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!!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tuesday, November 1, 2017

Good afternoon! Thank you so much for all of your help with the Halloween Party. I thought the party was a success and that is in large part thanks to all of you. The students did a great job planning our party and I was so proud of how they collaborated with one another throughout the process.

This week in math we have been continuing our unit on volume. Students have been developing strategies for determining the volume of rectangular prisms.  This unit focuses on comparing the volume of different-shaped containers, finding volume relationships between solids, as well as building a prism with three times the volume of a given pyramid.

In reading, we are using our reading strategy of questioning. Students are analyzing different question types and comparing questions asked in both fiction and nonfiction text. 

In writing, we are at the beginning of our unit on Opinion Writing. We have started working on how to understand the different sides of an argument and how to use evidence from different sources to build a strong argument.  

Finally, in Science, we have been sharing our understanding of the scientific method.  The kids have been conducting a variety of experiments while carrying out the scientific method. Last week we began determining the difference between living and non-living things. This led us to cells where we will begin identifying the different parts of both animal and plant cells. Next week we begin learning about our different human body systems. Our upcoming field trip to the Lung Lab at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be after Thanksgiving Break. Details will be coming out soon!

As always please email or call with any questions. Have a great rest of your week!

Ms. Lautenbach

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday, October 2 Update


I would like to start off by saying how great the Digger Dash was this year. Great weather made for a wonderful day of running, walking, and being outside!

In Math, we are nearing the end of Unit 1. This week we will be working on a lot of division problems and how we can use multiplication as a strategy to find the answer. Great math thinking has been taking place in our classroom! We will also be solving division problems using 2-digit divisors and solve division problems by breaking the dividend into parts. When we come back from fall break we will begin our unit on volume.

In Social Studies students are adding to their schema of the geographical regions of the United States. Students are also exploring how our region’s geography, climate, and resources affect the way people live and work.

We will begin our first Science unit after fall break by investigating living cells. Together students will discuss the differences between living and non-living things as well as learn that the basic unit of life is the cell. We will learn that all cells have basic needs and what these needs are.

Writing has been a great journey. We are continuing to develop our personal narratives and the kids are working really hard! One thing that we have been working on in class is telling the story from inside it. We do this by trying our best to get our readers to feel as if they are in our story as they read it. We are also continuing our practice of showing and not telling!

We are still continuing our work on schema and making connections in Reading. To do this we have been discussing ways in which our schema can change and grow.

Finally, it is time to start thinking about our Halloween Party. If anyone is interested in organizing the party, please let me know. Thank you and enjoy your week!!

Ms. Lautenbach

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hi families!

I hope you all are looking forward to the three-day weekend. Here at school we are getting back into the swing of things, developing routines, and good classroom norms.

In Writing the past two weeks we have been working on an assignment that is based on Time magazine’s “10 Questions”. As a class, we have been looking at different examples and writing down the things we notice about the articles and the way the articles are structured. This week we have been revising our pieces. Next week we will begin our Narrative writing unit. Students will be writing small moment stories, setting clear goals, and developing more strategies to enhance their writer’s craft.

In Math, we are continuing to find the factors and multiples of numbers to solve problems. Students have also been identifying prime, square, composite, odd, and even numbers. Additionally, we have begun solving problems using order of operations. Next week we will begin solving multiplication problems with 2-digit numbers. At home, it is encouraged to practice math facts a few times a week.

Schema is our focus the next few weeks in Reading. We will be using our background knowledge to aid in making connections. Making meaning using our background knowledge is an important strategy in reading comprehension!

Geography has been our theme in Social Studies. We are researching the regions of the United States. Students will create a Google Slides presentation to share with their peers.

Finally, Spelling and Wordly Wise have not yet started. The week of September 11th we will begin our first round of spelling by introducing and practicing strategies to build an understanding of word patterns. Soon we will be diving into vocabulary knowledge practice by way of our Wordly Wise books. Improving vocabulary is one of the keys to being successful in reading comprehension.

As always please let me know of any questions, comments, or concerns.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Ms. Lautenbach