## Friday, December 21, 2012

### We Made It!!

Today is the last day of school before Winter Break!!!  While there is a lot of excitement in the air, this class is such a joy, the kids are definitely not out of control...just the opposite....it's kind of quiet in here!  :-)

We began the day with a holiday concert performed by the DHS Marching Band!  This is a special treat that we enjoy each year.

When we returned to class we discussed the idea of a New Year's Resolution.  Then I read the story, Squirrel's New Year's Resolution.  After that, the students brainstormed resolutions they could make.  Finally, they chose a tool, either lap top or iPad, and created a certificate/poster stating their New Year's Resolution.  These will hang on the bulletin board outside of our classroom.

In math, the students finished calculating the area of the rectilinear figure from yesterday.  Then they shared their work, using the iPad and Apple TV, with the class.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we worked on reading to perform a task and writing to express personal ideas as we made cards and gingerbread men.

We ended the day by watching a student's video presentation.

## Thursday, December 20, 2012

### Thursday

The children began their day in art.  When they returned to the classroom, I modeled using the mentor paper, Heating and Cooling, to  guide their writing.  Then the students continued writing, revising and publishing their writing.  I continued working one-on-one with students who needed help.

In math we reviewed calculating the area of rectilinear figures.  You can view a lesson here.  Then the students worked in small groups to calculate the area of a rectilinear figure and show their thinking using the iPad app, Penultimate.  We will share these tomorrow, in class.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students continued working on their research paper.  Many of them finished it, too!!  WOO HOO!!

I attempted to meet with reading groups without disrupting the publishing process.  This proved to be challenging.

Yellow Jackets:  We met and identified the theme of the story as honesty.  We used details from the story to support this, in our discussion.  We will begin a new book after break.

Sharks:  We met and I collected their books.  They will begin a a new book after break.

Cheetahs:  We met and read and discussed the last 3 chapters of the book.  Our discussions involved identifying examples of cause and effect and finding sentences in the text that supported our thoughts.

Snakes:  Individual students met with me and practiced reading their books.

While this blog post looks short, we did get a lot accomplished today!  There is no homework!

We will return to a regular routine following Winter Break!!

## Wednesday, December 19, 2012

### Wednesday - halfway there!

After visiting the media center, the children returned to class ready to get to work on their tech tool research project.  First, we evaluated the fourth and final paragraph in the Heating and Cooling mentor paper.  Then, I modeled using that paper as a guide to write my final paragraph for my piece about football helmets.  After that, I wrote an outline on the board stating the expectations for each of the four paragraphs.  This did not contain new information, but was a different way to convey what they have been told and shown in the past.  Finally, the children worked independently on their assignment.

The students are at various places within the project.  Some are gathering more information, some are still drafting their rough draft, some are revising and pothers are publishing their final copy on the lap tops.  Our goal is to have these completed by Friday, before Winter Break.  Therefore, I have been working with individual students instead of meeting with reading groups.

In math, we reviewed how to calculate the area of a rectilinear figure and Mrs. Head showed us a strategy using cubes.  Then we identified how to calculate the area of torn figures.  There is a homework worksheet to practice this skill.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we continued working on the tech tool research project.  I spent my time working one-on-one with students who needed help.  The others spent there time researching, writing and publishing.  We will continue tomorrow....fingers crossed, they will all be done before Winter Break!

## Tuesday, December 18, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in PE.  While they were gone, I began reviewing the rough drafts, for the first three sections of the tech tool writing piece, of the students who thought they were done.  I discovered that the third section, the paragraph of the tech tool as it is in the present, was not what I had anticipated.  This led me to check through the research links, in preparation for conferencing with these students after PE.

I discovered that deciding which information was the most current and being able to decipher what the articles were saying was quite challenging.  Therefore, when the children got back from PE, I taught them how to skim and scan for key words (such as modern), in order to identify the correct information for the third paragraph.

The rest of the reading and writing block involved students reading about their tools to gain more information and then writing  and revising their first three paragraphs.  I worked with individuals, as needed, to help locate information, revise sentence structure, reorganize their facts within their writing, etc., etc.

At the end of  the block, I felt we had made some progress.  I also decided that after writing their rough drafts, all revisions would be done on the lap tops...to help reduce frustration and speed up the overall process.

Therefore, over the next three days, our primary focus will be completing (fingers crossed) this written component of the tech tool research project.

In math the students completed their presentations which they started yesterday.  Then some groups shared them.

Following lunch and recess we visited Mr. Vogel's to discuss the expectations that are involved with the privilege of iPad use.  Then Mr. Vogel shared different gaming systems from the past, including Atari, Nintendo 64 and Play Station.  He identified the changes that were made and explained the human wants that caused the improvements.

We ended the day with a FABULOUS assembly.  We were treated to a scientific skateboard show called Wondergy.  The presenters were very engaging and explained the science behind helmets and certain skateboard tricks.  It was really well done!

Unfortunately, we ran out of time for me to assign homework...so tonight is homework free!  Sorry about that!  :-)

## Monday, December 17, 2012

### Monday

We began our day with our regular class meeting.  We started with a group share where children completed the statement, "I am lucky because...".  After that, we shared compliments and challenges.  Once again, the research/writing project emerged as a challenge for many students.

So, we began our reading and writing block by reviewing the requirements for each paragraph.  I reminded the students that the first paragraph was brief and should include the topic and how changes have improved it.  The second paragraph needs to state who invented it and when, how it works and what human wants or needs created a need for improvements or changes.  The third paragraph should include the most recent version, who invented it and when, how it works and what makes it better than in the past.  I also created a sign up for students who need one-on-one help from me.

After that, we reviewed how text features clarify information in non-fiction text.  Then we read an article about the Florida Everglades and noticed how the text features (especially photographs and maps) helped us, as readers, to understand the text.   We also tied in the idea that the changes in the Everglades were brought about by human wants and needs...just like our tech tools...I pointed out that really, humans wants and needs drive changes in our society everyday!

While I meet with individual students and reading groups the children worked on independent reading group assignments and their tech tools research and writing project.

Snakes:  They read pages 8-10 after highlight the -sh and-ing chunks, using highlighting tape.

Sharks:  They wrote a summary of their book, in the RRJ.

Cheetahs:  These students read chapter 2 and explained the title of the chapter using information from it.

Yellow Jackets:  These children read chapter 6 and explained what Seb will be doing on Saturdays from now on.

In math we calculated the area of  rectilinear (real word!) figures by splitting them into rectangles first.  Below is an example of a rectilinear figure!

After working with the class to identify the area of the rectilinear figure above in several different ways, the children worked in groups, using the iPad, to calculate the area of a different rectilinear figure.  We will share these tomorrow, in class.

There is an area worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students, working with Mr. Vogel's class, completed a service project for the Damascus Senior Center, as part of Mrs. Howard's guidance lesson.  The reindeer the students made will be given to those at the center as a holiday gift.﻿
﻿

Aren't they cute???

We ended the day by learning about the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas).  We watched a video segment and then visited this cool web site.

Just a quick note...

