## Friday, September 30, 2011

### TGIF

Whew...we made it! It has been a crazy week...early dismissal, day off, etc. I am looking forward to a five day week, next week, so we can get back to our routine!

This morning, during our reading language arts block, the students completed any and all unfinished work from the week.

During math we created a class pictograph that displayed student birthdays from our math class. Then the children completed a follow up worksheet while I met with a small group to check-in on their subtraction with regrouping skills. I am proud and excited to share that the entire group successfully solved two challenging problems. WOO HOO!

After math, the students visited the media center and enjoyed lunch and recess. When they return, Mrs. Howard will stop by to do a counseling lesson. We will end the day by identifying examples from the tree types of resources (natural, human and capital) that are needed to grow corn on a farm. If time allows, we will also identify the difference between wants and needs.

## Wednesday, September 28, 2011

### Early Dismissal Wednesday

This morning the students were told which assignments they were missing in reading and were given a chance to catch up while I met with my afternoon reading groups.

Lions: We discussed the Palmville chapter and began reading the Rossi chapter. Then the students finished reading the Rossi chapter independently to find out who Sarah Ida took advantage of and what she did.
Crabs: We identified why The Lunchroom is not a realistic fiction book. WE then discussed/identified the problem and solution in the story.

In math we reviewed using rounding to estimate the solution to word problems. Then the students worked independently on a word problem worksheet a 2 regroupings subtraction worksheet. Mrs. Benson worked with a small group solving subtraction with regrouping problems. I worked with two small groups. My first focused on solving subtraction with regrouping problems. The second group identified the rules of patterns and then used the rule to extend the pattern.

Following lunch, the students prepared for dismissal.

There is NO homework and no school tomorrow due to a religious holiday. WE do have school on Friday!

## Tuesday, September 27, 2011

### Rainy Tuesday

This morning the students listened to the story Hot Air Henry and identified the plot. During independent work time they completed reading group related tasks, identified words that make up contractions and completed the final copy of their personal narrative.

Cheetahs: Reviewed the events from pages 4-7 and read and discussed pages 8-13. For homework tonight they need to reread pages 8-13 and get a parent signature in their planner.
Bears: Some students shared their RRJ entry about their personal "dragon" (challenge. Then they began reading and discussing chapter 1. For homework they need to reread chapter 1 and get a parent signature in their planner.

In math we reviewed using estimation to solve word problems. We redid the worksheet from yesterday's class work together. Then the students worked independently on a new one. I worked with a small group to practice solving 3 digit subtraction problems. There is a word problem worksheet for homework.

Following PE, the students enjoyed lunch and recess. After that we selected a star student that best exempliphies the trait of trustworthiness. Then the students continued working on their independent work while I attended a meeting in the building. The students ended the day by watching the rest of the economics video and identifying the 3 types of resources and an example of each.

## Monday, September 26, 2011

### Monday

This morning in our reading block we learned about a new weekly activity called Word of the Week (WOW, from here on out). We will focus on a new word each week to help build our reading and speaking vocabulary. Students will complete a cartoon worksheet each week and periodically they will be quizzed on our WOW words. This week's WOW is strive; to try really hard.

Also, during our reading block we learned about new reading groups. Based on data from the MAP-R (computerized reading test we took a couple of weeks ago) and observations made during reading group meetings, I have made a few changes.

While I met with my morning reading groups, the students identified common and proper nouns, practiced writing h and k in cursive and worked on the WOW cartoon for strive.

Cheetahs: We practiced reading and writing words from our new book called The Bee Puzzle. Then we read and discussed pages 4-7 in the book. For homework they need to reread pages 4-7.
Bears: We read and discussed the book introduction and author acknowledgements in our new book Different Dragons. Then we talked about the concept of a dragon being a challenge we may face. For example, the author, Jean Little is blind...this is her dragon that she faces as an author. This afternoon, the students will write about a dragon they face, in their RRJ...this will become homework if they do not finish in class.

In math we used rounding to estimate the answers to word problems. We completed a worksheet, together, in class, and it SHOULD be in your child's math section in their binder. We circled key vocabulary words (such as, about = round, how many more = subtract) and noted there mathematical meaning right on the worksheet. I am encouraging students to use this as a tool when they get stuck.

