And then it was December…

Good Morning Everyone!

Did last weeks seem so long, yet so short to anyone else? Funny how time can feel that way sometimes!

Here is a peek at what we did last week and what’s coming up this week 🙂

-We had 3 Book Club sessions and have completed reading our books! Throughout the process of introducing Book Clubs (to some and revisiting them for others) we have been focusing on comprehension (understanding what we are reading). Reading the words on the page (decoding) is only one part of reading and it is really important to understand what we’ve read. We have practiced this in many ways such as:

-Making predictions (at the beginning of the novel and in the middle): What do you think will happen? Why do you think that what happen? When we use the clues in the book to make a prediction we are actually making an inference. Our predictions do not have to be right, but they are not a wild guess either

-Wondering: What are you wondering about? Why did the character _______ do_______? How will they solve the problem? Why did they make that choice? We make wonderings all the time and might not even realize it! We took some time to talk about that and then put our wonderings on paper and share them with the group

-Connections: Making connections between the text and ourself, to other text, the world around us and to media help us to deepen our understanding of the story and also of what the author is trying to convey

-New Vocabulary: The students were asked to write down any unfamiliar vocabulary as they read and we began each “meeting” by sharing these with each other and explaining what these words meant. It was really important for us to do that and remind the kids that it’s okay not to know some of these words (how to pronounce them or know their meaning), but we should take the time to learn them!

-Retelling: Being able to read a paragraph, a page,  a chapter, or a entire book and being able to retell the main parts of the text to others is a great way to check for comprehension. If the students are not able to retell what they’ve read, they either do no understand or they are simply reading the words and not thinking about the text at all

-Reading with me! I read with each student during the past week and then listened to their retelling of the page they read and talked about a connection with the book. By doing Book Clubs with more adults we are able to keep our group sizes smaller. We (the 3/4 team) would like to thank Murray, Stacy and Ginny for helping us out with Book Clubs during our Common Learning Time!

We aren’t quite done yet! We will spend the next 3 sessions to plan and create a mini maker project that we will share (during the last week before the holidays) with the other students in Grade 3/4. Don’t worry…we will have videos and photos to share via Seesaw!

-We’ve been working on doing the traditional algorithm for addition and subtraction! The students are actually quite excited to pull our their mini whiteboards and get practicing! We will have some practice books to start this upcoming weeks and make sure we fully understand the concept of regrouping! When students have a deep understanding of place value it really helps with the algorithm. It is also so important to know the basic facts . When students know their facts it takes a lot of the thinking time out of doing the math problems. If your child is still working on recall for fact fluency I suggest doing some flashcards for a few minutes a day to help build their skills and confidence!

-We’ve been working on Mental Math quite a bit at school. I have designed 3 different practice opportunities, each with a narrowed down focus on specific strategies. We have done this in October/early November and again at the end of November and the students are so pleased when they compare how they’ve done. We use a timer, but the timer increases in time instead of counting down. As the students finish they write down their time. They also write out the facts they need to practice and name the strategies that we’ve used on that particular task. Their goal is to increase their accuracy and decrease their time each “round”. This way they are not feeling like they are competing with each other. They want to make improvements in their own work. If they get the same amount of questions correct, but do it in a minute less time, then that is an improvement, etc.

-On Monday we will do some Math groups with 122. We have created 4 different groups which focus on something different, but each student is placed to target a specific goal. We will do this 6 times until Winter Break and see how it worked out!

-On Thursday I sent you all a Seesaw message about “costumes” for the Winter Concert. Thanks to those who replied back to let me know you received the message. This helps me to keep track of who I might need to communicate with in other ways to make sure that everyone is “in the know”! Reminder: Dark top (long sleeved preferred, but short will work), dark bottoms, shoes they can dance in and the rest of the outfit will be provided by the school. *Black is great, but anything dark will work *If we need to turn clothing inside out that is fine too

Students need to wear this on December 10 for dress rehearsal and December 12 for the 3 shows (10:00, 1:30, 7:00)

Ticket information was also sent out this week!

-We are about 70 pages into the second Fitzgerald-Trouts book! I wonder if we can finish before the holidays?!

-We’ve written persuasive letters about our ideas for a fundraiser for our Senior’s gift. Although the students might have forgotten all the “ins and outs” of writing a persuasive letter (which we will practice again soon!) it does seem like the majority of the group wants to watch a movie, eat popcorn, drink hot chocolate and wear PJs. The good news is…I can make that happen! On Friday, December 6th in the morning we will watch a movie and have all trimming stated above! Students may bring one stuffy as well. We are asking students to bring in a loonie or a toonie to cover the cost of Fanny’s gift (warm socks, hats, mitts scarf and cookies). If anyone wants to take care of the popcorn (pop it for us and bring it in) or have some hot chocolate they want to donate please let me know. If not, no worries. I am trying to remember that sometimes people want to help out these ways and I should offer 🙂

-Our trip to the library was really fun! It was nice to see so many students with library cards and also nice to be able to get new cards for a few students. This is the first time we’ve down this with out learning buddies! I love doing a variety of activities with our buddies. They really do look up to our students and it’s nice to make connections and create leadership opportunities.

-This week’s Ask Me question is…to spend some time outside and let us know what you’re up to AND to leave a comment on the photos I will post from our Assiniboine Forest field trip earlier in the month (sorry for the delay)

Until next time,
Danielle

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