September 2016 (9/19/16)

Hello Everyone,

Today is the beginning of our 4th week of school– time is flying!

What’s been going on:


We spent some time in the first few weeks reviewing the combinations of 10 and 20:

2 number addition facts ( ___ +___ = 10 and ___+___ = 20).  For children to be mathematically powerful, they need to have these facts to be automatic.  Most of the children in this class are, but some are not yet and they need to practice at home.

We’ve moved onto addition and subtraction strategies that are teaching children how to add and subtract using mental math (what we used to call “doing it in our head”).  To you and I who learned how to do math primarily by learning algorithms, these strategies may seem weird and unwieldy, but I promise you, they lead to amazing results.  Being able to add and subtract aren’t all that we’re learning either.  The word problems I’m giving are somewhat simple to begin with, but will become decidedly more difficult as I add different steps children need to do to solve the problems.  To read a word problem and figure out what is really being asked (contextualizing the words and then decontextualizing into a math problem) is a sophisticated and at the beginning, challenging assignment.  The homework coming home is usually far easier than what we’re doing in the classroom.


Critical Literacy

For the next 5 weeks or so, students will continue to examine how common ideas and abstract concepts reoccur across texts (e.g. lonliness, friendship…).  Initially they will consider several books on the same topic to recognize that ideas emerging from texts are different despite similar concept.  Subsequently they will determine which common ideas/abstract concepts encompass more of the text.  In the process students will develop their perspectives by refining and revising their own ideas about the abstract concepts.  (Montali/Nieto)

Some texts we’ve read are:  Big Al by Andrew Clement, It’s Mine by Leo Lionni, The Rainbow Fish by Marc Pfister.


Using computers in the classroom is important, fun and can be very frustrating.  But mostly fun!  Students have been introduced to learning keyboarding via DanceMat Typing.  I highly encourage you to allow your child computer time at home using this website!

We’ve learned how to turn on, and log into our netbooks.  We’ve also bookmarked some websites and will be learning how to create a document as well as adding media from the internet to the doc.  Web citizenship will be taught by Mr. Lebell, our technology teacher!

Please visit to keep up with what is happening outside of Room 6!




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