This week we will explore the question, “How has our Earth changed over time?” This ties nicely into our landform research project, as we will read about volcanoes and erosion. Our spelling pattern this week will focus on the /ir, er, ur/ sounds. Students will work with what is commonly called “Bossy R” and sort their spelling words this week. We will work with linking verbs this week, and discuss cause and effect.
This week in Math, students will learn how to add larger numbers using a method called partial products. This is new to many parents, and you may find yourself asking why they are introduced to adding this way. As a teacher, I have found that students have greater success using traditional algorithms (the way we learned to add) if they first learn this method. It clears up carrying tens and hundreds to the next column, reinforces number sense, and sets them up for success. This is not a method students should use for a long period of time, but a springboard to help them better understand how to use the traditional algorithm (the way we learned in school) with less frustration and fewer mistakes. The traditional algorithm will be introduced in a lesson that comes up quickly.
In addition, it helps students add large numbers mentally. Some adults may approach solving the problem 76+28 by adding and carrying the ones and tens mentally. Others may add the 70 to the 20, then add the 14 (6+8). Others may add 2 to the 28, go up 30 from 76, then subtract the 2 back. I still learn new strategies from other adults in the math trainings I attend, as we discuss how we solve problems. The point is, we all approach math differently. Your child will use the foundation we are providing to find a strategy they prefer. Let them be the lead, as they typically pick the one that makes the most sense to them.
Our “How To” writing is on display in the hallway, and I have to say they are FANTASTIC! They cover topics that range from How to fix a backhoe to How to put on lipstick, and about everything else in between. We are also wrapping up our research on the many types of landforms, and moving forward to plan and create our 3D landform models out of salt dough. The students are so excited for this part of the project!
And did I mention we are still moving forward with cursive? With so much going on in our classroom, it is no wonder the weeks seem to fly by!