Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grandparents Day

I'm back and healthy!!!

Today was Grandparent's Day. We had a great morning with a lot of wonderful grandparents!

Since we are in between math units, Mrs. Braune prepared some logic stations for us to examine during math. We split into small groups, enlisted the help of our visitors and rotated through 6 stations. It was a great time!

During reading we read and discussed the theme of Cranberry Thanksgiving. The theme was, basically, don't judge a book by it's cover. Then the children worked on an acrostic poem using the word Thanksgiving.

After PE and lunch, any children who were still at school, packed up and went home!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

VERY quick update

Unfortunately, I have come down with a fever and am going home during lunch but I didn't want to have you wondering what was going on.

Math---today we completed and reviewed a review packet for the unit 2 assessment. The packet is coming home tonight with the correct answers. Use it as a study guide. The assessment is tomorrow!

Reading---Identified nouns and verbs...reviewed determining importance in non fiction text...remember, the purpose guides what is important vs. what is interesting. Began Reading Life in the African Savannah.

Following art, lunch and recess, the children will share morning work entries, work on their writing to inform piece and do a book exchange in the media center.

Grandparents Day is Wednesday.

I will try to check e-mail from home if you should have concerns or questions!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Thanks to table points, we have had a rather productive week! I think I speak for the entire class when I say we are ready for the weekend.

Before I run down our day, I want to let you know that we did NOT have a spelling test today. We will have it on Monday. I am losing my voice (ask your child) and did not want to run into the issue of a child thinking I said one word when I had truly said another. I hope this makes sense.

In math we took our final quiz for unit 2. We will complete a review packet on Monday and have our unit 2 assessment on Tuesday. If your child is focused and follow directions, he/she will bring home a completed and corrected review packet on Monday to use for studying for the test on Tuesday.

During reading we reviewed nouns (proper and plural), pronouns and verbs using the morning message. Then we read and discussed this week's issue of Time for Kids.

Following music, lunch and indoor recess we came to the computer lab. In the computer lab we used a program called Pixie to create a document with examples (using "stickers" from the program) of physical and human geographical characteristics. This will be scored.

When we return to the classroom, Mrs. Howard will complete her lesson that she began yesterday. If time permits, we will work on our writing to inform pieces. I am hoping the children will have a final draft of their first piece completed before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This morning, in math, the children worked independently on identifying the area and perimeter of figures. I met with small groups to work on converting inches to feet, feet to yards and so forth. There is a worksheet for homework and a quiz tomorrow.

In reading we evaluated the text features in non-fiction text. I also worked with reading groups.
JGB: Met and discussed areas they marked with a question mark during their directed reading. They also worked on a follow up activity at their seats.
Frog: Read and discussed another section of Animal Senses with me and then reread the sight section at their seats.
Dragons: Continued previewing their book.

Following lunch and recess we continued working on our multi-paragraphed writing to inform pieces. Then Mrs. Howard visited and continued her friendship lesson.

Spelling is due tomorrow and there will be a spelling test!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hump Day

I truly hope you child talked about our assembly yesterday afternoon. Mike Knudson, the author of Dancing dudes, visited our school and spoke to the children about the writing process. It was an enjoyable and informative presentation!

In math today we applied our knowledge of shapes, perimeter and area to solve multi-stepped problems. We had a lot of fun...a lot of what we did was done on white boards and included fourth grade skills. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading we reviewed nouns and pronouns using the morning message. Then I reviewed the RRJ prompt that was assigned yesterday. I spent time demonstrating what it meant to name AND explain. Then the students worked on redoing the prompt and individual reading group activities.

JGB: Finished directed reading of The Banza.
Dragons: Previewed a non fiction book and listed unknown words.
Frogs: Met with me...they read sections of a non-fiction book with a focus question in mind...then we discussed the answer to the questions.

Following PE, lunch and recess we will continue writing a multi-paragraphed informative piece. We will end the day by identifying geographic characteristics of our community.

Many children have to finish their RRJ assignment for homework tonight. Don't forget that the children also have spelling homework (it is due Friday) AND they are expected to read each night for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday and Table Points

Well, we began a table point system yesterday following lunch and recess. The children really bought into the plan and had an extremely productive afternoon! The table points have continued to be a positive force in the classroom today.

In math we continued identifying the area of a curved figure. I also worked with small groups on converting units of measurement. There is a measurement worksheet for homework tonight. We WILL have a quiz on Friday. A review packet will come home next Monday and there will be a unit assessment on Tuesday.