I appreciate you trusting me with your children each and every day!  I truly love working with each and every one of them!

I did not hear any students discussing Friday's horrendous and horrific events.  I just thought I would mention that, because as a parent myself, I am wondering what my kindergartner's day was like today.

Also, we will be using this week to try to tie up loose ends...I am hoping to finish the writing project...fingers crossed...and reading groups will not receive a new book, once they finish their current one, until we return from Winter Break.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, at dana_c_holman@mcpsmd.org﻿

## Thursday, December 13, 2012

### A Lesson in Perseverance!

I'm quite sure your children will fill you in when they get home, but today was kinda crazy!  This morning, around 11:00, we lost partial power in our classroom and no Internet access.  Then, this afternoon, we lost all of our power until 3:00ish.  Though it all, we pressed on with our learning tasks!!!

After going to art, we returned to the classroom and I passed back the children's writing journals in which I had provided feedback on the children's second paragraph of their tech tools project.  Then we reviewed the requirements and revisited my model paper.  Next, I modeled writing the third paragraph, about the present tech tool, for the class.

The students then finished making their cards for the cancer patients and attempted to gather more research for their tech tool writing pieces so they could make the improvements that my feedback indicated needed to be made.  Unfortunately, the power thing happened...

In math, we used our basic fact knowledge and square tiles to construct rectangles with a given area.  The students then drew pictures of the rectangles on graph paper and wrote an equation to match their drawing.  There is a worksheet for homework similar to their classwork.  We will have a quiz tomorrow.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students returned to our classroom and worked on cards for the cancer patients...with all of the power issues, working on the writing piece was just too frustrating.  During this time I met with several reading groups.

Sharks:  We reviewed their answers to question 4 (homework from a few nights ago) and practiced retelling the story in preparation to write a summary next week.

Snakes:  We reviewed the -sh and-ch digraphs and reread pages 2-6, focusing on fluency.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed unknown words from chapter 1, retold the chapter and discussed the main character.

We ended the day with science (and power!).  We reviewed the meaning of mixture and reviewed which substance would be easiest to remove (rocks) and the observable property that made this so (the size of the rocks).  Then the children worked in groups to remove the rocks from their mixture.  They are now left with a mixture of sand and slat...stay tuned...we will separate these!

I will be out of the building tomorrow...so there will not be a blog post.  Students will focus on getting the 3 paragraphs of their writing pieces complete.  There will be a quiz in math that will not be scored and returned until Monday (sorry).  Also, they will read about the "wonders" of Africa and identify which "wonder" they think is the most spectacular.

Have a great weekend!

## Wednesday, December 12, 2012

### Wonderful Wednesday

The children began their day in the media center.

When they returned to class we gained some background knowledge about Africa by viewing a PowerPoint of photographs taken of the continent and locating the continent using Google Earth.  After that, we used text features to identify the meaning of the word continent, to help us clarify information we read about Africa using the online Encyclopedia Britannica article.

Next, I shared a student's writing sample, written by one of our classmates yesterday, of their introductory section for the tech tools research piece.  After that, we revisited the Heating and Cooling mentor writing piece and identified what information was contained in the second paragraph, about the past.  Then, using our observations, I modeled writing a paragraph about the past, using my topic, football helmets.

Independent work, today, will include the students drafting their paragraph about the past of their tech tool, making a card for the cancer patients and gluing their letter inside, and using Google Earth and the online Encyclopedia Britannica to learn more about Africa, on the iPads.

This morning I met with small groups of students to work on their writing pieces.

In math we used our knowledge of area to solve a word problem.  The lesson can be viewed here.  Unfortunately, the lesson took longer than anticipated and we did not cover enough material for the classwork or homework I had planned.  SO, for homework tonight, the children should go to the virtual manipulative web site and practice using the site.  I would LOVE for students to construct a rectangle using counters (on the site) and write an equation to represent the area and then print it and bring it in...HOWEVER...this is NOT required!

For example, they could construct a rectangle with 3 rows of 7 counters in each row.  The equation would be 3x7=21ft.sq.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I worked with small groups of students on their research and writing.  Therefore, reading groups did not meet.

We ended the day with science.  First, the students discussed how to separate their mixtures into their original components...BUT, then I ADDED another component to each group's mixture.  So, the new mixtures all contain rocks, sand and salt.  The students then began brainstorming testable ways to separate their new mixtures.  Stay tuned...

## Tuesday, December 11, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

The children began their day in PE.

When they returned to class, we began by brainstorming common text features found in non-fiction text.  Then I explained that online text uses those features PLUS more.  Using the article, "Africa" on Encyclopedia Britannica, we investigated how speaking tools and links can help clarify information.

After that, we reexamined the first paragraph in the mentor text, "Heating and Cooling" and identified that we needed to state our research topic and how improvements made it better as we drafted the first couple of sentences in our piece.

While I met with small groups the students drafter the first couple of lines of their tech tools research paper in their writing journal.  They also worked on individual reading group assignments.  Finally, they fixed spelling in their reading and writing journals and completed any unfinished work.

Cheetahs:  I gave a brief introduction to their new book, The Secret.  In class they read chapter 1 and identified any unknown words on a sticky note.  For homework, they need to reread chapter 1 and write a summary in their RRJ.

Writing small group:  We worked on drafting their first sentence for the tech tool research piece.

In math we used an online multiplication game to practice using strategies and solve basic multiplication facts.  There is a basic fact worksheet, for 7s, for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students continued their independent work while I met with more groups.

Sharks:  Independently they read pages 10-12 and wrote what happened in their RRJ.  IN group we read pages 12-16 and discussed the events of each page.  For homework they need to reread pages 12-16 and answer question #4 (from the back of the book) on a sticky note.

Yellow Jackets:  Independently they read chapter 4 and completed a vocabulary entry in their RRJ for guide and collapse.  In group we discussed chapter 4 and identified the secret (the hinge).  For homework they need to read chapter 5 and identify the tricky part on a sticky note.

Snakes:  Independently they used highlighting tape to highlight the -ch and -sh digraphs on pages 2-6 in their new book.  In group we reviewed the sounds that -ch and -sh make and then read and discussed pages 2-6.  For homework the group needs to reread pages 2-6 and write Eric's two problems on a sticky note.

After a lecture from me about being trustworthy and completing all assigned work before going to the "reading" corner, we made mixtures in science.  Tomorrow we will brainstorm ideas of how to separate these mixtures back into their original state.

## Monday, December 10, 2012

### Marvelous Monday

We began our day, and our week, with a class meeting.  The students chose to have our group share be about our weekend.  After that, we exchanged compliments and discussed challenges.  I was so proud of the class, because our challenges did not focus on behaviors, but instead revolved around academic struggles.

The children are frustrated with certain aspects of the research project and with using partial products multiplication.  The fact that students were willing to express concerns about their learning has enlightened me to struggles that I will now plan for in my instruction!  SO exciting!!

After our class meeting, I demonstrated how to make the candy cane reindeer which we will give to the caner patients at Johns Hopkins.  Then the children began making them.  Below are some pictures.

