Middle Elementary News for November, 2011

Tammy, Mary and Salli hope you are enjoying and reading our blogs posts. There is a lot of information in these that can inform you of what we’re doing each week. Please know that our lessons and plans are best used as a forecast for the coming week or month. All three 2/3 teachers look at what we need to do for our curriculum and what our students are experiencing during the current month, week, day or hour. If things don’t seem to be flowing well, we may make the decision to shift our lesson plan.

We are ready to launch our intense study of communities, how they work and how our Honey Creek community functions. Our classes will hear personal narratives about the history of High Point and Honey Creek, with a specific focus on the playground. Students will map the playground, as well, and begin designing their own playgrounds. Designing a playground also asks the students to consider the earth’s features, landforms and bodies of water as well, so science is strongly represented in this unit. On November 7th, we will head to the Ann Arbor District Library to hear their free presentation on how a library fits into a community.

During the playground design, students will be using many measurements and our math focus will be on this strand. Mapping places also asks students to use their geometry skills, so many of these math skills will be practiced as well. The 2/3 classes have begun switching up children each week to conquer grade-level math skills. We are still looking for a way to efficiently and effectively communicate the specific skills taught each week.

All middle elementary students are building stamina each day during Read to Self. All teachers read out loud and daily use this time and text to teach many comprehension skills. After using and exploring comprehension strategies like Visualize, Ask Questions and Make Predictions, these strategies are posted on a class CAFE menu. C is for Comprehension, A for Accuracy, F for Fluency and E for Expand our vocabulary.

Children are writing up a storm and mastering the writing process at the same time. Different classes have explored different genres. We generally ask 2 nd grader to edit for COPS and 3rd graders to use this as well as show some revision. COPS ask students to look for Capital letters at the beginning of sentences, do an Overall check for missing or misused words, make sure they have Punctuation (end marks are the most important and make sure frequently used words are Spelled correctly.

We are so grateful for all of your help recycling. If you are able to pitch in, please sign up outside of A6.

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