While students worked independently on a similar worksheet, I met with a small group to practice solving 3 digit with regrouping subtraction problems using base ten blocks and white boards.

There is a pattern worksheet for homework.

Following music, lunch and outdoor recess we reviewed the next spelling packet. This packet focuses on the /ea/ spelling pattern and contractions. The packet is due NEXT Friday, October 7.

While the students continued working on independent work, I met with my other two reading groups and we had a fire drill.

Crabs: We reviewed their list of unknown words from earlier today. Then we began reading The Lunchroom, stopping to list events on the board. Tonight they need to read the story and get a parent signature int heir planner.
Lions: We reviewed their lists of unknown words and began reading the chapter called Palmville. As we read we discussed inferences about Sarah Ida's attitude/demeanor. Tonight they need to read the entire chapter and get a parent's signature n their planner.

We ended the day by watching a video about economics. Students learned that economics is the study of how people uses resources to obtain their wants and needs. We began learning about resources, as well.

## Friday, September 23, 2011

### TGIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is officially "finish up Friday"! That was the rule of the day!!

In reading we took our first spelling test. I explained to the students that they need to study all 20 words but I will only choose 10 to use on the test. These have been scored and will be coming home today!

After that, we reviewed the compound word packets. Students checked their own papers and were encouraged to ask questions.

Next students had time to complete any unfinished work from the week.

After our math warm up the students took a quiz. The quizzes have been scored and will be coming home today in home folders.

Following a visit to the media center and the children enjoyed lunch and recess.

Next, we went to the all purpose room to listen to the speeches from the students in fourth and fifth grades who were running for an SGA office. When we returned to class we completed ballots to vote for our next SGA officers. Then we listened to the speeches from our classmates who were running to be class representatives for the SGA. Of course, after listening to the speeches, we voted.

## Thursday, September 22, 2011

### Thursday

This morning we read the story Library Lil and identified the plot. AS part of their independent work, the students completed a story map for the book. They also practiced writing the letters l and b in cursive.

Cheetahs: We did some word work. We practiced writing some high frequency words on white boards and then took a mini quiz on the words.
Crabs: We finally finished reading Rosie's Story in group and identified the problem and solution in the story. This afternoon they will write about the problem and solution, independently, in their RRJ.

In math we completed an "exit card" so that I could gather data regarding the student's progress in solving subtraction with regrouping problems. Based on that data, I worked with a small group of students who needed more practice.

We also practiced identifying the rule and extending decreasing numeric patterns. Students practiced this skill independently while I met with the small group. There is a pattern worksheet forhomework and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and recess students had an opportunity to share their writing, using the ELMO, with the rest of the class. Together, we identified positives aspects of the pieces. Aditionally, I offered advice for revisions.

Lions: COmpleted a vocabulary sheet for their reading book. WE will begin new books on Monday.
Bears: We met, briefly, and discussed beginning a new book on Monday.

We will end the day by identifying patterns in the fingerprints we make from our right hand.

## Wednesday, September 21, 2011

### OOPS!

Before I get into our day, I want to apologize. It appears I skipped an entire table when handing out math homework last night. I am so sorry for any undue stress this created! :-)

We began our reading block by reviewing the definition of the plot of a story. Then we read Brave Irene and identified the plot. The students then worked independently on a story map for Brave Irene and identifying complete sentences in our language arts book while I met with a small group.

Cheetahs: We reread Molly's Hard Bargain. We discussed the problem and solution. Then the students wrote about the problem and solution, independently, in their RRJ.

In math we reviewed subtraction with regrouping. SOme students worked independently; others worked in a small group with me. There is a worksheet forhomework.

After math we had a class meeting. We discussed what we should do about students who aren't following directions or completing independent work (due to a lack of effort). The students decided that these children should write notes home to their parents explaining the situation. So, we will be trying this strategy. Let's hope it works!

Following lunch and recess I explained the importnace of having well organized writing. WE discussed and identified in my writing piece, a good beginning, transitions in the middle and a nice ending. Then the students identified these aspects in their own writing pieces by underling and circling using specific colors.

