Friday, May 30, 2008


Don't you just hate it when life gets in the way? I had planned to leave early to meet with the principal of my son's school and then attend the end of the year party (The Strawberry Festival) at the school. However, instead I am visiting the endodontist...such fun!

Mrs. Starkey was a tremendous help during math today. The children took a quiz. Then Mrs. Starkey reviewed coordinate graphing and elapsed time using a calendar.

After that, we took our final spelling test of the year! Woo Hoo!

Then the children will go to music, lunch and recess.

Following recess, Mrs. Klahre will read a chapter aloud from Champ. The children will also have a chance to share a morning work entry. After that, the students will continue planning their comic and some will begin creating their first draft.

If time permits, the children will review the economic concepts of wants and needs and good and services. Then they will read about taxes and the services provided by our government.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Two Weeks to Go...

Wow! Hard to believe that two weeks from today is the last day of school.

We spent the entire math class going over different ways to solve elapsed time word problems. I felt like we had some "ah-ha" moments where children were starting to "get it". Let's hope so! There is a worksheet for homework tonight guessed it...elapsed time. Also, we will have a quiz tomorrow covering elapsed time and selecting the correct tools and units to measure attributes. For example, to measure the attribute of temperature, the tool you would use is a thermometer and the units would be degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit.

During our reading block the children worked on individual reading group assignments and completed their summaries of Lizard on the Loose. Overall, I was pleased with their summaries.

JGB: Met with me and used their literature web to discuss The Ugly Duckling. It was a good discussion and one student even added to it by asking her own, thought provoking questions. What a bonus!!

W&M: Finished reading Onion Tears.

CW: Read chapter 17 with me and chapter 18 on their own. Then responded to the questions, "Why are Charlotte and Wilbur worries about the pig Uncle being bigger than Wilbur?"

Shoeshine Girl: Read the Boy on the Street chapter with me. We also discussed the significance of Sarah Ida being given an apron.

Following lunch and recess we will vote on a star student. Then we will go to the computer lab. We will end the day with a lesson, in our classroom, with Mrs. Howard.

Don't forget our last spelling test is tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not Sure What I Was Thinking!

My math class had a lloonnngggg formative this morning AND it had a couple of problems that I had failed to cover with them in class...OOPS! So, if your child's formative is a might not be their fault! Sorry!

Anyway, we did take and review a formative in class and it will be used to drive instruction, particularly tomorrow. Tonight, PLEASE go over the formative with your child. There is also an elapsed time worksheet.

During our reading block, the children continued working on reading group assignments from yesterday and the summary of Lizard on the Loose. I met with two groups.

JGB: They received a literature web. They were to work in groups to complete the literature web using the story The Ugly Duckling. We will use these webs as we discuss the story tomorrow (hopefully!).

W&M: Finished reading pages 41-53. We discussed the feeling of doom surrounding Miss Lily's illness and we talked about Nam's letters to the little yellow canary. These letters are a therapeutic way for Nam to rehash her past and they give us, as readers, the background knowledge needed to understand Nam's journey.

Following PE, lunch and recess, we will continue planning our comic strip. Then we will attend the annual spring choral and band concert.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

...and we continue to march forward

Field Day? Check.
Memorial Day Weekend? Check.

While summer is just around the corner, we continue to increase our knowledge. The children had a wonderful at Field Day on Friday and they were super well behaved! :-)

This great behavior carried over to today...the children worked well this morning.

In math we continued calculating elapsed time and began using time increments to the 5 minute mark. There is a worksheet, that we began in class, for homework. WE will have a formative tomorrow and a graded quiz on Friday.

During reading we used story elements to help us write a summary. The students also worked on various reading group assignments.

JGB: reread Ugly Ducking.

W&M: Read pages 41-53 (some with me) and wrote about the evidence presented in the novel that showed Grandpa tried to protect Nam on their journey.

