1. Our sound this week is wrapping up short i and beginning short u. We are determining if we can sort words based on different rules. For example, can I read a word or listen to a word and decide if it is a long vowel sound or a short vowel sound? Can I tell the difference between different short sounds? We are using word cards today to sort short u and short i into 2 groups. Each small group of students will be given a set of cards and told to sort them, but I will not be giving them the rule. They will need to figure out how the cards can be sorted. We will then discuss our findings. Some kids will sort them by sound, but others may sort by syllables.
2. We are learning to read our sight words very quickly. Sight words are the words that readers should recognize and read without any decoding. We are using a program called Super Speed 100 that acts like a game. The students work with a partner and try to beat personal records. The words used are 100 sight words that make up 50% of our reading. The program states that children usually increase their reading speed between 20-40%.
3. In math, we are working on making and solving story problems. We start by choosing a name of a person or character, a place, and 2 numbers. We put the numbers into an equation. Then we form a story problem based on that information. For example, today a group of students chose Hello Kitty, beach, 110, and 306. They decided to add and put 110+306=? . They wrote "Hello Kitty went to the beach. She saw 110 beach balls. She saw 306 surf boards. How many beach balls and surf boards did she see in all?" After they write, they need to solve the problem in 3 different ways. This is a self checking method that will show them if they are getting the correct answer. I am pleasantly surprised to see how well they are doing with this activity! This would be very easy at home. All you need is some paper! If you are adventurous (test if first) try a dry erase marker on the window!
4. Some of your children may have mentioned that we have a high school intern named Allen. He has been a great helper. He has been able to help with different activities and is doing some small group/individual tutoring. We are lucky to have him Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.
5. Friday is our Fall Festival Celebrations. Please send in any donations by tomorrow so that we can get the goody bags filled. Friday you will need to send your child either wearing or carrying the costume he/she created. Make sure that the comfortable parts are being worn. We will not have a lot of time for changing of outfits. You are welcome to join us after 1:30. We will be doing some activities related to fall and Halloween, and having a parade through the high school at 2:25. Please keep in mind that we are not having food (just a small snack) and that we have a peanut/tree nut allergy.
6. Next week (Monday and Tuesday afternoon) we will be administering our 9 week tests. These are district assessments that all students are given in reading and math. Please make sure that your child is at school and that he/she is well rested. There is not any studying that can be done. The entire quarter has been preparing your child. Please continue to practice math facts, read and discuss books, and look over papers brought home. Discussing questions in the agenda is a fabulous review.
7. Conferences are November 8 and 14. We have 20 minute slots. Please send in your conference request form as soon as possible. I will do my best to accommodate, but it is first come, first served for the most part. Please be specific if there are siblings with already confirmed conferences and I will try to schedule around those. If you cannot make either of those nights but wish a conference, we can work something else out. Just contact me. Report cards will be explained along with any data collected on your child. If you do not have a conference, the report card will be sent home after the last conference night.