## Thursday, December 23, 2010

### And we're there!!!

We have reached Winter Break...well, almost!

This morning in math we played a game called I have/Who has? to practice our basic multiplication facts. It was PAINFULLY clear that the children have not been practicing/memorizing their basic facts. They truly need to do this. M

I am often asked via e-mail or at parent conferences, "What can I do to help (fill in YOUR child's name here!)?" Well...here is how YOU can help...make sure your child has memorized their basic multiplication, addition, subtraction and division facts. Make them spend 3-5 minutes each day practicing using flashcards or one of the math links I have on this blog. Consistency is more important than the length of time.

We will go to recess first and then lunch, early, due to a holiday performance by the Damascus High School marching band. After the band's performance, we will visit the media center with Mrs. Rose. Finally, we will end the day by talking about the MSA. We will listen to some MSA songs created by students, including our own 4th graders in Mrs. Moxley's class. Then we will try to write our own MSA song to show those 4th graders how it is done!

Happy Holidays to all!!!

## Wednesday, December 22, 2010

### Hump Day

This morning in math we practiced solving multiple choice word problems. My biggest teaching points were for the students to show their work FIRST (before choosing an answer) and reading through ALL choices and crossing out incorrect answers before making their final choice. There is a worksheet for homework that is similar to the classwork.

In reading we followed directions to make pop-up cut-outs. Then we went tot he media center to begin collecting information about the state we are researching.

This afternoon, following lunch and recess, we will go to PE. WE will end the day with a lesson about friendship with Mrs. Howard.

## Tuesday, December 21, 2010

### Outside Recess...WOO HOO!

Yes, that's right, the students got to go outside for recess today. I am looking forward to picking them up from recess, I bet they will be so happy to have had the chance to run around and release some energy!!

In math, this morning, the students worked on memorizing their basic facts. They made flashcards for the 8's. Tonight, for homework, they need to practice their flashcards and complete a basic facts worksheet.

In reading we continued reading the "pop-ups" book and learned how to make spring pop-ups. Additionally we learned how to read measurements such as 8 1/2" x 1"....(" = inches and x = by). Students who were missing grades were reminded of their missing classwork and expected to work on it. Additionally, some students worked on writing in cursive...I discovered, last week, that I might have TAUGHT cursive but that doesn't translate into my being able to read the children's cursive writing...OOPS!

Following lunch and recess we will have a class meeting where we will discuss the jobs (roles and responsibilities) of students, teachers and parents. Then we will use yesterdays natural resource and goods chart to create a lift the flap presentation of natural resources and the goods they produce.

## Monday, December 20, 2010

### Monday

Well, this morning I discovered that my math class had NOT taken the math quiz on Friday. So that is what we did today. The quizzes are scored and have been returned to the students. Please look them over with your child this evening. Overall, the class did quite well. There IS a division worksheet for homework tonight!

In reading, this week, we will be focusing on two things; reading to perform a task and an upcoming research project. We will practice reading to perform a task by using a book called Making Pop Ups to create different holiday type projects. Today the children began lift-the flap projects.

The upcoming research project will involve both reading and writing to be informed. The students will choose a state to research. In school, they will use books and the Internet to gather information about the state's climate, natural resources, physical geography and interesting facts. Then they will write informative paragraphs about these topics and create a travel brochure for their state. Today the students went to the media center to watch Mrs. Rose model gathering information about the state of Maryland.

We will be taking a break from formal reading groups and reading group homework this week. Each student should read EVERY night for at least 15 minutes, though!!

Following lunch and indoor recess the students went to art. When they return I plan to review natural resources and the goods they help produce by having the class make lift the flap pictures. This is my attempt to review a concept that they still seem unclear about, in a fun way...wish me luck!!

## Sunday, December 19, 2010

### A Weekend Update

Thanks to a good friend who stalks my blog, I realized that I haven't posted since Wednesday!!! That is SO not me!!! My apologies!!

I was absent on Friday and we had a two hour delay. So, honestly, even though I did write sub plans, I am not exactly sure what occurred...my thoughts are the students had their math quiz, went to lunch and music and watched a folktale video to support our reading program...but the sub might have chosen to use different aspects of the full day plan I left.

Hmmm...that brings us to Thursday...a foggy day, indeed...it snowed all day and the students spent the day anticipating an early release that never happened! Following lunch and recess the children went to the media center and had a guidance lesson with Mrs. Howard about friendship. I KNOW we had math and reading in the morning, but quite honestly, I do not recall what exactly we did...so, again, my apologies for my lapse in blogging!!! I will try to not let this happen again!

AND a big shout out to my number 1 stalker, Nathan, THANKS for noticing!!

## Wednesday, December 15, 2010

### Hump Day

In math we practiced identifying word problems as either multiplication or division. Then the students completed a follow up worksheet independently and made flashcards for the sevens facts while I met with two groups. One group practiced identifying the unknown member of a fact family. The other group used counters to model and solve division problems. For homework the students needs to begin memorizing the sevens basic facts and complete the worksheet.

In reading we read and discussed an informational article about Corn. Then the students completed a comprehension worksheet independently. All third graders will be doing this activity. Then we (the teachers) will get together to review their responses and use them to identify the students' strengths and weaknesses and plan for instruction.

Before independent work time we also practiced taking a topic and writing a topic sentence and identifying two possible sub topics that could become paragraphs. For example, given the topic of school, we created the topic sentence: School is a place people go to learn. Our two possible paragraphs would be public and private school.

While I met with small groups and Mrs. J finished conferencing on writing pieces (WOO HOO for her!!) the students worked on the reading comprehension sheet, finished their final drafts and wrote 5 sentences in cursive using past words of the week...this helped them practice their cursive handwriting and use their vocabulary words.

Red: We read and discussed the plot of the fable "The Fox and the Goat". For homework they need to reread the fable and explain the moral, in their own words, to an adult...and of course, get that adult's signature in their planner.

Blue and Green: Each of these groups reviewed the unknown words from Monday. Then we read and discussed their fables. Tonight both groups were given two small sticky notes...they need to reread their story and mark two places that either confused or surprised them or that they just liked. They need to be prepared to share the places they marked AND explain why they marked them.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will go to PE. When they return they will identify pattens in pitch and vibrations as they create sound using rulers.

## Tuesday, December 14, 2010

### Snowy Tuesday

I couldn't believe my eyes this morning...while we only got a dusting of snow, I wake up early enough that I thought my eyes were still adjusting!

Fortunately, there was no need for a delay so we will be able to get a full day of learning in! :-)

A note to math students and parents....PLEASE take the time (5 minutes a day, tops) to practice and MEMORIZE the flashcards that the students are making and taking home.

In math we took time to determine the difference between multiplication and division...the students copied a chart into their journal that stated the known versus unknown for each one and key words to look for in word problems.

Multiplication:

Known is the parts
Unknown is the whole (total) and the questions will ask how many in all, how many altogether, how many total

Division:

Known is the whole (total) and 1 part
Unknown is one part and the questions will ask how many groups, how many in each group

We did not get to small groups but, instead, used our chart to determine whether given word problems were to be solved using multiplication or division. We did the first problem of our homework sheet together in class. There are 4 problems left for homework AND to work on memorizing the 6's using the flashcards we made yesterday.

In reading we read the folktale The Ugly Duckling and discussed the moral. I had a meeting to attend but the students continued to conference with Mrs. J on their writing and work on their final drafts of their writing pieces. They also read a fable and completed a follow-up comprehension worksheet. Additionally, the students worked on identifying the possible effect given the "cause".

All students met in reading groups and read and discussed their stories. For homework they need to reread their stories...working on fluency.

Following lunch and indoor recess, in the gym, we will have a class meeting. We will end the day by creating sound using rulers and identifying patterns in volume and pitch.

## Monday, December 13, 2010

### Merry Monday

This morning in math the children worked on solving word problems using division. We focused on the fact that division word problems provide the whole (total) in the known information. The unknown information (what the children are looking for) will either be the number of groups or the amount in each group.

I met with two small groups. One worked on identifying the third number in a fact family and then writing the four number sentences that go with that family. The other worked on solving division number sentences to find the quotient.

Tonight for homework the students are expected to complete the flashcard they were given in class (the 6's basic facts) and to memorize them. They are have a worksheet to complete. PLEASE help you child practice and memorize their basic facts...a little practice each night will pay back HUGE results!!!

In reading we read The Hare and the Tortoise and began discussing fables as folktales with morals (lessons). We identified the meaning of the moral, slow and steady wins the race and thought of examples from our own lives in which we could use the lesson. Then the students wrote about it in their RRJ.

