## Thursday, March 29, 2012

WE made it!!!  Today marks the last day before Spring Break!!

This morning the entire school participated in a bus evacuation practice.  After that, my reading class read and discussed a historical fiction book titles, Baseball Saved Us.  This book is about a young boy named Short whose family was forced into an internment camp following the bombing of Pearl harbor.  It was a great story that sparked A LOT of discussion.

Although I said we weren't having a quiz in math, I still needed to get a few grades...so, I had to give a brief assessment activity (sorry!).  Please look for this "activity" in your child's home folder.  It covered equivalent fractions and probability.

Following art, lunch and outdoor recess my reading class organized their desks and their folders to get ready for the new marking period.  Then, students who still had independent work to completed did so.  The class watched pieces of footage, on United Streaming, about the bombing of Pearl harbor and the Japanese internment class.  This was a follow up to this morning's read aloud.

We ended the day by hosting the kindergarten students and Mrs. Brawner's class for a gallery walk of our sound projects.

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

## Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This morning, in reading, we continued our study of historical fiction. We began with a discussion identifying the characteristics of historical fiction and then compared and contrasted historical fiction to realistic fiction.

After that we read a historical fiction book called Mirette on the High Wire and identified the parts that were historical fact, as well as, the parts that were fiction.

In math we reviewed naming and identifying equivalent fractions. Today we learned that if you multiply the numerator and the denominator by the same number you will get an equivalent fraction. I met with two small groups. Both groups worked on identifying equivalent fractions. One group focused on using manipulatives. The other practiced using the multiplication strategy. There is a worksheet for homework but no quiz tomorrow.

After math, each student had a chance to share (present) their instrument to the class. Their projects were given two scores; one for the instrument itself and the other for the understanding of how sound is produced and how to change the pitch.

Following lunch and recess the students worked on the final draft of their persuasive writing piece while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We will begin a new book after Spring Break. We did not meet today and will not meet tomorrow.

Lions: We read and discussed chapter 10.

Crabs: We read and discussed chapter 8.  We also reviewed suffixes using vocabulary from the chapter.

We ended the day with a gallery walk.  Mrs. Homayouni's students and the entire 4th and 5th grades came to view our instruments.

## Tuesday, March 27, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

It's been a busy Tuesday!! In reading we reviewed the characteristics of historical fiction. Then we read the book, Mailing May, and identified examples of historical fact and fiction. After that, the children had a chance to work on editing and revising their persuasive rough draft and complete the chart, in their RRJ, for Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers. In math the students continued working to identify equivalent fractions. Today they needed to identify the amount of pizza to color and name the fraction. There is an equivalent fraction worksheet for homework. Next, the students went to PE. Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess. After recess, Mrs. Howard came by to do a lesson about tattling versus telling with the students. After Mrs. Howard left, the students compelted a follow-up activity. Finally, the students shared their work with eachother. Reminder...the sound project is due TOMORROW!! Also, please note, the format for my blog has changed...I am experiencing some challenges with the format and spell check...please understand that this post might not meet my expectations.

## Monday, March 26, 2012

### Marvelous Monday!!

It was so much fun seeing so many of you at Bingo Night!!!

This morning, in reading, we began identifying the characteristics of historical fiction as we read the book Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers. Historical fiction involves stories that are made up (fiction) but include aspects of facts from history.

The students had so much fun discussing the story and identifying examples of historical fact and fiction. The lesson ran a bit long...therefore, I did my writing lesson this morning and will meet with all three reading groups this afternoon.

For writing I introduced a checklist that the students will use, this afternoon, in order to edit and revise their persuasive rough drafts.

In math, we reviewed placing fractions and mixed numbers on a number line. Then we began identifying and naming equivalent fractions. Students worked on an independent follow up worksheet and went to anchor activities while I worked with a small group. This group practiced labeling fractions on a number line. There is a equivalent fraction worksheet for homework.

Following music, lunch and outdoor recess the students worked independently on identifying examples of historical fact and fiction from Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers and using the checklist to revise and edit their rough drafts. I pulled two reading groups.

