Lower Primary Cottage News
January/February 2019 Curriculum Newsletter
Lower Primary Cottage News
Exploration Class has been filled with hands-on experiments and exciting history. We started the “year” off with a study of the Inuit people/igloos, arctic regions, and arctic animals. We even made our own snow. We started building our “igloo”. Unfortunately, we had some unusually warm weather (you know…global warming) and our igloo “melted”. However, we are not giving up and we are going to rebuild. Currently we are enjoying some quiet reading time in our “ice fort”. In February we learned a lot about United States symbols and various landmarks around our country. We also learned about some important people that have influenced Tennessee’s rich history.
Level 3 Language Arts
This winter we have started to focus on writing, writing, and more writing. We are really concentrating 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 is really exciting to be a part of all of the creative thinking in Lower Primary. We are learning how to use our “Elephant Ears” to listen to ourselves read our written stories to make sure they flow well. We are also looking for ways to add expression through quotation marks and exclamation marks. We can’t wait to share our stories with you on our special “Share-A-Story” Day in May. (More details to come!)
We are continuing our study of synonyms and antonyms. We will continue learning about compound words, contractions, and verb/noun agreement. We also will practice reading vowel pairs (ex. oo, ou, oi, ee, ea, etc.). We have also begun a lesson on irregular past tense verbs to help us make sure our verb tenses are correct in our stories.
I am so proud of each and every student for working hard to help us reach our goal for our reading goals for outreach projects. 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!
We had an amazing Dr. Seuss “Read Across America” week at the end February. It was fun to see all of the imagination and creativity of the students. We enjoyed some great quality reading time as well. And lastly, please remember to continue studying basic 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
February math brought more addition/subtraction within 20. We used patterns in numbers to help us better understand and solve problems. Looking for 10’s and doubles helped us solve problems. A study of place value followed. We used concrete and pictorial models to compose and decompose numbers to 20 as so many tens and so many ones. In science we wrapped up our study of states of matter and began a unit on rocks. We created fossils and are getting ready to build volcanos! Another fun, messy month in LP!
January and February takes us to the point in the school year when we begin Writer’s Workshop. The students have the opportunity to write creatively as well as write non-fiction stories or reports. They are very familiar with the difference between fiction and non-fiction. We now take the writing process a step further than in Level 3. The students have brainstormed, done pre-writing, written rough drafts, proofread, and edited (with the “editor.”) The final draft is then written in their hard back books that they will take home in May. Working through the writing process really helps the students take pride in their top quality work as well as provides the opportunity to individualize grammar, spelling and punctuation lessons one on one with the teacher. The students use their “Words I Use When I Write” books that we refer to as personal “Speller’s Dictionaries”. After all of this hard work, they will treasure their Young Author Books and you can keep it as a Level 4 memento of their writing. Our visitors on Grandparents and Special Friends Day will get a sneak peak of these! The students will read them to their visitors.
The presentations have been great so far! The students have learned many new facts about countries and presidents, while sharpening their listening and speaking skills. The students have furthered their learning about Black History Month. You may have seen a couple Scholastic News and timelines come home regarding this topic.
Thank you to Kristen, Harper Smith’s mom for help with the igloo! It had an unfortunate collapse, so the kids learned how to go to a plan B and we called it an ice fort. They are taking turns reading in this during SSR. The students have begun using a new app you might want to get for extra practice at home. It’s called Wordscapes and it’s free! It can really boost spelling and thinking skills!
Level 4 Math and Science
We have been very busy these winter months! In math we have been building up to subtraction with regrouping! We have been reviewing and expanding on knowledge of place value, which we call houses. This will help us when we need to borrow for subtracting. We enjoyed an exciting “Money Week” and began work in the very popular “Money Math Book”. We began this week by working with actual coins, comparing the dates they were minted, the size and the amount. Students do not often see actual money used, so we spent time just exploring these coins. We did an exercise in which students were given at random a bag of coins. In groups they had to count and total the coins and bills. We talked about how some students had more and some had less. It was a wonderful lesson and lead to valuable dialogue. We have started to work on our subtraction regrouping rhymes of “More on top? No need to stop. More on the floor? Then go next door and get ten more.” We will be diving deeper into this concept before spring break. In science we have explored states of matter and have moved on to rocks! We have started our exploration of volcanoes and it is exciting!