Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Go Grolier and The Power of Blocks in Problem Solving

When I sent home information about the school’s online access to Grolier I was not sure at that juncture how I would use it in the classroom. After the past few weeks I can honestly say I cannot imagine the students not having access to this learning tool. We have used it across all curriculum, most recently in our explorer study. As a teacher, I love it because I know everything the students are looking at is safe and links are vetted. It provides grade level information to support students in their research. The other day Teddy was searching for an answer to a question using various websites on explorers I had provides (we got the Grolier account after I prepared the explorer webquest). I suggested he check Grolier and he excitedly told me the answer was there! Therefore I highly suggest students use this resource at home for their Discovery Quests as well! They might even find great information for their book project or other research endeavors that come up.  For log in information visit:

The math homework this evening might require some creative use of household items to solve the problems. In school we used cubes to act out some very challenging problems. The cubes helped students to visualize the problem. I explained the importance of reading the problems slowly, figuring out what you know, and using tools to help solve the problem. In the past this lesson has been very challenging for students but with the cubes and some direct instruction and modeling students were able to power through the word problems in class. We talked about how they could use legos, pasta, coins, blocks, shoes, etc. at home to help solve the problems this evening. We will review for the topic 8 assessment today. The assessment is tomorrow.  We will begin our study of fractions Friday!

Students took their winter grammar assessment yesterday and there was significant growth in our class average. I have been teaching grammar skills directly in their writing, reading letters, and for those who blog for spelling. We will be going over the assessment today and it will come home with your agent as I want you to see what we are asking them to know and understand. Students struggled with an adjective question where the adjective was “that”. We watched a BrainPOP on adjectives to remind us of this.

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