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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 49- Celebrity Soldeirs

Today was a great day.

We started with getting to write about Halloween. I had told my students that they were not allowed to mention the H-word until after Fall Break, and they were good about following directions. Now that fall break is over, we have around 5 conversations about Halloween per day. *sigh*

While I had my TIER II reading group at my table, the rest of the class were writing about their favorite part of Halloween. First we made a word bank of words they might want to use in their writing.

The words mostly centered around costumes they want to wear. I have to admit, they did a good job. We shared our writings when I finished with my reading group. Here are a few samples of their work.

 I am going to be a super girl. I can fly in the sky. I see 15 stars in the sky.

I like vampires because he is scary at all. 
(I'm thinking he meant scariest of all.)

 I want to be a princess because it have a magic stick.
(She wants a wand!)

I like to be a witch. The witch like to trick-or-treat. The witch has a pumpkins.

So, what were we doing in my TIER II group? Well, we were working on combining all the sight words that we have practiced so far. You can visit THIS site to see some of the sight words and activities that we use. For extra practice, I've made each of the students a game they will get to play with a partner tomorrow.

I found the template for the game board HERE. I simply printed it off, wrote in the words that we have been working on, and made copies for each of the students.
*Once students have mastered recognizing the words, we will make the game more interesting by having the students put the words in a sentence in order to get to more forward.

Math's focus was on Almost Doubles. Basically, numbers that really want to be doubles, but just don't make the cut. You might remember our starting doubles facts from THIS post when we worked on making even numbers. Even numbers are numbers that have pairs.
So, my students understand doubles. In fact, they understood it so well, that when we made this handy-dandy chart...
 (Double Bubble! Remember that gum?)
... when we made this chart, the kids recognized some patterns! Pattern #1- the numbers used in the doubles facts were getting bigger by ones. 1+1, 2+2, 3+3, etc. Pattern #2- the answers got bigger by 2's!
We did the facts up to 5 using our hands. The rest of the facts, we used our brains- way better. I let the kids write the facts as we checked the answers. 

The trick of the lesson was taking their understanding of doubles, and applying it to almost doubles facts. 
Let me explain. Check out this picture.

1+1 is a doubles fact. Each digit is the same and they make a perfect pair.
But what would happen if we threw another digit in?
So now instead of 1+1, we have 2+1. This is almost a doubles fact. It has one perfect pair (1+1), but it also has an extra 1. 
In our previous math adoption (Everyday Math) they called this a Doubles+1 fact. The student recognizes that there is one set of doubles in the equation, then adds 1. So, for this equation, 1+1 is the doubles fact, then add another 1 to get the answer of 3.

When we worked on practicing almost doubles facts, the kids didn't seem to have any trouble until we got to 5+6. Basically, they ran out of fingers. They were allowed to use their fingers, unifix cubes, the put-in-your-brain-and-count-up method, whatever they had in their mathematic arsenal. Only a few remembered to find the doubles fact (5+5) first, then add the extra 1.

I'm not going to stress over this. There is still plenty of time to collect more addition strategies this year. :)

It was during lunch they my class received the BEST. NEWS. EVER. Literally, it was news! Like, in the newspaper!
General Delk's Army was in the newspaper! You can read the BLOG post, or you can check out the ARTICLE! We were pretty much on Cloud 9 the rest of the day. :)
Thank you, Times Free Press!

After lunch, we had a Hamilton County writing prompt. Our prompt: Pretend you are given a monkey to baby-sit. What would you do with the monkey? (that's not word-for-word, but it's the gist) My students are wonderful about knowing how to use our anchor charts that are around the room. Students used adjectives, onomatopoeia, Halloween words that were still on the board, Antarctic words, and land forms in their stories. I didn't have the time to check out all of their papers, but one student did write that she would take her monkey to see a hill. 
Oh, the cleverness of my students!

Pictures from literacy centers: (the kids get so excited when they know they're going to get their pictures made!)

Our Daily Brain

** REMINDER** Parent/ Teacher conferences still going on this week. I will be in the building until 4 tomorrow if you'd like to come by and I will be making phone calls to parents I haven't heard from. Friday is a 1/2 day and I will be available for a conference until 3:30. Report cards will be given during the conference.

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