Students and teachers alike were happy to be back together on Monday after a long break.  We began the week by reminding ourselves about our Health and Safety protocols.  It is easy for us to feel more relaxed now that we have been together in the classroom for four months; however, we do need to remain diligent about hygiene and physical distancing as COVID-19 continue to be problematic around the United States and Vermont.  Thank you to everyone who made sacrifices and altered plans over the holidays to remain home (or at least close to home).  Just a reminder that the travel ban is still in effect so if you or your household members travel outside the state, or you have house guests who have traveled from another state, your child will be required to quarantine for at least 7 days and then have a negative COVID test.

This week we dove into writing teaching books (informational text).  Students used one of two planners to plan what they would write about, then they began the writing process.  We looked at several non-fiction books to identify text features found in non-fiction books. On Thursday, we examined how to “hook” our readers.  Students were encouraged to craft a powerful hook for their own teaching books.

Additional we had some reading groups and phonics groups.

In Math, we started a new Math Menu on Monday.  We began each day with a critical thinking math warm up: which one doesn’t belong, a number talk, and math problem solving (journals).

During math group instruction:

  • First graders worked on concepts equality and the commutative property (5+3 = 3+5).
  • Second graders continued working on place value concepts and using units of ones, tens, and hundreds to count on from a given number to another number within 1000.
  • Third graders used the break apart and distribute process (Distributive Property) to solve division problems using an array.

In Science we began learning about heredity and traits of plants.  This week we explored how seeds disperse to assure the continuation of their species.  

Students have been returning their reading logs and we have been keeping track of our reading minutes.  Collectively, the class has read over 8,000 minutes! That means we have earned a class reward!  As promised, we will be watching a movie (which is what students voted to have as a reward) next week!  Keep up the great work everyone!

We have a new student joining our class next week! Lyla is a third grader who recently moved to Elmore from Pennsylvania.  Lyla has been able to join our last three remote morning meetings, so we have already had a chance to become acquainted! Please help me welcome Lyla and her family to the Elmore community!

Best,
Diane Nicholls

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