Additionally, each reading group received a new book/story to read independently. We will meet in groups tomorrow...today Mrs. J and I continued conferencing with students, individually, about their writing pieces.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students went to art. When they return we will go to the computer lab to do a school satisfaction survey on the computer.

## Friday, December 10, 2010

### Hmmm...an interestiong thing happened in reading today...

and it was NOT the snow!!! Read on to find out!

In math we continued modeling and solving division problems that involved remainders in the quotients.

In reading we read the folktale Stone Soup and identified the theme. We discussed the theme and the examples from the story that supported our theme, in depth. The students were sent back to their seats to write about the theme, using support from the story, in their RRJ. I also gave them a treat today...when they had completed all of their independent work they could "free choice" read. Well...knowing they could read when they were finished tested my theory that they rush through written assignments to read in the book corner (or at their seats)...overall their RRJ responses were EXTREMELY disappointing. Needless to say, they will once again have to earn this right on Monday. Disappointing.

While the students worked on their written assignments, Mrs. J and I met with students to conference on their writing pieces. We will continue conferencing with individual students on Monday.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will go to music. When they return we will watch a video called Sound All Around to support our current science unit.

## Thursday, December 9, 2010

### Thursday...almost there!

In math we explored solving division problems with remainders. This caused some confusion so we had many small groups working on the independent work. For homework they have a worksheet that involved the basic division facts.

We began reading group by rereading The Little Red Hen and discussing the theme of the book. After discussing the theme we named details from the text to support our theme. After that we reviewed the steps of peer conferencing on writing pieces.

While I met with reading groups the students wrote about the Theme of the Little Red Hen in their RRJs and conferenced with peers on their writing pieces.

Using their reading groups books, each group met and shared the cause and effects statements from homework. Then, as a group, we identified and discussed the theme of the book. For homework, each group needs to reread their book and write 1 comprehension question, on the sticky note, to be shared (and answered) in group tomorrow.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the class will go to the computer lab with Mrs. Rose for their weekly media time. After that, Mrs. Howard will come by to do a lesson about friendship with the class.

## Wednesday, December 8, 2010

### Wonderful Wednesday

In math we explored strategies to solve division problems. Given the problem 24 divided by8 = students were taught they can make 8 equal groups and share the 24 equally (like passing out playing cards) OR they could make groups of 8 till they got to 24 and count how many groups they got OR they could add groups of 8 til they got to 24 and count how many groups they added OR they could start with 24 and subtract groups of 8 until they get to zero...the number of groups they subtracted is the answer. I told the students that they had to used the strategy that works best for THEM!

While the students worked independently on a worksheet, I met with a small groups practicing the repeated addition strategy for multiplication. There is a division worksheet for homework.

We began reading by assigning a new spelling lesson. The homework sheet will be due on Friday, December 17. The focus is the "f" sound spelled ph and ugh. After that we read the story the Little Red Hen and practiced sequencing the events. While I met with reading groups, the students completed a sequencing worksheet and worked on other unfinished work from earlier in the week. I met with reading groups.

Blue: We reread the story, identified important events from the plot. Then we shared examples of cause and effect from the story. For homework the students need to reread the story and identify one example of cause and effect on their sticky note.

Red: We reread the story and discussed examples of cause and effect. For homework they need to reread the story and write one example of cause and effect on the sticky note.

Green: We reread the story and discussed examples of cause and effect. For homework they need to reread the story and write one example of cause and effect on the sticky note.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students went to PE. When they return we will use rulers to create sound through vibrations.

## Tuesday, December 7, 2010

### Terrifically Cold Tuesday

This morning in math we began to explore division by either distributing (sharing) equally amongst a number of groups or separating groups. Then we took our fist quiz for unit 3. The quiz has been scored and returned to students. It should be in the math section of their binder. There is no math homework tonight.

In reading we continued our exploration of the folktale genre. Today we listened to the story The Funny Little Woman and practiced sequencing the story. After that, the students continued working on their writing piece, worked on a vocabulary sheet that supported their individual reading group book, completed a story map for The Funny Little Woman and practiced writing the capital letters G, S and L in cursive.

I met with all three reading group to review the unknown words from their homework last night. All three groups need to reread their books and get a parent signature for homework.

Before enjoying lunch and indoor recess we visited the book fair to do a preview of it and create wish lists.

This afternoon we will have a class meeting to check in and see how things are going. Then we will end the day by using nails to produce sound.

## Monday, December 6, 2010

### Marvelous Monday!

In math we practiced writing multiplication sentences to solve word problems. I stressed that word problems that can be solved using multiplication include the number of groups and how many are in each group as known information. The unknown is how many items there are total. While the students worked independently on two worksheet, I met with two small groups. One group rolled dice to create two factors. They then wrote a multiplication sentence and used blocks to find the product. After that, they drew an array to match their number sentence. The second group was given an array. They had to use blocks to model it. Then they wrote a multiplication sentence on their white board. There is a fact family worksheet for homework and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

In reading we read the African folktale, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Then we discussed what makes this story a folktale. After that, I continued using my graphic organizer to model writing the second paragraph of my rough draft. I put emphasis on naming and explaining your support AND the topic and concluding sentences.

While I met with reading groups the students wrote about the characteristics (with support from the text) that makes Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter a folktale and continued writing their rough drafts.

Red: We began reading an African tale called The Fortune Tellers. For homework they need to read the entire book and list unknown words on their sticky notes.

Blue: We began reading the Mexican folktale Ashes for Gold. Tonight they need to read the entire book and list unknown words on the sticky note.

Green: We began reading A Fair Swap. For homework the students need to read the entire book and list unknown words.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students went to art. When they returned we explored how sound travels using the tuning forks and other materials.

## Friday, December 3, 2010

### TGIF

This morning in math we identified division as the opposite of multiplication. Then we reviewed fact families from second grade and related this to multiplication and division. En example of a fact family is given, 3, 12, 4 we can write four related facts...3x4=12, 4x3=12, 12(divided by)3=4 and 12 (divided by)4=3. The students worked on a follow up worksheet independently. We will most likely have a quiz on Tuesday...watch the blog and your child's planner for more information! :-)

We began reading by discussing the idea of a fractured fairytale (this is a fairytale that has been updated with the plot being changed). Then we read, and enjoyed, the story Foolish Jack and the Bean Stack, a fractured Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale. After that, I explicitly modeled using our topic sentences and graphic organizer to write the first paragraph of our current writing piece's rough draft.

While the students worked on their writing pieces and other unfinished work, I met with reading groups and helped students with their writing. Mrs. J. also met with a number (lots!) of students to conference on all aspects of their writing.

The blue and green reading groups checked in with me to hand in their reading books and show me their parent's signature from homework last night. The red group was not so lucky...LOL! The read group met with me to write a summary of the Anansi story and to hand in their book and show me their parent signature.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will go to music. When they return we will watch a video about sound.

## Thursday, December 2, 2010

### Thursday

This morning in math we practiced solving comparison multiplication problems. This is where we identify how many times more one group has than another. The students also practiced the basic multiplication facts for threes. I met with three different small groups working with number lines and arrays...both identifying the multiplication sentence that a number line or array represents and drawing a number line or array to match a number sentence. There is a worksheet for homework and there will NOT be a quiz tomorrow.

We began reading by listening to another version of Jack and the Beanstalk. Then we discussed the similarities and differences between the two. After that I modeled using our topic sentence to complete a graphic organizer (planning sheet) for our next informational writing piece.

All reading groups had written comprehension questions, that went with their current book, to answer during independent work time.

Blue: I collected their summary from last night's homework. We reread the story in group. Tonight they need to reread the story for homework and get a parent's signature.

Green: I collected their summary from last night's homework. We reread part of the book in class. For homework, tonight, they need to reread the entire story and get a parent's signature in their planner.

Red: We shared and discussed their beginning , middle and end from homework. We also reread the story in group. For homework, tonight, they need to reread the story and get a parent's signature.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students went to the media center. When they return, Mrs. Howard will do a lesson about friendship.

## Wednesday, December 1, 2010

### Hump Day

In math we practiced identifying and finding the product of multiplication problems using arrays and number lines. Part of this lesson included the realization that multiplication has to be equal groups...if the groups are unequal then it is an addition problem. The students worked on two worksheets while I met with two groups. One groups practiced using arrays. The other used number lines. There is a worksheet for homework.

In reading we read Jack and the Beanstalk and charted examples from the story that math the characteristics of folktales. We also reviewed writing topic sentences using work from students in our own class. We identified what was good and made adjustments to those that needed it.

While I met with reading groups the students continued charting examples from the story and rewriting their topics sentences.

