Monday, April 30, 2012

May News

Everyday when we add another ‘straw’ to our place value chart where we keep track of how many days we have been in school, I am amazed! We are approaching the 150th day of school already! We will be concluding our fictional narrative unit of writing and begin persuasive writing. Persuasive writing is a type of writing that tries to convince a reader of an opinion or belief. We will be using a graphic organizer entitled, “OREO” to help us remember the format for writing these types of pieces. OREO stands for Opinion – Reasons – Examples – Opinion. Encourage your child to write his or her opinion next time s/he makes a special request. Ask him or her to ‘convince you’ in writing. It’s a great opportunity to practice!
Descriptive writing will also be a focus this month. To support your child in writing, you may wish to practice describing items in your home. I strongly recommend that you do lots of talking first. In fact, you may just wish to make this a “talking activity”. Model how to describe things using interesting (“juicy”) words or adjectives to make your description interesting. For example, you may wish to describe a tree in your yard with the observation, “Our sturdy maple tree looks like it is starting to wake up from its winter sleep.” If your child wishes to write or draw, encourage the use of sensory words by asking, “What does your [lamp] look like? Why is it needed in your room? Why do you like it?
One of the reading strategies that we will be focusing on when reading this month is “synthesizing”. Synthesis is the process of ordering, recalling, retelling, and recreating into a coherent whole. A synthesis occurs as you summarize what has happened and what it means to you. One of my favourite books for demonstrating synthesizing to the children is The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. We will discuss how reading can ‘transform’ our thinking. We will be drawing and writing about what we know about a topic before we read a book AND then drawing and writing about the topic AFTER we read a book. This way, we see how our thinking changes (a synthesis occurs) sometimes when we read a book.
In Mathematics this month, we will be finishing concepts in measurement and transformational geometry. We will begin work on fractions, division and multiplication later in the month.
We continue to learn about other communities around the world in Social Studies. We begin our final unit in Science, Movement, this month.

Dates to Remember
 May 18 – PD Day – no school for students
 May 21 Victoria Day – no school

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Children's Safety Village

We had a great time at the Children's Safety Village this afternoon!
We learned about street signs and symbols from Officer John.  We were able to practice what we learned by driving our own jeep around the Safety Village!
Firefighter Eric showed us how to draw a floor plan of our home so we can practice EDITH.
Do you remember what the letters in EDITH represent?

Thanks to our Safety Instructors and our parent volunteers!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April News 2012

We have a very busy month ahead. We will be continuing to learn about Features of Communities Around the World in Social Studies. We are currently learning about Air and Water in the Environment in Science and will be starting our next unit near the end of the month. We have started a new writing unit focusing on composing fictional narratives. We are hoping to post our stories on-line for sharing during Literacy Work Stations. We have read and talked about the two different types of stories – “walking stories” and “climbing stories”. We are examining a variety of storybook characters this week to identify their 'special trait' so that we can work on developing and describing our own character so that our readers can get a “picture in their mind”.
We continue to add reading strategies to our CAFÉ menu. This month we are focusing on recognizing literacy elements, using main idea and supporting details to determine importance.  This strategy should help us identify these features in our own narratives.
In Mathematics this month, we will continue to work on addition and subtraction but within the context of money. Solving problems within meaningful contexts will be our primary focus. We will also revisit measurement – learning to measure area, mass, capacity, and volume.
As part of our recognition of Earth Day this month, I am encouraging the children to try and bring snacks with less packaging and to make healthy choices. A reusable drink container for juice or water is preferable to all the juice boxes that are usually half full, even after our second nutrition break. We will continue to reuse and recycle as much as we can from our lunches.

Our Latest Addition
Has your child told you about our new iPad? We now have an iPad in our classroom that we are currently using during Literacy Work Stations.
We have been using it for some Word Work activities and for video taping our partners reading poems from our classroom anthology. We are working on developing FLUENCY and using expression when reading aloud.

Dates to Remember
  • April 5 – ME to WE movie day (periods 2 and 3)
  • April 6 –Good Friday (no school)
  • April 9 – Easter Monday (no school)
  • April 11 – Day of Pink (acceptance of diversity)
  • April 15 Cherrywood Family Skate at the Gale Center
  • April 19 Grades 1 and 2 visit the Niagara Safety Village
  • April 24 Primary Literacy Night
  • April 25 Litterless Lunch Day
  • April 25-27 Scholastic Book Fair
  • April 29 DSBN Road Race