In reading we continued working on the jellyfish graphic organizer and we read Life in the Polar Regions. The Frog group did a reread of the book with Miss Diane and reread Communities with me. JGB met with me and shared the questions they had written in the RRJ about The Banza. Then they did their second reading of The Banzaa and marked portions of the story (with a ?) where they found themselves wondering why a character did or said something.

Additionally, the entire class had to respond to a prompt in their RRJ about the book Life in the Polar Regions...the prompt was to name and explain 3 ways that people in the arctic used the land and the environment to survive. The only responses that were turned in were incomplete and lacked sufficient details, so they were returned. All students will have time to finish this tomorrow, in class. However, any students who did not complete the jellyfish graphic organizer (most) in class have to do this for homework tonight.

Following lunch and recess we will continue using our graphic organizer to write a multi-paragraphed informative piece. Prior to the students receiving writing time, I will model how they can use a jellyfish graphic organizer to plan their writing.

At 2:15 we will go to an assembly. Mike Knudson, the author of Dancing Dudes, will be here to talk about the writing process...and his books, of course! :-)

If there is time after the assembly we will answer questions about the geography we observed in our community on Friday.

Students are expected to read for at least 15 minutes EVERY night. Spelling homework is due Friday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday...First day of a FULL week!!

Yey...we finally have 5 uninterrupted days. I am looking forward to a very productive week!!

In math we identified the area and perimeter of figures. PLEASE remind your students that ALL answers must be labeled AND area have to be labeled in square units. We spent some time looking at rectangles where the length and width of only one side was labeled and decided how we could figure out the perimeter and area. We also discussed how multiplication (repeated addition) could help. Then we discussed finding the area of figures with curved lines. First, you count the whole boxes. Then you put together pieces that you estimate would create a whole box. For homework there is a measurement worksheet.

During reading I introduced a "jellyfish graphic organizer". This is a tool that students can use to help with note taking while reading or with planning a writing piece. It is in their binder...feel free to take a look BUT do NOT remove it...I am trying hard to better utilize their binders but I need your help. Do not remove anything that has been whole-punched from the binder unless it is in their take home folder.

We started a lesson we will finish tomorrow. But we recalled background knowledge we had about the arctic (both before last week and then knowledge gained from our reading of Angela from the Arctic last week) and added that to the organizer. Tomorrow we will read a new book about the Arctic and add new information from the book to the jellyfish chart.

Following art, lunch and recess we will discuss a table point system that I plan to start using in order to celebrate students who make good choices. We will also discuss the Braggin' Dragon bulletin board and change jobs.

Then we will use our webs that we created in writing last Thursday to begin writing a rough draft for our writing to be informed piece...remember it has to be multi-paragraphed!!!

We will end the day with a visit to the media center for a book exchange.

Remember students are expected to read for at least 15 minutes EVERY night...they should be marking their minutes on the ballots for the reading incentive program and returning the ballots every week!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A full day of last!!! :-)

In math we reviewed identifying the area and perimeter of figures. Some children have classwork to finish this evening, all have a worksheet for homework. There will be a quiz tomorrow covering measuring to the nearest 1/2 inch, conversions and area and perimeter.

In reading we sorted -oe words and the children chose new spelling words. So they now have spelling homework due NEXT Friday and a spelling test next Friday. They also read an issue of Time for Kids and chose a bold-faced word to use to complete a concept map (learn a new vocabulary word). Some raced through their work and their score reflects this...keep in mind, children can always redo work that doesn't meet the target (get at least a score of a 3) and turn it in to be re-scored.

I was able to meet with reading groups!!! WOO HOO!

JGB: Did a first reading of a new story, The Banza. Then the children were to reread the story independently and write questions they had in their brains, as they read, in the RRJ.

Frogs: Read and discussed Communities. They are to reread this at home tonight.

Dragons: Finished reading Amber Brown.

Following lunch and indoor recess I will model choosing a topic to write to inform about and organizing my thoughts using a web. Then I will show the class how to turn the web into a multi-paragraphed writing read that right, multi-paragraphed! In order to get a three this marking period in writing (according to the scoring rubric) the children must write multi-paragraphed pieces.

Hopefully, after having time to plan and begin writing a piece, there will be time for social studies. We will spend our social studies time reviewing physical and human characteristics of geography.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hump Day

During math we prcticed identifying the perimeter and area of figures. I have instructed the students to always lable their a unit is not given (ex. inches, centimeters, etc.) they should label perimeter in "units" and area in "square units". There is a worksheet for homework.