Shoeshine Girl: In a small group, they shared the questions they had written in their reading logs last week...great questions, I must say! Then we read the next chapter, The Shoeshine Man. The students are to reread the chapter and write a summary in their logs.

CW: Read chapters 15 and 16 with Mrs. Isaacs.

Following lunch and recess, we will read another chapter or two of Champ. Then we will begin to create our own cartoons and watch a movie about bees and pollination. We will end the day with a book exchange in the media center.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL books MUST be returned to the media center by this Friday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008



Check out the right hand side under math web sites...I added a link to a site where the students can practice elapsed time. Check it out and let me know what you think!!

Terrific Thursday

Great day today...

In math we continued to calculate elapsed time using the number line method described in yesterday's blog. Students who did not finish their class work need to complete it for homework. Otherwise, there is no homework tonight!

Our reading lock was very productive. Students worked on individual reading group assignments, as well as, the homophone worksheet assigned yesterday.

JGB: Completed a creative writing activity in their Brave Little Tailor packet. This was the final activity for the story. As students finish their packet, they will hand it in for a grade.

W&M: Reread pages 24-41 (some with me) and answered the question, "How does getting the bike change Nam?", in their William and Mary journal.

Shoeshine Girl: Reread "A Game" and read "On the Avenue" with me. Then they reread "On the Avenue" independently. Finally, in their reading response journals they listed at least 5 questions they would like to ask Sarah Ida, the main character.

Charlotte's Web: Read chapter 14 and then reread it with me. They also answered the question, "How does Mrs. Arable show her concern for Fern? How is this similar to the gooses concern for its babies" in their reading response log.

Following lunch and recess, the children shared a morning work entry. Then they went to the computer lab, to work on a project with Mrs. Howard. We will end the day by reading and discussing an issue of Time for Kids.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reading HW

Shoeshine Girl: Read the next chapter, "A Game".
Charlotte's Web: Reread chapters 12 and 13.
W&M: Read pages 24-41.
JGB: Read "The Ugly Duckling".

Wonderful Wednesday

What a gorgeous day! I am glad Field Day was postponed, though, because the fields are very wet. Remember that Field Day will be this Friday, May 23.

In math we worked on using a number line to calculate elapsed time. I will try to describe it here...

Using the example that Mrs. Holman goes shopping at 9:40. She returns at 12:00. How much time did she spend shopping?

You would draw a number line that begins at 9 and ends at 12. In between each number (meaning in between 9 and 10, 10 and 11, etc.) you would draw 5 hash marks, thereby separating it into 6 sections. Each section would be a ten minute increment. 6 sections x 10 minutes = 60 minutes or an hour. Then you plot the starting time (9:40) and the ending time. Finally, you count by 10's till you get to 60 and mark that off as an hour. Keep doing that until you get to the end time.

We practiced this together, in class, and then the children worked on it independently, while I pulled a small group. For homework, many children need to finish their classwork. There is also a telling time worksheet.

There will NOT be a formative or a quiz this week.

During reading the children worked on individual reading group assignments and they were given a homophone practice worksheet, too.

JGB: Completed both sides of the interpreting words worksheet in their packet.

W&M: reread pages 9-23 and answered the question, Why did Nam Huong's mood change so suddenly on Sunday at the park?
Some of their reading was done with me.

Shoeshine Girl: Reread and discussed chapter 2 with me. Then, in their journals, they wrote whether or not they would loan Sarah Ida money and used ideas from the story to support their decision.

CW: Read chapters 12 and 13 with Mrs. Benson.

Following PE, lunch and recess, we will open up the seed pods from our plants and discuss how one plants produces many seeds which will then produce many more plants.

Finally, we will continue writing and publishing story poems in the mini computer lab.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring...

...the old man isn't snoring, but field day is cancelled for tomorrow! Instead we will have field day on Friday! Even if the rain stops, this will allow time for the fields to dry.

