Thursday, April 17, 2014

Week in Review--Insects! (Week Two)

Poem of the Week


-We finished up our third unit on writing informational writing/how to pieces. We reviewed all of the parts needed to write these books, learned how to add a cover to our books like a real author, posted our favorite one we wrote on our Great Writing wall and celebrated all of our success with our 5th grade big buddies! We finished the week by writing an informational piece in one sitting for our post-test and then wrote our pre-test for our next unit! Our next unit is learning how to write a persuasive or opinion piece!


-We used this week as a review week for previously learned skills. We focused on 3D shapes, drawing shapes (especially that tricky hexagon), addition and subtraction problems and breaking numbers 11-19 into tens and ones. We put a practice drawing shapes option back into our math choices for students to practice all of their shapes, but mostly the hexagon. When we draw the hexagon it is sometimes easy for students to first draw a square, add a triangle on either end and erase the lines of the square on the inside. Once they get this process down, they should be able to transition into drawing a hexagon on their own!


-We had TWO sight words this week-- “take, off”.

-The CAFÉ strategy we worked on this week was the strategy.

“Cross Checking”

When reading a book for pleasure or for information, chances are you will come to a word or two you are unsure of. You probably will use the accuracy strategy of cross checking without even thinking about it, because it is second nature to you as a reader to read accurately. Accuracy is not second nature to children learning to read. It is something that needs to be taught using a variety of strategies.


Your child has been introduced to the accuracy strategy of cross checking. It is important to slow readers down when they come to a word they don’t know and teach them to apply the strategy of cross checking so they are able to fix the meaning and not just skip the word. Cross checking requires a person to constantly think and monitor meaning. It is a strategy for ensuring the words and pictures read make sense and match the letters on a page.


How can you help your child with this strategy at home?

Listen to your child read. When he comes to a word he is unsure of, remind him to cross check. Ask:

• Does the word you are reading match the picture or letters written?

(they cross their right arm over their body)

• Does it sound right?

(their left arm crosses over their body making an X)

• Does it make sense?

(both arms come down with hands pointing to the ground)


We finished our two week study on bugs and insects this week. We mainly focused on caterpillars and butterflies this week. We talked about the process a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. We started the week off by looking at various types of caterpillars and listing words to describe them. A few of my favorite words were furry, spikey, pokey and smooth! We completed a predictable chart sentence by filling in the last part “Caterpillars are ______.” We used the describing words we came up with to finish the sentences. Towards the end of the week, we had our special visitors arrive in our classroom! Five, furry caterpillar friends are staying with us for the next couple of weeks so we can observe how they grow, change and turn into butterflies. At the end of the metamorphosis process we should have five beautiful butterflies to release into the wild outside of our school! Once our caterpillars arrived, we completed our first “Butterfly Journal” entry by illustrating our observation of the caterpillars when we first received them!


We celebrated the end of our year long Book-It reading program! The students who completed the task of reading 10 books every month since the beginning of school were rewarded with a pizza party at school during lunch! Way to go!

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