Thursday, April 30, 2009


This morning we continued to practice solving division problems. We also watched a video to help reinforce the proper procedure. There is a division worksheet for homework tonight. We will have a quiz tomorrow.

In reading we continued working on reading group assignments and writing poetry.

Mouse: Reread chapter 3 (independently) and chapter 4 (with me). They also completed a character trait web on Ralph identifying his traits and details from the text to support those traits.

Jumanji: Pretended they were either Judy or Peter and wrote a letter to a friend retelling the events from the story and how they felt. We began sharing these in group.

Onion Tears: Read and discussed parts of the book in group. Connected Nam's actions to past events in her life to help understand why she behaves the way she does in certain instances. The students worked on writing letters to a friend telling about lonliness.

Following lunch and recess I will model how to further develop the plot of the realistic fiction piece I began on Tuesday by writing the solution. Then the students will work on finishing reading group assignments and writing realistic fiction.

We will end the day with a lesson from Mrs. Howard.

Remember there is a spelling test tomorrow. Spelling homework and reading incentive calendars are due tomorrow, too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hump Day

In math we focused on solving division problems with two-digit numbers using long division. We will continue this tomorrow as many students had difficulty. There is a multiplication worksheet for homework.

During reading we learned a new format for poetry called Haiku. This is a Japanese poem about nature. It is 3 lines and 17 syllables. Line 1 and 3 have 5 syllables. Line 2 has 7.

Then we made cards for Mrs. Weaver in honor of Cafeteria Worker Appreciation Day.

Following PE, lunch and recess the children will work on reading group assignments, realistic fiction and go to FASTT math.

Mouse: Will complete a vocabulary web for the word eager. They will also reread chapter 3 and complete a character trait web for Ralph.

Onion Tears: Will discuss the traumatic experiences Nam faced by reviewing her letters to the canary. They will read pages 32-46 and complete activity #2.

Jumanji: Will finish the book and complete a vocabulary web for the word nudge. They will also answer a question in their RRJ regarding the way the adults acted at the end of the story.

We will end the day by observing, measuring and staking our plants.

Spelling homework is due Friday. So are the reading incentive calendars for April.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Productive day so far!!!

So far we have gotten a lot done! In math we reviewed adding and subtracting fractions and two-digit by two-digit multiplication. While the students worked independently, I met with two small groups to practice solving algebraic equations. The children need to complete their classwork for homework.

In reading we discussed the possibility of writing poems and compiling the poems into books and then having a poetry reading and party to end the school year. I told the children that they would need to work hard during independent work time in order for this to happen. So, today they worked on reading group assignments and cinquain poems while I met with all three (!!!!!) reading groups.

Mouse: Reread chapter 2 and answered an RRJ in their journal. They met with me and began reading chapter 3.

Onion Tears: Read pages 16-31 and answered an RRJ. Met with me and read and discussed pages 1-15 including why Nam can cry when she is chopping onions but not at other times. We had a great discussion.

Jumanji: Read the third portion of the book and responded to an RRJ in their journals. Reread the portion with me and predicted what will happen next.

Following lunch and recess we will discuss and I will model developing the problem and solution in their writing. Many students are taking great care to introduce the setting and their characters...using MANY sentences for this (which IS good) but the writing the problem of the story in one sentence and the solution in the next sentence. So, the bulk of their writing is the background not the plot.

We will end the day by thinning our plants with Mr. Vogel's class. Some of our plants haven't grown so well.

Monday, April 27, 2009


A sunny beginning to a new week...yey!

In math we began exploring how to add and subtract fractions. Remember that the denominators must be the same and that they do not change. You only need to add (or subtract) the numerator. I worked with a few students on their computation of money. There is a worksheet for homework.

During our reading block we review the format for writing cinquain poems. They are poems containing five lines with a specific syllable pattern.
Line 1: 2 syllables (topic)
Line 2: 4 syllables (describe topic)
Line 3: 6 syllables (action of topic)
Line 4: 8 syllables (feeling about topic)
Line 5: 2 syllables (rename topic)

Following art, lunch and recess the children continued writing realistic fiction and went to FASTT math. Then we continued working on the time lines from The House on Maple Street. FInally, we will go to the medai center for a book exchange.