In math we completed the measurement chart that we began last week. This chart lists different attributes we measure (length, time, temperature, weight,and capacity), the tools we typically use to measure these attributes and the units by which these measurements are generally reported.

Then we worked on calculating elapsed time. Today we used mini-analog clocks. Tomorrow I will introduce a number line type strategy.

There is a telling time to the quarter hour worksheet for homework.

Our reading block began before lunch and continued afterwards. We began by working on lesson 6 of Comics in the Classroom. This lesson focused on Point of View. The children, after some direct instruction, read a comic and completed a worksheet analyzing how a story can change when told by different characters. Then the students worked on reading group assignments.

W&M: We began a new novel called Onion Tears. It is about a girl who is a Vietnamese refugee in Australia. We began by finding Vietnam and Australia on the world map and "googling" Vietnam to find out a bit of information about the Vietnam War. This enabled us to begin the book with some common background knowledge. Then we read pages 1-9 together. After that, they reread pages 1-9 and wrote about the changes faced by the main character in the story.

Flat Stanley: This group is beginning a new book called The Shoeshine Girl. So their group will be referred to as Shoeshine Girl or SG from now on. We read chapter 1 together. Then the children reread chapter 1 on their own.

JGB: Met with me and discussed their directed notes using a worksheet in their packet.

CW: Read chapters 10 and 11.

Homework for reading groups:
W&M: Read pages 9-23 in Onion Tears.
JGB: Reread The Brave Little Tailor.
CW: Read chpaters 10 & 11.
Shoeshine Girl: Read the second chapter.

We ended the day by observing our plants and looking for seeds. We will also draw diagrams of our plants in our science journals.

Remember...Field Day is FRIDAY not tomorrow!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Magical Monday

This morning began with a reward. Our school's recycling program has been so successful that we are one of 11 elementary schools in MCPS to earn a performance of The Magic of Recycling. Children in K-3 watched a magician perform sticks as he taught us more about recycling. We even got to walk through one of the new hybrid Ride-On buses. It was a cool morning!

After the assembly, we switched for math. My math class took a preasessment for unit 6. Then we reviewed the preassessment as a class. The purpose of the preassessment is for me to find out what the children already know and to prepare the children for what they will learn.

The preassessment let me know that I had made some inaccurate assumptions about the students' knowledge. Tomorrow we will continue talking about measurement (we began this last Thursday) but will also spend a great deal of time computing elapsed time.

After art, lunch and recess we will read another chapter of Champ and share some morning work entries. Then the children will go to the mini computer lab to publish the story poems they wrote on Friday.

We will end the day with a book exchange in the media center.

Homework: math worksheet and spelling

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Friday!

Our day began with a wonderful Cultural Arts assembly. A dance troupe from New Zealand performed for us.

After the show, we returned to class and to our reading block. Students worked on reading group assignments and any unfinished assignments from earlier in the week. The JGB group completed their directed notes reading of The Brave Little Tailor. Flat Stanley finished their summaries. William and Mary finished Journey and had another wonderful (and insightful) discussion with me. Charlotte's Web finished reading up to chapter 9 with me.

Then the children went to music, lunch and indoor recess.

After recess, we continued reading champ. Then the students were put into pairs to begin planning and writing a poem that tells a story. They began by choosing a simple problem and solution and deciding upon a rhyming pattern for the quatrains in their poem. Then they began the challenge of writing a poem to tell their story. It was great fun watching them work in pairs to plant their poems. Lots of great discussion and good compromises!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Homphones Spelling Explanation

In math, today, we reviewed the unit 5 assessment. The children marked their score in their planners. Then we began a preview of unit 6. This unit deals with measurement...understanding attributes that can be measured, the tools that are used and the common units in which the measurement is reported. Additionally, there will be some conversions. For example, how many minutes are there in an hour and half. There is a time worksheet for homework.

