Sunday, January 24, 2016

News from Room 208

      I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend!  Here is a look at what has been happening in our classroom.

     The kids created Coin Riddles in the classroom this week during our math time.  This activity was an extension to the work the kids have been doing during Everyday Math lessons around calculating coin combinations.  On the front page of their "coin bag", the kids created a riddle, "I have ___ cents.  I have ____ coins.  What coins do I have?".  Then they provided the solution on the second page, including the coins used and a number sentence to show their math thinking.  Be sure to take a peek at these wonderful creations hanging outside our classroom!  It has been great to watch as kids in our wing stop by and try to solve our riddles!


     During Writer's Workshop, the kids continue to work on their Nonfiction Expert Books.  With the help of our computer teacher, Cathy Wolinsky, the kids have learned how to research their chosen topic.  The children used the graphic organizer, "boxes and bullets" to help collect their information.  After choosing a focus for each of their three chapters, the kids wrote each chapter focus inside a box on the graphic organizer.  Then they found information both in books and on their laptops to fit the chapter focus.  For example,  if a child chose "Dogs" as their topic, their focus for chapter one might be "Supplies you need for your Dog".  They wrote "Supplies you need for your Dog" inside the first box, and then filled in the "bullets" under the box with information that would fit that focus.
     After their research was complete, the kids began composing their chapters, using their graphic organizer to help guide them.  We agreed on Friday that although this is hard work, we are learning lots about how to be a nonfiction author.  I am so impressed with the kids perseverance and hard work with this project!

      We completed our unit on Nonfiction Books during Reader's Workshop this week.  I believe it is safe to say that we now have a classroom full of Nonfiction Text Feature experts!  I plan to use the next couple of weeks to focus on writing about reading (in both fiction and nonfiction) using Post It notes to "leave tracks of our thinking".  After this, I plan to begin our next reading unit, which will focus on the characters in our fiction books.

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