Friday, October 14, 2016

Although only four days, we've accomplished lots this past week.

Our classroom river is up and running with water circulating through it and live macroinvertebrates populating it. We had a successful expedition to the banks of the Ottauquechee on Tuesday and collected a host of creatures at different stages of their life cycles. We'll be using these up close and personal glimpses of the critters as a springboard to studying the life cycles of organisms. Most of the landmarks students created using craft materials or the Tinkercad program are complete. They are pretty amazing projects and are very realistic representations of the actual landmarks found in the village. All that remains for us to do is paint on the roads and place the buildings in their correct locations along the river. Swing by to check it all out when you have a chance.

We are deep into drafting our personal narratives inspired by true, small moment stories from the lives of third graders. At this stage students are concentrating on the following:
  • adding the exact words people used (dialog) 
  • establishing who the story is about, where it takes place, and when it happened (setting)
  • including the inside parts of the story (characters' feelings)
  • writing in a way that allows the reader to picture what is happening (description and elaboration)
  • telling the story bit-by-bit
The class wrapped up its first math unit today which focused on addition and subtraction strategies. Our next unit of study is a significant shift in concepts. Beginning next week our concentration will be on geometry, specifically measurement and 2-dimensional shapes.

Reading mini-lessons have focused on the mind work of giving oneself comprehension checks along the way. Students should periodically ask themselves Who is this part about?, What just happened?, and Does this fit with something that already happened or is this new? Of course, independent reading for thirty minutes a night along with an accompanying Reading Log entry is still weeknight homework.

Everyone was given his or her own personal, portable, silent pencil sharpener today as a means of maintaining productivity and independence. Along those lines, please check in with your child to see if there is a need for any personal classroom supplies like pencils, colored pencils, erasers, etc.

Finally, if you could fill out the poll to the right it'll help me figure out if and how the Blog is being used by parents. Thanks in advance.

Enjoy the pictures below and have a fantastic autumn weekend!

Adding material to create the riverbed
Painting on the landscape

Searching for macroinvertebrates

Private homes and a church
Businesses, houses and the Town Hall

Obviously it's . . .

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