## 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.