Settling into 2020!

Hi Everyone,

Well we’ve been back in school for two weeks after our winter break and it hasn’t taken long to get back into the swing of things! Here is a little about what we’ve been up to and what we have planned for the next few weeks!

-We have done lots of writing practice including our mid year narrative, persuasive and information samples. Our focus is about organization-making sure we have a beginning, middle and end as well as inserting some voice-to make our writing sound like us! To help with this task we will be doing another Common Learning session with 122 & 126. Starting on Monday we will have the students rotate between 4 writing crafts (Beginnings, Endings, List vs Layer & TAP into voice). The students will be in the same groups they were in for our September rotations and will get two 60 minute sessions with their teacher leader before moving onto the next writing craft. Once we have finished the 8 lessons we will rewrite the information sample we have already written and see how the students were able to make improvements to their own writing.

-We are about 1/3 of the way through the final Fitzgerald-Trouts novel! There have been many good inferences and predictions happening as we read as well as stopping to learn new vocabulary and have discussions about word choice. There are so many benefits and teaching moments that take place during read aloud time. I already can’t wait to read our next book…The Wild Robot!

-We started a new Friday tradition! I came across another teacher who does “First Chapter Fridays”. This is where you read the first chapter of a novel and talk about whether or not the author has “hooked” you or not and if you are interested in continuing the book on your own. I think this will be the theme of our Ask Me question for a bit. Make sure to share your thoughts via our weekly Seesaw question! I’m hoping this activity will help the students to be inspired to make connections from what they read to what they write and how grabbing the reader’s attention right from the beginning can be a great tool to use as a writer. I’m also hoping it will help students who are stuck with choosing books to read.

-Our Canadian artist study has been going well. So far the students have completed 3 works of art and will finish their fourth this week! I haven’t been great at taking photos lately…but here are a few samples from similar work from a few years ago!

-Our inquiry focus for the next while is Habitats and Communities. To help springboard our inquiry we are going to the zoo (on Thursday, January 23). I sent a Seesaw message earlier in the week and the blue field trip note has been put in your child’s mailbox. Please make sure they are dressed for the weather as a large portion of the day will be spent outside.

-This is also helping to inspire us for our class Genius Hour project. We are going to be working through the Genius Hour process by working together and learning more about the impacts of the wildfires in Australia. The koalas have been of particular interest to us and we are looking for a way to help after they have been injured and their habitat has been lost.

-We have just begun a unit on fractions and will be doing some lessons about fractions and decimals over the next few weeks. If you would like to extend this practice to something you can work on at home some of the things we are noticing are: some students are challenged by sharing ways we use fractions in our everyday lives (for example-sharing food in equal parts, when baking, etc.), naming fractions of sets (if I have a set of 12 cookies and I ate 6 what fraction did I eat?), counting by 1/2s (1/2, 1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, 3…), counting by 1/4s (1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4, 1 2/4…), naming compatible fractions (If I shaded 1/2 of the shape what fraction of the shape would need to be shaded to make 1 whole?). Some of these concepts are new for the students and for some of them it is a review. I simply wanted to share what we are working on in case you wanted to practice at home too!

-Other things to note! During this week’s practice of sentence editing and contractions I added in some extra details in the instructions section! Following instructions, both written and oral, seems to be an area we require extra practice with. To make sure students were reading the instructions, I had asked them to write their first and last name at the top of the page. Several students were asked to go back and read the instructions again as it was clear that they had only written their first name. We will continue to work on the importance of reading and listening to instructions and how that is connected with knowing what is expected of us. However…the other thing that surfaced is that many students were not able to spell their last name and did not know they needed to use an uppercase letter to begin the last name too. Take a minute and see if your child is able to spell their last name on their own (with an uppercase letter)!

*Book orders were due yesterday, but as I only had one order I will leave it open until Tuesday, January 21.

*Monday is a library day…please bring in any books you have at home. There are many overdue books that should be returned ASAP 🙂

I think that’s it for now. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more updates from 123!

Until next time,


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