Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Terrific Tuesday

This morning, in reading, we continued identifying the point of view (first or third person) in text. We read the book, I'm Not Oscar's Friend Anymore, and identified the point of view in which the book was written and how the book would be different if told from another character's point of view.

After that, we worked on identifying an opinion and a change we want regarding oil spills. Students will use these and the facts we gathered from the Oil Spill! book , also week, to complete a planning sheet for our first persuasive writing piece.

In math we began unit 4 with me passing out a packet of terms and ideas that will be covered in this unit. This valuable resource should be kept in each student's math section in their binder and used when necessary.

Then the students took notes, in their math journals, naming and drawing the symbols and representations of a point, a line, a line segment, a ray and an angle. They also learned about right angles and angles larger (obtuse) and smaller (acute)than a right angle.

We did not get time to practice these concepts in class but there is a worksheet for homework. If your child struggles, encourage them to use the vocabulary packet that I handed out today which should be in the math section of their binder.

Following PE, lunch and recess the students returned to class and worked independently on the follow up assignments from this morning. I met with reading groups.

Lions: We reviewed and discussed last night's homework. Several students were confused by the question, so I explained it to them. I also told them that if they do not understand a homework assignment, they should tell me when I assign it to them. Tonight, for homework,t he children need to read chapter 6 and list any unknown words on sticky a sticky note.

Bears: We discussed last night's homework and then began reading chapter 7 out loud. As we read I discovered this group has EXCELLENT decoding skills but struggles with context clues. Truthfully, this was news to me! SO, we will work on on this skill in the upcoming weeks. Tonight, for homework, the students need to read chapter 7, choose a title for that chapter and explain why they chose that title.

Crabs: We used words from homework last night to do work work lessons. Tonight for homework the students need to reread chapter 6 and create a NEW title for this chapter. They must also explain their new title.

We ended the day by verbally reviewing how sound was produced using a slide whistle and how the pitch could be changed. Then the students wrote about it in their science packets.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marvelous Monday

This morning we read the story Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst and practiced retelling different events in the story from the point of view of other characters in the book. We also identified the mood and used aspects of the story to support our choice.

After that we defined fact and opinion. Then we identified statements as either fact or opinion.

Finally, we practiced making strong opinion statements about oil spills. Additionally, we used facts we learned from reading about the Exxon Valdez to support our statements.

This afternoon while I meet with reading groups the students will work on a worksheet focusing on point of view and mood in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. They will also complete a fact/opinion worksheet. Finally, they will write an opinion statement about oil spills and use facts to defend their opinion. This planning sheet will eventually be used to write a persuasive letter to Congress.

In math we completed the unit 3 assessment. We will begin unit 4 tomorrow. This unit is geometry. We will begin by identifying different types of lines and angles.

Following music, lunch and outdoor recess the students worked independently while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We began reading and discussing chapter 6. For homework the children need to read all of chapter 6 and answer the question, on a sticky note, "Why do you think Sarah asks about winter?".

Lions: We discussed parts of chapter 5 including the rumor about Simon that caused children to be sacred of him. For homework the students need to reread chapter 5 and answer the question--What did father mean when he says, "seem she went to a lot of trouble for you." on page 55.

Crabs: We discussed what caused Grandpa to change. Tonight the students need to read chapter 6 and list unknown word on a sticky note.

We ended the day with a student reading a book, that he had brought from home, to the class. Then we tried, for the second time, to watch one of our students do a Mexican dance on video. Unfortunately, it failed to work, again! :-(

Friday, January 27, 2012


So, my 5 year old woke up and asked when the sun would come out again...my reply? I have no clue. I thought it funny that even a 5 year old recognizes how many sunless days we've had!!

This morning, in reading, the students worked independently on a BCR for Ironing Board Sandwiches and completed any other unfinished work from the week, while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We discussed the implications of Sarah saying "our dune".

Lions: We reviewed the list of unknown words from last night's homework.

Crabs: We reviewed how the people on the train stayed warm (plying Simon Says) and identified how grandpa had changed in the book.

