Sunday, October 5, 2014

Good-bye, September. Hello, October!

So, it was our last week in September and our first week of October -- all wrapped in one!

For Morning Meeting, we played the Middle Name Game, and we tried challenges like Silent Communication Counting. Many of us took the challenge to memorize the "September" poem by John Updike before the month ended. 

"September" and "October", by John Updike: 


The breezes taste of apple peel.
The air is full of smells to feel.

Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush.
New books, erasers, chalk and such.

The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hums.
And mother cuts chrysanthemums.

Like plates washed clean with suds, the days 
are polished with a morning haze.


The month is amber, gold and brown.
Blue ghosts of smoke float through the town.

Great V's of geese honk overhead,
and maples turn and fiery red.

Frost bites the lawn. The stars are slits-
in a black cat's eye before she spits.

At last, small witches, goblins, hags,
and pirates armed with paper bags.

Their costumes hinged on safety pins,
go haunt a night of pumpkin grins.

In Math, we reviewed telling time, moving around the number grid, clocks, measuring, and more. We also reviewed probability, chance, and challenged ourselves to figure out all the possible dice rolls that were both larger and smaller than Ms. Sleeper's. We studied how our calculators work, and we speedily tapped away on our calculators to arrive at the smallest and largest numbers in the class! We practiced adding coins, and we wrote our money totals in the new way, like this: $0.10, or this: $0.05. 

In Writer's Workshop, we continued to write true stories about our lives. Many of us have shared our writing with the whole group and with our partners. Suggestions and comments we've received from classmates have helped us to craft, expand, and revise our stories. Mrs. Moore visited us again this week, and we discussed finding the best titles for our writing. Ms. Sleeper read us a short story, and given several options, we voted on the very best title for the piece. We also brainstormed transition words we could use that might take the place of the word "then".

In Spelling, we reviewed long vowel sounds and brainstormed a bunch of long vowel words. Ms. Sleeper is always amazed at our limitless ideas when we have the opportunity to write on our charts! 

For our "Word Work" this week we studied long vowels with both a word scramble and word search.

In Reading, we read books with a reading buddy and on our own, and Ms. Sleeper began selecting group reading books and meeting with groups; she also interviewed us each about the books we are choosing. We had mini-lessons about selecting books, reading with a buddy, selecting "just right" books, and finishing an entire book with one partner before we start another book with another partner. 

We began our new read aloud, Danny Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl. Ms. Sleeper's copy is pretty tattered from the multiple times she's read it! 

In Science, we've continued to study rocks, minerals, and the earth. Ms. Sleeper shared images from the underground gypsum caves in Mexico, and we made a cut-out pattern for a pop-up, cardboard dodecahedron. We discovered the center of the dodecahedron is a pentagon, with each angle measuring 108 degrees. We've also worked on our laptops to play geology games Ms. Sleeper helped design. Here's the link to these games:

Here is a picture of a scientist in an "ice suit" climbing on crystals inside the Mexican gypsum caves:

Here are pictures that show how to make a pop-up dodecahedron:

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