building, and then measuring using a yardstick. The challenge was to make it at least 50 inches tall.
2. sorting different objects in the sensory table by size, shape, color, or type.
3. Dreambox Math on the iPads.
4. Writing letters in the writing center (with encouragement to write to a teacher or friend).
5. Making a grocery list, shopping for the food, and then counting the number of syllables in a food to get the price (for example, apple, would be $2).
The students did GREAT! They especially blew me away in the building center. We talked a lot about what a tower was this week; where we see them, how they're built, and why they're built. The students then used non-fiction texts and pictures of real towers to inspire their building. It was so fun to see them collaborate to make tall towers. The buildings, hotels, skyscrapers, and bridges they made this week were the most well thought out creations I have seen them make yet! They worked so hard.
Additionally, the syllable shopping center was challenging and fun! We have been working hard on counting syllables in words, and this was a great way to apply that. Many students also practiced addition by adding all their "prices" together.
Lastly, on Tuesday in ALO with Mrs. Belkind we read The Z Was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg. The students then brainstormed what could happen to different letters that start with that same letter, such as "The F was flying". Next week, the students will make their own book.
Additionally, this week we learned a new math game called "baseball". The students roll a 12-sided dice, and then circle the number on their score sheet. If they roll a repeat number, they get a strike, 3 strikes you're out. We had so much fun teaching our new game to our 3rd grade buddies! We also played it with a friend in our class.
We also had a special visitor... Olaf! He is going to be here until winter break and is watching our class looking for positive behavior (especially being safe, respectful, and responsible). He is going to be picking students he sees showing these positive behaviors to come find him, and maybe even give them a little present! He will of course be making sure that all of the students get a turn :) Ask your student about his visit, and how they can show positive behavior in our classroom.
Next week will be all about holidays and The Gingerbread Man!