In math we began the unit 3 assessment.

Following a visit to the media center, the students enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess. After recess, Mrs. Howard came in to continue her lessons about friendship.

We ended the day by discussing how pitch is changed in a wind instrument.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


This morning the students worked in small groups to score and provide feedback to two student written BCRs for Ironing Board Sandwiches. Obviously, these BCRs were anonymous. Once the students were done, we met as a class to discuss the feedback and scores they had given to each BCR. This provided an opportunity for children to discuss pluses and deltas in authentic student work.

After that, the students worked independently on reading non-fiction text and using test taking strategies to answer multiple choice follow up questions. Additionally, the completed a new WOW (word of the week) worksheet for superb (excellent; very fine). If they finished early they were to complete any unfinished work and read silently.

In math we went over each question in the unit 3 review packet. Students were expected to fix any mistakes they made and ask any questions they had. They will bring these home tonight and are expected to use them to prepare for the unit assessment which is tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and outdoor recess the students worked in small groups, using the book Oil Spill, to complete a semantic map (graphic organizer). WE will use this organizer, next week, to help us write persuasive letters.

While the students worked on the above activities, I met with reading groups.
Crabs: We discussed how Grandpa felt when the train got stuck and which words helped us figure it out. Then we began reading chapter 5. For homework, the students need to read chapter 5 and explain what the people did on the train to keep warm.

Lions: We reviewed last night's homework, discussing why Lucy shrieked at Simon. For homework, the children need to read chapter 5 and list unknown words.

Bears: We discussed whether or not the students think that Sarah will stay. Then we talked about the title, Sarah, Plain and Tall, and whether or not we think Sarah is "plain". For homework they students need to read chapter 5 and explain why Caleb smiles when Sarah says, "our dune".

Unfortunately, due to an extensive amount of talking, we missed out on science. WE WILL get this under control. Your children have WONDERFUL personalities and make coming to school fun but they need to learn to be quiet during transition times so that we get through our daily plans. :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sunny Wednesday

Many of you may not be aware but most of the Wednesdays this school year have been rain! I know this because of indoor recess!! It is so nice to have a sunny one!!!!

In reading our whole group lesson was a plus/delta chart providing feedback for the BCRs the students completed yesterday. In short, the pluses were organization, spelling and transition words. The deltas were explaining their details, using a variety of transition words and choosing more accurate character traits.

While I worked with individual students providing feedback on their writing the students worked independently on the following assignments; rewriting their BCR using the provided feedback, completing a pronoun activity and reading chapter 4 in their reading group book.

In math we worked on the review packet for the unit 3 assessment. Tonight, any students who has not completed this packet must do so for homework. We will begin the assessment on Friday.

After math we had an emergency class meeting. Following directions and listening has become a big issue not only in our classroom but when the students are with other adults around the building. Today was the fourth day in a row that was plain ugly...therefore, we missed going to the computer lab and had a talk.

Following lunch and recess we began reading a new book about the Exxon Valdez and attempted to view pictures of the disaster online. Unfortunately, the link I had didn't work. Then the students continued working independently while I met with reading groups.

Reading Groups:
Bears: We began reading chapter 4 and discussing why Sarah brought Shells with her. Tonight the students need to read the entire chapter (4) and answer the questions, "Do you think Sarah plans on staying? Explain using details from the chapter.", on a sticky note.

Lions: We began reading chapter 4 and did some word work using scoured and mustn't from the chapter. Tonight the students need to read the entire chapter (4) and explain why Lucy shrieked at Simon on page 48, on a sticky note.

Crabs: We discussed the el (elevated train) and began reading chapter 4. For homework the children need to read the entire chapter (4) and explain how grandpa felt about being stuck (pay special attention to page 29) on a sticky note.

We ended the day by making slide whistles to produce sound by vibrating air.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Half Way!!

Today is the first day of the second semester, or third quarter, of the school year. It's so hard to believe that we are halfway through third grade!!

