Archive for April, 2011

April 8th Newsletter

Saturday, April 9th, 2011


Last week we worked on solving story problems related to addition.  This week we started subtraction.  Using 2-sided chips, students played a game where they dumped their given amount of chips on the carpet and wrote a subtraction sentence for how many of the chips were yellow and red.  For instance, if students had 10 chips, took away 4 yellow ones, and were left with 6 red ones, their sentence came out to be 10 – 4 = 6.


This week we focused on the sense of touch.  After reading a story about a boy who is blind and how he uses his other 4 senses, students learned about the importance of brail.  Using the brail alphabet, students wrote their own name and other words.  Next week we will do our last sense, taste!  Students will taste foods that are sweet, bitter, sour, and salty!  We are getting ready to show you several experiments on Five Senses Day (May 6th).


We are continuing our Spanish videos and activities.  Some new vocabulary we have learned are:

La pinata (the piñata)

La banana (banana)

La manzana (apple)

El perro (dog)

El libro (book)

Caliente (hot)

Frio (cold)

We are working on taking the words we know and creating phrases such as la manzana roja (red apple) and la banana pequena (small banana).  It’s difficult for students to understand that the adjective follows the noun and the “o” at the end of an adjective changes to an “a” if the noun ends in “a.”


Students are brainstorming topics they are good at doing and know a lot about in order to make How To books.  This week everyone wrote a book on how to use the iPad.  First we orally told the steps across our fingers, then we sketched our ideas, and finally we added sentences.  Students are learning how to use sequence words when they write such as first, next, then, and last.

School Events

Last week Cambridge students got together to watch the Cougar Studios movie, put on by some fifth grade students.  Today, children got to meet and learn about the author Karen Rostoker-Gruber.  During library time, the children have read many books published by her.  Ask your child about the visit!  Lastly, a former professor of mine came in to read to the children her favorite childhood story, The Little Red Hen.  Following the reading and the discussion of the importance of helping others, students illustrated and wrote a sentence to continue the end of the story.

iPads During Centers

As I am sure you have heard, the iPads are going extremely well!  Before students used them, we created a list of rules we have to follow in order to keep them safe.  Within 5 minutes of using them, the students were very respectful of the technology and very independent!  We are using the iPads to reinforce the many concepts we are/have learned.  Below are some of the ones we have used.  I’ll let you know of more soon:

 Math:  Coin Toss, UnderSea Math, Jar of Marbles

 Reading:  Sight Words by Little Speller, Word Families, ABC Tracer (handwriting techniques), Read Me, Alphabet Puzzles

 Free Choice:  Mancala, Coloring, Balloons, Touch Hockey, Checkers, Four In a Row