Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Update in Room 108

Greetings to all! A lot has happened since the last post and the district web server is experiencing difficulties so my recent Readers have been unavailable. Here we go...

The recent game day proved again to be a strong evaluation for all students in the areas of math, reading, and phonics. Many of the skills covered in both assessments will be reviewed and assessed again before the year is over. Report cards will be sent home on March 20, 2008, the final day of school before spring break.

Unit 7 of Open Court Reading has graduated students from predecodables and personal readers into student anthologies. An anthology is a pretty traditional collection of literature focusing not on phonemic skills rather student comprehension and understanding. Important skills now become summarizing, making predictions, drawing inferences, and sequencing events. Many of these reading skills are assessed informally with teacher/student question and answers but there will be occasional worksheets dedicated to written answers. Unit assessments will also require students to do some reading and answering comprehension questions individually. The theme for this unit is "Keep Trying" emphasizing the importance of working hard and not giving up. Recent reading selections include the Itsy Bitsy Spider and selected Frog and Toad.

Everyday Math is also in Unit 7 which, as the Home Links have shown, focuses on Geometry. Students brought in many geometric shapes for the "Shape Museum" that has been constructed in the rear of the classroom. We are currently focusing on identifying names of polygons and three dimensional (3D) shapes. Attention is being paid to the shapes attributes such as the number of sides, corners, straight edges, side length, color, and patterns.
Please continue to work with your child on their addition facts because subtraction is right around the corner. Ongoing skills include: clock times, domino addition, coin counting/money exchange, base 10 blocks, place value, writing names for numbers, fact triangles (families.)

Social Studies has cracked into Unit 3 which introduces students to the "World of Work." The unit brings the reality of work as a means to gain money necessary for the purchase of goods. The first couple lessons focus on human wants and needs, differentiating between the two. It also identifies the needs as food, shelter, and clothing. As a class we have talked about how lucky we are to live in Oak Park, Illinois and not have to worry much about when and what they will eat, where to school, or sleep at night.

Science is slowly traveling throughout the solar system and universe as students become more familiar with the planets of our solar system in the Milky Way galaxy. The recent trip to Cernan Space Center was a tremendous venue to let students see space in a new and different way while also being allowed an opportunity to ask a professional astronomer questions about the universe we live in.

Upcoming Dates and Things to Remember:
Mann School Spirit Days - March 12-14 * Friday is Hot Chocolate Friday *
Wed, Crazy Hair Day; Thurs, Pajama Day; Fri, Mustang Day (Mann Wear)
March 21-30, 2008 - Spring Break

Thanks to all who sent in hand sanitizer and soap! Our students are extremely grateful! (So am I!) See you on the blacktop!