Lions: We discussed the possible meaning of chapter 9 and then read and discussed the chapter.

Crabs: We reread and discussed chapters 6 and 7 in group.

We ended the day with a very special treat! Mrs. Jeyasunder's son Pat came in and played four songs on his guitar. The students truly enjoyed listening to sound being produced!

Remember the sound projects are due WEDNESDAY. Also, there is a canned food drive all week!

## Friday, March 23, 2012

### TGIF

I was at a doctor's appointment this morning and didn't return to school until lunchtime. Therefore, my synopsis of the day will be quite brief!

In reading the students finished reading the article, "Super Survivors", identifying the main idea in each section. Then they completed a follow up worksheet and any unfinished work from the week.

In math the students took a quiz and went to anchor activities. At this point, I have not had time to score the quiz. It will most likely come home on Monday instead of today. My apologies.

After math the children went to the computer lab with Mrs. Rose to vote for the Black Eyed Susan book of their choice. Then they went to the media center to check out new books.

After lunch and outdoor recess, my class worked on independent reading group assignments. The block was shortened slightly due to a fire drill.

Bears: We met and finished reading and discussing Winner Takes All. Part of our discussion centered around the author's message.

Lions: They met with a buddy and reread chapter 8.

Crabs: They met with a buddy and read chapters 6 and 7.

We will end the day by learning about SGA's canned food drive and answering questions about the sound project which is due NEXT Wednesday, March 28.

Hope to see many of you tonight at Bingo Night!!

## Thursday, March 22, 2012

### Foggy Thursday

This morning, in our reading block, we began a new article in the National Geographic called, "Super Survivors". We are working on identifying the main idea AND asking questions as we read to help us focus on and comprehend the text.

After reading the first two pages, the students worked independently while I pulled a reading group. Independent work included completing the two paragraphs for the persuasive rough draft, finishing the summary for reason animals use their poison, and completing a WOW worksheet for our new word, murmur (to whisper or talk quietly).

Crabs: In group, the students read chapters 4 and 5 independently. Then we discussed how Brady was acting and why he was acting that way. We also talked about why Oatmeal was having trouble settling into the new home.

After our math warm up, I gave every student an "exit-card" (a 2 problem half sheet) to gauge where their understanding of placing factions and mixed numbers on number lines stood. 15 out of 20 students were unable to answer the two questions correctly. SO, instead of the equivalent fraction lesson I had planned, we spent time reviewing how to place fractions and mixed numbers on a number line. There is no homework tonight...this is the last day I "owe" them from MSA. :-) There will be a quiz tomorrow, though.

After math, the students went to art (they worked with clay!), and enjoyed lunch and recess.

Following recess, I modeled how to add a 2-3 sentence concluding paragraph to the rough draft. Then, while I met with my last two reading groups, the students added a conclusion to their own rough draft and completed the independent work from earlier in the day.

Bears: We tried to finish reading the section about Christy Matthewson but great discussion bogged us down once again!!! We WILL finish this tomorrow and begin a new book tomorrow!!!

Lions: We reread parts of chapter 8 and discussed the effects of the storm and what the author meant by saying that Kona's body was bruised and her spirit's battered.

We ended the day by discussing the connections between rights and responsibilities.

## Wednesday, March 21, 2012

### Wednesday...no wackiness here!

Ahhhhhhh...we are back to our normal routine!! :-)

In reading we continued reading "Got Poison?" in the current National Geographic and practiced identifying the main idea. While I met with a reading group the students worked independently. Independent work included completing the first two paragraphs for their persuasive writing rough drafts and summarizing the reasons animals use poison (in their RRJS, using the "Got Poison?" article).

Bears: We began reading the epilogue of Winner's Take All. It's a short biographical sections about Christy Matthewson, one of baseball's original hall of famers.

In math we continued where we left off yesterday by placing improper fractions and mixed numbers on number lines. I worked with a small group to reinforce this skill. As promised, there is no homework.

