Update 1/22/2016

Spelling is in full swing! Students may be having some review of features, so a few sorts may look familiar. They will continue to meet with me and Ms. Nham for explanations of their sort and further exploration into words with the same patterns (word hunts). Students are working independently as well as with partners throughout the week.

Click here if you’d like to see the homework explanation for a reminder of procedures. The class has gone through a review of each activity and had the opportunity to ask any questions they still had about the homework in their groups. They are ready to hit the ground running! Thank you as always for your support as they complete their assignments. Students write in their assignment notebooks the day they received homework to bring home (“New Spelling”) and the day they need to turn it in (“Spelling Due”). Please look out for this when checking their assignment notebook! I’ve also added group due dates on the homework calendar – check with your student about which group they are in.

We’ve had such fun with developing the pre-planning of narrative writing. Students were full of enthusiasm as they discussed what makes a story memorable and exciting. The class saw how the characters, adventurous plots, problems that arise, and heroic moments keep them hooked. They looked back on the drawings they made from a previous lesson as starting point. It already gave them a setting and characters! Students worked with a partner to share their setting and brainstorm what kind of problems or adventures could arise with the characters in that place.

Next, students chose one character to develop. As an example, we talked about a well-loved and well-known book character: Piggie. Students offered ideas about what personality traits she has and some of her likes and dislikes. Then they were off to their seats to create the same sort of character map for one of their own characters from their posters. I look forward to seeing what adventures are in store for them.

On the grammar side of things, we made a game of action verbs by acting them out. Students learned that an action verb is something you can do. In other words, there was a performance of jumping, swimming, flying, and cooking from partners in the class. The rest of the students guessed which action verb they had chosen to act out. They did a great job!

Green Challenge
Last week, we tracked our paper usage. We had used 227 pages. With some teamwork, the class hopes to lower that number. We will set a goal on Monday for the week. Wish us luck!

Social Studies

Our “time travel” unit gave students a lot to think about as far as changes in Grayslake are concerned. The lesson this week incorporated math with reading a graph about the change in population. Using their own observations, they discovered how we could make sense of it and what it meant. We also calculated the population of just our classroom and the family members living in our homes. There are 106 people in our class “town.” We will be adding this number up with the other classes to find the population of our grade band this year to compare to the population of Grayslake and Prairie Crossing over time.

Students also had some group discussion on how transportation has changed or stayed the same and how that might have affected the lifestyles of people here. It is especially interesting to see the role of trains still a core part of this area, especially for those who commute into the city for work. The class enjoyed seeing a photo from 1910 of a local train station and an old train on the tracks!

Next week we will compare some more old Grayslake photos with the wonderful pictures you’ve sent in. If you have not done so, it’s not too late! Please send them my way, either printed or by email, so that we can make some fun comparisons to the older daily life photos and consider how their photo and daily life would be interpreted years in the future.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Buesking