Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Friday!

We took our final quiz for unit 6 in math today. Next week we will practice coordinate graphing and review for the assessment. We will take the unit 6 assessment next Friday. Look for the review packet Thursday evening.

During reading we continued reading about the Aztecs and comparing their culture to our own.

Following music, lunch and recess we will continue writing realistic fiction with the intention of using at least one piece of dialogue in each story.

We will conclude the day with social studies. We will use the knowledge we have gained in our recent studies to predict where cities will develop on a blank map of Mexico. Then we will look at a marked map of Mexico and see if our predictions were right. Finally, we will label certain parts of the map and color it in.

Wednesday, June 3, is Field Day

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're going on a Web Quest!

This morning in math we spent a great deal of time learning the meaning of the metric prefixes, such as milli, centi and kilo, to help us convert like metric measurements. For example, 1,000 grams is equal to 1 kilogram. This will not be on the quiz tomorrow but is on the unit assessment. The quiz tomorrow will cover elapsed time, measurement tools and units and capacity. There is an elapsed time worksheet for homework.

In reading we used our reading strategies and computer skills to work on an Aztec Web Quest. A web quest is kind of like a scavenger hunt on the computer. This particular web quest was created by an individual and then doctored by Mr. Vogel. It had several questions about the Aztec people and under each question was a link that takes the participant (your child) to a web site that has information which will help the student answer the question. It is a neat way to integrate reading, computer and social studies into one lesson!

Following lunch and recess we will return to the computer lab to do a Career Day lesson with Mrs. Howard. Then we will return to the classroom to read an article about "culture" and web some of the characteristics we discover.

Tomorrow is Pajama Day.
THe poetry project is due June 11, two weeks from today!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All About the Aztecs

THis morning in math we used cubes and mutiplication to identify the volume of figures in units cubed. SOme students need to finish their classwork for homework. There is also a worksheet to practice identifying capacity.

In reading I had planned to model using context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words but was derailed by the overt enthusiasm that the entire class showed for learning about the Aztecs. So we spent time reading about the beginning of the Aztec civilization, discussing timelines (including BC and AD) and using maps to figure out where the communities were located. In short, the class turned a "blah" lesson into an enjoyable learning experience where MANY skills were used!!! We will continue learning about the Aztecs AND use context clues to tackle new words...but today was more about laying the foundation on the social studies side.

Following PE, lunch and recess we will go to FASTT math and continue write realistic fiction. I will begin the block with a review of the correct conventions needed when using dialogue in writing.

Then we will end the day by observing and cross pollinating our plants. However, if time permits, we will contninue reading about the Aztecs!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Three Weeks and Counting...

You can feel the excitement in the air...Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and we are now on the downhill ride to the end of the school year!

In math we are continuing to learn about measurement. We completed a chart that states attributes, the tools used to measure them and the common units in which the data is reported. After that we learned a trick to help remember the conversions for capacity. Ask your child about the garden and four princesses. There is an elapsed time worksheet for homework.

In reading we continued our analysis of the characteristics of procedural text. Today the children took the recipe and chart from Thursday and rewrote the directions for making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake WITH the improvements we discussed and charted on Thursday. They also worked on reading group activities.

Mouse: Reread chapter 9.
Big Black Dog: Met and discussed the parts of the story they marked with a "c" for clever and an "f" for foolish. We had a great discussion about events that could be marked as both!
Wise Children: Reread in group with me and then marked places where they would act as the children did with a "w" and places where they would not act like the children with a "wn". The marking of the text (directed notes) was done independently.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students continued independent work from the morning and worked on their realistic fiction. I was able to meet with several students and help with using dialogue in their writing.

We ended the day by cross pollinating our plants and watching, "into the Bee Hive", a Magic School Bus movie.

Pajama Day is THIS Friday!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer is right around the corner!

You could feel it in the air's the Friday before Memorial Day weekend and it is warm and sunny. The children are definitely ready for summer break!

In math we took our first quiz for unit 6. The students did very well! YEY! Then we began creating a measurement chart featuring attributes we measure, the tools we use and the units in which we measure.

During reading we read and discussed our last issue of Time for Kids. We had a great discussion about walking on the moon!

Following music, lunch and recess we spent time writing realistic fiction. I got to conference with many children. Unfortunately, the students were just not "into" their writing. They were following directions but it was obvious (from my conferences) that many were rushing to say they were finished.

So, we ended writing a wee bit early and headed to the mini-computer lab for a much needed break. The students got some free time to "play" educational games on the Internet. They enjoyed that treat!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This morning, while I was in a meeting, Mrs. Benson taught our math class. They reviewed elapsed time and reading schedules. We will have a quiz tomorrow.