After math, the students got into their assigned groups from social studies yesterday and began working on presentations, using the iPad, about the responsibilities that go along with the rights of citizens. For example, one had freedom of expression. SO their group will present, to the class, the responsibilities that go along with that right; such as telling the truth, being aware of others feelings, etc.

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

Lions: We reviewed the characters in the book Gooseberry Park and then read and discussed chapter 8.

Crabs: We reviewed the characters in the book and discussed receiving letters in the mail. Then we read and discussed chapter 3.

We ended the day with a class meeting. We began with a group share where each child shared, "One thing I like about our classroom..." and then we exchanged a couple of compliments.

Science projects are due NEXT Wednesday!!!

## Tuesday, March 20, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning, due to MSA, we had an altered schedule. We began our day with PE and then went straight to math for an extended block of instruction.

After our warm up in math, we dove into naming fractions and mixed numbers on a number line. This is a touch concept for most children to "own". I used a video segment from Unite Streaming to aid my direct instruction. Then we began working on a worksheet as a whole class. As promised, there is no math homework...this is a reward for being so focused on the MSA!!!

Before going to lunch we began a discussion about the rights and responsibilities that we are guaranteed through the US Constitution. We began by identifying the meaning behind lyrics from different patriotic songs and ended with identifying the five basic rights that are clearly defined in the Constitution. There was a lot of great conversation in between.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, I modeled using the persuasive planning sheets we completed last week to write 2 paragraphs for our rough drafts. Then I met with the final writing group, that I missed last week, while the rest of the students began their rough drafts.

We ended the day by reviewing the rights and responsibilities afforded to US citizens. Then I explained a group project we will do in the computer lab tomorrow. I reviewed the assignment, put the children into 5 groups and explained the different roles that each group will assign to its members.

Don't forget that sound projects are due NEXT Wednesday, March 28.

## Monday, March 19, 2012

### DONE!!!

This morning the third grade students completed the second session of the math MSA. This also marked the end of MSA testing for third grade this year!!! WOO HOO!!!!

All of the children worked very hard and made me SO proud. I saw each and every child using their strategies and putting effort into the text. That's all I can ask for!!

After testing this morning, the children read silently. Then they began sharing their before and after technology pictures that we made last week.

Before enjoying lunch and outdoor recess, the students went to music.

After recess, the children were exhausted!! SO, we watched a movie about using proper punctuation. If there is still time, we will watch a video clip about how written language was "born".

We will finish sharing the before and after technology pictures to end out day.

Remember, the sound projects are due March 28...that is NEXT Wednesday!!!!

## Friday, March 16, 2012

### A LONG Day of Testing...TGIF!!!

This morning the children took the first part of the math MSA. It lasted all morning long...the children really worked hard!!

After testing they went to the media center for a brief visit. Then they enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess, we watched Brave Irene and some fables to support our language arts units.

We ended the day with a question and answer session about the sound project. Remember, it is due March 28!!!

Monday we will take the second, and final, part of the math MSA.

Have a great weekend!

## Thursday, March 15, 2012

### Thursday

Due to MSA our schedule today has been tweaked a bit. This morning the students went to art at 9:30 instead of our usual 11:55 time. After that we had an extended math class.

In math we began with a warm up. Then we reviewed telling time to the nearest minute using the iPad app, "Telling Time" and white boards. After that, the children worked independently on a worksheet (telling time to the nearest minute) and then went to anchor activities, which included using the iPad app, "Telling Time". I met with two small groups. One group identified and named fractions. The other practiced telling time to the nearest minute. There is no homework tonight.

After math, e had time for some social studies. Our past few lessons have centered around identifying ways technology has changed our communities. We have read and discussed a book called, The Little House. We have also watched a movie. SO, today, the children are drawing two pictures of the same community...one is a "before" technology picture and the other is "after".

Following lunch and recess, my reading class worked on their planning sheet for our next persuasive writing piece. Today they identified three facts to support their opinion and then used details to explain them. I was able to meet with three small groups (by writing topic) to help them with this. When they were finished they completed any unfinished work and read silently.

