November 1, 2019



      Steve Wick, an editor from the Suffolk Times, was our guest speaker last Friday.  I invited him in to share with the class about how Long Island formed due to the glaciers.  He shared even more than I expected. He started off by asking the children what they were currently writing, and he stressed how important it is to write clearly.  Also, he explained what his job requires as an editor. Mr. Wick used to work for Newsday and he helped to work on the book, Long Island, Our Story.  I have a copy of this book and he shared his knowledge of why the north shore is rockier than the south shore.  

        The children have been focused the past two weeks despite them being all excited with Halloween coming up.  We are immersed in many projects.

Reading:  Reading mysteries and putting clues together to solve the case has kept the children focused on their reading.  Each guided reading group is practicing their word attack skills as well as making inferences.

Writing:  At “Back to School Night” I introduced all of you to the phases of the Writing Continuum that we will be using.  I was able to take the phases and make them more “Kid” friendly. The children have three phases glued in their notebooks,  This includes what is seen in each phase along with some samples. After reviewing each phase with the children, I handed them a writing piece that they wrote in September.  I asked them to evaluate which phase they would put their writing and why. This is a difficult task, but it will help them see what they need to do to improve their writing.   I will share more with you during conferences.

    After completing a planning page about what fall looks like and the activities that take place, the children started writing their essays.  We reinforced the need for topic sentences and adding details, sensory details, and dressing up nouns.

Math:  The fourth graders are working on a short second module that involves converting metric units and relating this to our place value.

          The third graders are also working on their second module, place value and problem solving with units of measure.  

Social Studies:  Creating a brochure that tells about a specific region of New York State is what the children are working on.  First up, they are researching information about their region’s geography, economy, industry, attractions, and agriculture.  They will be presenting their facts in a brochure on Google Docs.

STEM:  It is still all about simple machines.  Last week we looked at the screw. Using blocks of wood, we investigated the jobs of a screw and saw how it differs from the nail.  We hammered in a nail and turned a screwdriver to see which went in faster and which came out faster in order to learn that the screw holds things together due to its threads.  We used Pringle containers to make Archimedes screws that transport materials up. We taped aquarium tubing to the container.

      We just started looking at the pulley.  There were many examples of pulleys that we used to make the connection real.  Next week they will work on a pulley investigation.