After math the children worked on a lesson for Career Day with Mrs. Howard, in the computer lab.

Following that lesson, I returned from my meeting to begin a lesson on evaluating a recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We read the recipe and used a chart to evaluate how well the recipe was written and what improvements we could make. Tomorrow, in class, the students will rewrite the recipe making necessary improvements.

Following lunch and recess we will discuss writing good leads to our realistic fiction and then work on our writing. WE will end the day reading about culture; what it is and how it is developed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hump Day!

This morning in math we continued working on identifying elapsed time and reading a schedule. The children did a quick two-problem "exit card" for me to assess their understanding of elapsed time. Based on these results, I met with a small group and Ms. Carafano met with a small group. The third group worked independently on more advanced elapsed time problems. There is a worksheet for homework and we WILL have a quiz on Friday!

During reading the students worked on reading group assignments while I tested individual students.

Mouse: Read chapter 9 and noted unknown words on a sticky note for reading group discussion tomorrow.

Big Black Dog: Did a second reading with directed notes...marked places with a "c" where they felt Jean was acting in a clever manner, they also marked places with an "f" if they felt he was acting foolishly.

2 Wise Children: Met with Miss Carafano and discussed the text opener. Then listened as she read the story aloud.

Following PE, lunch and recess, I plan to continue testing students while the rest of the class works on their realistic fiction. Then we will attend the spring band and choral concert.

Book orders are due tomorrow
Pajama Day is NEXT Friday, 5/29
Poetry Project is due 6/11

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

UPDATE: Pajama Day and Homework

Pajama Day is NOT this Friday, it is next Friday, May 29!!!

Homework: Tonight ALL students MUST redo or finish their directions for How Well Did You Brush Your Teeth? I looked over several assignments this afternoon and was extremely disappointed...students misspelled words, were messy and changed the directions. They are to use the GIVEN directions but write them in a format that makes the directions easier to follow.

Terrific Tuesday

In math I introduced a new strategy for identifying elapsed time. Students can set up a t-chart with the actual times on one side and increments that elapse on the other. Ask your child about it! Students practiced this strategy while I met with a small group. There is a worksheet for homework.

We began reading by reviewing the directions that the children wrote yesterday for brushing their teeth. We noticed the characteristics that made them effective directions (numbered, in order, neat, direct, concise, etc.). Then we compared them to a set of directions written by the USDA. We also discussed ways to improve the USDA written directions, such as, adding a list of needed materials and adding diagrams. Then , while I met with reading groups, the children rewrote directions for a paper called How Well Did You Brush.

Reading groups:
Mouse: Read and discussed chapter 8 with our student teacher, Miss Caerafano.

Onion Tears: Is now 2 Wise Children...they shared their poems for the animals they researched. They were FABULOUS! Then we did a text opener for the new story.

Pooh: Now called Big Black Dog...we discussed how to tell a friend you think they cheated without harming the friendship and what to do if you find out you were wrong! Then I read the new story while they followed along. They need to reread it for homework.

I also began testing students for the spring F&P testing.

Following lunch and recess the students will work on writing realistic fiction while I continue testing. Then they will cross pollinate their plants. Finally, we will watch a movie about the plant growth cycle.

Book Orders due THIS Thursday!
Friday is Pajama Day
Poetry Project is due 6/11

Monday, May 18, 2009


Sorry about missing a post on Friday. I had to leave at lunch for my youngest son's Mother's Day Tea and forgot to blog.

This morning in math we continued to identify elapsed time. The students are continuing to struggle with this concept. Please look over their homework this evening and if they need help feel free to provide it.

In reading the students worked in small groups to write step-by-step direction for brushing your teeth. Tomorrow we will evaluate how well these directions were written.

Following art, lunch and recess we will switch our schedule up a bit. Since we do not have FASTT math this week we will have a social studies lesson that will simulate trade from one community to the next. THe children will be split into 5 groups (towns). Each town will spcialize in a service that will be assigned to them. They will also be given pennies. The object is to end the game with a product from each town. Students will have to follow trade routes and barter in order to do this. It should be a fun learning experience!

If time allows, we will continue to write realistic fiction before ending our day with a book exchange in the media center.

Book Orders are due Thursday
Poetry Projects are due June 11
Friday is Pajama Day

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Social Studies homework

All students should be bringing their social studies journal home to answer the following question:

What service, provided by our taxes, do you think is the most important? Use details from the article to support your answer.

We read and discussed an article in class (and it should be in your child's home folder, too) about taxes and the services they pay for.


In math we worked on identifying elapsed time. Based on our warm up and whole group lesson I thought the children had a good grasp of this topic. Therefore, while they worked independently on a worksheet, I pulled a small group to work on long division. Unfortunately, after reviewing the student's worksheets I see there is a need for more practice. We will work more on elapsed time tomorrow. There will not be a quiz. There is a worksheet for homework.

