Friday, August 30, 2013

Fabulous Friday!

The students began their day by going to PE.  When they returned to class we reviewed rounding to the nearest 100 using a number line.  Our focus today was identifying benchmark numbers.  First, the students viewed a lesson from Learn Zillion.  Then I continued the lesson and captured it using Educreations.  View the lesson here!  After that, the students, working in collaborative groups, were given three digit numbers and had to identify the benchmark numbers.  Finally, they were given a few 3 digit numbers to round to the nearest hundred, using a number line, in their math journals.

After that, the students practiced asking questions and then answering the questions as they reread Crow Boy.  Good readers have questions in their head to help them focus and comprehend text as they read.  During this time I continued my informal reading assessments with individual students.

Following lunch and outdoor recess I reviewed the actions, thoughts and feelings graphic organizer that I modeled writing in front of the class yesterday.  Then students returned to their seats and completed their organizers.  I continued with assessing students' reading.

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of the American Democratic Principle and defining citizens' rights and responsibilities.  After pointing out that rules and laws must be for the common good, the students and I decided to follow the following rules:

We Promise to...
  • Speak in an indoor voice
  • Walk in the building
  • Raise our hands for permission to speak
  • Follow directions quickly
  • Keep hands and feet to ourselves
  • Respect ourselves and others
  • Be active listeners
  • Make smart choices
  • Always do our best
Finally, the children worked collaboratively to identify jobs needed in the classroom. 
Have a wonderful three day weekend!
Back to school night is Tuesday at 7:00.  Hope to see you then!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thrilling Thursday

On Thursdays our schedule has a slight change.  Math and our special, music, flip-flops.

So,today, our day began with math.  We used it as a catch up day.  Many students completed their Wordle activity from yesterday afternoon.  The rest of the class was introduced to two new iPad apps (Kidgitz and Numbers League)

After going to music Mrs. Benson introduced the idea of point of view using the two photos below.

Then she read the book Crow Boy, by Taro Yashima, and the students, working with partners, identified the main character's point of view (as well as whether they agreed with it) during various points in the story.

Just prior to going to lunch, I introduced the new third grade web site and Edmodo to the group.  Both of these items will be shared with parents on back to school night.

Following lunch and outdoor recess flyers were distributed (it's our monthly flyer distribution day) and homework assigned (place value review worksheet and read for 20 minutes).

Next, I modeled choosing a topic for our good deed personal narrative and completing the actions, thoughts and feelings graphic organizer.  Then students were sent back to their seats with the instruction to analyze their good deed (break it down into actions) and begin charting the actions and their thoughts and feelings during each action.  We will complete this tomorrow in class.

Finally, we ended the day with a social studies lesson.  We began by defining the concept of an American democratic principle and then sorted statements (such as freedom to speak freely) into examples and non-examples of it.

HOMEWORK:  place value worksheet and read for 20 minutes

SPIRIT DAY tomorrow:  wear Damascus colors, attire, etc

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wet Wednesday

Our day began with our first class meeting.  These will be held weekly.  The purpose is to allow students to have a voice in our classroom and to build respect and trust within our group.  Typically we will start with a group share where each student will have the opportunity to complete a phrase.  For example, today's group share was to finish the phrase, "One thing you might not know about me is..."  The next portion of our meeting is compliments.  The children have a chance to compliment or thank another person in our class for something they have done.  Finally, we will usually end with challenges.  In this section we will discuss challenges that arise in class, brainstorm ideas to fix them and agree on an action plan to follow.

Today we began with the group share.  Then the children used their morning work assignment to ask question they are wondering about me.  Finally, we shared some compliments.  I didn't want to begin sharing challenges this soon!  :-)

After that Mrs. Benson came in and conducted a lesson about rounding 3 digit numbers to the nearest 100, while I continued informal reading assessments.

Next, I reviewed the TASS skills we will be focusing on this marking period.  TASS stands for thinking and academic success skills.  Collaboration and analysis are the two we will focus on for the first nine weeks.

Then we began preparing for our first writing piece.  This piece will be a personal narrative relating a time that your child performed a good deed for the common good.  To help brainstorm topics, we viewed and discussed a Power Point presentation with many photographs of people performing good deeds.  Then students worked collaboratively , with partners, to orally rehearse their ideas.  Finally, each students shared their partner's (not their own) good deed.  WE recognized that being responsible for what your partner says, forces you to be a better listener!

