We have been super busy over the last month. In math we have been learning lots of strategies to help us add and subtract two digit numbers. We have learned how to count on and count back by 10's on a hundreds chart. We have also practiced solving problems by adding the tens and then adding the ones. Many students were surprised that you could turn subtraction problems into missing addend addition problems to find the difference. We even practiced solving problems with mental math (in our minds)! The children are doing well and will continue to improve with practice and repetition. Please make sure your child is practicing their basic math facts up to 20 daily. They can use flash cards, X-tra Math, Reflex Math, computer programs and/or any other means you find work for your family routines.
During our Fundations instruction in our ELA block students are reviewing closed syllables, closed syllable exceptions, base words and suffixes. They are also beginning to learn about or will soon learn about open syllables and vowel-consonant-e (v-e) syllables. During the month of December the children have been working on DRA's (Developmental Reading Assessments) in their reading tier as well. This is one assessment that we use to help us determine strengths and weaknesses in various areas of reading such as decoding, fluency, comprehension, summarizing, and inferring. We will continue with regular reading instruction once we have completed all DRA's.
We finished up our science unit on trees and have moved on to weather and the water cycle. The children learned about the various stages of the water cycle (evaporation, condensation, precipitation). They also illustrated a cloud book and should be able to identify cirrus, cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus, and nimbostratus clouds! We are very fortunate to have Miss Fallon, our art teacher, work with us on a special science project. The children have been working over the past few weeks to write a news script. They all have different jobs such as news anchor, meterologist, blizzard reporter, blizzard local, etc. We will be working with Miss Fallon this week and next to create a news report in front of the green screen! Everyone is excited to begin filming and we can't wait to share it with you. The kids really did an amazing job writing their scripts! Keep your eye out for an e-mail requesting items (specific clothing items, umbrella, scarf, mittens, shovel, etc.) for our filming on December 19th.
On October 18, we went on our field trip to the Discovery Museum in Acton. What a blast! The children were able to explore the various floors of the museum and participate in many hands on exhibits. For one hour our class went into the Museum classroom to participate in a Sink and Float Design Challenge. The museum facilitators posed the children with a problem. They had to build a "boat" using various items (straws, bubble wrap, sponge, empty fruit quart, etc.) to get people, sleeping bags, food, a treasure, etc. across the "Boston Harbor". It was fun to watch the children work in groups to try to design a boat that would float and safely hold their items. Many groups came very close and they had a great time learning the design process. Check out the pictures from our field trip below!