Thursday, January 15, 2009

Exploding Into Unit 5

3...2...1.... Blastoff!  We are now racing full throttle into the next phase of learning.  With a solid effort and performance during "Game Day" on Tuesday the students in Room 108 are now venturing into Unit 5 of Open-Court Reading and Everyday Mathematics along with a new unit in science titled "Finding the Moon."  This is a very exciting time because all children are beginning to read independently and are being challenged to be more creative and apply previously learned skills while still experiencing new things every day!  

Unit 5 in Reading is titled "Weather" and students will be engulfed by an assortment of story genres to read about and learn the many different kinds of weather and its effects.  Comprehension skills we are practicing will include asking questions, making connections, predicting, summarizing, and cause and effect.  As vocabularies are broadened writing will become more descriptive and concepts will become much more clearly understood and applied.  Phonemic awareness will continue to focus on the many different spellings of long vowel sounds and decoding of new, more difficult words.  

Unit 5 in Math will move beyond basic number sequencing into place value, number relationships, as well as number stories and models.  Another major focus of this unit will be addition facts.  Students will continue to take addition time tests and if they complete, with 100% accuracy, they will move onto subtraction timed tests.  The best way to get better at facts is to practice, practice, practice.  There are plenty of math facts links on the right hand column of my blog.  Using flash cards at home is always an easy way and if you make it into a speed challenge it can be kind of fun too!  

Science is making the biggest change to our curriculum for the upcoming months.  We are shooting beyond our Earth's atmosphere into outer space to explore our solar system and all the interesting features of its planetary bodies and objects.  Students will be challenged to think about the movement of the planets, moons and other space objects with terms like rotate, revolve, orbit, inertia, and craters.  Children will also be engaged in activities that attempt to simulate the unique aspects our solar system has to offer.  Keep your eyes on those Mail folders as you should see space material coming home!  

Hope you are all finding ways to stay warm in this "bitterly" cold weather!  Keep your "munchkins" dressed in full arctic gear!!