Another week of school has passed—these days fly by and sometimes the kids argue about what day it is on Friday, because they can’t believe the week is almost over.

We are reading a Ramona story right now in class and everyone gets to read aloud.  The kids are still plugging away at writing complete sentences and today, there will be a half-hour lesson on that, including some dictation. I want everyone to begin to use the word bank on the wall or the dictionary for spelling and that is taking time each morning, but will be worth it by the end of the quarter. Much of the time, the kids are reluctant just to throw the words onto the paper because they think spelling is more important than getting the writing completed. This results in some children stopping at the second word of a paragraph and dithering around with trying to spell it and erasing and writing and erasing until ten or fifteen minutes have gone by. I don’t want to ignore spelling, but I also want an attempt at writing to be more productive, so I’m encouraging everyone just to get their ideas down on paper and at the end, we’ll go back and repair the spelling. Even if they just write the first two letters of the word, they can move on and come back to it. That’s the process we’re learning now. Also, everyone is beginning to do some keyboarding and they will discover soon, that the computer will automatically suggest spelling sometimes and that might move the writing along. We’ll begin having spelling words next week. Here are the fundamental sentence rules for now:

  • capital letters at the beginning
  • watch out for names and the word “I” to make sure to capitalize those words
  • sentences must have both a subject part and an action part
  • sentences must end with a period or question mark or exclamation point
  • sentences must make sense

In math, we are finishing up place value, so the students should know the ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands places and be able to name the value of a number in one of those places. For example, in the number 2549, the number 5 stands for 500 and the number 4 stands for 40.  This moves us back into regrouping again. We began that last week, but since they were shaky on place value, the regrouping problems were sometimes incorrect due to a lack of understanding what each number represented. We’ll begin again on that next week and I think we’ll review the process daily. Some are memorizing multiplication facts next week, as well. Last, I’m working on money with them—making change, counting change, etc.

Also, next week, I want to start a short science theme on the scientific method, moving into a bird theme. If it works out, we’ll go see the hawks at Chattahoochee Nature Center. We’ll do some bird watching with binoculars as well as talk about where birds fit into the food chain and into our Atlanta ecosystem.

As always, there’s so much to learn and so little time!