We ended the day with the children completing their before and after technology pictures from our social studies lesson earlier today.

Remember that we have the math MSA tomorrow morning!

Science projects are due March 28.

## Wednesday, March 14, 2012

### Hump Day - An MSA Reprieve

Today and tomorrow we do NOT have MSA testing. Instead the fifth graders are completing their reading MSA test on these two days.

As an aside...while I do my best to maintain good instruction during the MSA testing period, I do adjust the work load so as to not overwhelm students during an already stressful and tiring period.

This morning during reading, I distributed a new issue of National Geographic to the students. After having time to look through the magazine, we began reading and discussing the first article, "Got Poison?" The lesson focused on identifying the main idea in each section.

The students were so excited by the subject matter! We didn't get through the entire article and, therefore, didn't get to our independent work.

After completing our math warm up, I used an app on the Ipad to review telling time using an analog clock. Then the students worked in groups of three, using the same app, to tell time to the nearest minute.

After math, we visited the computer lab. In the computer lab the children had a choice between practicing keyboarding skills using Type to Learn 3, strengthening their math skills using Math Arcade and doing word work using Word Scramble and Tile Blocks.

Next, the students enjoyed lunch and recess.

After recess, I modeled completing part of the planning sheet for the next persuasive writing piece (using Storyworks). Then the students worked independently to complete the first 3 steps of their own planning sheet, do any unfinished work and read silently. As the students finished their planning sheets, I met and conferenced with them. There were no reading groups today.

We ended the day with a class meeting. We began by doing a group share where each person completed the sentence starter, "I hope that...". Then we shared compliments. We finished by talking about showing respect to each other and watching the words we use towards each other.

## Tuesday, March 13, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning the students took the second, and final part, of the reading MSA. We will begin the math section on Friday.

After the MSA, the children enjoyed PE, lunch and outdoor recess.

When they returned, we continued reading and discussing the Storyworks articles which we will be using as we plan and write our next persuasive piece. Then the students decided which topic they wanted to write about. Most students picked the group who will argue that either cats or dogs make the best pets. Two students chose to write about space travel. The rest decided they would write about whether or not fame and money equate to happiness.

We ended the day by watching, and discussing, a United Streaming video about how communities change.

The only homework is to work on the sound project!!

## Monday, March 12, 2012

### And so it begins....

This morning the entire third grade took the first part of the MSA reading test. It is against testing protocol to discuss the test itself, but I can tell you that the students in my homeroom made me VERY proud!!! Students were focused and used their strategies. I could tell they put forth every ounce of their effort, and, in my opinion, that is all we can ask!!

After the test, the children enjoyed music, lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess, my reading class began preparing for their next writing piece. Today they got into small groups and rotated between 4 different issues of Storyworks, a Scholastic literature based magazine. Each of these magazines included a topic of debate; is TV bad, cats vs. dogs, would you pay to vacation in space and does money and fame lead to happiness. The children read the arguments for and against these issues. The plan is for them to eventually choose a topic of interest, select a "side" and write a persuasive paragraph about their opinion. They will support their opinion with facts from the Storyworks articles.

To be honest, I have never used Storyworks before nor have I presented so much choice and freedom for a persuasive writing assignment. I think this will create excitement about writing and will, in turn, translate into improved writing skills...only time will tell! :-)

We ended the day by continuing our reading and discussion of The Little House and how technology helped us to adapt to and change our environment. We've had some GREAT discussions...the children are asking very thoughtful questions!!

The only homework is to continue working on the sound project. The project is due March 28.

## Friday, March 9, 2012

### TGIF!!!

Well, we have worked hard, especially this past week...and the kids are ready, both for the weekend and MSA!!

Remember, MSA begins Monday morning AND we change the clocks on Sunday morning, losing one hour of sleep...not the best scenario! PLEASE make sure your children get enough rest! They have worked hard and I want them to show it on the state assessments!!!