In reading we continued working on the non fiction piece, "He Changed the World" The students worked on their fluency by reading the piece with a partner. Then we reviewed the strategies of locating information in the text and narrowing your choices as we checked their answers to the multiple choice questions.

After that we read and discussed the BCR question that goes with the piece. The students will answer this question, independently, this afternoon.

Next, I introduced pronouns as words that are not specific and take the place of nouns in sentences. We oral whole group exercise to practice identifying pronouns. This afternoon the students will identify pronouns independently.

Finally, I passed out the new spelling packet that focuses on the/au/spelling pattern and pronouns. This packet is due Friday, February 3.

In math we tackled solving reverse division problems. We completed a worksheet together. Then the students worked independently on the first problem of their worksheet paper. Tonight they are to complete the rest of that worksheet. If you have any questions, look for the paper we finished in class together.

Following PE, lunch and outdoor recess we read a book about the Exxon Valdez oil spill named Oil Spill! The students were quite interested in the book and we spent a lot of time discussing the negative effects of oil spills.

The students then worked on the BCR and pronoun activity from this morning while I attended a meeting in the building. For homework ALL reading groups MUST reread chapter 3 and get a parent signature in their planner.

We ended the day by cleaning out desks in order to have a fresh start for the second half of the school year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

End of Marking period 2

Today marks the last day of the marking period. Students do not have school on Monday, it is a report card prep day for teachers.

This morning we the children worked in small groups to read "He Changed the World" and practiced monitoring their understanding of what they read. After that, they worked independently to answer multiple choice questions by underlining or highlighting the information in the text and then eliminating wrong answers.

In math we practiced explaining how to solve division problems, using a calculator, but without using the division or addition button. Then we began solving reverse division problems. We will finish this on Tuesday.

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

This afternoon the students continued working on the multiple choice worksheet, finished any odds and ends type unfinished work and then read silently while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We discussed chapter 3, including what Sarah brought the children and the first sign of tension between Papa and Sarah.

Lions: We discussed the title of the chapter and the decision of the children to take a short cut home from school during a snow storm.

We ended the day by writing letters of apology to Mrs. Rose, the media specialist. The students, as a whole, made a lot of bad choices in media today. :-(

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This morning I was at a regularly scheduled meeting, in the building, to discuss the progress of all third graders. We have this type of meeting three times each year (in each grade level)to ensure that all students meet their fullest potential.

While I was at the meeting, Mrs. Benson worked with the children. The students had three tasks. First, they were to complete their state brochures. Second, they were to finish their thank you notes to the PTA. Finally, they were supposed to reread chapter 3 in their reading group book and then choose any book to read silently.

When most were finished, Mrs. Benson began reading an informational piece about Christopher Columbus with them. We will continue working on this tomorrow.

I returned to class in time for math.

In math we reviewed solving multiple choice math problems and practiced using the calculators to solve division problems WITHOUT using the division or addition keys. There is a worksheet for homework and there will not be a quiz tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and outdoor recess, the students were given a new issue of National Geographic. In order to allow me to work with the students who need to complete their research brochures, the rest of the class worked in groups of 2 or 3 to read the first article, "Living with Lions" and identify examples of cause and effect from the text. We reviewed this, as a whole group, before moving on to science.

Well, the plan was to move on to science but reading ran late and we used the rest of the time to complete our yesterday's class meeting.

As I did not get to my reading groups, I have not checked last night's homework. Please help your child remember to keep the sticky note on their reading group book. We will meet in groups tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mid Week...Wednesday

My reading class has been working hard on their state brochure projects. Students are at different phases in their work but all have the end date (due date) of this Friday, January 20. This morning I spent time conferencing with students and providing feedback on their written work. The children spent their time adding details to their organizers, writing rough drafts, using feedback to improve their writing and then adding it to their brochure, and adding the state flag and other state symbols to their brochures. Does this sound busy? It was!

In math we reviewed last night's homework as a whole group and practiced solving multiple choice math problems. The students need to complete the back page of our class work for homework.