On to our reading block... AND the spelling exploration...your children got their final spelling list today. The entire class has the same list. They are to learn the spelling and meaning of 10 SETS of homophones. Therefore, they have more than 10words. The test will not be next Friday. Instead, the spelling test will be on Friday, May 30, and homework will be due at that time, too. I will give the class the spelling test on May 30. They will only write 10 words. For each homophone set, I will choose one word and use it in a sentence. They will have to know which spelling of the word was used in the sentence. I hope this makes sense.

Here is the list:
1. to, too, two
2. where, wear
3. know, no
4. here, hear
5. by, buy, bye
6. there, their, their
7. hour, our
8. ate, eight
9. pear, pair
10. do, due, dew

After copying their spelling lists onto the appropriate papers and into their planners, the children continued working on independent reading group assignments. I met with JGB and continued working on their directed note reading.

Following lunch and recess, we will meet Mrs. Howard in the computer lab for a counseling lesson. Then we will come back to class and discuss writing poetry that tells a story. Today I will share some examples with them. If time allows, they will get a chance to try writing a poem that tells a story on their own.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hump Day

This morning the children finished the unit 5 assessment in math. It took two complete math was lloooonnnngggg. I am hoping to have these graded by tomorrow but if it took the children 2 classes to complete it and I have 22 to score...well, you can see the challenge.

During reading the children continued working on their story maps from yesterday and their individual reading group assignments. I was able to meet with two groups.

Flat Stanley, met with me, finished reading chapter 5 and discussed the beginning, middle and end of the chapter. They now have to go back and write a summary in their reading response logs.

William and Mary also met with me. We began reading chapter 10 and discussed how Bloom's arrival to the family has filled a void in Journey. It was a great discussion with students bringing up ideas that I hadn't thought about and that stretched MY thinking. I enjoy those types on conversations!

Following PE, lunch and recess, we will write some poetry. We will tackle Diamante poetry. This is poetry that compares two different subjects, is 7 lines long and counts words, not syllables.

Line 1: one noun (subject #1)
Line 2: 2 adjectives (describe subject #1)
Line 3: 3 action words (related to subject #1)
Line 4: a 4 word phrase describing some feeling about the subject (subjects #1 and #2)
Line 5: 3 action words (related to subject #2)
Line 6: 2 adjectives (describe subject #2)
Line 7: 1 noun (subject #2)

After writing poetry, we will cross pollinate our plants and watch a movie about bees and pollination.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In spelling journal, students are to list at least (not less, could be more) 5 sets of homophones...words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. An example of one set is to, too, two...students were shown this in class and told they may not use this example as one of their choices for homework.

Terrific Tuesday

Ahhh...much better day today, weatherly speaking! :-)

The students began the Unit 5 math assessment this morning. I saw the majority of the children working well. They were very focused and used many of the strategies taught. Tomorrow they will be given time to finish the assessment.

We began reading by reviewing a parts of a story map (introduction, events leading to the climax, the climax and the resolution). Then the children reread the comic Jr. Woodchucks Survival in the Wild and drew a story map for the comic in the reading response log. They also worked on individual reading group assignments.

Charlotte's Web: This week they will be reading chapters 7, 8 and 9. They will also be writing about Fern and Wilbur's friendship, in their reading response logs, using specific examples from the story. Today they began their reading assignment with the help of Mrs. Isaacs.

JGB: Began the directed notes reading of The Brave Little Tailor, with me. We were marking places where the tailor either said or showed his "motto", 7 with one blow, and they wrote why he either said or showed it.

Flat Stanley: They will read chapter 5 and write a summary for the chapter in their reading response log. Today they met with me to begin reading the chapter.

W&M: This group will be reading chapters 10 & 11 of Journey. They will write, in their William and Mary journals, about the changes brought about by adding Bloom to the family.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, I read a chapter from our latest read aloud, Champ. Then the children used their notes from yesterday to write their own Bio Poem. After that, they cross pollinated their plants and drew a diagram of a flower in their science journal.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Messy Monday

UGH! What a yucky, messy day to begin the week. Sure doesn't feel like spring, does it?

