This week we added another strategy to our "reading toolbox" - asking questions. We discussed how strong readers as questions before, during and after reading a text. Asking questions help us to better understand what are reading. We share our thoughts about questions, read Grandfather Twilight and recorded our questions, the read The Lotus Seed. When answering our questions from The Lotus Seed, we labeled the answer according to where we found the answer - text, infer, or outside source.
We continue learning about data and graphing. This week we focused on pictographs and how a pictograph has an important feature...a picture key. It tells the number that the picture represents. We practiced answering questions about pictographs and drawing pictographs where the picture represented an amount of 1,2, or 5.
This week in math, we worked with bar graphs. We answered questions using the data in bar graphs, as well as sorted collections within the room (seashells, buttons, animals, pattern blocks) and graphed our groups using a bar graph. We also practiced making observations about our data (most, least, how many of each, how many more than, etc.)
As we continue to talk about some of the story elements that are part of a strong retelling of a story (characters, setting, problem & solution, author's message), we took some time to focus on two characters from Kevin Henkes books that we read. We thought about the character's actions, feelings, personality, and appearance.
Today we began to think about about the author's message, or theme, of a story. As an interaction to this idea, we thought about the movie, Finding Nemo. Some of the topics of the movie are love, family, obedience, trust, danger, and safety. After choosing a topic, we wrote a sentence about it beginning with "The author believes that...", making sure to use the topic within our sentence. The last step was to cross out that beginning part of the sentence so that we are left with the author's message (theme). This really started our thinking on what the author's wants us to learn about a topic. Love by itself isn't a theme...but what the author wants us to know about love is the theme. We then collaborated with our table groups to choose a optic from the movie and write what a theme might be based around that topic.
Throughout the last two weeks, we have been recording some story elements of each gingerbread book we read. We recorded the characters, the repeated phrase(s), and the ending. The books all had many similarities and also some differences. We ended by choosing two of the books and using a venn diagram to compare them.
In writing, we have been reading "gingerbread-style" stories. We noticed that the main charcter isn't always a gingerbread man, but there are certain things that most of these stories all have - a character that runs away, characters that are chasing it, and a repeated phrase. We then began writing our own gingerbread stories. So far, we have some stories about a gingerbread bunny, gingerbread snake, gingerbread pig, gingerbread red panda, and a gingerbread baby.