The project took a bit longer than expected, but the reindeer sure are cute!

We skipped over whole group lessons, we will fit them in during the week, and went straight to independent work and small group instruction.

While I met with groups the students finished their research (fingers crossed!), completed individual reading group assignments and practiced writing the lower case letters o, c and q in cursive.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed the happenings in the Key in the Collar, and then reviewed the list of common themes in literature, which hangs in our classroom.  Then we talked about which theme we thought fit the book.  After that, the students wrote in the RRJ about the theme of the book which they thought fit best and used details from the book to explain their thinking.﻿

In math we reviewed strategies for memorizing the 7's facts using a multiplication chart.  Then we used number family spinners to practice writing the multiplication and division facts.  Whichever number the spinner landed on HAD to be the first number in the equation.  For example, if the spinner contains a 35, 7 and 5 and the spinner lands on 35, the possible equations include:  35 = 7x5, 35=5x7, 35 (divided by)7 = 5 and 35 (divided by) 7 = 5.

While the students used the spinners with partners, Mrs. Head pulled a group to work on word problems and I pulled a group to practice using the partial product multiplication strategy.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students continued their independent work, while I met with more groups.

Yellow Jackets:  Independently, they read chapter 3 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  In group we reread chapter 3 and identified synonyms for vocabulary throughout the chapter.  We also reviewed the format for a vocabulary entry in the RRJ...they will need this for tomorrow's independent work.

Sharks:  Independently the students reread pages 2-6 and identified the problem in the RRJ.  IN group we reviewed the problem in the story.  Then we read pages 6-9 and used visualization to help us retell pats of the story.  We also reviewed the fact that  when the letter c is followed by an e or an i, the c makes the s sound (ex. nice, place, etc.).

Snakes:  The children reread their book and, using highlighter tape, highlighted the -er, -ir and-ur combinations.  In group we discussed the sound these letter combinations make and how recognizing the combinations make reading easier.  Then we practiced using this strategy.  I collected their books and some children chose to bring home a book about the White House that I promised to read with them.  WE will all get a new book tomorrow.

We ended the day by defining the scientific terms mixture and solution.   The difference between the two is a mixture can be separated back out into the original states of the materials put together, a solution can not.  Then I modeled making a mixture out of gravel, sand and salt.  Tomorrow the students will be making a mixture and separating the parts back out.

For homework the students need to complete the two BLANK spinners using fact families and then write EIGHT equations for each spinner.  We went over this homework SEVERAL times in class and I modeled it, too.

## Friday, December 7, 2012

### TGIF

After beginning the day in music, the students returned to class to review affixes (prefixes and suffixes).  Following a review mini-lesson, the children worked collaboratively, in small groups, to complete a word map for an assigned affix.

Their assignment included; taking a picture of the task, cropping the picture and importing it into Penultimate (an iPad app).  Then they had to define the affix, identify three words that sue the affix, draw a picture and write a sentence for one of their identified words without the affix and then with the affix.

We shared most of the groups work via the ELMO.

In math we took our third quiz for this marking period.  They are scored and should be in the math section of your child's binder.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, we brainstormed ideas we could write in our holiday letters for the cancer patients.  Then I modeled writing my own letter.  While I met with small groups the children completed their tech tool research, completed reading assignments from yesterday and wrote their holiday letter for the cancer patients.

Sharks:  I collected their technology books and introduced their next boo, Alligator in the Bathtub.  We did a picture walk and I introduced the word visible.  Then we read up to page 6.

Snakes:  We discussed how training our minds to identify suffixes, such as -ing, can make breaking down a word easier.  Then we read through our book and highlighted -ing endings using highlighter tape.

We ended the day by looking over, discussing and voting on craft ideas.  The students really liked a candy penguin that a parent shared and we are currently searching for the directions/ingredient list.

## Thursday, December 6, 2012

### Thursday

This morning the children began their day in art.  When we returned to class we reviewed the central message in the play, "The Calabash Kids".  Then we compared that play to the other play we've read, "The Hidden One".  Both plays were written by the same author and we sued the comparison to gain more information and a deeper understanding of both plays.

Our whole group writing lesson involved us evaluating the first paragraph of the mentor writing piece, "Heating and Cooling".  We identified that this paragraph clearly stated the topic of the piece AND how improvements made by technology benefited user of the tool.

While I worked with small groups, the children continued gathering research using the Internet and books.  They also completed individual reading groups assignments.

Cheetahs:  Reread chapter 5 and wrote a summary of the chapter in their RRJ.

Sharks:  Revisited portions of the text to answer the "after" reading questions in their RRJ.

In math we reviewed using multiplication and partial products to determine the area of a given figure.  The children began a worksheet in class and they are to finish it for homework.  The last problem on the worksheet is a CHALLENGE problem that is OPTIONAL.  There will be a quiz tomorrow that will cover word problems and determining the are of a given figure.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued their independent work while I met with small groups.

Yellow Jackets:  These children read chapter 2 and wrote a summary of the chapter in their RRJ.

Snakes:  We identified the number of sounds (not necessarily letters) in words and used elkonin boxes to identify which letters spelled each sound.  Then we read and discussed pages 18-23.  For homework the students need to reread pages 18-23.

We ended the day by defining the concept of a geographic region.  Then we began identifying some of the common regions in the world.

## Wednesday, December 5, 2012

### Hump Day

Well, we are half way through our week and halfway through our research for the tech tools project!

The children began their day working with Mrs. Rose in the computer lab.  There they began researching their tech tool in the present.  Some questions and confusion arose.  SO, when we returned to class, I modeled researching my tool, the football helmet, in the present and adding the information to my graphic organizer.  Then we had a question/answer session.

Since the research lesson was fresh in their minds, the children then went straight to independent work.

Independent work included reading groups assignments and continuing their research for their tech tool.

Sharks:  We reviewed last night's homework and then the children read "Getting Around" independently and we discussed how getting around has changed, in group.

Yellow jackets:  The children read chapter 1 and identified the main characters and problem.  Then, in group, we discussed the main characters, the setting and the problem.

In math we used multiplication to calculate the area of a rectangle.  You can view the lesson here (it's not pretty...we had some distractions!  :-) )  While the students worked independently I met with two small groups.  The first reviewed today's lesson.  The second used multiplication to solve a problem of the day.  There is a worksheet, focusing on the 9s multiplication facts, for homework.

After enjoying lunch and outdoor recess, Mrs. Howard visited to do a lesson about responsibility.  Please make sure your child talks to you about the "I Am Responsible" worksheet they received in class and ADD to it!

We ended the day by charting the changeable and non changeable physical properties of a pencil.

## Tuesday, December 4, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

The sun is shining...and the Redskins beat the Giants!!!  Of course, it will be a terrific day!  :-)

After going to PE and participating in our December fire drill, the children returned to class and we finished reading the play called The Calabash Kid.  After discussing the central message and using context clues to determine the meaning of calabash, we moved on to writing.

