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Miss Amanda's Learning Groups

Hello Families!

This week during centering, our class has been really focusing on getting all of the points of our yarn web connected, consistently. We have had some success last week, but this week our highest number has fallen a bit short of every person being connected. The biggest roadblock so far this week has been losing track of the number order of our counting off. We have brainstormed as a class a lot of good non-verbal cues and tips to keep everything straight without talking out of turn. The goal is to get everyone connected Thursday and Friday so that we can move on to the next baby step in our biggest challenge of counting off popcorn style. The whole class really seems to be enjoying the process, and realizes that all of this is practice for The Big One. The Big One is, of course, the popcorn count off challenge that I told the class about after observing the centering practice while visiting Rainbow Mountain Community School. The fifth grade class did that as a centering activity, and our class wants to be successful in this very mature activity. Practicing taking turns talking and paying attention to those around you and their body language cues help build conversation skills and connectivity to the group.

During word work this week, we have expanded our noun and adjective lessons to recognizing the direct relationship these parts of speech have. We made sentences with specific adjectives, and pinpointed the noun that each adjective described in each sentence. This was done in a fun verbal round table way, using adjective cards.

In our math classes this week, we shook things up on Monday by going into the kitchen. It was time to add new open center activities into our homeroom free time, and practically apply some of our math skills. We made playdough on Monday! We practiced reading the recipe and directions, and then we doubled the recipe to make a nice large batch. We used our multiplication language by saying 2 cups of flour times 2. The playdough is open to the whole class during open center time, and every one is enjoying it!

For the rest of the week, we started column adding with some regrouping {carrying}. We practiced writing the equations stacked up and down instead of as a number sentence. When you stack the numbers, we showed how important it is to line up the numbers according to place value in order to keep from making simple adding errors. Of course we also played some math games, including place value war and a new game called popcorn. For that game, we used flashcards, and you just pop up as soon as you have the answer. This is a fun way for the class to keep sharp on the mental math facts.

During our readers workshop this week, I gave the class the challenge to read MORE! I am strongly encouraging every one to read at home every night in order to build those reading skills and get stronger and stronger at reading. We got new and longer books to read for workshop and SSR time, and used post-its to mark our thinking in the text. We were marking any tricky words or interesting details that supported the main idea. Wednesday we wrote about our reading, after some discussion identifying the main idea, and checking the tricky words.

In writers workshop, we just keep writing! We are still working on our narrative unit, carrying our adjective lessons over from word work, and building strong, detailed stories. We continue to use Owl Moon as our mentor text. I encourage the class to jot down story ideas over the weekend and any time they have a small moment idea that they think anyone could find meaningful. The students have a lot of stories to tell!

Have a peaceful weekend!

Amanda