Blue: We reviewed their beginning, middle and end homework from earlier in the week and discussed why their responses were correct or incorrect. For homework tonight they need to use this discussion to write a summary of the book.

Red: We reviewed their suffix homework and discussed why certain words were not examples of words with suffixes. For homework they need to reread the book and write the beginning, middle and end on the sticky note.

Green: We reviewed their beginning, middle and end sticky notes from homework. Tonight they need to reread the story and write a summary on the lined paper I provided.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to PE. When they return we will produce sound using tuning forks.

## Tuesday, November 30, 2010

### Rainy Tuesday

This morning in math we used skip counting to solve multiplication problems that involved a factor of 3. I worked with a small group using blocks to model multiplication problems and find the product. There is a worksheet of basic multiplication facts for homework.

We began reading with me modeling a summary of the Coyote story for the class. My purpose was to show the class, after they have already written their own, how to compose a summary that identifies the most important ideas from the beginning, middle and end of a story without including unnecessary details. After that we read the story Chester the Worldly Pig. For independent work the students rewrote their Coyote summaries and wrote a summary for the Chester story.

Before going back to their seats to work independently I spent time modeling how to write a topic sentence that introduces your readers to the general topic and the sub groups you will write about in your paragraphs. For example...Running is a sport that needs equipment and involves different training plans. My first paragraph would be about equipment (clothing, watches, shoes, music, etc.). The second paragraph would be about different types of training (long runs, speed work, hills, repeats, etc.). As part of their independent work they had to choose a topic and write a topic sentence.

Red: We reviewed unknown words from their homework and discussed suffixes (word endings). Tonight they need to reread Anansi and add 5 words with suffixes to the chart we began in class. It is on a single sheet of lined paper in their home folder of their book.

Green: We reviewed their unknown words and began reading To t=Tell the Truth. Tonight they need to reread the story and write the beginning, middle and end on the sticky note attached to the front cover of their book.

Blue: I ran out of time and didn't meet with this group. They should reread the Possum book and get a parent signature (stating they did the reread) in their binder.

Following lunch and recess the students will have a substitute...I have another appointment! UGH!

They will begin with science. We will be starting a new unit...the exploration of sound. Each student will be given a "sound packet" that should be kept in the science section of their binder. Today they will complete part of the KWL chart with the sub...listing what the know and want to learn about sound.

After that the children will complete our social studies lesson from yesterday. They will use the map of Fakesville to answer questions about the geographic characteristics.

## Monday, November 29, 2010

### We're Back!

I sincerely hope that every family had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I know I did!

This morning, in math, reviewed the concept of multiplication and associated vocabulary (commutative...3x5 is the same as 5x3, factor...a number multiplied to another to find a product, product...the answer to a mupltiplication problem and array). The students practiced solving multiplication problems with 2 and 5 as factors in class. For homework they need to complete the back of the 5's worksheet.

We are beginning to study the literary genre of folktales in reading. So we began by listing and discussing the characteristics, including, animals and objects are personified, there are contrasting qualities such as good/bad, smart/gullible, the poor are usually good and the wealthy usually evil, the plot if short and not very developed, there is often some sort of magiacl powers. Then we read the folktale COyote and identified examples of these characteristics in the story. After that we practiced using a new vocabulary word, sliver (a small, thin piece).

While I met with reading groups the students worked on writing a summary of Coyote in their RRJ and making a cartoon for the WOW, sliver.

Blue: We read and discussed Possum's Bare Tail. For homework they need to reread the book and write the beginning, middle and end (main idea) on the sticky note that is on the front of their book.

Green: We discussed the folktale Cinderella...tough sale with the guys!! For homework they need to do a first reading of the book To Tell the Truth (a Native American version of Cinderella) and list unknown words on the sticky note.

Red: We read information about trickster folktales and verbally answered questions about what we read. Tonight they need to do a first reading of Anansi and the Sky King and list unknown words on the sticky note.

Following lunch and recess the students went to art. When they return we will read a map and identify the geographical characteristics on the map.

## Wednesday, November 24, 2010

### Grandparent's Day

It was so great to have so many grandparents join us today!!

In math we began unit 3 by learning some strategies to memorize the basic multiplication facts.

We began reading by listening to a great story called A Cranberry Thanksgiving and discussing the author's message. After that, the students who remained in class made a movable turkey and completed a Thanksgiving word find. Many students went to lunch with their grandparents, instead...therefore, the original plan of writing the directions for how to make the turkey, were scrapped.

After eating lunch the children will be dismissed to enjoy the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

## Monday, November 22, 2010

### Apparently, children do not like extra work...

who knew?!?! In the past two days since we have implemented the need to earn the ability to independent read after finishing your independent work I have seen much progress in the QUALITY of my reading class' written assignments. I could not be more pleased!!!

Just a heads-up...I will be out tomorrow at a couple of medical appointments. Therefore, no blog!

In math today, we went over the review packet (and corrected it) in order to prepare for the unit 2 assessment. The students will take the assessment, in class, tomorrow.

In reading we identified the characteristics of procedural text and analyzed two sets of directions. Then the students read to perform a task and made Mexican cut paper crafts. They also practiced writing capital Ts and Fs in cursive. I conferenced with two students on their writing and met with each reading group. There is no reading or language arts homework tonight.

All three reading groups read a page two of text, independently, and then practiced answering comprehension questions orally. We are answering the questions in complete sentences, in our own words, yet using information from the text.

Following lunch and recess the students went to art. When they return we will have a class meeting. At last week's class meeting we identified the problem of students not following oral and written directions. Today we will look at the ideas the students provided to solve this problem and then vote on a solution.

## Friday, November 19, 2010

### TGIF

In math we began reviewing for the unit 2 assessment. The students worked independently on a review packet. We will correct the review packet on Monday and take the assessment on Tuesday. I did meet with two small groups. One worked on converting inches to feet to yards. The other reviewed fourth grade level area and perimeter problems.

We began reading by discussing the on-going quest, on the student's part, to be the first one done with their work. I explained that, from now on, students would need to earn the right to read independently when they have completed their class work. Until that time the students will have to let me know when they are finished with independent work and I will give them additional tasks. In short, there will now be a prize for being the first one done...more work!!

After that discussion, we read the book Life on the African Savannah and identified important (versus interesting) information. Then, while I continued conferencing with students on their writing, the children worked on completing their final drafts and a comprehension worksheet for the book we read in whole group.

Following lunch and recess, the students are going to music. When they return, we will identify and list in their social studies journals the elements of a map.

Have a super weekend!

OOPS...we ran out of time for our spelling test. I am hoping to remember to give it on Monday! Sorry!!

## Thursday, November 18, 2010

### Thursday News...some good, some not

Let's start with the good...OUR kids (yes, yours and mine!) have been doing a super job in the lunchroom and at recess! Yesterday they were the only class to win a point. Today, not only did they win a point but they earned the max number of points...FOUR! So, they will be rewarded with a video after they return from the media center this afternoon!

In math we reviewed area and perimeter including how to use the perimeter to find the lengths of sides of a figure. The students worked on a follow up worksheet while I met with a small group working on converting inches to feet to yards. There is a worksheet for homework and NO quiz tomorrow. Our unit assessment will be next Tuesday...we will review for it tomorrow and Monday.

Here's where I need YOU!!!!

Yesterday my reading class completed a worksheet based on a text that we read together and they were supposed to read independently. This assignment was fairly straight forward and should have provided the opportunity for the students to earn 3's. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the class rushed through the assignment and made many BIG errors...

This paper is going home with students tonight. PLEASE review it with your child...discuss the feedback I wrote on the paper. Encourage your child to SLOW down, use the text and put effort and THOUGHT into their work. They CAN do it...they are SMART...of this I have no doubt!!!

During our reading block we discussed many of the errors I saw on the assignment I just mentioned. We discussed what is needed to achieve success...unfortunately, during independent work time I saw a lot of the familiar behaviors. Therefore, on a daily basis, the children are going to have to start earning independent reading time in the book corner. I will be discussing this with the students, in depth, tomorrow.

Today I conferenced with individual (13!) students on their writing pieces. The rest of the class worked on a written comprehension worksheet for their reading group. They also continued working on their writing pieces and other unfinished work.

Following lunch, recess and visiting the media center, the students will watch their reward video.

Don't forget that spelling homework is due tomorrow.

## Wednesday, November 17, 2010

### Hump Day

This morning, during our math block, the entire school enjoyed a fantastic assembly called Global Safari which introduced us to animals and mementos from 6 of the 7 continents. It was a treat!!

