As we enter our new unit, COMMUNITIES, students have begun brainstorming a variety of communities that we know about and discussed how they are alike and different. We know that each of us belong to a community, so we started exploring how we fit into it. During this unit, the students will explore what it means to be a member of a community and how communities can be successful.
So Far ...
We have decided that a community is a group of people or animals working together to achieve a common goal. We also decided that there are seven things that we feel a community needs to have. They are: living things, a place, goals, beliefs, rules, jobs, and leaders. This led us to realize that our family is a community. We spent some time looking at our family communities and comparing and contrasting our families. Then, we moved to our classroom community. We realized very quickly that our family communities are a part of our bigger classroom communities. During our study of classroom community, we have begun talking about jobs and how they play a role in each community. We have created a class job chart and will begin rotating through the different jobs for the rest of the year.
In the coming weeks, we will take a tour around our school and visit some of the important people inside our school community. We will learn about what they do and why their jobs are important. We will also take a field trip to downtown Beaufort, so that we can learn about a community bigger than the school community which is our city community.
Our Guided Reading groups are up and running!The students are all growing as readers.This time of our day is when each student receives targeted instruction on his/her appropriate level from the teachers in small groups while the rest of the students are engaged in independent literacy activities from our Daily Five Choices.
Please have your child read their Guided Reading book to you at home often and praise and encourage their progress! Then, RETURN IT IMMEDIATELY TO THEIR FOLDER SO THAT WE WILL HAVE IT TO READ THE NEXT DAY IN CLASS!
The Daily Five (Six in our room!) includes: 1. Read to Self- we practice reading books on our own reading level. 2. Read to Someone- we read books to or with a buddy. 3. Work on Writing- we write stories with text and illustrations of our choosing. 4. Listen to Reading- stories are read aloud to us using discmen. We follow along in books. 5. Work with Words- we practice making and writing sight and other words. 6. Computers - Students go to either www.starfall.com or www.abcya.com to explore phonics and literacy games.
Our CAFE Board
As part of our Daily Five (Six) time, the students have begun learning about our classroom CAFE Board. The CAFE Board has strategies to help us become strong readers on it. Strategies each go under one of the CAFE letter headers. The C stands for Comprehension Strategies, A stands for Accuracy, F for Fluency and E for Expanding Vocabulary. So far, we have added two strategies to our board. First, we learned " Do the pictures match the words?". We used this strategy often throughout our reading and writing to make sure that it makes sense and is teaching what we intended. This is very helpful as we become readers ourselves and try to figure out new words. CONGRATULATIONS to Konner who became our expert in this skill! He got to write it for our CAFE Board and will say it within our chant. Our second strategy is "Check for Understanding". This means that when we read we stop every so often and make sure we understand what is going on. CONGRATULATIONS to Shawn for being the expert in this skill! We have added both to our board and are working to use them often to become stronger readers and writers. Please use these CAFE Strategies at home as well!
Sight Words should be practiced nightly and sent back to school as soon as your child has memorized his/her list. Please work on them at home OFTEN! Everyone is moving along nicely and it shows in our ability to READ!!!
Since returning from break the students have begun something new, Calendar Binders! We keep track of the weather, seasons, months, days of the week and more in our own individual binders. This practices a variety of math skills and is a favorite time of the day! Our focus in math has been 3-D shapes and reviewing teen numbers (and higher numbers!). We are all becoming experts on 3D shapes! We can name them, find them in our environment and find 2D shapes within the 3D shapes. Check and see if we can find any at home or in our community!
When we returned in January we got to work with our Eighth Grade Buddies again. We spent time discussing each others family communities and getting to know each other. We also created family glyphs together. This helped us to understand and get to know ourbuddies and build up our buddy community!