## Wednesday, November 27, 2013

### Wonderful Wednesday--Grandparent's Day

What a treat!!!  Our room was jam packed with grandparent's this morning!!!  WOW!

We kept to our regular schedule so that our visitors could get a glimpse of what school is like today.

Therefore, we began with our weekly class meeting.  First, we shared what we are thankful for.  After that, we exchanged compliments and thank yous.  Finally, we discussed challenges we are experiencing gathering information from the Internet for our inquiry project.

Next we moved into our math rotations.  Students working with me put yesterday's lesson into action.  Given rectangles with squares along one length and one side, the students wrote a multiplication equation, with a variable, and solved it, to identify the area.

At guided practice, the students were given a POW (problem of the week) to solve with partners.

The technology rotation had the students watching a Learn Zillion lesson about calculating the area of a rectangle using the lengths of the sides.  After watching the main lesson, they did the guided practice in their math journal.

At the end of math, it was time for our grandparents, and their grandchildren, to leave.

That left us with only 11 students!!

So, we scratched our original reading plans and watched a movie about William Bradford and the First Thanksgiving.

Then we went to lunch.  After that, we packed up to go home!  :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Remember to turn in your permission slips and money for next Thursday's field trip to the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

## Tuesday, November 26, 2013

### Terrific Tuesday

The children began this dreary day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.  The central lesson today focused on calculating the area of a rectangle using multiplication.

During guided practice students used dice to randomly identify 2 factors and then used those numbers to calculate the product.  After that they wrote 3 more number sentences (1 multiplication and 2 division) for their newly determined fact family.  They repeated this process to practice their basic facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children watched a Learn Zillion lesson using arrays to calculate the area of a rectangle.

For homework, the students are to practice their basic facts using math fact cafe or that's a fact.

We began our reading and writing block by reviewing a model, or mentor, text , provided by the county, for the second quarter inquiry project.  My sole purpose, today, was for the students to see what types of information they needed to gather during their research.  While I did discuss the structure briefly, today's lesson was not to serve as a direct writing lesson.

While I meet with reading groups the students will work on reading group assignments, finish their narrative poems and complete their research.

Sharks:  We reviewed chapter 8 and read chapter 9.  As we read we discussed the changes Gregory is experiencing and how other characters might have been feeling.  Tonight they need to reread chapter 9.

Following lunch and indoor recess the students continued working independently.  I attempted to meet with reading groups but many students need help with their research...I couldn't say no.  :-(  So, I attempted to help students.

Dolphins:  These students worked with me all afternoon on their research.  They turned in their reading group books and will get a new one after Thanksgiving Break.

Cheetahs and Pandas:  These two groups read chapter 10 in their respective books.  They marked the main event in the chapter with a sticky note and identified the action leading to this event on the post-it.  We will go over this either tomorrow or Monday.

We ended the day with students asking testable questions about how observable properties of a piece of chalk will change when a process is applied.  Then they conducted an experiment to find out and recorded the outcome.

Tomorrow is an early release day and it is Grandparent's Day.

Permission slips for next week's field trip were sent home today.  Please send them in as soon as possible but I will certainly understand if you can't return it until Monday!

## Monday, November 25, 2013

### Marvelous Monday

This morning we took our first field trip to Carksburg High School.  We were treated to the musical play, "Frog and Toad".  The students enjoyed it!!!

We returned to school at 1:00 and the children ate lunch and had a shortened indoor recess.

After that, we worked on completing the narrative poems and gathering information for our inquiry project.

I didn't meet with any reading groups but, instead, worked with individual students who needed guidance to interpret information found on the Internet.

There is NO HOMEWORK this evening.  However, it is always a good idea to read for 20 minutes and practice basic facts (you can use That's a Fact or Math Fact Cafe).

BTW...Friday's quiz has been graded and returned to all students.  It should be in the math section of their binder.

## Thursday, November 21, 2013

### Thriving Thursday

Today, being our flip-flop day, we began with math rotations.

Students practiced using multiplication to solve division equations when they were with me.  During guided practiced, they played a different version of Talk and Toss, focusing on discussing with their partner how they used visualization to solve the problem AND explaining/proving their answer was right.  Finally, at the tech rotation, the children practiced basic facts using That's a Fact or Ken Ken.

We will have a quiz tomorrow.  There is an assignment on Edmodo for HOMEWORK tonight, too.

After going to music, we reviewed the difference between tattling and telling and I pointed out that there is such a think as being emotionally hurt.  If a student is emotionally hurt and tells an adult that is telling NOT tattling.

Next, I introduced the checklist (which is also a grading sheet) for the narrative poem.  I explained to students that they are to work collaboratively to revise and edit their poem, using the checklist.  Then they need to write or type (their choice) a final draft to be turned in for a grade.

Then we briefly revisited choosing a topic and gathering information for the technology tool inquiry project.

While I met with small groups the students completed reading group assignments, revised and edited their narrative poems, wrote or typed their final draft and continued gathering information about their technology tool.

Dolphins:  I met with this group first, today!  First, we worked together to revise and edit their narrative poems.  Then we practiced reading and writing their focus words.  After that we identified the main event in their book.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread their entire book and complete 1 more activity on their reading log.

Sharks:  We reread chapter 7 and identified the main event in the chapter.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 8 and do 1 activity from the reading log.

