Monday, February 5, 2018

February 5, 2018

Good morning! Here is an update on some happenings in our classroom.

In writing, we have been working on response to literature. Students have been analyzing passages of other authors and using these pieces to identify main idea, author’s purpose, and themes. Following response to literature we will move into our informational writing unit.

In math, we have started our unit on decimals. In this unit, students will be representing and comparing decimals and adding and subtracting decimals. At home, you can discuss everyday uses of decimals and find fraction equivalents.

In Reading, we are using our reading strategy of making inferences. Students use their schema, background knowledge, and text clues to make meaning of author’s purpose. We have also started up our book clubs. During book clubs, students are using their reading strategies to dig deeper into meaning. Students are also working on coming up with their own essential questions in relation to the book they are reading.

In science, students are conducting experiments to investigate water vapor. Last week the kids learned the effects of air temperature on evaporation. This week we will explore the effect of surface area on evaporation.

Finally, our Valentine's Day Party will be on Wednesday, February 14th at 2:30. Click here for the optional signup. For our party, there will be a chocolate fountain, photo booth, and a minute to win it game. Kids are welcome to bring in decorated boxes for Valentine's Day treats. If kids choose to bring Valentine's Day treats for their classmates they must bring one in for every student in our class. We have 25 students this year. As always please let me know of any questions, comments, or concerns you have. Have a great week!

Ms. Lautenbach

Thursday, January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018

It has been a been a great few days back at school. I hope you all had a relaxing and fun few weeks. I enjoyed time with family and friends while catching up on reading during my break!

A little bit about what has been happening this week and what we have to look forward to…

The kids have reflected on their academic, family, friend, and personal goals for the year. The kids also created growth mindset goals for our new semester. I am eager to see where the rest of this year takes us!

In reading, we have been focusing on the strategy of inferring. This week we have been inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words. At home, you can practice this reading strategy by having your child share with you how they infer meaning with text clues.

In math, we have been working on fractions. During the last few weeks’ students have been developing strategies to compare and order fractions, find fraction equivalents, and add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers. At home, you can ask your child about the strategies they use to add and subtract fractions. For example, if you are baking you might ask your child what it would look like to double the recipe. How much flour would you need? How much sugar?

This week in writing we have been discussing poetry reading strategies and elements of poetry. Next week we will begin responding to literature.

Finally, in science, we are wrapping up our study of the human body systems. Next week we will begin evaluating the changes of Earths’ surface through a variety of processes and forces.

As always feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you might have. I can hardly believe we are half way done with the year. It sure is flying by and I have enjoyed every minute with your children. Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 4, 2017

December Updates and How to Help your Child with Math Homework

Good afternoon! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week. Highlights for this month's blog include tech integration with Mrs. Fleet, happenings in our different subject areas, and how to help your child with math homework. 

This week Mrs. Fleet will be co-teaching in our classroom as we analyze and interpret weather with multiple data points. Students will create a Google Form and input weather data from a specific city. They will then analyze this data by pointing out trends that they notice and making connections between the different types of data collected.

The last few weeks we have been continuing our work on opinion writing.  Students have been focusing on an issue or topic they care a lot about and are beginning to conduct research. Today the students discussed different note-taking strategies. Later this week students will be using their writing checklists to set writing goals. 

In math, we are beginning to compare and order fractions. Many strategies are being used on how to order fractions. Some kids are using what they know about percents while others are using fraction equivalents. We will continue to find equivalent fractions as we get into adding and subtracting fractions. 

In science, we have been continuing our study of the human body systems by thinking about how the circulatory and respiratory systems work together. Last week, we had a great time at the Museum of Nature and Science. The kids represented Gold Rush well and had a great time! The lung dissection was fascinating and deeper learning and understanding were taken away from the experience. 

In reading, we are beginning to use the reading strategy of sensory images. We have read different books and passages and shared the ways in which imagery can enhance our understanding of the text. Students will continue to practice this reading strategy in the coming week. 

Math homework can often be a frustrating experience for children and parents.  Parents were often taught traditional algorithms and do not know the strategies students are learning today.  While these strategies promote a deeper conceptual understanding of key math concepts, it is difficult for parents to see the benefits when they are unaware of them themselves.
We have a great resource that will help!  The Math Words and Ideas site from the Investigations Math Series has links to math videos that explain how all concepts are taught at each grade level.
Watching these short videos are a great way to review how and why concepts were taught a certain way.  You may even consider watching with your child.  The presentation below provides a few additional tips to promote a love of math at home.

 Click here to access this site.

Simply click on your child's grade level at the left-hand side of the screen.  When you click on a math concept additional subtopics appear.  Each subtopic includes a short video explaining strategies taught at school.  In the example below, third grade was selected on left and arrays was chosen under the concept of multiplication.

Click here for the presentation.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thanksgiving Feast and Celebration of Learning

This Wednesday, November 15th Gold Rush is inviting family and community to a Thanksgiving Feast. This is a fun tradition at Gold Rush that students, parents, and staff really enjoy. 

Additionally, this year we are continuing our celebration of learning before the feast in each classroom. Students are eager to show the great learning we have been doing and how technology has enhanced what we do. If you are interested in coming to our classroom feel free to stop by anytime between 12:30-1:00. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Finally, if you have not yet done so please register your child for our first field trip to the Museum of Nature and Science where we will be participating in the How We Breathe Lung Lab.  This field trip will be a culminating experience for our study of the respiratory system. Please follow the instructions below to get your student registered. 

Our field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. The cost is $12.75.

In order for your child to participate in this field trip/program you must register (includes online permission form)  & pre-pay on-line by going to: RevTrak > Elementary Schools > Elementary Schools E thru L > Gold Rush > Field Trips. The RevTrak link can be found on GRE’s website under Parent Info or click hereRegistrations MUST be completed by 2 days prior to your field trip. 
  •  Online registration is for your student only- please do not register yourself or younger siblings.
  • Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register. 
  • No refunds
Thank you! Have a great week!!