## 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.