We began reading by discussing real needs for previewing text such as when adults go to borrow or purchase a book from the library or book store. Then we used a graphic organizer to help us preview a book called Busy as a Bee.

After that, I read the book aloud and the children took some notes. I stopped a few times to model how to take notes. At one point I showed the children how the information could be put into a diagram. Another time I showed information in a chart format. I think this introduced an important life skill to the students!

While the students used their notes to answer question about the book, I met with small groups.

Mouse: Read chapter 8.
Onion Tears: We shared interesting information they discovered about their animal during their research. I also assigned a poem that is due tomorrow.
Pooh: WE had an AMAZING discussion about why Eeyore was happy with an empty pot and a popped balloon as birthday gifts.

Following lunch and recess I will provide questions for the students to use with each other when conferencing on their writing. Then the students will have time to write realistic fiction.

We will end the day with a social studies activity where students will read non-fiction text about taxes and the services they provide.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hump Day

We spent the majority of math reviewing telling time to the five minutes using an analog clock. I saw lots of improvement just from today's lesson and practice. While the students worked on a worksheet independently, I worked with several small groups of students. We primarily focused on explaining how they knew what time it was by reading the clock. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading we read and discussed another issue of Time for Kids (we are finally caught up!). Then the students worked on a followup worksheet and reading group assignments.

Mouse: Reread chapter 7 and discussed it in group. THey will answer a question in their RRJ: How does Ralph act recklessly.

Onion Tears: COntinued their independent research. We will meet tomorrow and share their findings.

Pooh: Answered a question in their RRJ: Why is Eeyore so pleased with an empty pot and a burst balloon?

Following PE, lunch and recess we continued working on reading group assignments and writing realistic fiction andpoetry. THey also went to FASTT math.

THe day ended with a science lesson where the students observed, measured and staked their plants. THey also used their bee sticks to cross pollinate.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

At the end of the day yesterday I got pulled into a meeting and was not back in time to ensure that the homework got written into the student's planners. Therefore, I was thrilled this morning that the the students completed and turned in their TFK worksheets. YEY!!!!

In math we reviewed telling time to the minute on an analog clock, elapsed time and conversions (ex. 1 year = 365 days, etc.). Then the children took a preassessment for unit 6. After that, we watched a short United Streaming clip about telling time. Finally, we reviewed identifying the correct hands and their movement around the clock. However, we did not get a chance to practice in class. So, homework tonight is a review of the division facts.

During reading we used an anticipation guide to help us focus on the important and relevant information when reading about Wasps. The anticipation guide contained statements that highlighted pertinent information from the article. The students checked a box indicating whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement (BEFORE reading the article...using only their background knowledge). Then the children read the article to find out whether they were right when they checked off agree or disagree for each statement. They highlighted or underlined information in the article that helped them.

The children continued working on this activity while I met with reading groups.

Onion Tears: Decided what information they wanted to gather about the animal they are going to research. This animal is from the RRJ assignment when they chose an animal that symbolized their characterisitcs. Then they went to the media center and found information about their animal. Finally they began noting the appropriate information in their RRJ.

Pooh: Completed reading the story aloud with me and had GREAT two different points, they were handling the conversations without help from me at all! TOO COOL!

Mouse: Needs to read chapter 7.

Following lunch and recess, I attempted to do a lesson about developing plot in their writing. Unfortunately, it was not a the children went back to their seats and continued working on their writing.

We will end the day with a lesson on careers with Mrs. Howard in the computer lab.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This morning we completed the unit 5 assessment in math. We will begin the next unit with a review of time and a preassessment tomorrow.

During reading we read and discussed an issue of Time for Kids. Following art, lunch and recess the children will reread the issue and complete a follow up worksheet. They will also go to FASTT math.

We will end the day with an assembly about staying tobacco free.

Please make sure your child is working on the poetry project and reading for 15 minutes each and every night!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Interim Progress Reports

Every student has an interim progress report in his/her home folder today. PLease look it over and let me know if you have any questions!

In math we began the unit 5 assessment. We will finish it on Monday and begin reviewing telling time on an analog clock. In reading we reviewed acrostic poetry and began writing some. Before music we shared the poems we wrote.

Following music, lunch and recess we went to FASTT math and worked on some secret projects...I can't tell you about them but you will see them on Sunday!

Happy MOther's Day to all moms!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wax Museum

This morning in math we reviewed the items from the packet which the children indicated were especially challenging. I did some light bulbs go on!!! Tonight the students should use the review packet to study for the unit assesssment which we will begin tomorrow.