Following math we went to the computer lab where the children practiced their keyboarding skills using Type to Learn 3. I spent time meeting with individual students to help revise and edit their writing.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students continued working on their brochures and writing thank you notes to the PTA for yesterday's excellent cultural arts assembly. I met with reading groups.

Reading Groups:
Crabs: We discussed the problem in chapter 2 and reviewed the lists of unknown words. Tonight, for homework, the students need to read chapter 3 and explain (on a sticky note) why Anna was embarrassed on page 20.

Lions: We discussed chapter 2 and reviewed the list of unknown words. Tonight the students need to read chapter 3 and, on a sticky note, answer the questions, Why is this (The Short Cut) a good title for this chapter?

Bears: We discussed chapter 2 and identified the most important even in that chapter. We also reviewed the list of unknown words from homework. Tonight the students need to read chapter 3 and identify what Sarah brings each person, on a sticky note.

We ended the day by discussing harassment. Students are not respecting their peers wishes to be left alone. I am just now becoming aware of this situation and this afternoon I addressed it, briefly, with the students.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Terrific Tuesday

This marks the final week in the first semester or the second marking period, however you choose to look at it! :-) Therefore we are busy wrapping things up and getting ready for the second half of the school year.

In reading, this morning, I modeled (again) how to take the information from the graphic organizer and use it to construct a well organized paragraph. Then the students worked on the rough drafts for their natural resources and interesting facts paragraphs. The iPads were available for students who need additional information. Students who had not completed any stage of their physical geography and climate paragraphs were expected to try to catch up, as well.

I worked individually with students to conference on their writing and provide additional support for their research brochure.

In math we took the quiz that we did not have time for on Friday. These will be scored and returned to students today. When the students had completed the quiz we had a few minutes left over. So I used this time to briefly introduce the use of parenthesis in equations, for example, 10-(2x3)=4. I created a worksheet for homework practicing this skill.

Following PE, lunch and recess the student in each reading group wrote their homework assignments in their planner. ALL THREE reading groups are expected to read chapter 2 in their respective books, list unknown words on a sticky note and get a parent signature in their planner. Unfortunately, we did not meet in groups today due to an assembly.

**There will NOT be a reading log assignment or a spelling packet this week due to the shortened week and semester break. Look for nightly homework assignments on the blog and in your child's planner.**

Our day ended with a PTA sponsored assembly called Math Magic. It was awesome!!! If you want more information about it go to AugustineMagic.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I'm thinking there are some students that are glad it is Friday and happy that we have a three day weekend because this morning the hammer is being lowered. Students who did not complete their homework correctly ARE being help in during recess to redo or complete it. AS much as I hate keeping children in for recess (I truly believe students NEED to be outside, running around, having fun)I have tried many different things to get the students to put effort into their work and do it correctly. Nothing has helped. Therefore I am forced to go the recess route. UGH!

Moving forward...
This morning we reviewed this week's spelling packet and took our spelling test. These are scored and will be coming home this afternoon. Then I we reviewed student samples of responses to the Butterfly of Thailand BCR. These were responses written by students in our class but retyped by me to keep them anonymous. The students decided what score they would give the response and then identified what was done well and need to be changes to improve the response.

In math we began with a warm up and I had planned to give a quiz BUT during the warm up I noticed that many students struggled with their homework. Therefore, I took time to review the homework from last night and that led to more questions about rounding and estimation. Since I encourage students to ask questions, I felt compelled to answer these. So, we ran out of time and never got to he quiz.

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

After recess I met with many students to work one-on-one revising and editing their physical geography and climate paragraphs. While I did this, the rest of the class completed unfinished work from the week and wrote their final drafts of their physical geography and climate paragraphs in their state brochures.

Our day ended with housekeeping types of things...paper passing, getting our books from the media center, organizing desks, locating missing work, etc.

