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January 2013


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January 2013

  1. 1. Crandall Chronicle January 2013 Classroom News from 3-1 Welcome back! I hope you all had a very relaxing break and a joyful holiday season. We had a very eventful week before we left for winter break. It was filled with fun activities and interesting lessons. We ended our busy month of December by unveiling our secret snowpals and touring the Midwest. Race Across the States Our class has been doing well with our Race Across the State project. We have been lucky enough to receive nearly 150 postcards from destinations across the country and throughout the world. We are very thankful to everyone who has helped us with our goal. Postcards from 32 different states and 19 foreign countries have taught the class a variety of information and interesting facts. The students are really excited about the possibility of receiving a postcard from all 50 states, so they are really hoping to get postcards from the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.In this issue: Race Across the States 1 What We’re Studying Reading 1 Reading occurring in the story. This Writing 2 Before leaving for break, our helps the students to better Social Studies 2 understand what they are class began the third unit of Science 2 our Treasures literacy reading. The children have Math 3 program. We have been also been paying close Writing Words 3 focusing on three main attention to plot and setting Web Updates 4 comprehension strategies while reading. Reminders 4 that include visualizing, Due to the shortened week Dates/Events 5 analyzing story structure, that is coming up, we will examining text structures, begin Unit 4 next week and Student and making inferences. While then take the Unit 3 test the Challenge 5 reading, students make following week. This will apply visualizations, or create for spelling and grammar as mental pictures, of what is well.
  2. 2. PAGE 2 OF 5Writing to the class. Each day we will focus our attention on and analyze anBefore winter break, we completed excerpt from the novel.the first part of our Writers’ Expresswriting program. The focus of these The students will experience andfirst four units was focusing on a discuss how an author providessingle moment and showing with showing details to promote visualizingdetailed descriptions through the among the readers. After a short skillwriting of personal narratives. We will drill that focuses on a specific skill orsoon begin our next unit, which strategy that the author has used, the students will have the opportunity tofocuses on responding to literature. Iwill be reading the novel My Name Is use that skill or strategy in their ownMaria Isabel, by Alma Flor Ada, aloud journal writing.Social Studies ScienceWe concluded our Midwest unit right before The students have really been enjoying ourwinter break. Each student created a scrapbook new science unit. We continue to explorecontaining important information about his or light through a variety of hands-onher Midwest state. I was so impressed with activities and experiments. The class will betheir hard work and all of the interest they given the opportunity to utilize someshowed during the project. The students had exciting new technology to assist in ourthe opportunity to share what they learned learning about the new light concepts andabout their states while on our train tour of the show our understanding.Midwest. Students boarded our imaginary train A software program called Animation-ishand set off on a trip through each state. While allows students to create digital models ofvisiting the states, students viewed light, through which they can show howphotographs of the state and listened to the light bounces or reflects off surfaces intotour guides provide fascinating information. our eyes enabling us to have vision.Prior to the trip, students each chose one or The use of a light sensor or probe providestwo pages from their scrapbooks to share with students with the ability to make moretheir classmates. They recorded their voices precise observations about the amount ofonto an iPod and downloaded images from the light being emitted from various lightInternet, which were both later uploaded into a sources and the amount of light that passesKeynote presentation. through different objects.The students enjoyed learning from their Visit our class website to access links to aclassmates and were excited about hearing variety of resources for our light unit. Youtheir own voice recordings. I have posted a can also view students’ projects,QuickTime movie on our class blog so that you observations, and photographs.can take our virtual tour of the Midwest.
  3. 3. PAGE 3 OF 5MathDuring the weeks before winter break, we concluded Unit 5: Place Value inWhole Numbers and Decimals. The students learned how to read numbersthrough 9 million, and practiced even larger numbers! Our class also workedon comparing large numbers to one another and added these super-sizednumbers. We then turned our focus to small numbers. Students learned theplace values for decimals, including tenths, hundredths, and thousandths.They practiced showing these decimals using base-10 blocks and writing themas written-out words, decimals, and fractions. The students were given athree-part unit math test that included written, listening, and speakingportions.This week we began Unit 6: Geometry. This unit is full of new vocabulary thatthe students will be required to learn. Some of the new terms that we arecurrently learning and practicing include line segment, line, ray, vertex,and angle. The students will also be responsible for learning the names ofvarious polygons and polyhedrons (3D figures). The unit will be split intotwo parts, and the students will be quizzed next week on the first part of theunit covering the topics of lines, line segments, rays, angles, and turns.Writing WordsEvery month the students receive a list of writing words that they areresponsible for learning how to spell. Since the month of December was soshort, we did not have a list of writing words for that month. However, wehave quickly gotten back to our routines and the children already broughthome their list of words for January. A cumulative test will be given at the endof the month. The test will be on all of the words from October, November,and January. Remember, once the students have been tested on a set ofwords, they are held responsible for spelling them correctly on allassignments. One point will be deducted on graded assignments for having amisspelled writing word. Therefore, please encourage your child to look overhis or her work carefully to check for correct spelling, capitalization, andpunctuation!
  4. 4. PAGE 4 OF 5 Class Website Updates! Visit our class website and check out these recently added items: Tour of the Midwest Light Observations Race Across the States Class Pet Adventures Other class projectsMONTHLY REMINDERS* The students will be taking a test on the Northeast states and capitals at the beginning of February. A majority of their time studying will need to be done at home, so please remind them to practice. They may use the flashcards that were brought home on Monday or any of the interactive websites found on our class website. Click on the Race Across the States tab.* Remember to send your child to school with appropriate clothing for outdoor recess. If we do ever get any snow, your child must be wearing snow pants and boots to play in the field.* The students will be tested on the October, November, and January writing words at the end of this month. I will keep you posted on the exact date.* MAP testing will be taking place next week. Please check your child’s Take Home Folder for a letter with more information.
  5. 5. PAGE 5 OF 5 IMPORTANT DATES & UPCOMING EVENTS January 16 & 18 – MAP Testing January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (NO SCHOOL) January 22 – Institute Day (NO SCHOOL) January 23 – Monday Schedule January 25 – Spirit Day (Crazy Hair)Student ChallengeThis month’s challenge: Cut out the 6 circles on the other piece of paper. Gluethem onto some thin cardboard like a cereal box or the back of a notepad.Then, carefully cut around the circles on the cardboard. Have a parent help topoke a hole in the center of each circle.Now, choose one of the options below to make your circles spin.1. Have a parent put the circles on the end of an electric screwdriver or drill.Watch as the circles spin.2. Poke a sharpened pencil through the circle to create a top that you canspin. (This option will not produce the best results.)3. Place the circles on a top that you already have and spin them.4. Use any other creative idea you have to make the circles spin.After spinning each top, record what you see happening to the black andwhite patterns. Experiment with spinning them at different speeds. Writedown your observations on the worksheet next to each of the spinners. Thinkabout how this might relate to what we are learning in our science light unit.Turn in your worksheet by Friday, January 25th!