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

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