Following the assembly we proceeded with our reading block. We began reading by reviewing last night's homework and using it to help identify the simple subjects (a single noun) and the verbs. Then we spent time reviewing the format of a friendly letter and other capitalization and punctuation rules that pertain to it.

While I met with reading groups the students worked independently on a comprehension sheet for A World of Sound and wrote a than you note, for the assembly, to the PTA.

Red: We reviewed the characteristics of a 1 day old wolf pup and then continued reading to the 7 weeks entry. Tonight they need to reread from the beginning of the book through the 7 weeks entry.

Blue: We identified aspects of Clay's heritage. Then we read the section about making a pinata and began writing the directions in a clear format. Tonight they need to reread pages 1-9.

Green: We read up to page 8 using context clues to understand new vocabulary. Tonight they need to reread pages 2-8.

ALL students, in my reading class, have a 2 sided predicate worksheet to complete for homework, as well!

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students went to PE. When they return to class, we will review geographic characteristics and the elements of a map.

## Tuesday, November 16, 2010

### Tuesday

No comment about the state of the Skins. Thanks to "my boys" (the students who are Cowboy fans in our class)...they sure know how to rub salt in a wound! LOL!!

In math we practiced identifying the measurement of two objects that were end to end on a ruler. There is a worksheet for homework to further practice this skill. Two small groups met...one worked on converting inches to feet to yards. The other group practiced solving subtraction with regrouping problems.

We began reading with a fun activity to activate the student's background knowledge about sound. They had an ABC chart and tried to fill in one word, connected to sound, that begins with each letter of the alphabet. Then we began reading a book called A World of Sound. Our purpose was to identify text features and the information we gained from them. We began this in whole group then the students finished independently.

After working on their text feature assignment, the children worked with peers to conference and edit their writing pieces.

All reading groups reviewed their unknown words from last night's homework. Additionally we reviewed the name strategy...when you come across a proper noun that you can't pronounce, just say the first letter of the word...it doesn't affect the meaning of the text. Then we began reading their texts and answering oral comp questions.

A 2 sided subject and predicate worksheet was given to all students in my reading class...so there were not individual reading group assignments.

Following lunch and indoor recess we will have our second class meeting. I plan to discuss and problem solve with the students to develop ideas to help improve the overall cooperation when it comes to following oral and written directions.

We will end the day with a social studies activity...the students will use their understanding of decision making and choices to complete a worksheet.

## Monday, November 15, 2010

### Magical Monday

Well, Dallas did their job last night and beat the Giants...we (I) need the Skins to step up and beat the Eagles tonight!!!

Just an FYI...I am leaving early today for a root canal! Lucky me! I will be back tomorrow!

So, this posting will be short and sweet!

In math we continued working on word problems that involve linear measurement. We are aiming to take the unit 2 assessment NEXT Tuesday. There is a worksheet for homework tonight. There were two small groups during independent work time today...one worked on converting inches, feet and yards. The other practiced solving subtraction with regrouping problems.

In reading we used our background knowledge to understand new information when we read the book Life in the Polar Regions. We also worked on identifying the parts of a sentence (subject and predicate). The subject is who or what the sentence is about. The predicate is the doing past...it begins with the verb and is the rest of the sentence.

While I meet with reading groups the children will be answering a BCR (essay type question) in their RRJ using the book Life in the Polar Regions. They will also be working on a subject/predicate worksheet.

Each reading group received a new book today. In group we discussed the organization (all 3 books are non fiction books written in a narrative form) and using context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words. All three groups are expected to preview (read as much as possible) their books tonight and list unknown words on their sticky notes to discuss in group tomorrow.
This afternoon, after art, the students will be discussing the ideas of making choices (think economics...opportunity cost, pros and cons) and working in small groups to list the pros and cons and make good choices based on situations that are provided to them. If time permits, they will complete a decision tree helping them to think through the pros and cons and make a decision.

Again, I am sorry that this is brief...but it does provide a glimpse of what went on today!

## Friday, November 12, 2010

### TGIF!!

This morning was our in-house field trip from Mad Science. So, we did not have reading and remained in our math grouping for the better part of the morning.

My math class began with our second quiz for unit 2. The quizzes have been scored and returned to the children. They should be in the math section of the binder.

After the quiz, my math class experience the Crime Lab Field Trip. It was an exciting and comprehensive review of the skills we worked on during our first science unit. The students truly enjoyed the worthwhile experience!

Before heading to lunch the children responded in writing to a prompt that combined their background knowledge of forensic science to what they experienced today.

Following lunch, the students packed up to head home for the weekend!!

## Thursday, November 11, 2010

### Veteran's Day

We began the morning with a Flag Raising Ceremony in honor of Veteran's Day. It was a gorgeous morning to honor those who have selflessly given of themselves to protect our country.

After that we continued with math instruction. My class continued to work on word problems which utilized the linear measurement skills on which we have been working. There is NO worksheet for homework. We will have a quiz tomorrow. I would highly recommend for parents to review the word problems worksheet with your children this evening. Have your child explain how to solve each problem.

Our reading block was shortened due to the early release planned for this afternoon. Our whole group lesson today centered around using background knowledge to help us understand new knowledge in non-fiction text. First we discussed the idea of background knowledge. Then we listed what we know about typical 8 year olds. After that we read the book Angela from the Arctic...a non-fiction book about an 8 year old Alaskan girl. After reading the story we discussed (and charted) similarities and differences between us and Angela. Then we analyzed how our background knowledge helped us understand and retain the new information that was in the book.

After that the students continued working on their rough drafts, their main idea worksheet and a cursive worksheet practicing the capital P, B and R. I decided not to meet with reading groups to help move along those students who are behind on their writing assignments. (They were thrilled!)

Following lunch, the students will pack up and go home.

Book orders are due tomorrow!

## Wednesday, November 10, 2010

### Hump Day!

This morning, in math, we spent time solving word problems using the measurement skills (converting inches, feet and yards and perimeter) we have been studying. This provided a lot of challenge for the students. In fact, after working together, I assigned some independent work and began to work with a small group but the rest of the class was so frustrated that I immediately ended the small group and resumed working with the class as a whole. We will continue solving word problems, in class, tomorrow. Tonight's homework is a perimeter worksheet.

In reading we used the plural nouns which the students collected yesterday to identify different ways that plurals are formed. We focused on nouns that end in -y. The students quickly recognized that the y is dropped and an ies is added to the end of the word. This is the focus of our next spelling unit. The spelling sheet was sent home today and is due back on Friday, November 19.

While I met with reading groups, the students copied their spelling words into their planners twice--once for this week and again for next week. Then they completed their rough drafts. After that, they worked on a main idea worksheet and practiced writing a capital Z in cursive.

Blue: We read about the giraffe life cycle and practiced writing about the author's purpose. Tonight they will read pages 22 and 23 and write about the author's purpose for writing this section, in their RRJ.

Green: We read the section titled From Small to Tall and wrote about how our knowledge has changed. Tonight they will read pages 12 and 13 and write about how their knowledge changed, in their RRJ.

Red: We read and discussed pages 16 and 17. Tonight they will reread 16 and 17 and list important information in their RRJ.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students went to PE. When they return, Mrs. Howard will visit to discuss the purpose of and review the procedure for class meetings.

I truly enjoy working with your children! They are AWESOME! However (you knew that was coming, huh?), there are a lot of learned behaviors that causes frustration amongst themselves and with adults that translates into frustration, aggravation and lost instructional time. By introducing a set format to discuss and solve issues, it is my hope that the learning environment improves and that the children learn life long skills to solve problems.

## Tuesday, November 9, 2010

### Tuesday

This morning, in math, we continued to calculate the perimeter of shapes and began identifying the area. I met with two small groups while the rest of the class worked independently. One group worked on calculating the conversion of linear measurements. The other practiced finding the perimeter of figures. There is a perimeter worksheet for homework. We will have a quiz on Friday.

We began reading by reviewing nouns and plural nouns. Then I used the hamburger model from an earlier lesson to explain the organization of a paragraph. After that, I used my graphic organizer to model writing a two paragraph informational paragraph.

The children's independent work included locating 10 plural nouns in text and writing them on sticky notes. Additionally, they worked on writing a multi paragraphed informational piece using their graphic organizer. Finally, they practiced writing capital U, V and Y in cursive.

I met with all three reading groups today, BRIEFLY. The children had their pictures taken during reading which cut into our small group time! Each group reviewed their homework from last night.

There is NO reading group homework this evening and we still have not gotten to our new spelling packet....hopefully, tomorrow!!

Following lunch and recess, we went to the computer lab to practice keyboarding skills using Type to Learn. When we return to the classroom we will watch a short video clip on the production of jeans and complete a follow up worksheet.