After math the children took the third, and final, MAP-R assessment for this school year. MAP-R is the reading assessment the children take on the computer beginning in third grade.

Following MAP-R we visited the fourth grade famous Marylanders wax museum. It was beyond amazing!!!!!! THe fourth grade teachers, Mr. Greenman and Mrs. Moxley, along with Mrs. Rose, the media specialist, did a fabulous job teaching research, writing and speaking skills. It was such a fun experience for us to visit!

Following lunch and indoor recess we will work on reading group assignments and writing realistic fiction. WE will end the day by going back to our social studies charts and indicating what needs the physical charactersitic satisified for settlers.

PLEASE remember that we have a poetry project due June 11.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hump Day

This morning, in math, the students continued working on the review packet independently. Then we went over the entire packet, problem by problem, discussing the correct answer and how to get the answer. Afterwards, I made not of the problems that provided the biggest challenges. Tomorrow we will practice solving these problems. For homework the students are expected to go over the review packet with an adult. Try changing the numbers in the problems to see if they can solve a similar problem.

Reading started a bit late due to our math lesson. After reading the morning message, I introduced and reviewed our fourth quarter at-home project which is a poetry anthology. The information packet will be coming home in your child's folder this evening. Please read it and sign the second page. Have you child sign it, too, and return it to school tomorrow.

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

Mouse: Will reread chapter 5 and discuss adventures mice might encounter.
Onion Tears: Will find a non fiction book about the animal they chose to symbolize their character.
Pooh: Will discuss a focus question about their story.

We will end the day by making a bee stick in science. The bee stick will be used to help pollinate our plants once we have flowers.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


In math we began a review packet for the unit 5 assessment. Today the students were instructed to work independently and try each problem. They were asked to make notes, on the packet, of questions they had or challenges they faced while trying to solve problems. Tomorrow they will continue working on the packet. Then we will go over the review packet, as a class, one question at a time. The students will bring home a completed and corrected packet to help them study for the assessment on Friday. There is a worksheet for homework.

During reading I introduced the Diamante poem to the class. The format is as follows:
Line 1: 1 noun (subject #1)
Line 2: 2 adjectives (describes subject #1)
Line 3: 3 action words (related to subject #1)
Line 4: 4 word phrase describing feeling about subject #1 and Subject #2
Line 5: 3 action words (related to subject #2)
Line 6: 2 adjectives (describes subject #2)
Line 7: 1 noun (subject #2)

Then students worked on reading group assignments and writing poetry as I met with small groups.

Onion Tears: Discussed how Nam has changed within the story. Read more of the story out loud. Then the students chose an animal that they felt fit their character traits.

Mouse: Shared comic strips of Ralph riding the motorcycle, which they drew. Discussed why Ralph and Keith were able to understand each other. Began reading chapter 5.

Pooh: After rereading the story they wrote questions they had or were wondering about in their RRJ. We shared (and charted) these as a group.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we worked on writing realistic fiction. I conferenced with many students individually, helping them to better develop their plot.

Then we observed and measured out plants. We ended the day by reviewing our charts of physical geographic characteristics from Monday and adding to the chart the way these characteristics satisfied the settlers wants and needs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Soggy Monday

This morning we concentrated on long division in math. We worked with white boards and then paper and pencil. We began working as a whole group. Then some students worked independently while I worked with a smaller group. Mrs. Starkey worked with a small group at the end of math and the beginning of reading. There is a worksheet for homework. We will begin a review packet for the Unit 5 assessment tomorrow, in class. This packet will come home either Wednesday or Thursday evening. The students are expected to use it to help prepare for the assessment which we will begin on Friday.

In reading we read and discussed an issue of Time for Kids. There will be a follow up worksheet for this issue. Please do not remove this issue from your child's binder until he/she says it is okay!

Following art, lunch and indoor recess we will work on writing realistic fiction and go to FASTT math. I plan on meeting with some reading groups at this time, too. Mouse will begin reading chapter 4. Jumanji will begin a new story from Junior Great Books called Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents. Onion Tears will continue reading the book with me and discuss a culminating project.

After FASTT math we will examine how geography determines where people settle. Then we will end the day with a book exchange in the media center.

Friday, May 1, 2009


In math we took a quiz that covered money, multiplication and division. We will begin reviewing for the assessment next week. There is a lengthy review packet which the children will work on and then bring home to study.

During reading we spent time reading poetry by Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky.

Following music, lunch and indoor recess we will continue writing realistic fiction and go to FASTT math. Then we will take a spelling assessment. We will end the day with a social studies lesson. We will continue to use The House on Maple Street as we identify examples of physical and human-made geographic features and then examine how geography influenced where people settled.

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