Have a wonderful three day weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Concert Thursday

This morning in reading we practiced monitoring for meaning as we read an article about sound in our National Geographic. While I met with reading groups the students worked continued reading the article we started as a whole group and practiced stopping and thinking about what they read before proceeding further with their reading. If they didn't remember what they had read, or didn't understand it, they were to reread the section and use the text features to help them. After that, they worked on individual reading group activities. Then we they completed any unfinished work from earlier in the week. Finally, if time allowed, they worked on their reading log, which is due tomorrow!

Bears: We met and had a discussion utilizing the inquiry discussion question they answered yesterday independently. Our conversation centered around whether or not it was okay for Papa to advertise for a wife in the newspaper.

In math we reviewed rounding and multiplying two digit numbers. These skills were supposed to be used to complete an estimation word problem worksheet that the students worked on independently while I met with a small group. Unfortunately, many students did not follow the directions on the worksheet. So, I modeled problem number one on each of the worksheets and these students are expected to redo the rest of the worksheet for homework tonight. There is an additional worksheet for ALL students tonight. We will have a quiz tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and recess the students returned to class to work independently while I conferenced with students on their physical geography and climate paragraphs. Then we attended the DES Winter Choral and Band concert.

Remember, spelling packets and reading logs are due tomorrow! Students who do not turn these in WILL miss recess. I HATE doing this but I have tried many methods to get students to take responsibility for completing their work. None of these have seemed to make a positive impact. Therefore, I feel forced use losing recess as a consequence. Hopefully, I will not have to do so because EVERYONE will turn in completed work!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hump Day - Half Way There!!

This morning in reading the students got back their BCRs from The Butterfly of Thailand with feedback, written on it, from me. Then we discussed how to read the feedback and what to do with it. After pointing out common good things I saw in their writing (organization, the use of transition words, using specific details) and challenges that many shared (missing either a topic or concluding sentence, using the same transition word, using pronouns without first using the specific noun, the students were sent back to rewrite their BCR using the feedback given by me to improve their response.

While I met with reading groups the students worked on individual reading group assignments, rewrote their Butterfly of Thailand BCR, completed the paragraphs about the physical geography and climate of their states and worked on their reading logs.

Crabs: We met and read the inside cover of the book Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm and discussed why this book is classified as historical fiction. Then we read and discussed chapter 1 out loud. Tonight, for homework, the students must reread chapter 1, working on fluency. This CAN count as one of their four reading log entries for this week as long as they mark it in their log.

In math we reviewed rounding and estimation. Then we began using rounding to estimate the product of word problems. This took longer than expected. So, we were unable to get to the independent practice. Therefore homework is a division worksheet (two sided) that is NOT estimation.

After math we went to the computer lab where the students practiced their keyboarding skills using Type to Learn and I conferenced with individual students on their writing (physical geography and climate paragraphs).

Following lunch and indoor recess, I shared a student paper to demonstrate to the class how to add voice to their paragraphs and make them less boring. Then the students continued working independently while I met with reading groups.

Lions: This morning they were supposed to make two vocabulary entries in their RRJs. At group time, I discovered that m,any students had not done this correctly, even though there are examples in their RRJs and we've done this several times before. SO, I scrapped my original plan and reviewed the process for competing a vocabulary entry. The students took notes in their RRJ and copied a model we did together. This took an enormous amount of time.

Bears: This group completed a written inquiry discussion question about chapter 1, independently. I was hoping to meet with them to discuss their answers today, but we ran out of time. We will discuss these answers tomorrow!

We ended the day with a much needed class meeting. We reviewed, again, the expectation for following first time directions RIGHT AWAY and taking responsibility for their actions. This is a great group of children and I sincerely enjoy working with them...but...their focusing challenges and reluctance to put effort into their work eat up time that could be better spent. I will not give up on them because I KNOW they can do it!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Terrific Tuesday

This morning we continued reading Butterfly of Thailand to work on test taking strategies. We reviewed the idea of monitoring for meaning and highlighting information in the text. Then I introduced the skill of eliminating wrong answers. I talked to the class about getting rid of answers they KNOW are wrong and also being careful to find and eliminate the most often chosen wrong answer (for example, given the problem 5 + 3 = ___; the answer 53 could be eliminated because they know that is wrong, and 2 could be eliminated as the most often chosen wrong answer because you are subtracting rather than adding).