Remember that Thursday and Friday are early dismissal days. Also book orders are due no later than Friday.

## Monday, November 8, 2010

### Monday

This morning in math we practiced calculating the perimeter of various figures. The students worked independently on a perimeter worksheet and a worksheet where they used a ruler to measure in inches. I met with a small group to work on converting inches to feet to yards. Our high school intern met with a group to practice using a ruler accurately. There is a worksheet (perimeter) for homework.

We began reading by discussing tools to use when we come across a word that we can decode but not comprehend. These strategies included using text features, tapping into our background knowledge,, reading on and SLOWING down to think about what we are reading. Then we practiced using these strategies when we read the article "Far-Out Food" in November's National Geographic. After that I modeled elaborating on my sub-topics for my writing to inform piece.

While I met with reading groups the students finished reading "Far-Out Food" and wrote the main idea in their RRJ. They also added details to their writing graphic organizers to elaborate on their sub topics. Next they created a cartoon using our new word of the week, flaunt (to show off).

Blue: We read how giraffes move and communicate and wrote about and wrote about what someone could learn from reading the text. HW: They need to read pages 17, 18 and 19 and write about what someone could learn from reading the text, in their RRJ.

Green: We read and discussed pages 8 and 9. HW: Reread pages 8 and 9 and, in their RRJ, write about how their knowledge has changed.

Red: We read pages 10 and 11 (and then 11 and 12) and listed the important details from these pages. HW: Read pages 14 and 15 and, in their RRJ, list important details from these pages.

We did NOT get to spelling today...my plan is to assign the next lesson tomorrow!

Following lunch and recess the students will go to art. When they return, Mrs, Howard will complete a lesson about school success with the class.

Some reminders:

Book Orders are due no later than Friday.
Tomorrow is picture day.
In-house field trip money (\$6) is due tomorrow.
Parent conferences are all week.

## Friday, November 5, 2010

### TGIF

How come short weeks always feel long? Funny how a 5 day work week can seem a lot easier than a 3 day! Must be that I thrive on routine! :-)

In math we took our first quiz for unit 2. We need to work on converting inches to feet to yards, etc. We will do this in small groups next week. After the quiz, we took notes, in our math journals, about area and perimeter. WE will work on these concepts next week.

In reading we completed the main idea worksheet using the important facts we identified on Wednesday and Thursday. Then we reviewed the organization of a magazine article to prove that the main idea was, in fact, mentioned in both the beginning and the end of the article!

After that, I explained and modeled how to narrow a topic for our writing pieces. Then the students chose a topic and narrowed it into two subtopics. Each subtopic will become one paragraph in our next writing piece.

While the students worked on their writing, a cursive worksheet (K, H and X) and any other unfinished work, I met with reading groups.

Red: We reviewed their HW, compared and contrasted the table of contents and the index and we identified and explained the relevance of text features.

Blue: We reviewed their HW and practiced answering oral comprehension questions by locating the information in the text.

Green: We reviewed their HW and practiced answering oral comprehension questions by locating the information in the text.

Following lunch and recess the children went to music.

When they return we will practice making decisions using a decision tree.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
We will be having an "in-house" field trip next Friday to support our science crime lab unit. Information is coming home today. Each child need to bring in a check for \$6 by next Tuesday.

Remember, book orders are due next Friday...or earlier!

## Thursday, November 4, 2010

### Thursday

This afternoon two book orders will be coming home. Orders are due no later than next Friday, November 12. If you choose to place an order, please include your payment in the form of a check payable to Scholastic Books.

Also, spelling homework is due tomorrow. We will also have a spelling test. I forgot to remind the students but it is written in their planner!

In math we continued converting linear measurements. I met with several small groups and practiced converting feet to inches using white boards. We will have a short quiz tomorrow. Please look over the scored work that comes home in your child's binder...many students are being careless in their classwork. PLEASE discuss this with your child...we need the students to SLOW down...there is no prize for finishing early!! :-)

We began reading by reviewing how to extract important information from text. I am encouraging students to think about the title and the topic when they are determining what is important. We also looked at two similar (but different) pieces of writing done by third graders. The students met in small groups to determine which piece had a clear topic and developed it best with great, juicy details. After that we discussed the importance of having a clear topic and including great ideas to support the topic.

While I met with reading groups the students worked on written comprehension questions for their reading group books. They also finished reading the National Geographic article and identified 3-4 more important pieces of information.

Blue: We began a new book called Giraffes. Today we worked with white boards to practice new words. Then we identified text features in the book and orally explained how they help us/what information they provide the reader. HW: Read up to page 9 and then write 3 sentences in their RRJ using the chart on page 9.

Red: We began a new book called Platypus. We practiced writing new words on white boards. Then we identified text features in the book. Tonight they need to read the entire book and list as many text features as they can find in their RRJ.

Green: We began a new book called Penguins on Parade. We identified text features in the book and explained how they help the reader. For homework the students need to read the entire book and list as many text features as they can find in their RRJ.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students visited the media center and continued their Cynthia Rylant author study.

When they returned to class they read a paragraph about the production of jeans and listed three producers that are involved in the production of jeans.

## Wednesday, November 3, 2010

### Wednesday...but it sure feels like Monday!

Welcome to the second marking period! Crazy how quickly time passes, isn't it?!?!!

In math we spent the entire period taking notes and practicing solving converting linear measurements. The students have notes and examples in their math journals. Tonight's homework is also in their math journal. IN case any student's forget their journals at school, here are the problems; 6 ft = ___yd, 6 yd. = ___ft., 72 in. = ___ft., 12 ft. = __ yd. and a bonus...2 yd = __ in.

In reading we began by clearing out the student's reading section and unfinished work folder. Papers that are no longer needed have been paper clipped and put in the child's home folder. These should be removed and kept at home. NO writing pieces should have been removed. ALL writing pieces should remain in the writing section of the binder.

After that we read the beginning of an article about migrating animals in our new edition of National Geographic. I also modeled creating a list of subjects that I am an "expert" on for my writing to inform topic list. I also introduced a new word of the week...scrumptious, meaning delicious.

As part of their independent work the students were expected to reread pages 4 and 5 in their National Geographic and identify 2 important ideas. They also created a writing to inform topic list which should be stored in the writing section of their binder. They are welcome to add topics to it at any time. Finally, the completed a WOW worksheet for the word scrumptious.

I met with all three reading groups!

Red: We read sections of text and wrote sentences identifying the main idea. HW: Read pages 11-13 TWICE and write a sentence that states the main idea for that section on the sticky note provided.

Blue: We read sections of text and wrote sentences identifying the main idea. HW: Read pages 12-15. Then reread pages 13 and 14 and write a sentence stating the main idea for those two pages on the sticky note provided.

Green: We read sections of text and discussed the main idea. HW: Read pages 8-14 and get a parent signature stating that the student read those pages.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to PE. When they return to class we will analyze the production of a pair of jeans.

## Friday, October 29, 2010

### Halloween Party

This morning, in math, we practiced converting inches to feet, feet to yards, etc. I also worked with a small group using rulers to measure in inches and centimeters.

WE began reading by sharing the rest of our paper bag book reports. Then the students worked on a Halloween themed packet.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the children will change into their costumes. Then we will celebrate Halloween with a parade and party.

Have a wonderful 4 day weekend! The children will not return to school until Wednesday, November 3...to begin the second marking period!

## Thursday, October 28, 2010

### Parent Conference Letters

Students i my reading class will be bringing home a parent conference confirmation letter today. Please sign and return the bottom portion tomorrow!

In math we continued measuring using rulers. Today we introduced centimeters. We also learned about the metric system being a base ten system. While students worked independently measuring in both inches and centimeters, I met with a couple of small groups practicing that same skill. There is a worksheet for homework and there will NOT be a quiz tomorrow.

Since we are behind in our book report presentations, we began reading with some presentations. Then, after a fire drill, the students worked independently on a main idea and cursive (capital M, N and W)worksheets, I met with two reading groups.

Blue: Worked on reading text and finding answers to oral questions in the text.

Green: Worked on reading text and finding answers to oral questions in the text.

Then we continued with more book report presentations.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will visit the media center. Then the students will illustrate and write about a geographic characteristic they would add to their community. They will explain why they would add it and who it would benefit.

## Wednesday, October 27, 2010

### Hump Day

This morning, in math, the students practiced measuring to the inch and half inch using non standard (strips of paper) and standard (rulers) tools. While they worked independently I met with each student and observed them measure using a ruler. I will use this data to organize future small group instruction. There is a half sheet worksheet for homework that focuses on choosing the appropriate unit for measurement.

