Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekly Update

I can’t believe that it’s just about February already!  February brings not only new learning, but also fun and activities for Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, the 100th Day of School, and Chinese New Year, 

For Valentine’s Day we’ll be celebrating with cupcakes and Minute to Win It games. For children who want to bring in Valentines, I sent home a list of all students in our class. I just ask that those who do bring them, please bring one for every person in the class, that way no one feels left out and we don’t have hurt feelings. We will open the Valentine’s at our party on the afternoon of the 12th. While you’re welcome to send in goody bags if you want to, please don’t feel that you have to. Keep it easy and inexpensive for yourselves!  :)

Some projects take longer than others, and our information books are one of those projects. They aren’t quite ready yet, although we’re very close. Keep your eye here or on our class Twitter account for an announcement when they have been published. Our division math Educreation (an iPad app) projects are finished, and those will be posted here and your child’s blog by the end of the weekend. I’ll also announce it on our class Twitter account when they are posted.

Thanks for all of your help and support ensuring your child’s mastery of math facts. The math fact test score report went home today. Please sign it and have your child return it on Monday. If you have any questions about your child’s scores or progress, please let me know. It’s very important that any child with scores below 80 work on studying their facts.  The order of priority is: subtraction, addition, multiplication, and then division.

Here's what we're learning next week:
  • Reader’s Workshop: Tackling unknown vocabulary in our reading
  • Writer’s Workshop: Finish Information books and take information writing post assessment
  • Spelling: Unit 18 - Words home on Tuesday, test on Friday 
  • Math: Topic 8, Division
Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekly Update

If there’s one word to describe our week, I think it’s techie. It seems that we have so many projects coming together with technology right now.

In reading late last week the children wrote book talks on a nonfiction book of their choice. This week I filmed them, taught them how to import their video into iMovie, add in a credit slide, sound and transitions. Then they saved a picture of their book and inserted that into the movie. It wasn’t easy but they persevered and had a lot of patience. They just have a little bit left to do, then they’ll export their movies and put them on their blogs.

In writing your children were busy typing their information books. They are typing them in Google Slides, so they can always login from home and show you their progress. It’s their same login as school, just with at the end of their login name. Next week they’ll learn how to add in pictures and other text features, as well as set backgrounds. Hopefully by the end of the week they’ll be finished. I’ll then convert their books to an e-book format, and upload them to our class website. If all goes as planned (it’ll be my first time trying to convert pdf files to epub format) they’ll be able to download and read each others’ books on their devices and computers at home.

On Tuesday we had a special center activity in math. The children used a new iPad app, Pic Collage, to create an infopic to illustrate the concept of division. You can read more about it, the video they watched ahead of time to learn about some techniques to try, and see their final products here. Next week there will be a center activity using the iPad app, Educreations, to create a presentation on division. Stay tuned for upcoming greatness!

Keep practicing those math facts at home. Next week we have our district math fact assessments on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These are the 100 question tests similar to what I shared with you at conferences. Mastery is 90% or higher, and Goal is 80-89% on each test. Of course this is the beginning of division, so this test will just be their baseline.

Here's what we'll be learning about next week:
Reader’s Workshop: Finish editing book talks and Comprehension strategies
Writer’s Workshop: Finish Information books
Spelling: Unit 17 - Words home on Tuesday, test on Friday
Math: Topic 8, Division

Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Division Infopics

Today, as part of math rotations, students worked in groups using the iPad app Pic Collage to create infopics to illustrate the concept of the division. First they watched part of a video by Tony Vincent to learn about infopics and some techniques they might want to include in their infopic. Then I asked them to use any object they wanted in the classroom to illustrate division, include the definition of division from their math book, and include the word division as a title. The rest was up to them. I'm so proud of the fabulous job each group did on their infopic!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I hope that the holidays and vacation were fun and restful for all families! We are totally back in the swing of things, and your kids have been focused, hard workers this week! You should be a fly on the wall to see their amazing effort and focus!

As expected, we began learning about division this week. Students have been taught to think of division as dividing things into equal groups either through counting cubes or drawing objects and putting them into equal groups, as well as through repeated subtraction. They’ve also been taught how to use their multiplication chart to solve division problems. As students work on their division homework in the coming weeks they can use any mathematical tool or method they want that works best for them (well, not a calculator) since they are just learning their division facts. Every child should have a multiplication chart at home. If your child does have one, you can find one in the File Cabinet section of our class website.

If your child loses or forgets to bring home their reading or math facts log, not to worry! I’ve also placed copies of both logs in the FileCabinet section of our class website. If you’re not able to print at home, your child can even just write their reading or math facts information on a piece of paper and bring that to school.

New pictures from December have been added to our class photo album. Of course if you follow our class on Twitter you’ll see pics almost daily, too!

Here's what we'll be learning next week:
Reader’s Workshop: Main idea and supporting details
Writer’s Workshop: Typing Information books
Spelling: Unit 16 - Words home on Monday, test on Friday
Math: Topics 7 and 8, Division

Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education!