While I worked with a reading group the class worked inpdependently. We had to end eearly so that we could meet with Mrs. Howard and learn about SGA class elections. We finished the day in the computer lab by learning how to import clip art into Word documents.

## Tuesday, September 20, 2011

### Wet and Soggy Tuesday

Before I get to our day, I want to pass along a discussion that took place this morning...

Many students entered class proudly saying their moms forgot to sign their planner. One students even said my mom never reads my planner. I replied that it is NOT the parents job to read the planner or to remember to sign it. It is the student's job to read the planner and approach their parent with a pen and the planner to get it signed. One child actually replied to this saying, "Well, I never read the planner either."

This concerns me...PLEASE help me...make it your child's responsibility to read their planner AND to get you to sign it (if necessary). As silly as it may sound, there will be consequences for planners not getting signed if it was part of the homework requirement. I am trying to teach the students about responsibilities!!

This morning we defined the plot of a story as the action; the problem the events leading to the solution and the solution. We began reading Brave and Irene and will finish it tomorrow, as well as, identify the plot.

Independent work today included; individual reading group tasks, noun exercise from yesterday, cursive papers (i/t from yesterday, u/w/e from today)and completing their personal narrative rough draft.

Crabs: We reviewed a long list of unknown words from their reading yesterday afternoon. Then we began reading the story together. This afternoon they will read the story on their own and list an /ea/ words in their RRJ. Tonight they need to read the story and get a parent signature in their planner.

I do a lot of rereads to improve fluency!

In math we reviewed subtraction with regrouping using base ten blocks. Given the problem 253 - 117, I emphasized that we HAVE 253 and are taking away 117...that is why we have to start at the top. One of the students (JT) even said, "so if the number on top is smaller, we have to regroup" WOO HOO!!!!! I also showed the students repeatedly that when we regroup we do not change the value, just show it in a different way...kind of like 1 dime = 10 pennies.

While the students worked on a follow up practice worksheet, I met with a small group to practice identifying the rule and completing increasing numeric patterns.

There is a subtraction with regrouping worksheet for homework.

Following PE, lunch and recess I showed the class a photo from the Washington Post that Mr. Vogel had shared with me. This photo was a picture of one of President Obama's speeches that had been marked up and revised with feedback. We discussed the fact that even the President of the United States needs to revise and edit his writing and the importance of feedback in general. It was a great, powerful discussion.

The rest of the class worked on independent work while I met with small groups.

Lions: We practiced orally answering the questions in the back of their book. They then returned to their seats to answer them, in writing, in their RRJ. This morning they also completed an event worksheet that goes with the book.
Bears: We reread the story and discussed character traits to describe grandma. Additionally, we identified evidence from the story to support the traits. In the morning the students completed a vocabulary sheet that goes with their story.
Cheetahs: We read and discussed the story.

Following reading we practiced making and identifying fingerprint patterns in science.

## Monday, September 19, 2011

### A New Week...

This morning we read The Empty Pot and identified the problem and solution in the story. The main point of my lesson was that the solution needs to match the problem.

While I met with reading groups, the students worked on reading groups assignments, identified common and proper nouns (using our language arts text book) and practice writing the lower case letters "i" and "t" in cursive.

Cheetahs: We discussed making deals (bargains) with people and then read the story Molly's Hard Bargain. The children are expected to reread the story for homework tonight.
Crabs: We discussed being teased and then began reading Rosie's Story. This afternoon the students are expected to finish reading independently and list any unknown words on sticky notes. We will review these words in group tomorrow.

In math we used rounding to estimate the differences of three digit numbers. I met with two small groups while the students worked on a follow up worksheet. One group focused on identifying and extending increasing numeric patterns. The other group practiced writing four digit numbers in expanded and standard forms.

Following music, the students enjoyed lunch and recess.

When they returned to class I modeled using my graphic organizer to write a personal narrative about seeing a bear at Deep Creek Lake. Then the students worked on independent work, including finishing their graphic organizer and beginning their rough draft, while I met with reading groups.

Lions: we reviewed the unknown words they identified this morning and then read their book. After reading the book we discussed whether or not it was realistic fiction. Tonight they need to reread the book and get a parent signature in their planner.
Bears: We reviewed the unknown words that the students identified earlier today. Then we read through the story and discussed connections we made. Tonight they need to reread the story and get a parent's signature in their planner.