In reading we used sticky notes to identify key words in the article Kaboom. Then we used these key words to construct a sentence stating the main idea. The students are still struggling with this concept. Therefore, we will continue working on it.

While I met with one reading group, the other students continued working on their descriptive paragraphs, a main idea worksheet and reading an article and marking key words with sticky notes.

Red reading group: worked on writing and reading words with ce and ci...and learned the rule, "i before e except after c". Then we read sections of text in their book and identified the main idea, orally. We also answered comprehension questions, orally, and located the portion of the text that included the answer.

After that, more students shared their paper bag book reports. We will continue sharing tomorrow.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will go to PE. After that, we will use our observations from yesterday to identify human and physical geographic characteristics in our community.

There is no reading homework tonight...it might be a good night to work on the spelling homework that is due next Friday,November 5.

## Tuesday, October 26, 2010

### Book Report Due Day - Tuesday

This morning, in math, we began unit 2 which covers linear measurement. The students began by looking over a variety of different rulers. The purpose was to notice that some rulers begin at the edge of the ruler, while others have a zero hash mark. I also wanted the students to notice that inches are larger than centimeters and that some rules label the metric side using millimeters instead of centimeters. Tonight there is a worksheet that practices converting inches to feet and comparing measurements in inches to feet.

In reading we used sticky notes to identify the 5 most important key words in a National Geographic magazine article. The purpose was for the students to practice picking out important words in text to prepare us for stating the main idea. After that the children worked independently on their descriptive costume paragraph, a main idea worksheet and writing the upper case letters I and J in cursive. I met with two reading groups.

***PLEASE note: due to book reports, I will be unable to meet with all reading groups each day. I am trying my best to balance the continuation of academic instruction with the presentation of book reports. I failed today! :-( Only 1 person presented their book report!***

Blue: Practiced reading and writing high frequency words on white boards. Read the first section of their book and verbally identified the main idea.

Green: Practiced high frequency words on white boards. Read the first page of their book and verbally practiced identifying the main idea.

ALL reading students have a main idea worksheet to complete for homework.

Following lunch and recess the students went to the computer lab and practiced their typing skills using Type to Learn.

When we return to class we will observe the outside of the front of the building and list everything we see. We will use this list to categorize the physical and human characteristics in our community.

## Monday, October 25, 2010

### Red Ribbon Week Begins!

This week is our annual Red Ribbon Week which emphasizes a healthy lifestyle by telling students to say NO to drugs and alcohol. We had a guest speaker, Officer Dixon, begin our week. Therefore, our math block was shortened.

During our math block the students were given time to complete the unit 1 assessment which they began on Friday. There is NO math homework tonight!

We began reading by continuing our shared reading of From Father to Son and listing the key words. Today we broadened our focus from individual sentences to paragraphs.

For independent work the students searched for 5 words with the -ie pattern and 5 words with the -ei pattern. This will be our next spelling focus. The children will receive their spelling homework sheet tomorrow.

Additionally, the students had to write a descriptive paragraph, using lots of sensory images, about their Halloween costume for this year, or a past costume. I stressed to the students that this will be their final writing score for this year, so they needed to put effort into it. This piece will NOT go through the formal writing process. It is the children's chance to get one more writing grade and to show what they have learned. Students will turn it in during the week but it must be turned in by the end of the day Thursday.

I met with all three reading groups today and did the same lesson with each, using their group's book. With each group we reviewed their chart of contractions and unknown words from class on Friday. With the contractions we also reviewed that not all words that use apostrophes are contractions, some show possession. Regarding the unknown words, we practiced using the glossary and context clues (as a group) to determine the meanings, when appropriate.

The ONLY homework, from my class, tonight is to finish their book report. It is due tomorrow!

Following lunch and recess the children will go to art. After that, we will list what we know and what we want to learn about geography. From there we will move onto the difference between physical and human characteristics of geography, which we have touched on before.

## Friday, October 22, 2010

### TGIF

The children have had a brain draining morning!

They began by taking the unit 1 assessment in math. About half of the class completed it today. Those who didn't will be given the chance to finish it on Monday.

Then, in reading, the students took a spelling/written dictation test. After that I explained to the children that we have been working on identifying important information in text and that we will be moving on to identifying the main idea in text. From there, in a couple of weeks, we will begin to summarize text.

With that in mind, we began reading a book called From Father to Son and listing the "key words" on chart paper. We will finish this on Monday. Then we will look at the words and use them to formulate the main idea of the book.

Since the students were clearly drained by this point, there only new piece of independent work was to preview their new reading groups books and to chart, in their RRJ, a list of unknown words and a list of contractions. After that they needed to complete ALL unfinished work (including their personal narrative) and correct their spelling.

I didn't meet with individual reading groups for the sole reason that the students were SPENT!!!! I did meet with several students individually to conference on writing or other pieces of work.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to music. I had planned to finish the day with a social studies assessment...we'll see how that goes!!

Have a great weekend!

## Thursday, October 21, 2010

### Thursday

In math we went over the entire review packet problem by problem. The students were encouraged to stop my teaching and ask questions about anything they didn't understand. They will bring home the review packet, completed with the correct answers, tonight. They are expected to use it to prepare for the assessment tomorrow. Two suggestions...have them explain how they solved each problem and/or ask them which problems were a challenge and create new problems, just like the ones in the packet, using different numbers.

We began reading by finishing the book George Washington's Breakfast. As a follow up activity, the students read the article Kaboom in their October National Geographic and completed a determining importance chart, in their RRJ, with the purpose of discovering what it is like to live in the shadow of an active volcano. Then we reviewed action verbs. The students also had a follow up worksheet for verbs. Completing their independent work today was practicing writing the capital letters C, E and G in cursive.

Red: Reread book silently to determine the problem and solution. We discussed the problem and the solution and they got it!!! WOO HOO! Then the students returned to their seats to write about the plot in their RRJ.

Blue: The students read over the feedback in their RRJs from the plot assignment yesterday. We discussed the need to improve their written response to reading. I then modeled the proper way to construct a response. Finally, the students returned to their seats to redo the assignment.

Green: The students reviewed their feedback on the RRJ assignment from yesterday. Then I modeled writing a "good" response. After that, we reflected on the example shared what we noticed and discussed questions we had.

Following lunch and recess the students will visit the media center. Then Mrs. Howard will do a lesson about citizenship.

## Wednesday, October 20, 2010

### What a Day!

In math we began reviewing for the unit 1 assessment. The students worked on a review packet, in class. If they did not complete it, they need to do so for homework. We will correct the review packet together, in class, tomorrow.

In reading we began reading the story George Washington's Birthday with the purpose of finding out what George Washington ate for breakfast. With this in mind, the students worked on a chart listing important information and interesting facts. Then the students worked independently on reading group assignments, their personal narratives, writing the capital letters A, D and O in cursive, a punctuation worksheet and other unfinished work. I met with reading groups...this is where the frustration began.

Parents--PLEASE, please help me out! review your child's assignments in their home folder, their binder and their RRJ...many students are continuing to make the same errors. Discuss the importance of using the feedback I provide to improve.

Also, please encourage your children to bring their materials to school everyday. I have students coming to class without reading books and RRJs and then not doing assignments. If they come to class without their materials, they need to let me know...I will make sure they can still complete their work. There is no excuse for being here and not getting work done.

Red: The students wrote about the surprise in the Wednesday Surprise prior to coming to group. When we got to group, we reread the story and then discussed the surprise. While this group is strong in decoding text, we are still working on comprehension. None of the children realized the surprise was grandma learning to read.

Green: Reread Charlie's Great Race and marked the problem and solution with sticky notes. Then they went back to their seats and wrote about the plot in their RRJ.

Blue: The students were supposed to write about the plot of A Second Chance in their RRJ prior to coming to group. We discussed this in group.

Following lunch, recess and PE the students will conduct a chromatography experiment using Skittles.

Remember that spelling is due Friday and the book report is due Tuesday...that is why I didn't give reading group assignment for homework tonight.

## Tuesday, October 19, 2010

### Tuesday

This morning, in math, the students worked on a line plot activity while I met with students who needed practice solving subtraction with regrouping problems. For homework there is a numeric pattern worksheet...I know that yesterday I said the homework would be a line plot worksheet but there was a glitch with my plans! Tomorrow we will begin working on a review packet for the unit 1 assessment. We will take the assessment, in class, on Friday.

Today's whole group reading lesson centered around determining important information (versus interesting facts) in our reading. The purpose for our reading is what decides what information is important. For example, today we read a book about whales. Our purpose was to find out how whales breathe and what whales eat. So, the fact that whales breathe through blowholes on the top of their bodies was important information. When we read that whales used to roam the earth and have arms and legs, that was listed as an interesting fact because it did not address our purpose for reading.

