Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Classroom update - Miss Cerankowski

Happy Spring!  It appears that April showers bring May flowers is true!  It seems as though it’s been raining more in the past two weeks than it has all year.  The students have been patient with indoor recess and I’ve been trying to add extra fun, out-of-your-seat activities so students can release some of their energy.  We made habitat mobiles in science class while practicing our music for the spring concert.  I was able to have a sneak preview of all the fun songs that students are so excited to sing! 

In math class we postponed our capacity unit and wrapped up our number sense unit first.  Students revisited the skill of regrouping and borrowing with three and four digit subtraction.  We also practiced for and participated in the Noetic Math Competition on April 14th.  Students were encouraged to do some above-level thinking and put forth their best effort, and they did a great job!  This past week we started our measurement unit and have done some hands-on activities.  Students have been estimating the length of different items around the classroom and then measuring to see how close they were to the actual length.  It’s been exciting to see students estimate closer and closer each time we do it.  We will continue with measurement and then move onto our capacity unit in the coming weeks.

In Language Arts we have been receiving and sending our pen pal letters to Sycamore School in Indianapolis.  They even sent us a picture of their whole class holding the flower pencils we made for them!  It was neat to put a face to the pen pal that each of the students have been writing to.  We have also started our Young Author books during our writing time.  Students have really taken off with this and it was impressive to read how creative students really are when given an idea and are able to run with it.  Students were encouraged to write a circle story, in which the story started in one setting, the character went on a variety of adventures, and then ended up in the same setting as the beginning.  We read examples of circle stories like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and other versions in class to help students get an idea of what a circle story is.

We are taking a break from spelling this week and are continuing with a few word study units from our Sadlier-Oxford vocabulary workshop books.  It's been neat for students to learn new words and their definitions.  They've been practicing putting the words comprehensively in a paragraph and finding synonyms and antonyms for each of the words.  

The students continue to work in their “flower” groups for reading and are almost through with the current book they're working on.  The tulip group wrote a monologue of one of the farmers, Bean, from Fantastic Mr. Fox.  They've also worked together as a group to write a persuasive essay of why four specific animals cannot live in the same habitat.  Next, they will be building a model of the storehouse, as described in the book.  The daisy group has been busy practicing literature circle skills.  This week they practiced being an illustrator and summarizing what happened in a specific part of their current book.  The rose and sunflower groups have been practicing their fluency as they read in small groups.  This week they also created an invitation for Winn-Dixie's party.  I couldn't believe how wonderful they each turned out!

In Science we are wrapping up our plants and animals unit.  Students just made animal and habitat mobiles.  They had to think of different habitats and then draw animals that belong in each of the habitats.  We drew, colored, cut, and hung our completed drawings from a hanger.  They are hanging in our classroom, come check them out!  We will be concluding our unit with animals with a trip to the Cleveland Zoo on May 9th.  Our last unit of the year will be energy and motion.  We will learn about paths of light, how sound and heat are produced, and different types of energy.


Upcoming Events
5/5 Pizza Day
5/9 Field trip to the zoo
5/15 Spring Concert
5/16-5/18 IOWA testing
5/19 Field trip to Playhouse, CATS
5/21 Golf Scramble
5/25 Field day
5/28 Crushers Game

Special Thanks to...
Audrey's mom for putting together our Spring party
Valerie's mom for preparing our carding elective

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Miss Cerankowski
Erin.Cerankowski@menloparkacademy.com    

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