In writing we reviewed the idea of transitional, or linking, words and phrases.  Then we examined their use in the sample writing piece Heating and Cooling.

While I meet with small groups, the students will glue a list of linking words and phrases into their writing journal, they will complete their research on the past section of the tech tool graphic organizer, they will complete individual reading group assignments and they will highlight linking words and phrases in the Heating and Cooling writing sample.

Sharks:  We reviewed last night's homework and then read about improvements made to playgrounds.  For homework they need to read pages 12-13 and identify the problem with the design of the bike.

In math we watched a video lesson about using partial products to quickly solve multiplication facts with 6 or 7 as a factor.  View the lesson here.  Then the children completed two problems, independently, using this strategy.  There is a basic fact worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students continued their independent work, while I met with reading groups.

Yellow Jackets:  The students received new books.  We discussed grandparents and great-grandparents to activate background knowledge for the new book called Saturdays with Pop.  For homework the students need to read chapter 1.

Cheetahs:  The children used last night's homework to write summaries of chapter 4.  Those who didn't finish will need to do so for homework.  In group we discussed the problem of the book, which is the mystery surrounding the key on the dog's collar.

Snakes:  Independently they circled the letters in their word lists from homework that produced the long e sound.  We went over these in group.  Then we read pages 12-17.  For homework they need to reread pages 4-17 and list all words with the long a sound.

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of observable physical properties and beginning a discussion about how applying heat could change these.

PLEASE NOTE:  I have rearranged the "pages" on the blog to help you locate links to lessons and web sites easier.  As always, I would love to hear feedback!!

## Monday, December 3, 2012

### Marvelous Monday

We began our day with a class meeting.  After having a group share, where each child shared what they did over the weekend, we jumped right into planning our holiday action project.  We decided we would definitely make cards for the patients.  Then we brainstormed a list of ideas for the craft part of our project.

In reading, we received a new play called, "The Calabash Kids".  We began reading through it and suing the text to form inferences and make predictions.  We will finish our read-through tomorrow.

Next, we read through a "mentor" piece of writing which we will use to guide both our research and our informative writing about our tech tool.  We analyzed the purpose of the introductory paragraph and noted what questions we would need to answer while conducting our research.  These questions included; What was the tool like?  Who invented it?  When?  Why?  What were the challenges that required technology to invent something to replace it?

While I met with reading groups the students worked on independent reading group activities, continued researching their tech tools and practiced writing a, d and g in cursive.

Sharks:The children reread pages 4-5 and named 2 examples of technology that surprised them.  Then we discussed this in group.  After that we read pages 6-7.  For homework they need to reread pages 6-7 and explain how computers have changed, on the sticky note I provided.

We began math with our usual warm up.  After that, I introduced a basic fact and logic game called Ken Ken.  Then we visited the book fair in the media center.  When we returned to class, we played two games of Ken Ken as a whole group.  For homework, I would like the children to visit the Ken Ken site and play 1 game.  Children who can not access the Internet should have a parent write a short note and sign it, in their planner.

Following lunch and recess, the children continued their independent work, while I met with more small groups.

Yellow Jackets:  These students read the Bath time section and wrote a main idea statement in their RRJ.  Then, in group, we read and discussed the Fall of Rome.  Tonight they need to compare/contrast at least 2 characteristics of the Roman Empire to present day using at least 2 words from the glossary correctly.  This should be done in their RRJ in a paragraph.

Cheetahs:  They read chapter 2 and answered the question, "What is mighty important?" in their RRJ.  Then we read chapter 3 in group.  For homework they need to read chapter 4 and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.

Snakes:  We read up to page 11 and answered questions using the text.  Tonight they need to reread pages 4-11 and write words with the long e sound, from those pages, on the sticky note I provided.

We ended the day with a science lesson!!!  We defined the concept of observable properties and actions that we can take to change some.  Then the students chose an item around the room and identified an observable property.

## Friday, November 30, 2012

### Fabulous Friday

This morning, after going to music, we revisited the play, "The Hidden One" and reviewed the points of view of the sister and Little Scarface in regards to meeting and marrying The Hidden One.  Then we recognized the theme was good (Little Scarface) versus Evil (Sister).  We also determined that good had one...thus getting at the central message of the text...do the right thing, it pays off in the end!    The children learned that through the character's actions, words and points of view, we can determine the central message in fiction.

Next, we revisited the tech tools research project Power Point to determine what questions we would need to keep in mind as we read about our tools.  I modeled using links (included on this blog) to research my topic (football helmet) and add important information to the graphic organizer.  I focused on answering who, what, when, why questions and writing my notes in phrases and in my own words.

While I met with small groups the children completed reading assignments from yesterday and began researching their topics using the iPads.

Sharks:  I collected The Shoeshine Girl book and gave the group time to preview their next book, which is non-fiction, called, Using Technology and Design.  Then we did a prereading activity where we brainstormed technology we use during different parts of our day.  After that we read pages 2 and 3 and orally answered questions that forced the students to revisit the text.

In math we took our second quiz for this marking period.  They have been scored and returned to the children.  They should be stored in the math section of their binder.

After enjoying lunch and recess, we had a fire drill.  When we returned inside, the children continued their independent work while i met with small groups.

Yellow Jackets:  We reviewed pages 24 and 25 and discussed identifying the main idea.  I handed back their main idea statements and had the children rewrite them, using the feedback I gave in group today.

Cheetahs:  WE began a new book called The Key on the Collar.  We read chapter 1 and discussed the non literal language...specifically Chad saying the key was a medal for bravery for following his brother and understanding the boys expected the dog to stay since they were planning to name him in the morning.  This group decodes well, but struggles with non literal language.

Snakes:  We began a new, non fiction book called, Vehicles for Fun and Sport.  We defined the word vehicle and identified those pictured on pages 4 and 5.  Then we began reading page 4.

We ended the day by viewing a population density map of the United States and drawing some conclusions about it.  Important points included that the 13 original colonies were on the east coast and that, along with being close to water,  helps explain why it is so densely populated.

## Thursday, November 29, 2012

### Thriving Thursday

The children began their day in art where they began their pottery unit.  This is messy work so they stayed in art a bit longer, which cut into our whole group reading and writing block.  Therefore, we postponed our reading lesson until tomorrow and focused on the research project.

SO...we were fortunate that Mrs. Rose bought some books specifically with the third grade research project in mind and they arrived this week.  The books are fantastic but added a twist to our plan.  They introduced new concepts/technology tools that we had not thought of before.

Therefore, we literally regrouped.  The children chose between four groups; home/transportation, media, arts and education/work.  They got into these groups and used books, Live Binder and Internet sites to create a list of tools changed by technology.  Then they each chose a tool to research and made group lists to hand into me.

This was quite a process but it was pretty cool how the children and I worked together setting the parameters and figuring out how to organize the tasks.  It truly was a group effort.

After they submitted their groups lists, the children worked on independent reading group assignments and unfinished work (cursive, WOW papers and simile paper from two weeks ago!).

Yellow Jackets:  Reread pages 24 and 25 and wrote a main idea statement, in the RRJ, for me to assess.