After that we reviewed the use of apostrophes, especially in contractions. Yesterday's independent work demonstrated that the entire class is struggling with contractions. We began reviewing this in our reading groups today.

While I met with reading groups the students completed their writing pieces, worked on identifying unknown words and contractions in their new reading books, completed a WOW worksheet for the word utter (to speak) and practiced writing the lower case letters, x, y and z in cursive.

Blue: Reviewed words that include ce and ci...and the rule that when c is followed by an e or i it makes the s sound. Reviewed contractions. Homework tonight: the students need to read their new book and find 4 new contractions to add to their RRJ...there is a model in the RRJ of what to do. Ex. didn't = did + not

Red: Set a purpose for reading the Wednesday Surprise and that is to find out what is the surprise. Reviewed contractions. Homework: students need to read the book and find 5 contractions to add to their RRJ. There is an example in their RRJ and see the model above.

Green: Reviewed contractions. For homework the children need to read their book and add 4 contractions to their RRJ. There is a model in their RRJ and you can find one above.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we will review the results of our chromatography experiment from yesterday. We tried to separate the pigments of different colors of ink and it worked!!! One student brought me their results which had separated to yellow and blue and I asked if their marker was green and they said YES!!! It was such fun to see that our predictions were right!!

After that we will go to a cultural arts assembly called The Strong Man.

## Monday, October 18, 2010

### Marvelous Monday

This morning, in math, we began learning some fourth grade statistics. We took data and plotted it on a line plot. Then we used the data to identify information we could gain from the line plot and to calculate the mode (most common data point), the median (middle data point) and the range (highest data point - lowest data point). For homework the students have a subtraction worksheet. Tomorrow they will practice plotting data on line plots and calculating the mode, median and range in class. After that, they will be ready to work on it at home! :-)

We began reading by discussing the fact that good readers typically have questions in their minds, as they read, that help them to focus on and comprehend non fiction text. Then we practiced identifying the questions we had i our minds before, during and after reading the book called Polar Bears. We charted our questions in our RRJ.

After that we discussed the uses of apostrophes...specifically, using them to show possession. We spent time determining which nouns were plural and which were possessive, when examples were provided.

Then I finished conferencing with individual students on their writing pieces while the rest of the class continued identifying questions during and after their reading of Polar Bears. They also continued working on their writing pieces and using apostrophes in contractions and to show possession. We will resume reading groups tomorrow with new books for each group.

PLEASE review the work that comes home regularly. I have several students who continuously "finish early" because they do not complete the entire assignment or fail to follow the directions.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to art. When they return we will conduct chromatography experiments using different ink colors.

## Thursday, October 14, 2010

### Thursday

This morning, in math, we took our fifth and final quiz for unit one. We will review for the unit assessment next week and take it at the end of the week.

We began our reading block by reviewing using commas in a series. I saw a lot of similar errors on our worksheet yesterday, so I took this opportunity to correct the misconceptions. After that we reviewed the parts of a sentence. The subject is who or what the sentence is about and the predicate begins with the verb and is the rest of the sentence. At least, that is the third grade, basic, explanation. This led to our understanding of the organization and structure of a paragraph. I drew a picture of a hamburger and helped the students understand that a paragraph should be constructed like a hamburger...it needs a top and bottom bun to hold the juicy details together...these are the topic and concluding sentences. Then, the middle is the BEST part...the yummy burger, cheese, lettuce, etc. Well, the middle of their story/paragraph should be the best and biggest part with juicy details!

After that, the students reviewed their rough drafts and marked the beginning, middle and end with a B, M and E. Then they peer conferenced and edited their pieces. Finally, they began conferencing with me. Therefore, we did not meet in reading groups!

While waiting to conference, the students worked on a noun capitalization paper and a compare and contrast paper.

Following lunch and indoor recess the children will visit the media center. When they return to class we will discuss our results from yesterdays chromatography experiment.

Remember, there is NO school tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

## Wednesday, October 13, 2010

### Hump Day

In math today we used data tables (charts) to answer questions. There is a worksheet that is similar to the classwork for homework. We will have a quiz tomorrow since there isn't school on Friday. My small group today worked on using base ten blocks and white boards to solve 3 digit with regrouping addition problems.

In reading we returned to the book Race to the South Pole and used a Venn Diagram to identify similarities and differences between the two explorers in the book. Then I modeled how to write a good paragraph comparing and contrasting two subjects, in this case, the explorers. After that we discussed and identified the correct usage of commas in the date, an address and lists in a sentence.

While I met with reading groups the students wrote a paragraph comparing and contrasting frogs and toads (based on text provided for them), practiced using commas in a series and practiced writing n, m and v in cursive. If they finished early they did the usual; worked on unfinished work, corrected spelling in their writing and added words to their Words to Learn list and read.

Red: We discussed the problem and solution in their story based on their homework. Then the students wrote about the problem and solution in their RRJ, independently.

Blue: We practiced writing high frequency words on white boards and reread their book.

Green: We reviewed their homework from last night. Then we discussed the author's message, whether the title was appropriate and what we thought the character might do in the future.

I did not assign any groups reading homework for this evening. I wanted to give the children time to work on their spelling homework and their book report.

Following lunch, the homeless walk, and recess, the students went to PE. After that, we will use a process called chromatography to separate the pigments in ink pens.

## Tuesday, October 12, 2010

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning, in math, we constructed a double bar graph and used it to answer questions. Then the students worked independently on a double bar graph worksheet and constructing a single bar graph when the scale needed to be something other than counting by ones. I worked with a small group reviewing addition with regrouping using base ten blocks and whiteboards. There is a graphing worksheet for homework.

We spent a long time at the beginning of reading setting up our first spelling exploration. There is a lengthy explanation that I posted yesterday on the blog if you or your child has any questions. After the spelling expectations were established we reviewed common and proper nouns.

While I met with reading groups, students worked on a compare/contrast worksheet, a noun worksheet and writing a rough draft using their story board from last week.

Green: We practiced writing words that follow the ce/ci rule. Then we shared their lists of unknown words. We also read chapter 1 and identified the main idea. For homework they need to reread the entire book and identify the main idea for each chapter in their RRJ...they can make a chart or write a paragraph...whatever makes the most sense to them!

Blue: We practiced writing high frequency words on white boards. Then we reviewed the problem and solution in the book using the sticky notes from homework to guide our discussion. For homework they need to write a paragraph about the problem and solution in their RRJ.

Red: We reviewed their list of unknown words and began reading the book. For homework they need to reread the entire book and mark the problem and solution with the sticky notes that were provided in class.

This afternoon we will watch a video about economics and review the various kinds of markets. We will also attempt to play a career guessing game where the clues will involve using economics terms.

## Monday, October 11, 2010

### Monday

This morning was the annual MCPS parent visitation day. It was so nice to see so many parents!

In math we identified ways to determine the scale on a bar graph. After seeing it modeled. the students had a chance to practice creating a bar graph, with a different scale, independently. I met with two small groups. One group worked on subtraction with regrouping. The other group practiced identifying the rule for a numeric pattern and using the rule to extend it. There is a graphing worksheet for homework.

We began reading by comparing and contrasting adults and children using a Venn Diagram. Then we reviewed our new spelling program (see entry below). Finally we reviewed using punctuation at the end of sentences and the three types of sentences; statement, question and exclamation.

While I met with reading groups the students worked on compiling a list of Words to Learn and completing a punctuation worksheet. When they were finished they worked on unfinished work, and read their National Geographic.

Red: Reviewed the rule -ge rule (when a g is followed by an e, the g sounds like a j). Then we wrote words that follow this rule from our book. For homework they need to read Charlie's Great Race and list unknown words on a sticky note.

Blue: Practiced writing and reading high frequency words on white boars. Then read the book My Two Families. For homework they need to reread the book and identify the problem and solution by placing the appropriate sticky notes in the book.

Green: We reviewed the rule that when a c is followed by an e or an i, the c sounds like an s. Tonight, for homework, they need to read the book and list unknown words on a sticky note.

Following lunch and recess the students went to art. When they return we will define producers, consumers and scarcity.

### Spelling

This entry is an explanation of a new spelling system that we will be starting this week.

Beginning tomorrow...

Each student will have a WORDS TO LEARN worksheet in the writing section of their binder. This sheet is expected to be the FIRST page in the writing section. Students will be responsible, during class, for making sure any word that is spelled incorrectly in their RRJ or their writing, be corrected and then added to this list. This should be an ongoing list that grows throughout the year. Students can obtain new, blank sheets from me. It is the students responsibility to get new sheets when the old ones are filled up.