After that, we practiced reading a BCR and understanding WHAT the question is asking and locating support in the text to answer the question. Students will answer the BCR independently later today.

In math we began distinguishing between multiplication and division word problems. We made a t-chart on the board noting the differences between the two situations. For example, with multiplication we are looking for the total and with division we know the total and are looking for how many groups or how many are in each group.

While the students worked independently, I pulled the same small group from yesterday to practice identifying the factors of a given number.

There is a word problem worksheet for homework.

Following PE, lunch and recess I spoke to the class about changes in reading groups. My basic overall message is that all three reading groups are within one level of each other...they are all on grade level with one group being slightly above. This is GREAT news.

After that, I modeled using the graphic organizer to write a paragraph about the physical geography of the state we researched.

While I met with reading groups, the students complete the Butterfly in Thailand BCR, worked on the physical geography and the climate paragraphs for their state research brochure, and, if time allowed, worked on their reading logs.

Reading Groups:
Bears: We began reading and discussing chapter 1 of Sarah, Plain and Tall. For homework the students needs to reread chapter 1...this CAN count as their reading log assignment as long as they mark it down in their log.

Lions: We began reading and discussing chapter 1 in Stay Away from Simon. We didn't get far into the book. :-( Tonight they need to read chapter 1. They CAN use this as their reading log assignment as long as they mark it in their log.

Crabs: Unfortunately, I did not get to this group. I definitely will tomorrow!!

We ended the day with the students finishing the experiment where they observed the sound and vibrations produced by a ruler at different lengths.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Special Monday Morning

This morning was quite special as we welcomed a new friend to our classroom!

We began the reading block by reviewing the expectations for the spelling packet and reading logs. Additionally, we added these assignments to our homework planner. Both the spelling packet and the reading log is due this Friday!

Then we began our unit on test taking strategies. I explained to the students that some adults feel that teaching to tests is not a good thing. While I see their point, I think learning test taking strategies is important because they will take tests for the rest of their lives. I gave examples including teachers needing to take tests in order to receive continuing education credits to keep their teaching licences and mechanics needing to take tests to keep their ASE accreditation.

The strategy we focused on today was monitoring our reading for meaning. We discussed needing to recognize when we are not understanding what we read and then doing something about it. Usually, students will need to go back and reread but sometimes they might need to pay closer attention to punctuation (which effects phrasing), text features and defining unknown words. Then we read and discussed an informational piece called Butterfly of Thailand.

This afternoon, while I meet with reading groups, the students will review their state graphic organizer and put finishing touches on it. They will also complete multiple choice questions that go with Butterfly of Thailand by highlighting the answer in the test BEFORE selecting an answer from the list. After that, the students will complete a WOW worksheet for attire (clothing). Finally, if time permits, they will work on their reading logs.

In math, we practiced solving division word problems by writing a number sentence and drawing a picture to solve it. While the students practiced independently, I pulled a small group to teach finding multiples and factors of numbers, a fourth grade concept. There is a worksheet (division word problems) for homework.

Following music, lunch and outdoor recess the students worked independently while I met with my new reading groups.

A note about READING GROUPS...the students took the MAP-R on Friday. Based on the data I received from this computerized reading assessment, I have made some changes in reading group. Please ask your child in their group has changed. I MAY make a few more changes over the course of this week.

I do have scores for each child and will gladly send you the results, for you child. PLEASE email me (dana_c_holman@mcpsmd.org) if you would like your child's results or have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you!

Reading Groups:
I met with all 3 reading groups BRIEFLY to preview their newest book. We discussed the book's genre and I gave a short summary of each.

Crabs: Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm
Lions: Stay Away From Simon
Bears: Sarah, Plain and Tall

We ended the day by describing the sound and vibrations produced by rulers at given lengths of 3, 6 and 9 inches.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Research Thursday

This morning the students worked in small groups to read and extract appropriate information about the physical geography, the climate and the natural resources of the state they are researching. I floated from group to group providing guidance as needed.

