Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Fix-It Shop

Our fix-it shop opened today when we tried to figure out if we could make an old radio/tape player work. We borrowed batteries from the 3/4 grade and managed to fix our radio. We haven't figured out how to make the tape player work yet, but we'll keep trying. We've had several donations of things to fix or take apart, so there's lots of fun ahead!


Our last math unit finished up before the break. We played lots of games that are introducing children to beginning concepts of addition and subtraction. With One More, One Fewer children add or subtract one from a given number. In Build It, Change It they draw a card, place their pennies on their ten-frame, then draw another card and change the number of pennies to reflect their new card. With combinations of ten, children toss ten red/yellow counters and count how many red and how many yellow land up. We made a chart based on all the combinations they turn up, something we are studying more carefully under the Common Core standards. We have been telling story problems with a focus on helping children learn to retell the problem. This helps them fix the numbers in their mind that they are dealing with, and then think through whether this is an action of putting groups together or taking a group away. This work lays the foundation for another unit in April-May. We also flashed quick images up on a screen and asked kids to reproduce them. They made their own images too, which will be used to decompose the numbers in our next unit on numbers. We have also been comparing the weights of different objects.

Language Arts

We have been cheering words on our word wall with pom-pons everyone made. We chant the spelling of the words, then write them, taking the opportunity to learn how to spell these words and practice our handwriting skills. We also are using Elkonin boards to count the number of sounds (or phonemes) that we hear in words.  We are using word chains where we write a word, change one letter in it and make a new word. This progresses through a chain of ten words. Children are using alphabet arcs to match letters and alphabet pockets to figure out the beginning sound in words. We have worked on rhyming books, both matching pictures to figure out the rhymes and generating our own rhymes that we will make into a classroom book. We also made Valentine's Day cards for our buddies and friends. We had a fun party near the end of a very busy day on February 14th!

The Gruffalo

We read The Gruffalo in early February and talked about the story. A week later we watched the video of the story. We then drew up a chart of the similarities and differences between the book and the DVD. When we saw the play, we added a third layer to our chart, comparing the actual play to the two more familiar media. The children enjoyed the play very much. The cast was good at engaging the audience with participation and questions and answers at the end.

The Grocery Store

We began our store by learning about coins. We got out our magnifying glasses and studied the pictures and words on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Many children made detailed drawings of the information on the coins. We solicited groceries and began pricing them. We opened the store with a cashier, a bagger, shoppers and shelf re-stockers. Children signed up for jobs and we were off and running. We added key cards to swipe, posters about the coins and newspaper fliers. Some children practiced ringing up the actual prices on the groceries!