Cheetahs:  Answered the BCR, in their RRJ, "What is the author's point of view?  Use specific details from the book to explain your answer."

Sharks:  Answered the BCR, in their RRJ, "Explain how Sarah Ida changed in the book.  Use specific details to explain your answer."

In math we reviewed the relationship between multiplication and division and practiced rewriting division equations as multiplication.  Mrs. Head worked with a small group identifying the unknowns in word problems and figuring out how to find the answer.  I worked with a group to identify the factors of a given number.  There will be a quiz tomorrow and all students had a worksheet for homework...some will practice their basic facts.  Others will practice finding factors of a number.

The afternoon proved to be interesting...the students continued meeting in their groups and choosing the technology tool they will research.  I had then planned to meet with small groups...however, many students were facing challenges with independent work that left them frustrated.  So, I ended up helping individuals figure out what they needed to do to complete assigned tasks.  I also took the opportunity to meet with each student and go through their unfinished work folder.

WE ended the day by reviewing natural and human made geographic characteristics as we "visited" DC and Hawaii by watching "Digging America".

## Wednesday, November 28, 2012

### Wonderful Wednesday!!!

The children began their day in the media center.  When they returned to class we reviewed the idea of all stories having a central message.  Then I explained that, often, the author uses characters words and actions to demonstrate their point of view about a situation and thus convey the central message.  After I felt the children had a good grasp of that idea, the worked in their table groups to analyze the words of a character (either the sister or Little Scarface) and highlight those that show how that sister feels about meeting the Hidden One.

After that, I reviewed how to use Live Binder and the technology links to choose a research topic and list tools that go with that topic.  I also introduced a new WOW word, ponder (to think deeply) and new cursive letters, f, p and j.

While I meet with groups, the children will use Live Binder and the links to choose a topic and list tools.  They will also complete a WOW worksheet for ponder and they will practice writing f, p and j in cursive.

Sharks:  We reviewed The Package using their B/M/E drawings.  Then they wrote a summary of the chapter in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed the heading, topic sentences and repeated words from pages 12-14.  Then we shared the main idea statements they wrote, the other day, and identified highlights and recommended changes for each.

In math, the students used a story to solve word problems.  This is a graded assignment.  Not all students finished, so I will provide more time, in class, tomorrow.  There is a basic fact worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with small groups.

Yellow Jackets:  We used last night's homework to identify a main idea statement for pages 22 and 23.  Then the students returned to their seats to read pages 24 and 25.  They also identified the heading, topic sentences and repeated words and phrases in their RRJ.  If they didn't finish it in class, they are expected to complete it for homework.

Snakes:  We orally reviewed the setting, main characters and beginning, middle and end of their book.  Then the children used their book, and our discussion, to complete a story map.  We will begin a new book tomorrow!

We ended the day a bit differently today.  I shared a music video of pediatric cancer patients from Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, dancing to the pop tune "What Makes You Beautiful".  Then we discussed the overall feeling of the video.  I explained that after seeing this video it made me want to do something to make a difference.  So, during this holiday season, we, as a class, would make cards and a craft to brighten the days of the patients undergoing treatments in the pediatric oncology center at Hopkins.  We are going to determine the specifics, as a class, during our regularly scheduled class meeting on Monday.  I shared the video today to give the students time to think about ideas for our projects.

## Tuesday, November 27, 2012

### Rainy Tuesday

After going to PE, the children returned to the room and we reviewed the idea that character traits are words that describes how a character behaves or acts.  Then we revisited the play, "The Hidden One" and identified character traits of the Sister and SPECIFIC examples of words and actions, in the play, that prove those traits.

After that, we reviewed yesterday's lesson about exploring Live Binder and choosing a topic and listing tools that they read about in the topic they chose.

While I met with small groups the students chose another character from "The Hidden One" and identified a character trait and evidence of that trait from the play.  They also chose a research topic and listed tools.

Yellow Jackets:  I captured today's reading group lesson using Educreations.  We reviewed what to use in order to determine the main idea in text and then we identified the main idea using the children's homework from last night.  Tonight the students are expected to read pages 22 and 23 and write the heading, the topic sentences and repeated words and phrases, from that section, in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed how to determine the main idea in text.  Feel free to view a similar lesson here.  Then we began to share the children's main idea from homework last night but ran out of time.  We will finish this tomorrow, in group.  For homework the children need to reread the book and identify two things they learned, in their RRJ.

In math we practiced using strategies to solve for unknowns in multiplication and division equations AND explaining our thinking.  Then the students worked in small groups, to solve for an unknown using and explaining a strategy of their choice and capturing it on Educreations.  We shared some of the groups' presentations before going to lunch.  There is a worksheet for homework.

After enjoying lunch and indoor recess, Mrs. Howard returned to do a make up lesson about responsibility and bullying.  The final part of the lesson involved the children making anti-bullying bumper stickers.  Here are some:

After Mrs. Howard left we voted on our star students for November.  These students, AF and LT, demonstrated responsibility during this past month!

We ended the day by finishing the Power Point about the human made wonders of the United States.  You can view it here.

## Monday, November 26, 2012

### The Monday After...

It was a quiet morning, as the students and myself seemed to be recovering from the long Thanksgiving weekend.  We began with a class meeting.  First, we had a group share where each child "shared" one or two things about their Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  Then we exchanged a few compliments.

After that, we read through the play, "The Hidden One: A Native American Tale".  Then we identified setting as where and when a story takes place.  I explained that scenes in plays change as the setting changes.  So we revisited the play to begin identifying the different scenes.  Then the children worked in small groups to identify the remaining scenes.  Finally, we shared our results.

Next, we reviewed the technology tools research project that we are beginning.  I reminded the children how to access Live Binder and explained that they would be choosing a topic group today.  Unfortunately, after the lesson, I discovered that the Internet was down and we would need to move on to plan B.  So, students will visit Live Binder and choose their topic groups tomorrow.

While I met with small groups the children worked on individual reading group assignments and illustrated one of the scene from the play, "The Hidden One".

Sharks:  We read "The Package" in group and discussed how Sarah Ida has changed and the symbolism of Al giving her his medal.  For homework they need to reread the chapter and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.

In math we reviewed identifying the knowns and unknowns in word problems and then writing equations to solve them, during our warm up.  Then the students completed a multiplication chart, to practice their basic facts, while Mrs. Head and I met with small groups.  My group reviewed identifying multiples of a given number and then identified the LCM of numbers.  We also reviewed factorization.  Everyone has a basic facts practice worksheet for homework.

After enjoying lunch and outdoor recess, Mrs. Howard visited us to do a lesson about personal safety.  Ask your child about the ABC's of Personal Safety!

Sharks:  Listed above
Snakes: reread pages 12-16 (fluency!!)
Cheetahs:  Reread pages 12-14 write main idea statement on sticky note
Yellow Jackets:  Reread page 20 write main idea statement on sticky note

We ended the day by "visiting", via Power Point presentation,  some of the human made "wonders" of the United States.  These included the Brooklyn Bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore and The Hoover Dam.