In math, during our warm up, it became apparent that many students were struggling with finding the quotient for division problems. Therefore, we spent time practicing specific strategies (repeated subtraction and skip counting)on white boards. Then the students returned to their seats to use one of these strategies to complete a worksheet. This worksheet is to be finished tonight for homework.

Following art, lunch and outdoor recess, the students continues working in their small groups to complete their graphic organizers for their state.

After recess the students continued working in small groups, with my guidance, to add information to their graphic organizers. Towards the end of class, we gathered on the carpet and the students began sharing the information they had on their graphic organizer. As they did this, I asked probing questions to ensure their comprehension. When they were lacking clarity, they returned to the books to obtain more or better information. It was a great learning process for all.

We ended the day by finishing a science experiment we began in December! Today the students produced sound using different sized nails to check the predictions we made before break. We discovered the smaller nails created a higher pitch. We decided this was the case because a smaller nail could vibrate more per second than one that is larger.

I will be out of the building tomorrow. Therefore, there will not be a blog post.

Here's a quick overview of tomorrow:
The students will take the MAP-R. This is the computerized reading assessment that they take three times a year. They already took it in the fall. This will help guide my instruction and ensure they are all making growth.

After that, my math class will take a quiz. This will not be graded and sent home until Monday. Sorry!

Then the students will go to the media center, lunch and recess. When they return, Mrs. Howard will do a lesson about friendship with the class.

They will end the day by exploring how to make sound with rulers and predicting the sound they will hear and the vibrations they will see when the ruler extends different lengths over the edge of a desk.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

This morning, while I attended a meeting in the building, Mrs. McAlister taught a lesson reviewing the use of apostrophes in possessive nouns. Then the students did a follow up practice activity independently.

In math, we identified and practiced 5 different strategies that can be used to solve division problems. While the students worked independently on a follow up worksheet I met with a small group to practice identifying multiples and factors of numbers. There is a worksheet for homework.

Before heading to lunch and recess, we visited the computer lab and used Type to Learn 3 to improve our keyboarding skills.

This afternoon we focused on our research project. First, we reviewed the definitions of the categories on the graphic organizer. Then the students completed a word sort activity, in small groups, to ensure their understanding of the graphic organizer. Finally, I modeled using the index and skimming and scanning text to gather information and add it to the physical geography section of the graphic organizer. Students will begin gathering and recording their information tomorrow.

We are ending the day with a class meeting focusing on following directions and doing your best.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!!

While I had a great Winter Break, I was so excited to get back to work to see the children!!

Over the next three weeks, the students in my reading class will be working on a research project incorporating reading and writing lessons with our social studies unit. This will be done, for the most part, in school.

Students will select a state to research. They will then work in small groups, that will meet with me regularly, to read about the state, extract appropriate information and then write about the state and present the information to their classmates.

This morning the students listened to the book I Wonder Why Zippers Have Teeth and began identifying things they wonder about regarding different states in our country. Then the students were shown the graphic organizer they will have to complete as they read about their selected state. We began discussing the graphic organizer by defining the idea of geographic characteristics.

In math we explored division by taking the whole and making "groups of". For example, take 24 divided by 6, the students needed to count out 24 beans and make groups of 6 until they ran out of beans. Then they counted the number of groups they could make to find the answer. There is a worksheet for homework.

Following PE, lunch and indoor recess we continued reviewing the graphic organizer for the state research project by defining the ideas of climate and natural resources. Then the students chose the state which they will research.

After that, I began teaching the usage of apostrophes. I identified the two situations in which they are used (contractions and possession) and then gave examples of each. This concept will be explored further, in class and in the spelling packet, over the next two weeks.

With that said, the new spelling packet was handed out today. It is due next Friday, January 13. There will not be a reading log assignment this week.

At the end of the day we went to a presentation regarding our school science fair. The students will be bringing home packets today that explain the process, expectations and rules. Please look for it!

We also selected our star student for the trait of responsibility.

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