November in the classroom

November has been awesome! It started with a Writer’s Workshop inservice, which really helped get everyone aligned with a vision of Writer’s Workshop. You kind of wish you could start the year over when quality PD happens.

I also did a series of mini lessons on Growth Mindset. Those were some of the best days we’ve had all year. Everyone, even my quietest and most reluctant participants, spoke up and shared. I used clips of videos and books to spark conversation, and it went better than I had hoped.

We finished the unit on Ancient Rome and started an Animal Classification unit. I have a student teacher that has been teaching the science exploration part, and then I’ve followed up with Close Reading on the lesson’s topic. It’s been a great thematic approach. The day we investigated mammals, we had 8 visitors! Hamsters! The students loved observing and then petting them. Seven left at the end of the day, but 1 stayed! We have a class pet! Meet Daisy! 

 We started our spelling tests as well. We reviewed rules of words, did a skills assessment, and introduced vocabulary routines in the first unit. In the Unit 2 we add in spelling. We start with 10 words, but for the test they also need be written with -ed and -ing endings, so by the end they have 30 words on their spelling test. We were focusing on words that end in CVC, which means the final consonant should doubled and then the ending. But there is a mix of words that follow the CVC pattern, and those that do not. For example: hop – hopped – hopping; submit – submitted – submitting; push – pushed – pushing

We ended the month with an all day Read n Feed! This is an epic day of reading! We move all desks and chairs to the side, stacked on top of one another. Students bring pillows, blankets, snacks, and a stack of books. The day is a mixture of independent reading, read aloud, and buddy reading. Below is the girl half of the room buddy reading with kindergarten students. 

 I’m looking forward to alternative seating in December! I have rocking chairs (school chairs with rockers on the bottom instead of standard legs) and yoga balls with legs for two of my tables ordered and on the way.

Look for the update on that soon!

I’m also hosting a Boot Camp for Parents of Third Graders the first week of December about Digital Citizenship and “new” math algorithms. A media teacher and I are partnering up to host two sessions for parents. I can’t wait!

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