I can't believe that this much time has gone by already! We have a great class this year and the school and classroom are slowly settling into a routine. We have had so many activities already that I will just have to pick one and begin.
You may wonder why I place so much emphasis on our Daily Physical Activity time at the beginning of the day. Especially with the glorious weather we have been having, it has been the time for students to stretch their legs and settle their minds before beginning school work, time to connect with us and their friends (lots of walking and talking going on) and there is actually quite a bit of running happening as well. Take a look at September's graph and be prepared to be impressed. Three of our students have joined the cross country team and are eager to hit the trail on Wednesday October 10th over at Sunshine Hills Elementary.
The annual Terry Fox run was held on Sept 25th. All of our students took part. It was a time for every one to reflect on the courage that Terry showed and to join with the entire school to support a cause.
Mrs. Bradley (our school counsellor) taught us about how powerful our thoughts are. She showed us how negative (red) thoughts can be pushed away by positive (green thoughts). We have been practising every since and it really works! Notice our new chairs? Every student has the choice of a regular chair, exercise ball or squishy cushion. The balls help to keep students in "The Zone."
Draw Squad is an online drawing program which was started by Mark Kistler many years ago and is still an all time favourite. We began the program last year and this our class has picked it up very quickly. Student's learn many art terms such as foreshortening, how to shade, and perspective and are able to work at their own pace this year by using individual computers. We end with a "walkabout" where students admire others drawings.
The backbone of our program is the use of Direct Instruction (DI) programs. Direct Instruction programs explicitly teach skills using lecture, demonstration and question answer sessions rather than requiring students to "figure out" what you want them to know. We use SRA Direct Instruction materials to teach spelling, reading decoding and comprehension, novel studies and math skills. Using placement tests, students are placed into groups at their learning level. Groups have no more than four students and many have less. Instruction is fast paced and students learn to stay tuned in to the teacher. Check out the Curriculum Page for more information.
IXL.com math is the latest addition to our classroom tools. It is a web-based program which corresponds to the BC math learning outcomes for each grade. Students each have their own log-in and individually work on a variety of problems for each math strand. This week we worked on place value and writing and naming numbers. I was amazed at the level of focus and commitment students displayed. Look at this week's report. Ask your student to show you the program at home!
We have had two new students join our classroom family. Nicholas is in Grade 4 and Gabe is in Grade 3. I am so proud of how welcome our students and the school have made them feel.
I am also very proud of all the students who recently took part in the Computer Math graduation ceremony. Each student is working at their own pace on a very interesting program. They are mastering math skills step by step using an Applied Behaviour Program called Teach Your Children Math Well. The author, Michael Maloney, has spent years working with children with learning challenges. Our students' success shows how using behavioural principles can help children master many skills previously believed beyond their abilities. Great Work!
To make a good week even better, our very own Alexia became the first student to earn the coveted $1000.00 Classroom Cash bill. This can only be given to students who have had a PERFECT WEEK! Well done Alexia.
Check out the photos below.
Students will be wearing their costumes to school on Monday if they choose. We started a little early and carved pumpkins on Friday. They will certainly add atmosphere to our classroom!
This week in Math we will be learning to extend patterns in tables. Our math text explores making Inuksuit. As part of this weeks homework you can build your own Inukshuk online.
Monday - complete Lesson 2 worksheet in your homework log.
Tuesday - Complete the Nelson Math Focus online student activity. Click here. It is also available in your homework log.
Wednesday - Check out Bill Belsey's website. Play the Inukshuk game 3 times and record your best score in your homework log.
Thursday - Visit pbskids.org to Stop That Creature by naming the rule that runs the machine. It is harder than it looks! Make up and stop your own creature by filling out the table on the Homework Log.
Happy Halloween. Have fun creating your own jackolantern online!
Our Pattern Unit started off well. We all enjoyed using the SmartBoard and making our own patterns!
Much of our math homework this week is found online. Here are the links. There are additional games and interesting websites posted on the Math and Student Pages as well.
Monday - Complete Math Focus activity either online at http://goo.gl/7hYhJ or complete first 3 pages (in log).
Tuesday - Complete Chapter 1 Lesson 1 Worksheet (in log)
Wednesday - Complete Math Focus activity either online at http://goo.gl/KiUYe or complete next 3 pages (in log)
Thursday - Play Pattern Quest at PBS Kids http://goo.gl/HqHQy