28 October 2009

Welcome Back!

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday. The students shared some of their holiday adventures today and it sounds like you went to some lovely places. Students are learning how to write a recount of their travels using a new framework and paying attention to language features such as action verbs and the past tense. We noticed something interesting today. Why do you write 'playing', but 'shopping' with a double consonant? Why do you write slide but it becomes sliding? We're inquiring into this and seeing if we can work out what happens when you add the suffix 'ing' to verbs. We also noticed that the word recount starts with the prefix 're' which we also use in retell, reflect and replay. This started us thinking about what the 're' could mean.

Today students came home with a new Reading Log. I would like students to record the fiction and non-fiction titles they are reading from now onwards. We also looked briefly at the different genres they can choose reading material from. As part of our Personal Connections work this week I would like students to read through the explanation of different genres. Students should then record the genres on their reading log too. Please help students remember to have their reading bags in school each day.

Website link: http://www.booknutsreadingclub.com/

Tomorrow I am beginning to look at number operations and calculations in maths. Like last time I'll start with a series of diagnostic tests that will help uncover student understanding. This will then inform my mathematics planning.

Thursday (tomorrow) is swimming for the Seniors
Please have Cham library books in school on Monday

Coming up:
New Unit of Inquiry begins on Monday


Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

07 October 2009

Book Recommendations

Dear Parents,

We had a lovely visit to the library yesterday, with everyone trying out a little German and bringing back a book or two. The books are to be returned by 5.11.09, so we will make a trip to the library before this so students do not incur a fine. I'll let you know exact details at a later date. If a student would like to reserve a book there is a charge of 1 chf per book (at the expense of the student).

In class today we looked at how to write a book recommendation. We wrote one together about our class book Frindle. So students have a model for the Personal Connections task, I've copied the recommedation below:

Frindle by Andrew Clements
Recommended by The Seniors

Everyone knew that Nick was good at making the teacher forget homework. However his new fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Granger, was not so easily fooled. Nick is a trouble maker but in a good way for the kids! When Nick finds a pen in the street everything changes. A pen is no longer a pen, it's a frindle! The battle between Mrs. Granger and Nick begins. If you read this book you will find out all about language. We think you should read this book because it is funny and exciting. This book is also an award winner. The story makes a good read aloud for students aged seven years and up.

Enjoy the sunshine!


04 October 2009

Personal Connections and the Library

Dear Parents,

Monday's Personal Connections task will be slightly different this week. The students will be receiving instructions about how to write a book recommendation. These will eventually be posted on this blog for all students to access and maybe inspire them to choose a new book.

On Tuesday I aim to head into Cham with the Seniors and visit the library.
We'll be finding out how books are located in the library (maybe there's a number connection) and receiving a new library card. We will visit the library each month which allows students to return their books on time.

Coming up this week:
Exploring cause and effect (linked to Writing to Explain)
Choosing a number system question to investigate
End of maths unit assessment tasks
Exploring different ways to use pen and pencil in art
What is a portfolio?

I hope you are all enjoying the autumn sun!


photo: Bibliothek Cham

01 October 2009

Learning Logs

Dear Parents,

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed listening to the students' Learning Logs in class this week. They shared the logs about working together with such pride and interest. Every log was different and informative.

We take it for granted that everyone knows and understands the groundrules for everyday communcation, but having seen classroom discussions over the years this really is not the case. Students need to be encouraged to reflect on and improve on how they communicate effectively. I could have given the students the 'rules' but by thinking about it for themselves and sharing their ideas, they are much more likely to be applied and become part of our classroom culture.

We will continue to work on exploring how we share our ideas and listen to each other over the next few weeks.

Kind regards,