Friday, April 24, 2009


This morning we took a quiz on math. Many of the skills were fourth grade objectives. Overall, the children did well.

In reading we collected and sorted -are words. We discovered that the -are chunk makes a different sound than the word "are". We discussed this. Then the students copied a list of ten -are words, that I chose, into their spelling journal and their planners for this week and next week. The entire class should have the following words: beware, compare, share, prepare, aware, parent, carefully, nightmare, warehouse and scarecrow.

Following music, lunch and recess the students will continue writing realistic fiction and attempting to include dialogue in their writing. They will also go to FASTT math.

THen we will read The House and Maple Street and discuss the changes and events that took place over 350 years. Then, in small groups, the children will create timelines using sentence strips, that are provided, with events from the book.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take Your Child to Work Day

Today is Take Your Child to Work Day! We are missing a number of students but have one extra for the day! I brought my son, Michael, to school with me. Your children are treating him so well! They are including him in all the activities.

In math we continued solving two digit by two digit multiplication problems. We will have a quiz tomorrow.

In reading we wrote poems in small groups. The students chose a topic and a format (either couplet or quatrain). Then they wrote a poem as a rough draft. After conferencing with me, they will rewrite the poem on chart paper and decorate it. Finally, they will share their writing with the class.

Following lunch and recess the children will continue working on using dialogue in their writing as they write realistic fiction.

We will end the day with a social studies lesson. We will read The House on Maple Street and create a timeline of the events that changed this property over a period of 200 years.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hump Day

In math we practiced solving two digit by 2 and 3 digit multiplication problems. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading we identified the different parts of a poem; title, line stanze (a group of lines), etc. We also idetified different rhyming patterns in poetry. There will be a follow up worksheet for this, too.

Following PE, lunch and recess the children will come back and work on reading group activities and go to FASTT math.

Onion Tears will read and discuss chapter 1. They will also identify character traits for Nam.

Jumanji will read the second section of the book and predict whether the guide will help Judy and Peter.

Mouse will read chapter 2 and discuss the setting of the book.

We will end the day by identifying the needs of our plants and observing them. THen we will work on an Earth Day packet.

Tomorrow is Take Your Child to Work Day. My math class WILL have a quiz on Friday. Movie Night is Friday Night.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

I apologize for the interruption in the blog. Many of you know that I experienced a death in my family. But now it is back to routine...

During math the students began solving two digit by two digit multiplication problems. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading the children searched for -are words and wrote letters to Mrs. Watkins and Mrs. McAlister for Administrative Assistant's Day which is tomorrow. They also practiced writing couplets. This allowed me time to meet with all three reading groups who began new books today.

Mouse and the Motorcycle (formerly Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm): Read chapter one in group. Reread independently and marked places with a sticky note that included words or phrases that described the hotel. They are expected to reread this chapter, again, for homework tonight.

Jumanji (formerly Sarah, Plain and Tall): Read the first section of Jumanji and completed a vocabulary web for the word slouch. They need to reread this section (which is marked with an orange post-it flag) for homework tonight.

Onion Tears (formerly Journey): Completed a vocabulary web for the word refugee. We will discuss their webs in group to gain an understanding of what a refuggee is. This concept is crucial to the understadning of the book.

Following lunch and recess we will continue using dialogue in our writing of realistic fiction. THen we will finish planting our Wisconsin Fast Plants during science.

Thursday is Take Your CHild to Work Day. THis is an excused absence if you send in a note tomorrow. THere is a letter and form going home this evening.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The SUN!!!!!!

It is amazing how beautiful weather can have such a positive influence on every aspect of your day!!

In math we continued reviewing fractions, decimals (tenths and hundredths) and finding unknowns in equations. There is a quiz tomorrow and a worksheet for homework.

We began reading in the media center with another lesson, this time about quatrains, in the author study of Shel Silverstein. When we returned to class we reviewed using dialogue in our writing.

First, the children found different formats of dialogue in actual books. We shared their findings as a class and pointed out the correct positioning of the punctuation and the "talking" words. Then I gave the children a worksheet that featured a Peanuts cartoon strip. The children rewrote the strip using dialogue. I was truly impressed by their abilities!!

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will continue working on the realistic fiction pieces and hopefully include dialogue (correctly written!!). Then we will go to an assembly. Joe Romano will be performing The Magic of Books!