Unfortuantely, due to challenges during independent work time, we did not get to science.

## Friday, September 16, 2011

### TGIF

I am back!!! WOO HOO!!!

This morning Mrs. Howard, our guidance counselor, did a great lesson, with the children, about organization. Therefore, our reading block was shortened...a lot! After Mrs. Howard left, the students had about 10 minutes to work on any unfinished work from the week.

We began math by reviewing addition with regrouping. I reminded the students that they MUST show their regrouping (carrying the ones to the tens column, for example) and that it is important that they line up the columns correctly. After that we took a quiz.

Following a visit to the media center, the students enjoyed lunch and recess.

When the students returned to class we compared two pieces of writing on the same topic. We noticed that one piece had more details and painted a clearer picture in the readers mind. Then we identified the sensory images (adjectives) that the author used in his writing.

While I met with my afternoon reading groups, the students completed written reading group assignments in their RRJs. They also finished any unfinished work from the week including the graphic organizer for their next writing piece.

Lions: We discussed their RRJ entries about how Josh changed in the story. Then I modeled a good response. We discussed the elements of my response and how they could make theirs better.
Bears: We assessed their RRJ responses about the problem and solution in their reading group book, together. We identified information necessary to make it a good response.

We ended the day by practicing making finger prints for our crime lab unit in science.

## Wednesday, September 14, 2011

### Hump Day!

We are halfway through, what has been so far, a very productive week!

In reading we examined how the author presents the setting in the book Where the River Begins. Then the students wrote about the setting, using examples from the text, in their RRJs.

Cheetahs: Reviewed unknown words and began orally reading text. Students finished independently at their seats.
Crabs: Reviewed unknown words and began reading orally. Students finished independently.

In math we identified and extended increasing numeric patterns. I worked with two small groups. One group practiced rounding three digit numbers to the nearest hundred. The other group practiced rounding three digit numbers to the nearest 10. There is an increasing pattern worksheet for homework. We will have a quiz on Friday.

After math we had a class meeting. We began with each student completing the statement, "It frustrates me when..." After sharing various compliments, we discussed the idea of scapegoating others based on past behavior.

Following lunch and recess the students were shown how to create a flow chart, a web and a word/picture splash to organize and brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece. I used the same topic (subject) for each of the three organizers so they could see how the same story could be planned in different ways. Then the students continued their independent work from the morning AND created a graphic organizer for their next writing piece while I met with reading groups.

Lions: we discussed how Josh changes in the story and found the evidence in the text that shows how he feels in the beginning and the end of the story.

Bears: We met and finished read the book and then discussed how Sol changed.

We ended the day by going to the computer lab and learning how to change the font in a Word document.

I will be out tomorrow...my husband is having back surgery...so no blog update. I plan to return on Friday!!

## Tuesday, September 13, 2011

### Terrific Tuesday

In reading we read the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney and identify how the main character changed from the beginning to the end of the story. While I met with two reading groups, the students wrote about these changes in their RRJs and finished any unfinished work.

Cheetahs: We practiced reading and writing high frequency words, from their book, on whiteboards. Then the students read their books and listed unknown words on sticky notes.
Crabs: We practiced reading and writing high frequency words, from their book, on whiteboards. Then the students read their books and listed any unknown words on a sticky note.

After a short review of rounding numbers to the nearest ten and hundred, the students complete a problem on an index card so that I could assess who needs more help.

Next, I demonstrated to the students how rounding is used in estimation. I also modeled using rounding to estimate the sums of three digit addition problems. While I worked with a small group, the rest of the class worked independently on a worksheet to estimate the sums of three digit addition problems.

The small group practiced rounding three digit numbers to the nearest hundred.

Following PE, lunch and recess, Mrs. Benson modeled choosing a topic and using either a web, a word/picture splash or a flow chart to brainstorm and organize thoughts for a writing piece. Then the students worked on unfinished work and planning for their next writing piece. Mrs. Benson also met with two reading groups. (I was at an in-house meeting.)