Today I reviewed common challenges/errors that I noticed the students were making in their persuasive writing pieces. Then, as the students worked independently on a decoding activity and their final drafts of their persuasive piece, I met with a few individual students to conference on their writing.

In math, after reviewing our warm up and last night's homework, the students took the first quiz for unit 5. These will be scored and returned today! After the quiz, the students went to math anchor activities including a fraction matching game and fraction apps on the iPads.

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

After recess the students continued working independently while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We finished Winners Take All. We will read the section about Christy Matthewson and discuss the book further, next week.

Lions: We reread chapter 7 in group, working on fluency. Many students are still struggling, so after group, I sent them back with partners to reread the chapter again.

Crabs: We shared the homework from Wednesday night exlpaining why the chapter was titled Great Idea.

We ended the day by getting the room ready for the MSA, answering questions about the MSA AND answering questions about the sound project. It was quite productive!!

## Thursday, March 8, 2012

### Thursday

This morning in reading we used word structure to help us decode and identify the meaning of words. While doing this we practice test taking strategies, such as eliminating incorrect responses and identifying key words, too. This activity took the entire morning portion of the reading block.

In math we reviewed identifying and naming both fractions and mixed numbers. Students who are demonstrating complete understanding worked on an independent follow up worksheet and then went to anchor activities, which included using apps on the iPad. Other students rotated between working with me in small group, completing the independent worksheet and going to anchor activities. Both groups who worked with me received more practice with identifying and naming fractions and mixed numbers. There is a worksheet for homework and we will have a short quiz tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and recess I introduced the new WOW word - taunt (to make fun of or mock). Then the students completed their persuasive rough drafts, finished the BCRs from yesterday and worked on a WOW worksheet for taunt while I met with reading groups.

Bears: We discussed chapter 15 and shared what surprised each student (their homework from last night). There is no homework tonight.

Lions: We read and discussed chapter 7. There is no homework tonight.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and I did not get to the crabs group today.

We ended the day by beginning a discussion, using the book The Little House, about the impact of technology on the environment around us.

## Wednesday, March 7, 2012

### Class Picture Day

This morning the students worked in small groups to create a checklist to use when responding to a new BCR for Schoolyard Toys. After sharing their checklists and discussing how to answer the BCR, students got to work on it, wile I pulled a reading group.

Crabs: We read and discussed chapter 2. For homework the students need to reread chapter 2 and explaining why the chapter was called Great Idea, in their RRJ.

After reading we had our homeroom class picture taken. Then we went to math.

In math we tackled the idea of mixed numbers. A mixed number is a whole number and a fraction, such as 1 1/2. While some students worked independently on a follow up worksheet, I pulled a small group to reteach the concept. There is a mixed number worksheet for homework.

After math we went to the computer lab where the students used Type to Learn 3 to practice their keyboarding skills. Then we went to lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess the students worked with partners and rehearsed what they planned to write in their persuasive pieces using their planning sheets. Some students got to practice in front of the class, as I provided feedback, too.

The students began their rough drafts and completed their BCRs while I met with reading groups.

Lions: We shared the captions the students wrote for homework last night. Then we read and discussed chapter 6. For homework the students need to reread chapter 6 (work on fluency, please!) and get a parent signature in their binder.

Bears: Unfortunately, we were short on time. Therefore, we met to get homework. Tonight they need to read chapter 15 and identify one thing that surprised them in this chapter.

We ended the day with a lesson from Mrs. Howard. She shared some test taking strategies with the entire third grade.

## Tuesday, March 6, 2012

### Terrific Tuesday

It may be cold outside but the sun is shining!!! Yippee!!

The students began reading by working in small groups to list and identify text features. After sharing their charts, we created a checklist to identify what was needed to answer a BCR that focused on...wait for it...text features! The students were asked to name and explain a text feature that could be added to the "hoops" section of Schoolyard Toys that would improve it.

While the students worked on the BCR, I pulled a reading group.