We began reading by reviewing last nights' cause and effect worksheet. This one wasn't as straight forward as the last. Therefore, students had to use their brain to manipulate the information in the article in order to correctly complete the cause/effect graphic organizer. Many struggled. We discussed the correct answers and WHY they were correct, in class.

Then the students had time to complete any unfinished work, suchas, the Angela from the Arctic chart, finding ten -oe words and practicing their cursive letters.

Following PE and lunch they will pack up and we will continue to read Dancing Dudes by Mike Knudson, who will be visitng next week. orders are due tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

What a wonderful morning...we began the day with a Veteran's Day assembly. One of the members of the local American Legion spoke to the children about Veteran's Day in a very kid-friendly manner. He held their attention and gave a great explanation as to what Veteran's Day is all about.

When we returned to the classroom we watched a video about Veteran's Day and then read the book The Wall.

Following that we read Angela from the Arctic and used our background knowledge to help us gain deeper understanding of non fiction text. The children also searched for -oe words (we will sort these later in the week), practiced cursive handwriting and worked on reading group activities.

After eating lunch we will stack and pack and get ready to go home.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Parent Conference Week

I am truly looking forward to sitting down with all of you and discussing your child's progress in school! Due to parent conferences, Tuesday and Wednesday are early release days. Students will be dismissed at 1:00.

In math we reviewed determining the perimeter of a shape and began finding the area. Mrs. Starkey also worked with small groups to practice converting inches to feet to yards. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading we continued identifying the main idea in non fiction text. Today we read a section of the book Polar Bears. We used the following three questions to guide our reading and help us figure out the main idea:
What is the overall topic?
What important details are included?
How are the details related? (This is the BIGGIE!)

Following art, lunch and recess we will read the cover story of a time for kids and discuss the topic and important details. For homework, the children will need to determine the main idea. There will be a worksheet to complete.

In writing we will discuss ways to develop their topics...basically enhance their writing with more relevant details and ideas. I will also model writing to inform. Then the children will visit the media center for a book exchange.

PLEASE NOTE: Report Cards are coming home TODAY!!!!!!! Look them over!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

We walked!!!

Thanks to Mrs. MacFarland and many other parents we had an extremely successful walking field trip of Damascus. We visited the Damascus Community Bank, State Farm Insurance, On the Town Limousine, Beall's Florist, Ledo's Pizza and Fitness 4 You. When we returned we ate lunch and went to recess. Then we went to the computer lab to make thank you cards using Publisher.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just a thought...

Today I am sending home two different book order forms. PLEASE do not feel obligated to buy anything! However, if you choose to make a purchase and want to make it a surprise for a holiday gift, simply slip a note in the envelope with the order form and check and I will notify you when the materials come in. Then we can find a way to get you what you ordered without your child knowing.

Again...just a thought!

Field Trip Tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow is our walking field trip of Damascus. PLEASE make sure your child gets a good night's sleep, eats a big breakfast AND wears comfortable shoes...preferably sneakers! If you volunteered to chaperone, please arrive at school at 9:15.

In math today we calculated the perimeter of shapes. There is a worksheet for homework.

Following math we identified important information in a nonfiction book in preparation to identify the main idea. Then we went to the media center to learn about the author Mike Knudson. He will be visiting our school on November 18. WE began reading one of his books and then visited his web site on the Internet.

Following lunch and recess we will practice writing "thick" questions (questions that require more then a yes/no answer) for one of our topics on our writing to inform list. If time permits, we will begin writing a rough draft for this topic answering some of our questions.

We will end the day with a friendship lesson conducted by Mrs. Howard.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Day MP2

Today is the start of a new marking period!

In math we continued to pratice calculating mearsurement conversions from inches to feet to yards. The children worked with partners to determine the largest measurement given three that were recorded in different units. Then we used math discourse to determine the correct answer and explain our thinking. I did give the children an exit card to see how their knowledge is growing There is a worksheet for homework.

We used the beginning of reading to clear out old, unfinished work and organize our desks. I wanted to be sure that we began this next marking period in an organized manner. Then we read a non-fiction text called From Father to Son and dicussed the mani idea of the book.

Following PE, lunch and recess we will begin our next writing intent, Writing to Inform. This will be our focus for the entire second marking period. Today students will list topics they know a lot about.

We will end the day by defining common geographioc terms If time permits, we will review goods and services in preparation for our field trip on Friday.

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