## Wednesday, November 21, 2012

### Grandparent's Day

The children began their day in the media center.  When they returned to the classroom, we had a full house!!  It was great to have so many grandparents visiting us...and we put them to work!  :-)

I began by explaining our next research project to the entire group.  Then I shared an inspiration that hit me this morning, while the kids were at the media center.  I decided to have the children get ideas from the grandparents as to how technology has changed tools in education, entertainment and the arts.  So, the children and adults worked in small groups, using the iPads, to create Venn Diagrams and comparison charts, identifying technological tools used long ago, used today and those that were used during both time frames.

Here are some pictures:

Then we gathered together and shared the small groups' ideas and charted them on a Venn Diagram using a software package called Kidspiration.  It proved to be a GREAT discussion and we now have a wonderful list of technology tools to research.

After the grandparents left, it was time for math.  We only had 10 students.  So each student got an Ipad and practiced their multiplication facts using an online game.

After enjoying lunch, the students packed up and headed home for Thanksgiving Break.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!﻿

## Tuesday, November 20, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

The children began their day in PE.  When they returned to the classroom, we watched the second scene of the Snow White play we began yesterday.  After that, each student received a copy of the play, "The Hidden One".  This is a play based on the Native American folktale titled The Rough Face Girl.  We discussed a few structural aspects, including characters being listed before the script begins, how dialogue is written with character's name set off by a colon, and that the words in parenthesis are giving directions to the actor and should not be spoken aloud.

After that I reminded the children about the next research based project we will be working on in class.  I showed the children the new Live Binder and explained how to explore it in order to choose their topic.

While I meet with small groups today, the children will finish publishing their facing the unknown writing piece.  They will also explore Live Binder and choose a topic.

Yellow Jackets:  We met and reviewed strategies for identifying the main idea.  Then we shared several of the main ideas, written by students, for homework last night.  We discussed what they did well and what needed to be changed.

In math we reviewed the many strategies we have learned to solve multiplication problems.  We listed these on the board and discussed each.  Then the children played a game practicing the 9's basic facts and talking about the strategies they used to solve the problems.

After enjoying lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with groups.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed the main ideas that the children wrote for homework last night.  We identified both the positive and negative aspects of each.

Sharks:  I reviewed, scored and provided feedback on their summaries for the chapter called, "A Letter".

Snakes:  I modeled retelling up to page 11 and asked a few questions, forcing the children to locate answers in the text.  Then we read the rest of the book using decoding strategies to break apart unknown words.  Finally I had them reread the last page to explain what was funny (the prize was sunglasses).  PLEASE have them reread the book at least once a day over break!

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of population distribution and some of the factors affecting it.  Then we began reading a non-fiction book about a family traveling from Chicago to New Jersey.

## Monday, November 19, 2012

### Marvelous Monday

This morning we began with a class meeting.  First, we completed a "group share" where most of us finished the phrase, "I am thankful for...".  Then we shared compliments.  After that, we discussed the challenge of being honest.  We defined the idea of honesty and discussed why it is important to be honest.  Finally, students shared times they were honest and how it felt to tell the truth.

Next we moved on to our reading/writing block.  We began the reading portion by viewing part of the play, "Snow White".  The we compared plays to books and defined vocabulary specific to a play.

After that, I showed the children a Power Point presentation explaining our next research project.  Just like our community action research project from the first marking period, I will guide the students through the entire process.

The students will choose a technology tool to research and then write an informative piece about that tool as it was in the past, as it exists now and how human wants and needs drove the technological changes the tool went through.  Then the students will work with a small group to write and perform a skit incorporating the tools researched by their group members.

As I said, this will take the entire marking period.  I will guide the students through the process and model the steps along the way.

While I met with small groups, the students completed their facing the unknown rough drafts.  Then they met in small groups and conferenced using a chart provided by me to guide them through the process.  After that, they will revise their piece and publish it on the lap tops.  They also had individual reading group assignments.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed strategies to help us determine the main idea of text.  Then we read page 9 and identified the topic sentences.  For homework, the students need to read pages 9-11 and attempt to identify the main idea of the section, on the sticky note provided.

In math we watched an audio-visual presentation about patterns on the hundreds chart used for memorizing basic multiplication facts for 2, 5 and 9.  You can view it here.   Then the children identified the facts, independently, on their own hundreds chart.  Mrs. Head pulled a small group to review identifying the knowns and unknowns in word problems.  I pulled a small group to practice identifying the factors of a given number.  There is a worksheet for homework practicing the 8's basic facts.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students continued working on their writing and reading assignments.

Sharks:  We reviewed the beginning, middle and end that most students drew on Friday for the chapter titled, "A Letter".  There was a lot of confusion.  So we reread parts of the chapter together and independently, searching for answers to questions I posed to the group.  WE also orally rehearsed a summary for the chapter.  This evening the students need to reread the chapter and write a summary in their RRJ.

Yellow Jackets:  We discussed identifying the main idea in a section of text by noticing repeated words and phrases, topic sentences and the heading.  Using those ideas, the children should see how it all fits together or the common thread that the rest of the text, in that section, supports.  For homework, the children need to reread pages 14-19 and write a main idea statement on the sticky note provided in class.

Snakes: we began to discuss retelling sections of text when half the group was pulled to go to another teacher.  Tonight, please have them reread up to page 11 working on fluency.

We ended the day by discussing the idea of population distribution and factors that affect it, both today and in years past.

## Friday, November 16, 2012

### TGIF

The students began their day in music.  After that, we revisited both "Mummy Slept Late so Dad Fixed Breakfast" and "The Myra Song".  We used our comprehension of the poem to identify the themes of both; perseverance and acceptance.

After that we reviewed identifying the subject and the verb in a sentence.  Then we went through a PowerPoint presentation to learn about subject/verb agreement.  In short, we learned that a singular subject matched with a regular verb ending in -s.  A plural subject's verb does not end in -s.  Obviously, there are MANY exceptions, but this is what the basic rule boiled down to...personally, I think it is a good beginning to tackling a tough concept.

While I met with small groups, the students worked on completed their rough drafts, identifying two subject/verb agreements in their writing, and individual reading group assignments.

Sharks:  We met in group to begin reading the next chapter, "A Letter".  We practiced revisiting a past chapter to help us understand what was happening in the current chapter we are reading.  Independently the students finished reading the chapter and drew the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.

In math we took our first quiz of the second marking period.  The quizzes have been scored and returned to students.  They should be in the math section of your child's binder.

After enjoying lunch and recess the children continued the independent work from above, plus they had a chance to "play" with Google Maps using the iPads and I met with more groups.

Cheetahs:  Independently they read page 8 and wrote the main idea on a sticky note.  In group we reviewed what we use to determine the main idea; topic sentences, heading, repeated words and phrases and then consider how they all relate/connect.  Then we shared the children's work, discussing what they did well (one student actually got it perfectly!!!) and how they could improve what they had written.

