Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heart, Art, and picking words apart!

I'm sure you can all imagine my glee as your lovely children recounted stories today about how their mom "Really liked that Heart song" and how their dad "Wouldn't stop singing in a girl voice". Nice to see that I am in good company! Blog traffic was definitely up yesterday.

We finished up our math unit today, and had some great review that was spurred on by questions from the review sheets. Again, the test is on Tuesday and I expect the review sheets to be completed on Monday. If there is a lot of trouble with any particular question or concept, please leave it blank or make a note by it so I can address it before Monday's practice test. We did some more group problem solving this morning, as well as student teaching. The class has really embraced these approaches, and it seems to be helping their confidence with new, unfamiliar or challenging material.

We wrote a paragraph today to evaluate their spelling words and use of their verbs. I'm happy to say it went very well, and most said they preferred this activity to a dictée. I introduced the words for this week, and sent home sheets (in their Blue DuoTang) that spell them out and provide a chance to use them in sentences. The verb for this week is avoir, which means "to have". This is a very common verb, and one they should already be very familiar with.

I also sent home an edited list of the words they will be learning for the rest of the month, as well as the formation of the verbs faire (to do) and vouluoir (to want). Feel free to go ahead if you would like, especially in terms of the verbs. I have also linked a number of good verb-conjugation websites in previous posts (use the Search function to find these).

This afternoon we conducted an activity with the self-portraits created by students last night at home. We discussed he challenges of self-portraiture, from "getting the nose right" to harder concepts like representing emotions. The class was quick to reflect on work we did earlier in the year about motivations, personal preferences, emotions and priorities and came up with great ways to show these in their art. After working in partners to give suggestions about how to represent these things, they created a new self-portrait. These were mounted side-by-side and now hang outside the classroom door. I'm very proud of the work, and I'm sure the students are as well.

A few times in recent weeks, students have come to me with ideas of things they would like to study, learn or do in class. Sometimes these are specific suggestions (a sport, hobby or person), and other times they are just general ideas about activities they enjoy or experiences they have had elsewhere. I love it when this happens, and would encourage all students to come to me with these ideas. If there is something that comes up at home or a pervasive interest your child has, please suggest that they bring it up in class. If they want to bring in a resource or put together something to present, all the better!

A few housekeeping notes:
  • All students have (or should have) brought their French and Math DuoTangs home. I suggest that these stay in their Sac Plastique at all times, so they are available at home and in school.
  • Captain LeBlanc was back today, and informed the explorers that they will be taking a direct route across the Atlantic rather than a more circuitous northern route. He also sent them home with a question
  • Questions sent home will now be answered in a small green notebook. Students need not limit their answer to one page, and there is room for drawing pictures, etc. Additonal materials can be stapled in.
I have a PD day tomorrow, so if you have any issues with homework/studying/assignments, just email me early and I will get back to you ASAP.

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