Lions: Worked with identified vocabulary from their book. Then read the book, partly in group and partly independently, to find our how Josh changes in the story.
Bears: Worked with identified vocabulary from their book. Then read the book, partly in group and partly independently, to find out if Sol got a pet.

We ended the day with students sharing the writing graphic organizers.

Remember...
Book orders are due by Friday
Field trip \$\$ is due ASAP
Spelling packet is due next Friday

## Monday, September 12, 2011

### Sunny Monday

What a difference a week makes!!

We began the day by reading the story Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema. Then we identified character traits, and support from the text, for Ki-Pat. We also learned the difference between a proper and a common noun. While the students worked on an RRJ entry and a proper noun worksheet, I met with two reading groups.

Cheetahs: W e chose a group name and created an -ace word chain.
Crabs: We picked a name and created a -ank word chain.

In math we rounded three digit numbers to the nearest ten. The students have a worksheet to finish for homework.

Following music, lunch and recess, the students reviewed and received their first spelling packet. We will be working on 10 words with the /ee/sounds, 10 third grade word wall words and review compound words. This is a long packet but it is not due until NEXT Friday, September 23. Please help your student plan accordingly.

While I met with my other two reading groups the students completed their RRJ responses and the noun worksheet from this morning. They also worked on a new assignment, from our language arts textbook, working with compound words.

Lion: We discussed the Japanese art of origami and previewed their book.
Bears: We discussed the possible challenges of having a pet cat or dog in an apartment in a city.

After reading, I returned some graded assignements such as our math quiz and our baseline writing sample. These papers are to be stored in the appropriate section of your child's binder...please look for them! At this time I introduced and explained the new grading system...ES=4, P+=3.5, P=3, I+=2.5, I=2, N+=1.5, N=1. We also discussed the importance of reading my feedback on the children's assignments and using that feedback to improve their work.

Unfortuantely, the group was rather chatty today and we did not get to our social studies lesson. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring better listening and direction following! :-)

## Friday, September 9, 2011

### TGIF

The "F" can either stand for Friday or football...you choose!! :-)

We began the day by discussing character traits and how they help readers understand characters and make predictions. Then we shared examples of behaviors and names character traits for each. After that, we read the realistic fiction book called Island Boy and created a class chart indicating character traits and evidence from the book to support each trait.

In math we took a brief quiz so that I could analyze what the students have gained from my teaching and what challenges remain. Then we practiced rounding three digit numbers to the nearest tens and hundreds.

Following a visit to the media center the students will go to lunch and recess. After recess the children will take the MAP-R (measures of academic progress in reading) for the first of three times this year.

This is an electronic assessment which the students will take on a computer. The test is 42 questions long and self adjusts to the individual. Therefore, if a child gets a lot of questions correct, the test will get more challenging and the revers is true, too.

This assessment gives the teacher great information to help plan for instruction. The students take it again in January and May.

We will end the day by examining our class rules charts from yesterday that the students made in small groups. We will look for common threads and create a class list of rules.

## Thursday, September 8, 2011

### The Day After!

It was so nice to speak with so many of you at last night's Back to School Night! It is now clear why I have such a great class! :-) Unfortunately, I was up past my bedtime (don't laugh, I go to bed early) so today has been a challenge!

Good news...I have COMPLETED my reading assessments! WOO HOO!!!! It took all morning, though. Mrs. Benson stepped in and kept the instruction going for me. I truly appreciate her efforts.

The students furthered their understanding of realistic fiction by identifying texts as either realistic fiction or fantasy and explaining why. Then they completed a frayer model (a type of graphic organizer) to further cement their learning.

In math, the students rounded three digit numbers to the nearest ten AND hundred. Their homework tonight, though, is a review of ordering numbers.

Following art, lunch and indoor recess, the students received their first scholastic book order forms. YOU DO NOT NEED TO ORDER! But there are often great deals to be had! :-) You can either order online or send the order form and a check, payable to Scholastic Book Clubs, back to school no later than Friday, September 16.

We ended the day by reading a story called The Kingdon with No Rules, No Laws, and No King. We listed what we learned from the story and then the children worked in small groups to create posters of rules they felt we needed in our classroom. THis was a wonderful opportunity for the students to have a voice in our classroom community AND for them to learn how to work well in groups. I was extremely proud of the cooperative learning I witnessed.

