Learning Update!!!


This past week in reading, we spent time focusing on the characters from our books. The kids did a great job noticing who their characters were and even finding who the main character was in their story.

We pulled out some of our favorite characters,Pete & David, and studied them as characters.  The kids had plenty of schema about both characters from other books, so they knew some of things the characters might do.  As we read the stories, we noticed that there were patterns to what happened in each story.  Sometimes the patterns were in the words and sometimes the patters were with how the character acted. Patterns help teach us about characters and can even help us predict what might happen in a story.  We noticed that Pete stays calm and upbeat throughout his stories and we noticed that David has a hard time making good choices, but then always seems to turn it around in the end.

The kids did a great job of being on the lookout for patterns in their character books!


We spent time immersing the students with books that model persuasive letter writing. We read some books featuring unhappy crayons who tried to persuade their owner to change how he used them. We also read some books about a little boy who is trying to persuade his parents to get him a pet iguana, a new bedroom, and to come home from vacation so he can leave his grandparents’ house. All these books are written with such humor, that they kept us laughing all week. We used these books as a reference as we moved into our persuasive letter writing unit.

The kids noticed that the letters in the books had some things in common:

1. They started with Dear {Greeting} & a name {Audience}

2. They asked for something {Opinion – “I think…”}

3. They ended {Closing – Sincerely/Love/From} & signed their name {Signature}

One thing we noticed about persuasive letters was that the best letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place. We brainstormed some ways we could help make our school a better place to learn. We will keep adding to this list each day.


This week, we continued to work on missing partner and missing total equations and stories. We started each day off with a review of equations and the kids have grown in their ability to recognize addition or subtraction and then label the equation with the matching secret code (P + P = T or T – P = P). If you notice your child knowing the answer right off the bat, encourage them to write the answer in right away, BUT then they need to go back and check that their answer is correct by labeling the secret code, drawing the math mountain, and placing their TOTAL at the top. This will help to reinforce how important it is to check their answer and make sure it makes sense (and help eliminate silly mistakes).

We spend the rest of our time mixing up subtraction and addition stories to see how independent the kids are becoming at following these rules to solve their math stories.

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the numbers to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

Next week, we will review some more and end the week by taking the Unit 3 math assessment.

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