April 27 - May 1

On Monday we had our final installment of Cindy's fossilization movement activities.  She led the class through recreating the process of an animal dying in a certain position, getting covered up, dissolving away, and leaving an imprint of the body shape in the sediments.  This was a great follow-up to the fossils students studied at the Museum of the Earth in March.
We used the SMARTboard to complete many activities this week, including: sorting pictures based on their beginning blends, solving story problems that involve making change and showing the change in different coin combinations.

We performed our skits about being a good friend on the playground (and how to get help if you need it) for the Maple Room on Friday.  We will perform them in the Sunflower Room and the Garden Room on Monday!

We used the ThinkBlocks to promote thinking about identities, relationships, systems and perspectives in dicussing what a seed needs, the parts of plant, various coin combinations, and in an analysis of our new read aloud book: Toys Go Out.  I am really excited about this approach to teaching critical thinking and I was impressed with how intuitively students used the ThinkBlocks to represent their ideas about what were the parts of a whole, their definitions of each part, how those parts were related, and how the parts can look different from various viewpoints.

This week in math we worked on dividing shapes and collections of items into various fractions, and how to write the fractions (one third = 1/3).  We also worked on function machines (in/out rules), particularly figuring out the "in" number when provided with the "out" number and the rule.  Many students benefited from using a number line to figure out these types of problems.  Finally, we worked on "name collection boxes" (different ways to make a number using addition and subtraction) with dollars/cents.  The Everyday Math website offers information that can help you support your child in completing the homework. Please let me know if you need additional explanations of any of the math problems.

 In reading and writing this week we studied contractions (e.g. don't = do + not) and looked for them in the books we are reading.  Some students are confused about when an apostrophe is used for a possessive (Ms. Provan's blog) vs. when it is used for a contraction (Ms. Provan's happy).  You can help your child look for contractions and think about what words would make sense in that context without the apostrophe.  We also experimented with shape poems, where the words are arranged in the shape of whatever they are describing, without actually naming the object/animal.  Students enjoyed guessing what their fellow poets had written about before they saw how the words were arranged on the page.  Look for copies of the latest poetry to come home next week.

We are watching our tadpoles and seed sprouts grow!  Check out the online resources for the science unit on new plants that we are studying.  We will also be studying endangered animals.

We are studying the following words: before, after, because, use, very.  Encourage your child to look for those words as they read and to use the latest word wall list when they are writing at home.
Check out the Art-Full Family Saturday at the Johnson Museum of Art (10:00 AM - 12:00 PM).  Free for Museum members/$5 per family for nonmembers. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

End of April


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