Lower Primary Cottage News
January 2018 Curriculum Newsletter
Level 3 Language Arts
This winter we started focusing on writing, writing, and more writing. We have concentrated on editing our stories and making them more interesting for the reader with descriptive words. Ask your child what writing a “sloppy copy” means? It has been really exciting to be a part of all of the creative thinking in Lower Primary. We have learned how to use our “Elephant Ears” to listen to ourselves read our written stories to make sure they flow well. We are also learning to look for ways to add expression through quotation marks and exclamation marks.
We are very excited about the new vocabulary we learned last semester like: grin, gently, exhausted, anxious, reel, loosen, tidy, drench, examine, drowsy, plead, frigid, gather, and stumble. This semester we are working on adding our new vocabulary words into our writing.
Last month, we are continued our study of synonyms and antonyms. We also learned about compound words, contractions, and verb/noun agreement. We will continue practicing reading vowel pairs (ex. oo, ou, oi, ee, ea, etc.). We learned a new word “DIPHTHONG”. We have also begun a lesson on irregular past tense verbs to help us make sure our verb tenses are correct in our stories.
Remember that your child should be reading an AR book and taking a quiz each week. Look for an AR book to come home every Friday! If your child is reading a chapter book, it may require longer than a week and that is fine….just keep reading!
And lastly, please remember to study sight words with your child. There are many free apps for students to practice reading and spelling sight words. Look for Dolch Sight Word or Fry Sight Word lists.
Level 3 Math and Science
We have continued exploring number relationships through properties of addition and subtraction. We have discovered how patterns in numbers help us to better understand and solve problems. Students have compared amounts by building models and using number lines. They have been looking for key words in order to solve word problems and looking for “doubles” and “tens” when working any problem. Level 3’s have also been working on counting and writing the numbers and number words to 120. They continue to graph, subitize and work on inquiry based problems.
Level 4 Language Arts
January was an exciting month, as we have reached the mid-point of the year. The second semester brings the much anticipated Level 4 projects. Your child will have the opportunity to work on projects to present to the class. This provides a great opportunity for the children to develop speaking and listening skills, as well as how to summarize information. I have sent emails explaining the details of these projects via the email distribution list. The topics will be as follows: Round 1: Country project, Round 2: United States President project, Round 3: Biography project, Round 4: Book or Author project. Your child has chosen two of these to do. Parents are invited to come be a part of the audience when your child presents. I have sent everyone emails, so please let me know if you did not receive the information. I will also send reminder emails about a week or so prior to each presentation, as the “line-up” sometimes changes due to requests from parents. The emphasis is placed on the students gaining experience summarizing facts from a wealth of information as well as speaking to a group. The students get good practice listening to these presentations as well.
We have continued to work on listening and speaking skills when we discuss a shared text every week. The students seem to really enjoy this small group time with me.
The students have continued to choose their own books for SSR. There is so much to be said for the power of choice! I will help guide these choices if I notice someone needs more experience reading non-fiction or longer texts such as chapter books. Please keep in mind that the children are not too old to be read to! Time spent reading independently is good, but also the old “you read a page, I’ll read a page” is a great way to read together. Shared reading experiences are still very important at this age.
Thank you for continuing to create an environment including literacy at home!
In social studies, we covered the topics, “Fact or Fiction”, “American Cultures,” “Rights and Responsibilities” and due to the snow day we missed “Government and Citizenship” but we will make that up in time. We did a bartering activity involving a list of items the students needed to barter for. The kids had to use various strategies to obtain this list of items. We continued our study of Martin Luther King and will learn about other influential African American people throughout Black History month in February.
Level 4 Math and Science
We have focused on making our regrouping strategies second nature. Students have been working with addition and subtraction with double digits, and stepping stones with these skills. In mid-January we began a new daily practice of word problems. Each student has a sheet of four word problems where they complete one problem daily. Thursday they turn the page into me and I check it and we work together to make corrections. One Friday they have a one page word problem which they complete in Mini-Math. This has been a wonderful combination of review and introduction of problem solving strategies. Look for the daily word problems in their bags!
In addition to problem solving, we have begun an exploration of money. Students have been working with coins, computing totals, and discounts!
We have enjoyed the return of Mr. Zac as our woodworking teacher and the kids will be creating new and exciting projects with him! In science we have begun studying the Arctic. Level 3’s and 4’s will be working together to research an Artic animal and then create a poster to present to the class. Please ask your child about their animal!