Additionally, we will be starting a new, two week spelling cycle. On the first day of the cycle (usually a Monday but sometimes, like this week, a Tuesday) the students will get a two sided worksheet that includes their spelling words and homework assignments. The words will include 8 that are pre-printed on the worksheet and fit the focus of the spelling cycle. Additionally, the students will add two class words that have been provided, to the entire class, by me. Finally, each student will add two words from their own WORDS TO LEARN list. The children need to learn how to spell all 12 words and will be tested, in class, on the Friday that the homework sheet is due.

Homework sheet/Activities: Students need to write the 8 pre-printed words and the 2 class words (not their individual words) in ABC order. They also need to use each of the pre-printed words in a sentence, in the sentences portion of the worksheet (this is on the front and back). In the BONUS section they need to use their 2 MY WORDS words in a sentence, each. In the middle section, on the back, the students need to write the pre-printed words on the line that has the correct spelling pattern.

## Friday, October 8, 2010

### TGIF

This morning we took our fourth quiz in math. They are scored in the math section of your child's binder. We will be taking the unit assessment in two weeks.

We began reading by reviewing cause and effect using the book Can Kids Save the Earth? Then the students worked in small groups to write a paragraph describing a scene. Each group was given a picture. They were instructed to pretend they were in the picture and to write about what they saw, felt, heard, tasted and smelled. They were quite excited ton work on this activity and the results provided some great teachable moments!!

While I met with reading groups, the students identified examples of cause and effect from Can Kids Save the Earth (in their RRJ) and then completed unfinished work from the week.

Blue: reviewed unknown words from their homework and discussed the concepts of being adopted from an orphanage.

Green: shared the problem and solution of Tornado.

Red: Reviewed their plot homework assignment and then discussed the strengths and weaknesses of this actual reading group. We will turn our focus to shorter stories (with rich ideas and vocabulary) in an attempt to gain a stronger understanding of inference in text.

Following lunch and recess the students will go to music. When they return to class they will apply their knowledge of fingerprints to a BCR (brief constructed response--ie. essay question) about fingerprints.

## Thursday, October 7, 2010

### Sunshine! YES!

So nice to have a sunny day!

In math we took our data from the class pictograph and showed it on a bar graph. Then the students constructed a bar graph using the data we gathered about favorite ice cream flavors. While they worked independently I met with two groups. One group practice solving subtraction with regrouping problems. The other worked on numeric patterns and using hundreds blocks to solve addition with regrouping problems. There is a bar graph worksheet for homework and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

In reading we continued using the book Race to the South Pole to identify examples of cause and effect in non-fiction text. The we used sentences and fragments from the book to identify the difference between a complete and an incomplete sentence.

While I met with reading groups the students completed their planning sheet for their next personal narrative. They also read three pages in Race to the South Pole and identified two examples, from those pages, of cause and effect on a worksheet. Then they completed any unfinished work, corrected spelling in their RRJ and read silently.

Red: We tried to discuss the plot of Talk About a Family and the author's message. While the group did a fine job decoding this book and responding to literal questions, the inferential was a challenge. SO, after our conversation faltered, I told them about the plot and author's message. Tonight they need to write about the plot in their RRJ.

Green: We practiced high frequency words on white boards. Then we read and discussed Tornadoes. Tonight they need to reread the book and mark the problem and solution with sticky notes (they were given these in group).

Blue: They were given a new book called My Two Families. For homework they need to preview the book and list unknown words on the sticky note.

Following lunch and recess the children will visit the media center. Then we will review the concept of interdependence. Finally, the students will choose a community worker and make a web illustrating the worker's interdependence.

## Wednesday, October 6, 2010

### Hump Day!

In math we reviewed the essential elements of a good graph (title, labels, scale, key, etc.). Then the students created a pictograph of the class' favorite ice cream flavors using data we gathered in class. While they worked on their graphs I met with two small groups. One group practiced identifying the rule to a numeric pattern and using that rule to extend the pattern. The other group used base ten blocks to understand the regrouping that is necessary to solve some subtraction problems. There is a word problem worksheet for homework.

We began reading by reviewing cause and effect using the homework worksheet from last night. Then we started to read the non-fiction text Race to the South Pole and identify examples of cause and effect from the text. After that we shared examples of experiences we had that involved a lively scene...examples included Toys R Us, Bowling, Magic Quest, Snowboarding...the students will use this to choose a topic for their next personal narrative.

While I worked with reading groups the students worked independently on choosing a new topic and planning out a new writing piece. They also practiced writing the letters, o, q and c in cursive. If they finished early, they worked on any additional unfinished work, corrected spelling in their RRJ and read quietly.

Blue: Practiced writing and reading high frequency words on white boards. Then read the book called Snorkeling, working on fluency. For homework they need to read the entire book and get a signature in their planner.

Green: We reviewed their lists of unknown words from homework and began reading Tornadoes. For homework they need to read the entire book and get a parent signature in their planner.

Red: Due to a "talk" from Mrs. Howard about next weeks Homeless Walk, we did not meet.

Following lunch and recess the class will go to art. We will end the day by identifying examples of interdependence using community workers from The Big Green Pocketbook.

## Tuesday, October 5, 2010

### Terrific Tuesday

In math we moved into our study of statistics. We began by making a class pictograph (a graph using pictures) of the birthdays in our math class. I took time to model the axis the scale, labels, a title and a key or legend. This took quite a bit of time. So, we were unable to meet in small groups. Tomorrow the students will create their own pictographs while I meet with small groups. There is a worksheet (pictograph) for homework.

We began reading by taking the second part of the high frequency spelling assessment. After that we reviewed cause and effect by using everyday examples. For example, I stayed up late (cause) and I was tired in the morning (effect). Then, I met with small groups (although this was a slight challenge due to a presentation on the Homeless Walk for Mr. Vogel's homeroom), while the rest of the class finished their final drafts of their personal narrative, completed a cause and effect worksheet, practiced writing the letters a, d and g in cursive and completed a WOW worksheet for our new word, heed.

Red: We reviewed their homework and discussed not suing a pronoun in the first sentence of a response. Then we finished reading the story. Tonight they need to reread pages 55-60 and think about the main idea.

Green: We handed in the plot homework assignment from last night. Then the students did a quick write (they wrote solidly for 3 minutes) about Tornadoes. Then we shared our knowledge and discussed the possible feelings we might encounter in the book. For homework the students need to preview the book and list unknown words.

HOMEWORK ALERT: The entire class must complete a cause and effect worksheet...they need to write 4 cause and effects like I modeled in class...they are to think about their lives...I didn't do my homework (cause) I had to write a note home (effect).

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students will listen to a presentation about the homeless in preparation for the upcoming Homeless Walk.

After that we will chart community workers and the goods and services which they provide in our social studies journals.

## Monday, October 4, 2010

### Monday

Rainy Mondays can be difficult, don't you think? Luckily, we have had a very productive day so far!

In math we continued using rounding to estimate the answers to word problems. There is a worksheet practicing this skills for homework. I was able to meet with two small groups this morning. One group practiced identifying the rule to a numeric pattern and using that rule to extend the pattern. The other group worked on solving 3 digit subtraction problems that required regrouping.

In reading we are transitioning from realistic fiction to non-fiction text. Today we used the book Life in the Coral Reef to identify the information we gain from text features. The students watched me modeling charting the text feature, information gained from it and connections we can make to our knowledge. Then they used the same book to chart 5 text features in their RRJ. They worked on this while I met with small groups. Just prior to meeting with small groups, the students took a diagnostic spelling test using high frequency words. We didn't finish today and will continue with it tomorrow. I will use the data from these tests to determine words that our class will study and learn to spell.

Blue: Practiced writing and reading the words; afraid, splash, around and heard. Then we read and discussed the book Snorkeling. For homework they need to answer questions #2 and 3 in their RRJ. The questions are listed on the back cover of their book. I modeled the appropriate way to answer the question, in a complete sentence, in their RRJ.

Green: We practiced reading and writing the words; thought, except, and special. Then we discussed the problem and solution in their book...they marked this for homework, using stickies, many days ago. Tonight they need to write about the plot in their RRJ. We practiced talking about the plot in group today.

Red: We shared the fact that the father was moving in group...this was homework from several days ago. Then we continued reading the story. Tonight they need to read pages 51-55 and write, in their RRJ, about what Genny and Mr. Parker discussed.

Following lunch, indoor recess and art, we will listen to the story The Big Green Pocketbook and identify workers and the goods/services they provide.