We used our math time to review Friday's quiz and practice concepts that were still providing challenges to the children. I feel good about our class today. There were some good questions asked, leading me to believe that some misconceptions were cleared up. Tonight, students are expected to use the review packet to study for the assessment tomorrow.

In reading we read and discussed The King Who Rained by Fred Gwynne. It is a picture book that features homonyms. Then we discussed and began listing homophones (words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings)from the book and from our brains! :-) We will continue this tomorrow and eventually compile a class spelling list based on homophones.

Following art, lunch and indoor recess, we explored using a thesaurus to expand our vocabulary and make our writing more interesting. Then the children took notes on the format of a Bio Poem, in their writer's notebook. Tomorrow the children will begin writing their own Bio Poem and hopefully use a thesaurus to discover descriptive words to include in their poem.

We ended the day with a book exchange in the media center.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fantastic Friday

This morning the children took a quiz in math. I was very excited to see many improved scores! I did note the areas that continue to provide challenges. We will work on these on Monday in order to prepare for the unit assessment on Tuesday.

During reading the children took their spelling tests and completed unfinished work from the week.

After music, lunch and indoor recess we worked on special's surprise! We also cross pollinated our plants...almost forgot to mention that! :-)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Five Weeks To Go...

Can you believe that there are only 5 weeks left in the school year? Time flies when you are having fun, doesn't it?

In math, we went over the homework from last night and then went over the review problem at a time, in depth. The children were expected to make sure they corrected any mistakes. They should bring home a completed and accurate review packet. Use this to prepare for tomorrow's quiz and for the unit assessment on Tuesday.

During reading, I met with three reading groups!
JGB: We finished the text opener and did an initial reading of the new story. Then the children reread the story with a partner.

W&M: Mt with me and reread chapter 8. We then had another great discussion...we talked about how Journey has changed during the story and we analyzed how his relationship with Grandfather has evolved.

Flat Stanley: Began rereading chapter 4. The children wrote summaries in their reading response log.

CW: Read chapter 6 and predicted what was going to happen in chapter 7, Bad News.

Following lunch and indoor recess, the children cross-pollinated their plants and continued working on our special writing project that involves a poem and a letter for a certain person in their lives! :-)

The day ended with a guidance lesson, with Mrs. Howard, in the computer lab!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hump Day

Wow! We accomplished a lot in math today! We worked on the multiplication packet. In fact, it will come home tonight since Exercise F, the final page in the packet, has been assigned as homework. We will review the correct answers, in class, tomorrow and then the packet will come home for good!

After working multiplication strategies, we worked on the review packet for Unit 5. I worked with a small group while most worked independently. Tomorrow we will review each problem and spend time clearing up any confusion.

During reading, the children continued working on the Comics in the Classroom lesson from yesterday and reading group assignments from Monday. I met with Charlotte's Web and began reading chapter 5. They finished reading this chapter with partners. I also met with JGB and we began a text opener for their next story.

Following PE, lunch and recess, the children cross pollinated their plants using their bee sticks. Then we read and discussed an issue of Time for Kids. The children have been assigned a follow up worksheet for homework.

We ended the day by reviewing the various formats of poetry we have learned and writing a poem that will be part of a special project.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We still have plenty of time...

to learn! Unfortunately, some children are struggling to maintain their focus. Please speak to your child about the importance of listening and following directions. Acknowledge that this is hard to do at this time of year but it is important...there is still plenty to learn!

During math, we continued working on the multiplication packet. However, we did not finish do not look for it in your child's backpack this won't be there! There is an equivalent fraction worksheet for homework.

