February Challenge…

Happy Friday, February First!!

In honour of a new month, our attempt to use alliteration in the class and the importance of dental health I have decided that we should have a challenge called…”Flossing February”! At first the kids were pretty pumped! Then they realized I meant dental health and not popular dance move! How does this work you ask?! On Monday the students will receive a calendar which we will fill in with important upcoming events (like we do at the beginning of each month). This will be where they can track their flossing habit. Of course they will need to remember if they floss today, tomorrow and Sunday so they can fill in their calendar with a check or an “F” or some symbol that makes sense for them! At the end of the month we will see how many days included flossing! *It is very important for students to bring in their purple communication folder on Monday., otherwise these loose sheets seem to go missing.

As a group we have maybe 3-4 students who bring in this communication folder each day and use it as it is intended. It is wise to use this folder as a tool to keep yourself organized, but at the same time I am not going to continuously check in with each student to ask where their missing folder is and why notes from school aren’t being put in it. I offer reminders at the end of the day, but this is ultimately the responsibility of the students. The same is to be said with the home reading tracking sheets. I recommend that students track what they are reading, but I am not able to keep track each day of who is and who is not, who really should track the amount of time reading to become more accountable for daily reading or who has already developed daily habits without logging. This is a family decision. I have plenty of tracking sheets that I would love to send for you but am not willing to waste paper each week if they will not be used. Also, please get back in the habit of writing a book recommendation for our binder as students do use that to help guide their reading selection.

Here is a recap of this week at school!

-We are now on Part 3 of Crenshaw! 140 pages read so far! We’ve paused reading many times to talk about what is happening in the book and have developed a sense of empathy for Jackson and his family.

-Subtraction books are complete…or nearly. If your child has taken their book home to finish, please ensure it is sent back on Monday so we can correct the answers together.

-We did a basic facts assessment for addition and subtraction and added a few multiplication facts in there to see what the grade 4s remembered and what the grade 3s might already know. More to come about basic facts…

-We are VERY close to finishing the research of our Ancient Civilization projects. I think one more chunk of time ought to do it!

-We’ve completed our Ancient Civilization book clubs and soon we will be doing some “making” to show what we’ve learned.

-#BellLetsTalkDay created great conversations about mental health and wellness. Together with Room 122 we put up a fabulous display to share our messages with others.

-Murray also did Genius Hour with the kids on Day 6!

-We’ve had another day to practice our dance choreography. I am hoping that after another time to two we will be ready to share our moves with each other!

What’s Up Next?!

-We are starting our next targeted instruction cycle for ELA and Math. In ELA the students are working on organization for informational writing. The grade 3/4 s in all three classes kids will learn about writing a strong beginning, a strong ending and using paragraphs. In Math the students are working building instant recall for basic facts for addition and subtraction. Then those who are ready will move on to multiplication and division. As a grade group we will be sending home some information and tools for you to use at home to help your child practice his or her basic facts.

Addition Chart (yellow=grade 1, green=grade 2, blue=grade 3) Multiplication Chart (yellow=grade 4, blue=grade 5)

 

-We have completed the individualized spelling tests and are now going to work our way through the Fry’s word lists. I will send words home with students as they make errors and need more practice. I will start with the first 100 words and move on from there. We will use our personal dictionary to highlight the “No Excuse” words and really emphasize how these words need to be spelled correctly each time they are used. Please let me know if you would like a copy of these word lists.

-We have one more day of research and by the end of this stretch of time the students should all be at least starting to write their final piece for Ancient Civilizations.

-Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Details on any events that will take place on February 14 will come soon. Each year I like to remind families that making our own cards out of paper, or using the random cards left from year to year, or exchanging something other than cards (even a kind word) are all choices that have less of an impact on our environment. I try my best to cut down on waste, especially during these special days where we often end up acting out of character and creating a lot of waste. Many of the Valentine cards out there cannot be recycled due to the plastic or foil coating on the cards. I am by no means telling people that they cannot purchase or use pre-made cards for Valentine’s Day, but letting you know other options are welcome as well 🙂 Valentine’s Day card writing is also a great opportunity for students to practice their best printing or try out some cursive writing skills!

Have a lovely weekend. Let’s hope it’s warm enough to spend more time outside without risking frostbite!!

Until next time,

Danielle

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