Next week the book fair will be here! We will also be starting new books in reading groups and begin a new spelling exploration!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rain, rain GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another day of indoor recess due to rain! I feel so badly because the kids really need to get outside and run around. Hopefully, tomorrow...

In math we continued to review fractions, equations and decimals. The students are responsible for two they began in class, the other is purely homework. We will go over both, in class, tomorrow.

Reading was spent in the media center with Mrs. Rose. They continued to immerse themselves in the works of Shel Silverstein. Today they identified rhyming patterns (ABAB, ABBA, ABCA, etc.) in his poems.

Following PE, lunch and indoor recess, we will review using dialogue in writing. The children will also continue working on their realistic fiction pieces and go to FASTT math.

We will end the day by observing the beans from yesterday after they have been soaked in water for close to 24 hours.

Please remember that students are expected to read for at least 15 minutes every night.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone enjoyed the break...I know I did!! It is good to be back, though!

In math we reviewed fractions, equations and decimals (tenths). The students worked independently while I worked with a small group on some fourth grade objectives; identifying three equivalent fractions for one fraction and putting improper fractions and mixed numbers in order of value from least to greatest. For homework, the children either need to fix or finish an equation worksheet that we began in class. There is also a money worksheet.

We will have a math quiz on Friday. It will cover fractions, probability, equations and money. We will spend the entire week reviewing these concepts and working on tenths and hundredths.

We began reading in the media center with Mrs. Rose. This week we will meet with her daily to do an author study of Shel Silverstein. When we returned to class we discussed the answers to the questions:

What is Poetry?
(A genre that expresses thoughts and feelings in varied forms with a loose structure that allows the writer freedom to create.)

Why do you like poetry?
(funny, makes sense, helps you feel or think differently, like the words, like the topic, etc.)

Then we began investigating the format of a couplet (sets of two lines of poetry where the end words in the lines rhyme) and writing a couplet together as a class.

Following lunch and indoor recess we will discuss using dialogue in our writing. Then we will continue using the story maps we created prior to break to write a realistic fiction piece.

We will end the day with our first lesson in the next science unit which is Plant Growth and Development. Today's lesson will have us look at dry seeds using a magnifying glass.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Break!!

Today is the last day of school before Spring Break!!

In math we continued working on algebra using Hands on Equations. Today I worked with a small group while some students worked on a worksheet independently.

During reading the children worked on their time lines and read an issue of Time for Kids.

Following music, lunch and recess the children will have a substitute. They will spend the afternoon watching the movie Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm. We read this book, in class, last week. It goes along with our study of fantasy literature AND I thought it was a nice treat after MSA.

Have a wonderful SPring Break!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday...the countdown begins!

Let the countdown to spring break begin...the excitement is building in the classroom. We only have two days left!

In math we continued our investigations of equations. There is a worksheet for homework.

We read a fantasy story called The Paper Bag Princess, in reading. Then the students wrote about the author's message using support from the story. They also worked on cursive handwriting.

I met with SP&T and Anna to read and discuss chapter 7 from both novels. Then we all went to the media center for a book exchange.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the children began writing their rough draft, for their realistic fiction piece, using the story map they created yesterday. They also went to FASTT math.

We will end the day by working on our time lines of key events from our lives.

There is no math quiz tomorrow BUT my math class will have a fairly large quiz on the Friday after spring break. It will cover fractions and money...possibly some equations, too!

Yearbook orders are due tomorrow...FINAL DAY! They are $20!! Also, tomorrow is crazy hair day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Can't believe the week is half over...time really flies when you are busy!!

In math we reviewed fractions and money and continued our work with Hands on Equations. There is a money worksheet for homework.

In reading we continued our study of fantasy by reading Wump World by Bill Peet. We had a super experience reading the story, identifying events that made the story believable and making connections to the story. It was a truly enjoyable lesson for both the teacher and the students!!

Following PE, lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to FASTT math and work on their story map to plan for their first realistic fiction writing piece. We will share the story maps and make suggestions when all students have returned from FASTT math.

We will end the day with social studies. The students will use their homework from last night to begin creating a timeline of the key events in their life, so far. This activity will help them identify which events are "key" and how to put them in chronological order. It will also expose them to the idea of a time line.

Friday is Crazy Hair Day!!

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