Snakes:  The children read pages 8-11 independently.  Then we met in group to retell all the way up to page 11.  The children really struggled with this.  So we had a talk about what was causing the challenges.  This is a skill we will work on next week.

We ended the day by reviewing natural and human-made physical characteristics.  Then the students used Google Maps to identify 3 examples of both natural and human-made physical characteristics in our community (Damascus).

## Thursday, November 15, 2012

### Thriving Thursday

The children began their day in art.  When they returned we did a cool lesson, in my opinion, where the students illustrated a poem and then shared the key words or phrases that inspired them to draw their picture the way they did.  The purpose of this lesson was to help the children notice that words and phrases used by authors help us visualize and comprehend what we read.  In turn, we, as writers, need to choose our words carefully, so that our readers can visualize our writing as we did when we wrote it.  Wow, that was wordy...I hope it makes sense!  :-)  You can view the lesson here.

After that, I modeled using my storyboard to write a rough draft for our facing the unknown writing piece.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and did not get to small groups this morning.

In math we used patterns on a multiplication table and our knowledge of "easier" basic facts to solve more challenging facts.  You can view the lesson here BUT, I warn you, this isn't one of my smoother lessons!  Don't laugh too hard!  :-)

While the students practiced their 8's facts, Mrs. Head worked with a small group determining whether a word problem requires multiplication or division to find the answer.  I pulled a small group to review finding the least common multiple and then we began talking about factors and prime numbers.

Everyone has to finish the 8's basic fact worksheet for homework and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students worked on writing the rough draft for the facing unknown writing piece, using their storyboards.  I met with some groups.

Cheetahs:  We met and reread pages 5-7.  Then we identified words and phrases that were used repetitively and reread the topic sentence.  After that, I wrote a main idea statement.  Then we shared the main ideas they wrote last night for homework.  We discussed how to improve those statements which needed it and pointed out the positives, too!

Snakes:  We reviewed the -oi and -oa letter combinations.  Then we reread up to page 11, working on fluency.  Tonight the children need to reread up to page 11, again, working on fluency.

We ended the day by reviewing natural and human physical characteristics and then visited google maps to locate examples of these.

## Wednesday, November 14, 2012

### Wonderful Wednesday

This morning the students visited the media center. When they returned to class, we reviewed the idea of literal and non-literal language and then watched this video about metaphors and similes. After watching and discussing some key points from the video, we read a poem called, "The Myra Song" and identified the overall metaphor of the poem...comparing the girl to a song.

While I meet with small groups, the students will finish their storyboard planning sheet for their next writing piece and complete individual reading group assignments.

Sharks: We met and reviewed their beginning, middle and end pictures and sentences for Across the Railroad Tracks. For homework they need to use our discussion, the text AND their pictures to write a summary of the chapter. Some students MAY have gotten a start in class...regardless, they should all finish/read the summary to an adult for homework this evening.

In math we reviewed yesterday's whole group lesson. Then the children practiced using the Cuisemaire Rods to create fact families, independently. Just an aside, the students were reminded that the lesson was captured on Educreations and they could revisit the lesson.

I pulled a small group to extend their math knowledge. My group practiced identifying the LCM (least common multiple) of two numbers. Mrs,. Head worked with two groups. The first group practiced turning around division equations to make them into multiplication equations. The second group wrote multiplication equations to represent the area of a given rectangle.

All students have a worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with more groups.

Cheetahs: Independently they identified text features in their new book and located the meaning of 3 vocabulary words. IN group we reviewed text features. Then we read the first section, pages 3-4, and used repeated words and phrases and topic sentences to identify the main idea. For homework they will read the next section, pages 5-7 and identify the main idea on the sticky note I provided.

Yellow Jackets:  The children read pages 4-7 and responded to two comprehension questions in their RRJ. (why is Rome called the eternal city and list 3 facts about the Roman Empire.)  For homework they need to read pages 8-12 and explain why aqueducts were so important, on a sticky note.

Snakes:  The children reread pages 2-7 independently.  In group we reviewed vocabulary from the text and then read pages 8-11.  For homework they need to reread pages 8-11 at least once (working on fluency) and retell what they read to an adult.

After our reading and writing block, I made some strategic desk moves in the classroom.  I'm pretty sure your child will share this news with you if it affected them!  :-)

Then we reviewed the concepts of natural (grass, trees, mountains, rivers, etc.) and human (road, school, traffic light, etc.) characteristics.  Please note that people and cars/trucks are NEITHER!

## Tuesday, November 13, 2012

### Tuesday - Early Dismissal

The children's day began in PE.  When they returned to class, we revisited the poem, "Mummy Slept Late So Daddy Fixed Breakfast".  We looked up the meaning of unknown words to help decipher the figurative language in the text.  This enabled us to make inferences, which we listed on a chart.  We will use these later in the week to determine the theme of the poem.

Next, we reviewed transition words and identified temporal words as those used that indicate a change in time or place.  I modeled adding some, and circling those I had already used, to my storyboard.

This morning, the children will complete their storyboards and add (or circle) temporal words.  They will also correct the "pink words" in their writing and RRJ journals and add these words to their personal dictionaries.

While the children worked independently, I met with one reading groups.

Cheetahs:  We revisited the final chapter in their book and discussed the implication of Ben referring to Gully as his birthday present.  Then the children shared whether or not they liked the book and why.  Finally, we identified the author's message/theme of the book.  We will begin a new text tomorrow.

In math we used cuisenaire rods to further reinforce the relationship between multiplication and division.  You can view the lesson here. The students will be practicing this skill. independently, in class, tomorrow.  We ran out of time today due to the early dismissal.  There is a basic fact worksheet for homework tonight.

After lunch the students packed up for dismissal.

## Monday, November 12, 2012

### Veteran's Day

Our morning began with our annual Flag Raising Ceremony in  recognition of Veteran's Day.  After the ceremony, we came in and discussed the meaning of the holiday and the children had the opportunity to tell us about Veterans' who are part of their family.

Next we discussed the idea of a point of view.  We revisited Boy on High Dive, the Norman Rockwell painting from Friday and identified our (the audience's) point of view.  Then we read the narrative poem, "Harriet and the Promised Land", identified the author's point of view and recognised and shared out own points of view.

Then we moved on to our writing lesson.  In writing I modeled using our notes from small group discussions on Friday to complete story boards for our facing the unknown writing piece.

While the students worked on their storyboards and individual reading group assignments, I helped some students with their writing and met with one reading group.

Yellow Jackets:  I passed out a new book called Mighty Rome!.  We identified text features in the non-fiction book and briefly discussed the Roman Empire.

In math we reviewed the relationship between multiplication and division using word problems and fact families.  I also introduced the concept of a multiple (any whole number multiplied by another whole number) and we found multiples of 2 and 4.  There is no homework this evening.

After eating lunch, the students packed up for dismissal.

There is another early dismissal tomorrow!

## Friday, November 9, 2012

### TGIF

The students began their day in music.  When they returned to class we looked at a Norman Rockwell painting entitled, "Boy on the High Dive" and discussed what we saw.  We focused on the idea that this was probably the child's first time on a high dive and that he probably had mixed feelings....on one hand we appeared terrified in the picture, yet he most likely want to give it a try since he was on the diving board in the first place.

