Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a wonderful break.  There will be no homework assigned over the break.  The class numbers were pretty low today.  As I write this, and the students relax while watching a film, there are 9 students in the class. There were 11 this morning and I think this is a perfect number for an ISP Learning Differences/Disability class.

Over the past couple of days we have had an extensive review of how to tell time.  Many students improved their grades and understanding of the work but a number still are struggling.   We played the online Math game I posted the other day.  Here are some of the images of the students at play:

The students completed their online Photostory projects (Book Talks).  They will be marked in 2012.

 In spite of our numbers we worked on the comprehension portion of the article the students read on caffeinated beverages.    There were 4 groups today and each group was responsible for answering two questions.  When we meet again in January, we will continue our comprehension work on this  article again.  To support the understanding of the article, I used a video from You Tube that was short and summarized the article we read in class.

Once again, have a restful break.  Read and practice your multiplication tables over the break.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This afternoon is the first school dance of the year and I am sure everyone is very excited.  If I am able to take some photos, I will post them of members of the class.

The second Math test I reviewed and gave to the class yielded some better results, but the vast majority of the class is still having difficulty with the concepts.  When a number of students are not understanding, I believe that the issue has to do with my delivery and teaching. In reviewing some of the lesson plans from the JUMP Math program, I came across this website that has to do with learning about elapsed time:

After a review in class and some exercises, I will allow students in the class to try this online game to assist them in their reviews.  Here are also some notes and handouts used in class to support our learning of time:
The concept of subtraction is very difficult for many in the class.  I will place emphasis on counting by 5s to figure out the differences.

The use of  the number line helps in visually being able to track the passage of time.

Instructions on how to calculate the elapse of time.  Using this in conjunction with the number line is helpful.

There have been noted improvements in how the class delivers information with the Community Circle.  While there are very few students who are able to capture the full expression of expectations of the exercise (who, what, when, where, how, why + feelings + reflections and thoughts), I am hearing a lot more details from the class.

Here are some images from the dance:
HOMEWORK:  Clock portion of time quiz.  A review will be done in class tomorrow for the elapsed portion of time and telling time from words (e.g. thirty-three minutes to three = 3:27).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We began our day with our session of quiet reading and snack.  If students have a healthy snack -- NOT CANDY-- that they would like to eat, they may do it during this time.

We are hoping to complete our Book Talks before the end of the year.  I forgot my computer at school yesterday and could not complete my project to show them.  What I did, though, was reminding them of what they would be doing in the Library during our time in the computer lab.  I created a chart and then a note on what was expected:
For each of the sections, the jot notes would be used to write the script in sentences.  Here was a breakdown of the steps taught to the class:
Ms. Wills and I were in agreement on these steps.  The students then spent two periods of the morning writing up the sections of their jot notes.  We will be continuing with this over four periods before the holiday break.

In the afternoon, we took in the sounds and scenes from the Holiday Concert.  Here are some images from it:

Mr. Chung

Ms. Grierson
Homework:  FOR A SELECT GROUP ONLY.  Please complete your middle and end portion of your book summaries.
Information on the results of the second test on time will be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This compilation of materials on the board is meant to be a process of explaining how to put together the Book Talk.  I am trying to model the process for the class, even though they began the project with Ms. Wills. On the left side of the board are my jot notes and my second draft of the beginning portion of the book I read.  I plan on reading the summary to them so they can hear the difference a second draft makes.  In my first draft, I wrote at a Grade 2 level and then produced a second draft at a Grade 5 level.  Grade levels are approximate and informed by looking at the Ministry of Education Writing rubrics

The middle and end portion summaries for the books they read for their book talk are due tomorrow.  While they students will be working on this for the next two to four periods in the Library, I want them to be ready for the double period we will have with Ms. Wills on Thursday.  I will present my Beginning and Middle portion of the Book Talk, using the Photostory program, tomorrow.

Unfortunately, half of the class did not complete the homework for last night.  This habit of not completing the work generated a discussion about the report card Learning Skill of Responsibility.  For a few members of the class, they felt that their Learning Disability may prevent them from doing some of the work the "regular" students do.  This point was disrespectful towards the learners in the class who do complete their work and work hard.  I do believe that many of the students in the class have challenges with what they do but are very hard workers with a positive attitude and spirit.  I  think it is important that these conversations happen.  Other students spoke up in the class to add to the discussion.

A detailed review was done of the Math quiz done late last week.

Tomorrow we will take a crack at doing a test, which is very similar to the one they already wrote.  They will be allowed to review in the morning and ask any questions they need to.

HOMEWORK:  Prepare for Math quiz, complete middle and end section summaries for Book Talk

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am going to add to the blog, but here is a link to an analog clock that the students may find useful when reviewing the concept of time.

As I mentioned from last week, there were a number of students who had difficulty with this concept.  I have been explaining to the class that understanding time is a life skill and there are a number of students, in the regular stream who can't read an analogue clock.  This expectation is meant to be achieved by the time the students are done Grade 4 in the Measurement strand of Mathematics.  By the time the students complete Grade 5, they should be able to understand the concept of elapsed time.  This is the area which seemed to confuse the students the most and will be reviewed in class on Wednesday.

There is a lot of basic and important Math in learning to tell time.  As I mentioned before, fractions figure prominently (1/4 past, 1/2 past, 1/4 to) and the operations of adding, subtracting, and division.  Many of the students had issue with the way a half an hour is represented.  Consider the following:
Many of the students who understand this as 4:30 thought the hour hand should be on the 4.  However, each portion of the hour is divided into 5 sections which equals 12 minutes.  When it is 4:30, the hour hand is slightly past the half way mark between the 4 and 5.  This was explained using the following diagram:
A review over the next couple of days will provide the students with another opportunity for a test on Friday.  In the meantime, ask your son or daughter how they did on the first test.

In order to take account of the seating plan of the class, I moved the Community Circle to a different format.  Each student will now have to come to the front of the class to share their thoughts.  Here is Johnson:

The Book Talks are entering the final stages of being prepared.  The class is working with Ms.Wills, using the Photostory program, to complete this project.  When we began this project, I helped the students by modelling how to take jot notes.  Now, the students are taking the jot notes and creating paragraphs for the beginning, middle, and end of the book they read.  I did a rough draft of how the beginning of my book might look:

I have since completed another draft and will model, for the class, how I will put the project together.  They will see the jot notes, the images selected from the Internet, and the "new" script I will read.

On Monday, we spent a double period working with our Kindergarten partners on some seasonal crafts.  Here are some of the images: