This is such an exciting week in our classroom. We are launching a new science unit about the Earth’s Changes, our author Grace Lin will visit, and we will wrap up our math unit about all things measurement!
This week in the Wonder’s reading program we will study the question, “How does the Earth’s weather affect us?” It seems to be timed perfectly with this week’s weather outlook. We will continue to build our ability to ask meaningful questions as we read, and will begin to explore how we can find text evidence to answer the questions we create. As well, we will study the long e spellings, and look more at antonyms.
In Math we will wrap up our unit on measurement by studying how to measure a crooked path and with an introduction to arrays. This is a shift in traditional multiplication in which students are introduced to building rectangles that are so many squares wide and long. Thus, the mathematical sentence 2 X 3 makes sense, as they build a 2 by 3 rectangle. The product (answer) is the number of squares they lay down-6. It is a wonderful concrete mathematical model that explains a very abstract idea. Again, it is only an introduction, and many students will rely on repeated counting to solve the problem (2 + 2 + 2 = 6). Below is a wonderful Array Game called Array Tetris you can play at home. I have included the game page with directions for you to download at the end of this post.
We have many writing submissions for February’s community meeting, and I am excited to see if any of our students are chosen to take part. Some students indicated they wanted their work to be considered for only the Joe’s English School Newspaper, and submitted their work in that way. I’ll keep you posted as I know more about selections.
Finally, we are starting a new unit of study that covers one of our major Science focus areas: Earth’s changes. The standard outlines that the students should understand that some of the Earth’s changes occur quickly, while others occur slowly. I used a Question Formulation Technique with the students last week when I introduced the learning statement, and I was quite impressed with the questions they raised- they were thoughtful, filled with rich vocabulary, and flexible in their thinking.
This unit will begin with the quick Earth changes such as volcanos, floods, earthquakes, and so on. We will then move into erosion, weathering, and deposition, at which point we will further study plants as a means to control erosion. This should all tie in nicely as we prepare for our artist in residence program this Spring. Our eco-artist will help us design sustainable landscapes that help control weathering.
On a final note, I will be out of the building Wednesday to Friday as I travel to attend a memorial service for a family member. The students will be in good hands, and their days have been carefully planned out to continue the normal routine of learning.