Speaking of's the plan for the coming few days. Tomorrow we will work on the multiplication packet and work on a review packet for unit 5. Thursday we will go over the review packet, in depth, and clear about any misconceptions. Friday we will take our final quiz for this unit. ON Monday, we will go over the quiz, in class, and practice any areas that provided difficulties for the children. This will be in preparation for the Unit 5 assessment which we will take on Tuesday.

In reading we worked on the third lesson in the Comics in the Classroom program. This lesson focused on identifying the problem and solution in a story and understanding how humor helps the author tell a story.

After identifying and discussing new vocabulary, the children read a comic and wrote about the problem and solution in their reading response logs. After that, they were expected to continue working on reading group assignments from yesterday.

I was able to meet with the Flat Stanley group. We read chapter 3 and discussed various aspects of the chapter.

Following lunch and recess the children used their bee sticks to pollinate their plants and made an entry in their plant journals. Then they finished their cards for Mrs. Starkey and began making cards for Mrs. Howard.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Marvelous Monday!

What a wonderful spring day!

In math we worked on a packet that taught the children "tips" for multiplying numbers. We will complete the packet tomorrow. Look for it in your child's home folder tomorrow evening and be sure to go over it with your child. It is very important that children memorize all of the basic math facts. There is a money worksheet for homework. Additionally, our unit assessment is scheduled for NEXT Tuesday, May 13.

During reading the children worked on reading group assignments.
Flat Stanley: Reread chapter 3 and drew a picture of the beginning, middle and end of the chapter. They used their pictures to write a summary.

Charlotte's Web: Reread chapter 4 and wrote a letter to Wilbur, in their reading response log, giving him suggestions that might help his loneliness. They also met with me to read and discuss this chapter.

JGB: Continued working on their packet for OOKA. Today their focus should have been answering interpretive questions.

W&M: Reread chapter 7 and wrote about why Journey NEEDS the cat. We met in group and discussed this, as well...GREAT discussion.

Following art, lunch and recess, we will make bee sticks to aid the pollination process for our plants. Then we will write letters of appreciation for Mrs. Starkey.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Boy, I am in need of the weekend...gotta catch up on some sleep! :-)

Our math quiz went much better for most! The children's efforts seem to be paying off. The unit assessment will probably be given at the end of next week. Watch the blog for the exact date.

We began reading with a discussion of idioms...kind of interesting...the children seemed more literal than I had thought. Therefore, we will spend more time on this concept over the coming weeks. Luckily, the Comics in the Classroom provides an opportunity to identify (and therefore discuss) many idioms.

After that, the children worked on reading group assignments until it was time to go to music. I had hoped to meet with many groups, but I got involved with a wonderful discussion with my JGB group (and our time was limited, plus they haven't had much face time with me lately...). I only met with the one group!

JGB: Great discussion!

W&M: Read chapters 7 & * in Journey.

CW: Read chapter 4.

Flat Stanley: Read chapter 3.

After lunch and recess will discuss ways to show appreciation for others and begin making cards for various members of the DES staff in honor of Staff Appreciation Week.

We will end the day by making bee sticks to help with the pollination process of our plants.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Wow! I can't believe it is May first. We only have 6 more weeks of hard to believe!

I am still dealing with some family health help you understand, my parents would normally be taking care of my grandfather but they are out of the country. So, I have to leave at lunch, again, today. I do plan to be here all day tomorrow.

In math we worked on equivalent fractions. Students need to complete their classwork and do a money worksheet for homework. We will have a quiz tomorrow.

During reading, the children chose new spelling words. They should have their new lists in their notebook, their spelling journal and in their planners...twice! After that, they reread the Jr. Woodchuck comic and identified character traits for Daisy Duck. Additionally, they used the comic to provide support for each of the traits they chose.

Following lunch and recess, the class will visit the computer lab. I the computer lab they can either choose to publish a poem they wrote, work on the Power Point they started last week, work on Type to Learn or go to a math web site from the third grade web page.

They will end the day with a counseling lesson led by Mrs. Howard.

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