After each group shares their rules, we will compile a list of class rules using commonalities that appeared amongst the groups.

Two notes:
We are in need of electric pencil sharpeners...our two no longer work.

I introduced the Issue Bin today. This is a place where students can write me notes, ranging from needing to use the restroom to needing help with work to having friendship issues, when I am busy working with a small group or an individual.

## Wednesday, September 7, 2011

### Back to School Night!!!

Tonight is Back to School Night. It begins at 7:00. I hope to see you all there!!

We began the morning with Mrs. Benson teaching a lesson about the characteristics of realistic fiction. The students listened to the book Crow Boy and then sorted books using the characteristics of realistic fiction. I continued working with individual students assessing their reading abilities.

In math we began rounding numbers to the nearest ten. I am going to attach a picture of the chart we made in class. Some key points; when rounding to the nearest ten the one's column will always be a zero, we use the digit in the one's column to determine whether to round up or down, 0-4 rounds down, 5 and up rounds up.

Next, the students read an article from their National Geographic magazine called Lessons in Lava with Mrs. Beck. They discussed the article and completed a follow up worksheet. I continued with my assessments.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students will continue to work on the follow up worksheet. They will also create a topic list for personal narratives. I will continue assessing.

We will end the day with a class meeting!

## Tuesday, September 6, 2011

### Rain, Rain GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yuck! What a wet start to the week!!! However, it did give us a chance to have our first indoor recess.

We began the day by learning about nouns using a lnaguage arts text book. While the students completed a practice activity, I continued reading assessments. There is a two-sided noun worksheet for homework.

Then in math we practiced ordering four digit numbers from least to greatest and greatest to least. Then, I introduced several anchor activities that the students can choose from, when they have completed their work, to strengthen their math skills. Anchor activities are similar to centers. There is an ordering numbers worksheet for homework.

Following math the students went to PE. Then they enjoyed lunch and indoor recess.

After recess the students completed a reading comprehension activity about Labor Day and read through our first issue of National Geographic while I continued my reading assessments. The National Geogrphic has been placed in the reading section of each child's binder. It needs to stay there...we will use it for additioanl learning acitivities and I do not get extra copies.

I look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night, tomorow night at 7pm!

## Friday, September 2, 2011

### TGIF!

Well, in a couple of hours, the first week of school will be in the books! Overall, it has been a great week...at least I think so! :-)

This morning the students began working on their baseline personal narrative writing piece. They created a graphic organizer and brainstormed their ideas. After that, they used the organizer to write a rough draft. I will use these to determine their strengths and needs.

Based on the student's independent class work from yesterday, I used our math block to clear up some place value issues. While the students worked on a follow up worksheet and then played a place value game with a partner, I met with a small group that focused on place value using three digit numbers.

FOllowing a visit to the media center and lunch and recess the students will have a short introductory lesson with Mrs. Howard, our guidance counselor.

After that, they will continue working on their writing piece (is it too much to hope they finish it!?!?) while I continue my reading assessments.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 3 day weekend!!!

## Thursday, September 1, 2011

### Thursday

And the settling continues...

This morning we reviewed some of the routines and expectations that we had not discussed yet...what to do with completed homework, what to do with returned work, etc., etc. During this time, I discussed the importance of reviewing the feedback that I write on their work. They need to see what they did well and what needs to be improved. Additionally, misspelled words will be listed in the margins. Students are expected to correct their work using the correct spellings I provide.

After that I finished modeling the writing of the personal narrative that I began yesterday. Then the students worked with partners to discuss a topic they will write about this afternoon.

In math we reviewed homework expectations and went over yesterday's classwork. Then we reviewed comparing numbers using <, > and =. There is a worksheet for homework.

During our reading block we practiced making connection to the book, Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber. We discussed that good readers naturally make connections without thinking about it and that these connections help readers strengthen their comprehension.

Following art, lunch and recess the students worked on a time capsule worksheet that we will revisit in June, wrote a letter to me and completed a word search. I continued our reading assessments...

Omnce again, we did not get a chance to identify and list class rules...UGH! :-)