From there, we made connections to our next writing piece where our theme will be facing the unknown.  Then I modeled choosing my topic, discussing it with a partner (in my case, the class) and making notes as I talked.

After this lesson, we enjoyed the Key Note presentations that the students created, using the iPads, for their community action research project.  They were AWESOME!!!!  As an aside...we paused in the middle of the reading/writing block to do the presentations because that is when the iPads were available for our use!!  :-)

After completing our math warm up and reviewing last night's homework, I modeled writing a multiplication AND a division equation to solve the same word problem.  You can view the lesson here!  After that, the students got into groups of 3 or 4 and solved a similar problem using Educreations to capture their math discourse, as well as, their written work.  Before going to lunch, we shared some of the children's work.

Following outdoor recess, the students worked in small groups, choosing their writing topics, verbally telling the group about the experience from beginning to end, and taking bulleted notes about what they said.  Then they finished any incomplete assignments from the week.  I had hoped to meet with reading groups, but found myself working with small groups, telling their story and taking notes of the big events/ideas.

We ended the day by viewing a slide show presentation about teasing and bullying.  We began discussing bullying and will continue this during our class meeting on Monday.

## Thursday, November 8, 2012

### Sunny Thursday

The students began their day in art.  When they returned we revisited the narrative poem, "Fun" and identified the sequence of the poem on a storyboard graphic organize using temporal  words.  Then we discussed the theme of the poem.

After that I explained the differences between literal and non-literal language and introduced the concept of figurative language.  Then I explained that one type of figurative language is a simile which compares 2 seemingly unrelated objects using the word "like" or "as".  We then identified two similes in the poem, "Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast".

Finally, I explained that our next writing piece will begin with a theme.  The theme that all children will use is facing the unknown.  We discussed what this meant and I gave examples from my own life.

While I meet with small groups, the students will brainstorm a list of topics with the theme, "facing the unknown".  They will also complete an activity to help them better understand similes.  Finally, they will complete individual reading group tasks.

Sharks:  We met and reviewed their lists of unknown words from homework last night.  Then we discussed the events in the chapter called "The Accident" and identified how Sarah Ida has changed.  In class the students will read the next chapter, "Across the Railroad Tracks".  For homework they need to reread this chapter and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ and write one sentence for each.

In math we reviewed describing multiplication and division using parts and wholes.  Then we learned how to use multiplication to solve division problems.  You can view the lesson here.  The children had a follow up worksheet to complete while Mrs. Head and I met with small groups.  My small group used manipulatives to help write and solve equations representing word problems.  Mrs. Head's group worked on reviewing and practicing the strategies taught in today's lesson.  There is a fact family worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the children continued their independent work and I met with more groups.

Yellow Jackets:  We shared the facts they wrote for last night's homework.  Then the students worked with partners to review and revise the BCR they wrote about the author's message in the book.  When they were finished, they handed in both their BCR and their book.  The group will begin a new book tomorrow or early next week.

Cheetahs:  The students reread chapter 15 and prepared to discuss the last sentence in the chapter.  IN group we discussed that sentence, why Ben's parents would be shocked, and identified how these reasons illustrated the changes that have occurred in Ben.  Thought this discussion we had some friendly conflict as to what had and had not happened in the story.  So, we located places in the text that either proved or disproved ideas stated during our talk.  For homework the children need to read chapter 16 and explain why they did or didn't like the book, on the sticky note I gave them.

Snakes:  We reviewed the sound of the -sh digraph and then read and discussed pages 4-7.  For homework, they need to list all -sh words, from the book, on the sticky note I provided.  They also need to reread pages 2-7, working on fluency.

We ended the day by reviewing our new study skills; meta cognition and evaluation.  Then we reviewed what is considered a medical emergency.  Finally, we identified steps to take in a medical emergency (either find an adult or call 911).

## Wednesday, November 7, 2012

### We're Back!! Welcome to MP2!

Today marks the first day of the second marking period.

We began our day in the media center.  The students video taped their "I Pledge" statements which they wrote in class last week.

When we returned to class we reviewed the structure of a narrative story and then learned those of a narrative poem.  We learned that just like a story, a narrative poem has a title, characters, setting, problem and a solution.  Narrative poems have lines, instead of sentences, and stanzas, instead of paragraphs.  Also, these poems tend to have rhythm but they do not have to rhyme!

Next we turned our focus to themes in literature.  We defined theme as the central message, or lesson, that the author wants us to understand.  Then we listed common themes found in children's literature.  These included; good versus evil, treating all people equally, love and friendship, working hard pays off. showing respect for others and family traditions.

While I meet with small groups, the students will work on individual reading group activities and complete the fifth and final slide of the Key Note iPad presentation.

Sharks:  We met and discussed the symbolism of the medal in the chapter with that title.  WE also talked about the fact that Al's teacher believed in him and now he is believing in Sarah Ida and giving her a chance.  Independently the group will read "The Accident" and list unknown words.  They will reread that chapter for homework this evening.

In math we began with a formative, instead of a warm up.  The formative presented four word problems and 4 number sentences.  The students had to match the correct word problem and number sentence.  After that we reviewed multiplication and division as being inverse operations and related the fact families to those they worked with in second grade using addition and subtraction.

Students completed a follow up fact family worksheet while Mrs. Head and I pulled small groups.  My small group used manipulatives to model word problems and identify the correct number sentence needed to represent the problem.  Mrs. Head worked with small groups solving two step subtraction word problems and multiplication word problems.

There is a fact family worksheet for homework.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with more small groups.

Yellow Jackets:  Independently the students read chapter 16, the final chapter in the book.  They also wrote about the theme in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed the ending of the book and the theme.  For homework they need to read pages 107-113 and write 2 facts they learn about Christy Matthewson.

Cheetahs:  Independently the students reread chapter 14 and wrote about how Hana and Ben have changed in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed writing about change (needing to state how something was at the beginning and end in order to illustrate a change).  Then we began reading and discussing chapter 15.  For homework the children need to read pages 11-115, finishing the chapter.

Snakes:  Independently the children reread the Dogs book and wrote one fact for each section of the book.  In group we reviewed that headings began each section and discussed how we could identify the headings (bold print).  Then I collected the dog book and handed out our new book called The Energy Contest.  We began by building background knowledge by discussing different sources of energy; solar, batteries and electricity.  Then we did a picture walk to preview the book.  Next I introduced the diphthong -oi and we practiced writing words with -oi.  Finally, we read pages 2 and 3.  For homework the children need to reread pages 2-3 TWO times to work on fluency.

The end of our day was quite busy!  We voted on new star students for the month of October.  These students were selected for being consistently displaying respect towards themselves, their peers, adults and belongings.  Then we reviewed our work study skills from the first marking period; collaboration and analysis.  Next I introduced our next two work study skills; meta cognition (understanding how we best learn) and evaluation.  Finally, we identified the meaning and examples of medical emergencies.