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Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 134- Wacky week

Why is this week wacky? Because we had a regular day of school today, but tomorrow we are out of school for no real reason at all.
Well, that's not really true. Tomorrow is the day that Juniors in the county take the SATs and they need complete silence in order for them to do well. So, all other students have a day off... because they are so loud at their own schools that they might distract the Juniors form their task.
What-evs. The teachers get a day without students.

Today is Monday, which means new reading vocabulary! The story this week is about a boy and his Grandfather and their time camping together.

Canoe- a long, flat boat
Cards- small pieces of paper
Field- a large area of flat land
Grandaddy- a grandparent
Tired- ready for bed (like me!)
Remember- to recall information
Mind- to behave
Imagine- to think of how something might happen
Cedar- a type of tree

I didn't want to start new centers today, just to have us skip a day tomorrow- so we made vocabulary 8-squares.

In math we worked on changing subtraction problems into addition problems. We knew it would involve using Fact Families, and that seemed too easy. So, we turned it into... Algebra! We do love that subject! Our worksheet looked like this:
The small rectangle at the top is where the "answer" goes. (the biggest number) For example: the problem might be 14= ______ + 9, and we have to find out the missing number. Not so bad, right? My students didn't seem to think so- we just put 9 into our brains and counted up until we hit 14.
So, to spice things up, we added a variable- or a letter- in place of the blank that we had to solve for. 14= a+9. Now we have to solve for a.

It's amazing what adding a variable can do! My students understood that the process in answering the problem didn't really change, but in their minds this became a much richer problem- it became Algebra, which is a challenge. Of course, it was a challenge they were ready for! We had fun turning boring problems into Algebra. We are sooo ready for 5th grade!

We ended the day be reviewing the Citizenship process and the Bill of Rights. Then we started looking at the 3 Branches of Government. I love the Ben's Guide to Government website.

I used their information and added my own illustration.We also watched a BrainPop Jr. to begin the lesson.

We are having the best time with this unit! Well, I am. I don't want to speak for my students, but they seem to enjoy themselves. I know they were happy on Friday when they showed off their Bill of Rights knowledge!

** Remember- NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!**

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