Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

We had another busy and productive week in room 20. Kids completed their Oregon history timeline makers. We began a new art project by drawing collections. We continued our read aloud, George. We even met up with our buddies in Mrs. Logue’s first grade.

After spring break, third, fourth, and fifth graders will begin several weeks of federally-mandated tests in reading and math. Rather than seeing the tests as a one-time, high stress event, I will try to fold the experience into existing classroom knowledge. I will talk with the kids about
different types of genres in reading, establishing “the test” as a unique type of genre. We will talk about how we can change our reading strategies to match the genre. This emphasis on strategies has been and will continue to be an important part of our classroom throughout the year. If you have any questions about the tests, do not hesitate to ask. Again, opt-out forms are in the office and must be completed prior to the tests beginning.

Math after spring break will include a focus on multiplication fact fluency. To be fluent with multiplication facts means that you can answer a problem like 8x6 in two seconds needing no time for calculating. Please help your kid with ten minutes of practice daily at home. I suggest studying one fact family at a time at a time. For example, practice your x5 facts all at once. Then practice another. Some kids find success with flash cards, which you can make at home or purchase at the dollar store. Keep track of what facts are known and practice the facts that need more practice. Third and fourth grade teachers tend to teach multiplication facts in this order: x2, x5, x10, x3, x4, x6, x9, x8, x7. Here is a great condensed explanation of multiplication strategies for this sequence and a handy times table.

Several Team 20 kids are in this week’s school play, The Baker Street Irregulars. Here’s more information about the production and tickets. I am looking forward to seeing the Thursday performance. 

Lastly, kids have been super careful with keeping their lunch boxes and our classroom lunch tub clean this year. However, we had some sort of dairy explosion this past week. So a heads up...if your kids’ lunch box smells a bit ripe that may be the reason. :)

Mark

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