Lions: We read and discussed chapter 5, including words they listed as unknown yesterday, in class. For homework they need to reread page 32 and write a caption for the picture on page 33. BTW...we read page 32 TWICE in group today...and discussed it in detail.

In math we identified and named fractions of a whole and a set. The students rotated between three groups. One group worked with me creating fractions strips. Another group completed an independent worksheet. Finally, the third group went to anchor activities which included using fraction apps on the iPads. There is a fraction worksheet for homework.

After PE, lunch and outdoor recess the students identified arguments from the pros/cons chart to add to their persuasive writing planning sheet. While I met with reading groups, the children completed their planning sheets and finished their BCRs from this morning.

Bears: We shared the titles they wrote for chapter 13, for homework, last night. Then we read and discussed chapter 14. There is no reading homework for this group tonight.

Crabs: We had a disappointing group today...3 out of 6 students didn't do their homework. Then, with the help of GREAT students, I discovered an error on the novel schedule. So, we briefly identified the characters in the picture on page 7 and we shared our thoughts as to what was happening on that page. There is no homework for this group.

## Monday, March 5, 2012

### March Monday

The countdown to the MSA begins...next week we begin taking the MSA on MONDAY!!!!

In reading today we read a piece of non-fiction text called Schoolyard Toys. Then we identified what the BCR was asking and created a checklist to help up write a good response.

While I met with reading groups the students worked writing an answer to the BCR and individual reading group activities.

Crabs: We began a new book. The students were given their first novel schedule. SO we spent time going over how to read one. These novel schedules are expected to be kept in the reading section of their binder. We will be using it daily. Then we previewed the book and reviewed the words deciduous and contagious. Finally, we read and discussed chapter 1. For homework the children need to reread chapter 1 and get a parent signature int heir binder.

In math we began our study of fractions by watching a video put out by the Discover channel through United Streaming. There is a worksheet for homework.

Following music, lunch and outdoor recess, we looked at some opinion statements written by classmates and decided if they were written correctly. If they were not, we discussed how to change them to make them better. Then the students rewrote their opinion statements about zoos.

While I met with reading groups, the children continued their independent work from this morning.

Lions: Well, this group was a bit disappointing...three out of seven students didn't have their book and didn't do the independent assignment this morning to prepare them for group. Therefore, after some thought, I dismissed the group and had those who didn't do their work this morning, do it at that point.

Bears: We reviewed their lists of unknown words from chapter 13 and discussed the surprise at the end of the chapter...Kyle reveals he didn't catch the ball! For homework they need to write a title for this chapter.

We ended the day with an emergency class meeting. There was some very inappropriate behavior in the media center on Friday. We discussed the importance of making good choices and telling an adult when you know something is happening that shouldn't be.

Students should be working on their sound projects. They are due at the end of this month!!

## Thursday, March 1, 2012

### Thursday

This morning we completed our reading and discussion of Should There Be Zoos? and also finished out capture sheets. After that we got into a fabulous discussion about Black History and segregation.

While I meet with reading groups this morning and this afternoon the students will write an opinion statement regarding zoos (whether or not we should have them). They will also do a homophone practice exercise from the language arts book. Finally, they will complete a comprehension worksheet about Sidney Poitier, the first American American to win an Academy Award.

Crabs: We shared the homework from last night, titles for chapter nine. Then we identified the problem and solution for the entire book. I collected book and we will begin a new one on Monday.

In math we began studying probability by identifying the terms certain, most likely, less likely, and impossible. Then the students rotated between three groups. One group completed a two sided probability practice worksheet and then went to anchor activities. The next groups worked with Mrs. Benson adding money. The final group worked with me telling time using an analog clock. There is a probability worksheet for homework. There will not be a quiz tomorrow.

Following art, lunch and outdoor recess I shared some student responses from yesterday with the class. We identified the strengths in these pieces, such as; strong topic and concluding sentences, naming and explaining support from the text and good transition words.

Then the children continued their independent work from this morning and I met with reading groups.