Following lunch and indoor recess Mrs. Howard visited to do a lesson, which integrated nicely with our science lesson from yesterday, about personal character traits.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent identifying traits personal to each student and visiting to create images reflecting our unique personal character traits.  Unfortunately, we had many technological challenges.  Therefore, some students haven't completed this task.  They will tomorrow!

HOMEWORK:  Read for 20 minutes and complete even/odd math worksheet

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Terrific Tuesday!

The children began their day in art with Mrs. Gribbin-Lindemon.

When they returned to class, Mrs. Benson joined us.  She guided the class through a math lesson while I began informal reading assessments.

In math the students identified and described patterns on an addition table.  They also identified two digit numbers as being odd or even and explained their thinking.  There is an addition table worksheet for homework.

Over the next week or so, I will meet with students, individually, to assess their reading.  Each student will read aloud, orally tell me about the story and then answer a written question.  I will use this data to determine what they already know, and are able to do, and to determine reading groups.

After math, we began our first whole group reading lesson.  I explained that I would be reading a wordless picture book to them.  First we discussed the suffix -less to identify the meaning of wordless.  Next, we explored the concept of an inference.  I explained that we "read" wordless picture books by using our background knowledge and inference skills to create meaning.

Following lunch and recess we practiced making inferences using pictures.  Then we read the wordless picture book, Free Fall, by David Wiesner, using inferencing.  We had a great time exploring the pictured, reviewing previous pages to understand the author's intended story!

Finally, we ended our day with a science lesson.  We defined the idea of personal uniqueness.  Then we read a list of character traits, and their definitions, and discussed examples of how these traits might be displayed.

HOMEWORK:  addition table WS, read for 20 minutes
PLANNER:  $2.75
FOLDER: $1.25

Monday, August 26, 2013

And so another school year begins....

It's hard to believe that summer is over but I am very excited for what I know will be a GREAT year!

It is my sincere hope that you will bookmark this blog and visit it regularly!  It will provide you with a virtual "glimpse" into our school day and alert you to important information such as homework assignments, upcoming events and strategies we learn.  Please feel free to leave questions and comments on the blog or email me at

As I told your children this morning, the first day is always crazy, busy and can get kind of boring!  The students spent a lot of time learning about routines and procedures...this is a necessary evil that ensures they know the expectations so that we can have a fabulous year!

So...let's find out what your children did all day...

The day began with a visit to the media center!  Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson reviewed their expectations and the students had a chance to check out books.

When they returned to class, the children learned and practiced the morning routine.Additionally, I taught the procedures for needing a new pencil, going to the bathroom, and getting a tissue.

Next, we set up our morning work and math journals. Then we completed our first math warm up and reviewed how to identify numbers as odd or even using the virtual manipulative web site.  As a review, to identify any number as odd or even, you look at the digit in the ones column.  If that digit is 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9, the entire number is odd.  If the digit in the ones column is 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8, the entire number is even.

Next, I introduced the concept of math rotations, as well as the issue bin.  This year in math instruction will take place in small groups.  The class will be divided into three separate groups.  These groups will change, often, during the year.  The groups will rotate between meeting with me, a seat work type of written activity and some sort of hands-on/technology related activity.  Activities will be described daily on the blog.  The issue bin is a tool the students will use when they need my help but I am busy with a small group.  Students can write their "issue" on a post-it note and I will help them when I am available.

Finally, before going to lunch and recess, the students continued working on their students survey, which they began for morning work.  Those who completed it, had the chance to share it with me and some of their classmates.

Following lunch and recess, time just flew!!  We began by reviewing the school expectations during a fire drill.  After that we practiced what we had learned during our first fire drill of the school year.

Next we organized the students' binders.  In short, when you open your child's binder, the pencil pouch should be on top.  Below that is the planner and then the green take home folder.  Underneath that is where unused notebook paper is stored.  Finally, the dividers, and eventually, students work, will be kept in the following order; math, reading, writing, science and social studies.

We ended the day by preparing for our tables which will arrive this evening.  Each student received a "folder holder" to store their composition books.  Supplies, such as pencils, erasers, glue sticks, etc. are to be stored in pencil pouches or in the communal tin which will be located in the middle of each table.

Finally, students wrote their homework in their planners (or on a copy of the planner) and papers were distributed, that need to be brought home this evening.  HOMEWORK:  read for 20 minutes and visit the blog at (here!!)  PAPERS:  Green Back to School PTA folder, lunch menu and a welcome letter (without schedule on the back) from me



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