Friday, October 19, 2018

Raney's Rock Stars: Week 8

This week will go down in the books as the best week to date! Throughout the week, several students demonstrated wonderful collaboration and problem-solving. They were understanding of the needs of others and really made steady advances in their learning. We finished our first science unit this week on the Power of Flowers: Plant Life Cycle and Heredity. We will have out unit assessment next week. In math, we finished our first unit focusing on addition and subtraction strategies and word problems. In writing, we are continuing to develop our first seed stories, students' personal narratives. We are hoping to have a published piece within the next two weeks. Throughout all of these activities and more, students demonstrated kindness, flexibility, and generosity towards others. Together, we earned 1,041 tokens this week! With twenty-one students in our classroom, that averages out to be almost 50 tokens per child for the week! I continue to be amazed by the maturity that is beginning to develop within this group. Their potential is off the charts.

Questions to spark conversation:
-What traits can you find in a tree?
-What more can you tell me about the books you are reading?
-Why is pollination important?
-How many milliliters are within a liter of liquid?
-What can you do to prevent bullying from happening?

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Raney's Rock Stars: Week 7

The highlight of our week was the "summer day" we spent at Riverview Orchard.  Students explored in small groups and conducted an apple investigation.  This inquiry included describing the traits of an apple, drawing a diagram and graphing the number of seeds.  The time went by way too quickly!  Back at school we are finishing up our unit on recycling and getting ready to write our first informational piece using 2 different sources.  Our focus in reading this week has shifted to comprehension.  We are learning to stop as we read and ask ourselves, "Who are the characters in this part?  What just happened?  Does this fit with something that already happened, or is this new?"  In math this week we worked on figuring out multi-step story problems.

Questions to spark conversation:
-What happened on your field trip?  Did you make any new discoveries?
-Why do some pumpkins grow to be SO big?
-What do I need to show when solving a story problem?
-What happened during Forest Friday?

Friday, October 5, 2018

Week Six: Raney's Rock Stars

This week our math groups really set into place. Students did a fabulous job transitioning between stations. We worked on multiple-digit addition and subtraction. In writing, students continued to build on their seed stories. We worked on trying different leads. We learned how every lead should begin with some kind of hook. Using dialogue, immediate action or creating the mood of your story are all great ways to begin. In science, we took a closer look at the process of selection and how apples have changed over time because of selection.

Next week, we will be going to a local orchard to see how pollinators and the power of selection have worked at this orchard. Please reach out to me if you would like to join us.

Ideas to spark conversation:
-What is selection? Why do farmers use selection?
-What is a Make Ten fact and how can it help you solve 27+44?
-What is your seed story about?
-Can you teach me how to play, Target 20? *You only need a deck of playing cards.

Sometimes working with a buddy is the best way to stay focused. 

Working on our recycling posters

Playing a math game is more fun with XL cards :-)

Math groups at their finest

Sorting our words of the week

In science, we got to taste test various apples. Some tasted very sweet....

...while others were not so sweet at all!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Week Five: Raney's Rock Stars

     September came and went, in what feels like, the blink of an eye! It's amazing how quickly time can pass us by. We had a few special moments this week. One of our caterpillar chrysalides hatched and we celebrated in our school-wide reward by painting kindness rocks together. We have settled into a nice routine. This week students have been working to push themselves beyond what is comfortable and "easy" for them and move towards having more stamina to complete the work asked of them.
     We have been writing a lot! We are steering away from the classic, news reporter's voice telling about a whole day worth of story within 30 seconds time. Instead, students are reflecting on small, tiny seed stories within their lives, using a storyteller's voice. In connection to our Forest Fridays, students are taking the time to describe the world around them with elaboration. Any chance you get, talk with them about using more elaborate words to describe what they are doing and how they are doing it :-)
     In math, we have been focusing on various addition and subtraction strategies to help us in our everyday arithmetic. Starting with what you know in order to figure out what you don't is our motto. Soon we will be getting into adding and subtraction multiple-digit numbers on a number line. During our Number Corner time, we have begun to introduce the idea of multiplication and how it is simply repeated addition.
     Lastly, we finished our first read aloud of the year, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate! It was a tear-jerker for sure. I hope your child has come home and shared the story of Red, Samar, and Stephen. It's a wonderful story of hope, courage and the strength in wishing for more.

Ideas to spark conversation:
-Can you tell me about the song Miss Dale is working on with you?
-Why do you think Stephen (book character) decided to stand up for Samar and write "stay" on his wish?
-How can you spread kindness?
-What are some examples of "science fruit"? What makes them science fruit?
-What tiny seed stories have you been working on lately?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Raney's Rock Stars: Week Four

This week we worked on sorting words by a specific rule or set of rules. Students were grouped together based across the whole third grade. On Wednesday, students met with their Word Work Group and learned the rule of the week. Our SeeSaw post this week is a reading of your child's words. In Global Citizenship, students continued their research on recycling and surveyed our school to find out how much we recycle. In Math, we focused on addition strategies and completed an addition table to use as a tool when solving math problems. In Science, we learned about pollination and went out to our school garden to help pollinate various flowers as well as find the stigma and pollen dusters on them. In Second Step (our social skills curriculum) we focused on what it means to take another's perspective on a situation. Students were paired off and described a chair from their point of view. From there, each student made connections to how our points of view can change when we see another person's side to a story. Lastly, on Thursday we celebrated earning over 2000 tokens with pajamas and bringing a stuffy to school. These kiddos certainly are Rock Stars!

Questions to spark conversation:
-What are you reading in reading group?
-What is the "Make Ten" strategy for addition?
-What does it mean to take another's perspective?
-Where can you find the stigma on a flower? Why is the stigma important?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Raney's Rock Stars: Week 3

We started our week off with our very first Spanish lesson! This week we created math glyphs to reflect our learning preferences. We began Math groups and learned the ins and outs of rotating between various groups. In Global Citizenship, we continued our research on recycling and why it is so important. We finished our week with Mrs. Garfield, as Class Council has begun. We look forward to getting into the forest again this afternoon and starting to note our observations while outside.

*Be sure to check out your child's SeeSaw post! Let me know if you have any trouble connecting.

Questions to spark conversation:
-Why is recycling important? Where does plastic go?
-What does your glyph tell about you?
-Describe to me what you heard, saw and felt while at your sit spot this week?
-What is your personal goal for learning and making the classroom a better place?
-What are the important elements of a graph?