Wow! Our Fairy Tale Ball was a huge success! The children loved sharing their original fairy tales, performing their skits, and enjoying fairy tale themed snacks. These fairy tales are SO fun for the children to write but this project encompasses so much more than that! Students get to learn about the building blocks for stories and story structure and then get to write and mimic those structures (beginning, middle, end, problem, solution, etc,). They learn how to create detailed illustrations and how important they are to stories. The skits also provide an opportunity for the kids to practice their speaking and performance skills while letting them demonstrate their learning in a kinesthetic way. Every detail included in this event comes from the kids and integrated 21st century skills like communication and collaboration. Their work shined through every detail (backdrops, self-made books, labels for food, etc.). Our fairy tale ball is such an AMAZING event and we are so thankful for everyone who helped make it a success. Thank you for your sending in items and supporting this wonderful unit of study.
After we completed our Fairy Tales, we transitioned into the tricky skill of "Cause and Effect". Readers understand that in text, events happen, (effects), along with the reasons why they happen (causes). When students recognize this relationship, comprehension is increased. The cause and effect relationship is a basic thinking skill and text structure for all types of reading and subject areas. We began reading some of Laura Numeroff’s “circle stories.” Some of her stories include: If You Give a Pig a Pancake, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Party, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It was fun to see how these books use cause and effect throughout the story and end the way the story began. Ask your child which is their favorite story by Laura Numeroff. The students also completed their own circle stories using the patterns (and cycles!) modeled by Laura Numeroff's stories. What circle story did your child create?
We also circle back around to our CAFE reading strategies this month and added a new menu item to the list. To increase Comprehension (understanding what is read), readers can make INFERENCES! What does it mean to infer? When a reader infers, they make a guess about what is happening in the story. The students became “detectives” and looked for clues and evidence in texts to figure out the meaning of the stories read in class. They loved this! When making inferences, readers figure out what the author is saying even if it’s not written down. We taught the students to: use their background knowledge, use clues from the text, and to use illustrations and captions to make meaning of the selection. We learned that not all authors tell the reader everything they want you to know in the selection. This is different from a prediction which is simply a "guess" because the students have to support their guess with EVIDENCE! We read the story "Two Bad Ants" which tells the story of 2 naughty ants who separate themselves from their colony to stay at a home where there was a lot of good food to eat. They eat many "crystals" and get stuck in a "boiling brown lake". The students inferred that these crystals were actually sugar and the lake was a cup of coffee (or was it TEA or even SOUP?) We never get to know for sure but we used evidence from the author's words and pictures to make our inferences! Check out some of the pictures above of a few of our friends playing inference charades! During morning meeting, the kiddos acted out different things and we tried to INFER what each student was doing!
We had a ton of fun exploring 2-D and 3-D shapes in our Geometry unit! This week, the children had a blast decomposing shapes! When given a hexagon, the students used other shapes to create the same hexagonal shape. We found over 8 different ways to use a rhombus, triangle and trapezoid to form a hexagon. We then practiced composing shapes. We gave them a variety of different shapes and asked the students to make one larger shape! It took a lot of perseverance to make these creations!
During this unit we will work to:
-Identity and describe a given shape and shapes of objects in everyday situations including two-dimensional shapes (triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, and circle) and three dimensional shapes (cone, cube, cylinder, sphere).
-Classify shapes as two-dimensional/flat or three-dimensional/solid and explain the reasoning used.
-Analyze and compare two and three-dimensional shapes of different sizes and orientations using informal language.
-Draw two-dimensional shapes (square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, and circle) and create models of three-dimensional shapes (cone, cube, cylinder, and sphere).
In the coming weeks, we will also learn about symmetry (and how to draw lines of symmetry!) and FRACTIONS! Stay tuned!