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

Pandas:  The students read chapter 9 and marked the most important part of the chapter.  Then they identified the action leading to the event.  In group we shared what they marked and the action they identified.  Most were way off the mark.  So, we spent time discussing the importance of the main event/idea being linked to the central story line.  In this case it had to relate to baseball or the big lie.  Finally, we discussed and identified the main event and action leading to it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 9 and complete 1 activity from the reading log.

Cheetahs:  The students read chapter 9 and marked the most important part of the chapter. Then they identified the action leading to the event. In group we shared what they marked and the action they identified.  They also found evidence in the text to support their thinking.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 9 and complete 1 activity from the reading log.

We ended the day by reviewing the concepts of natural and human-made physical features.  Then we began treading the book, The House on Maple Street, to identify examples of these features and notice trends.

I will be out of the building tomorrow.  I WILL be at Family Fitness night, though.

We have our field trip on Monday.  Students CAN order lunch, if they wish.  We will be back at school in time for lunch.

## Wednesday, November 20, 2013

### Wonderful Wednesday

We began our day with our weekly class meeting.  First we shared our Thanksgiving plans.  Then we exchanged than yous and compliments.  After that we discussed two challenges.  First, we talked about ways we could use Edmodo to enrich our learning.  This was in response to a student request.  Then we talked about the importance of understanding how we think, which is one of our TASS (thinking and academic success skills) skills for the marking period.

After our class meeting it was time for math rotations.

As part of the evaluation process to determine appropriate placement for the compacted math class next year, I had to give some students another UCARE assessment.  The rest of the students rotated between guided practice and technology rotations.

For guided practice the students played a toss and talk multiplication game.  During the game they were to discuss, with their partners, how they visualized the solution of the problem and how they knew their answer was correct.

At the technology rotation the students visited the web site Ken Ken.  This provides practice in basic facts memorization and logic.  LOVE this site!!

For HOMEWORK the students have an assignment posted on Edmodo.  They will watch a Learn Zillion lesson and explain (via Edmodo) how what they learned will help them solve for unknowns in multiplication and division equations.

We began our reading and writing block we examined a Native American play called The Hidden One and identified text features that identified the setting and characters.  We also identified how to know who is speaking.  Finally, we determined how stage directions were given and their intended use.  We even practiced delivering lines using stage directions!

After that I displayed the new and improved graphic organizer for the inquiry project.

While I met with groups the students worked on reading group assignments and explored options for the inquiry project, chose a topic and began gathering information to complete the graphic organizer.

Sharks:  We discussed chapter 6 by focusing on Gregory's motivation to create and feelings about his garden.  Then we began reading chapter 7.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 7 and complete 1 reading log activity.  They also need to write their contractions 3 times each in their RRJ.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing their focus words.  Then we retold the book up to page 11.  Finally, we read pages 12-16.  We also identified the event that Mr. Elm's action (making the syrup) led to.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 12-16 and complete 1 activity from their reading log.  They also need to write their focus words 3 times each in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The students read chapter 8 and marked, with a sticky note, the main event in the chapter.  In group we discussed the main event and determined the action that led to it.  Great discussion!  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 8 and do 1 activity in their reading log.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 8 and marked, with a sticky note, the main event in the chapter. In group we discussed the main event in the chapter.  Students used text from the chapter to prove me wrong!!!  Yippee!  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 8 and do 1 activity in their reading log.

We ended the day by viewing a slide show depicting how trees, sand and shale are turned into lumber and bricks to make homes.

## Tuesday, November 19, 2013

### Terrific Tuesday

The children began their day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.  When working with me, we used our knowledge of the tens facts to find the products of the nines facts.  For example, if the problem is 4 x 9=  , think about 4 x 10= 40, and then realize that 4 x 9 is one group of 4 less, so you subtract 4 from 40 and get the answer of 36.

One group also worked on mental multiplication.  We practiced multiplying by 100 or 1000.  The students learned to multiply the known digits and count the zeroes.  For example, 8 x 1000...you multiply 8 x 1 and tack on the 3 zeroes to the end.

At guided practice, the students continued working on the Problem of the Week from yesterday.  Today the emphasis was on using the clues to systematically eliminate numbers.

Finally, during the technology rotation students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about identifying a missing quotient.  Then they completed the guided practice in their math journal.

For HOMEWORK there is a worksheet reflecting today's small group lesson.

We began the reading and writing block with me modeling how to choose 2 tools from my topic (work) and begin researching what each tool was like long ago, now and how human wants and needs led to changesin the tool.

While I met with small groups, students worked on reading group assignments, completed the narrative poem rough draft, finished the science experiment from last week,chose two tools for their inquiry project and began gathering information.

Sharks:  We learned that a contraction is composed of two small words put together to form a new one that is missing a couple of letters and has an apostrophe in its place.  Then we practiced reading and writing 5 contractions from their book.  After that, I read chapter 6 , out loud to the students.  Then we identified the actions that led to Gregory creating a garden in the burned out building.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 6 and do 1 activity on the reading log.  Additionally, they need to write their contractions 3 times each in their RRJ.

Following lunch and recess the students continued working independently AFTER we had a short meeting of the minds...

I gathered the children on the carpet and explained that I wasn't comfortable with the graphic organizer, for the inquiry project, that I attempted to model this morning.  So, after consulting other teachers I discovered a better one created by another third grade teacher in the county.  This one focuses on one tool improved by technology.

Therefore, this afternoon, students will spend time exploring the available technology links to begin picking one tool they plan to research.

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing their focus words.  Then we reviewed pages 2-4 and reading up to page 11.  We worked on breaking unknown words apart to decode them.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 2-11 and complete 1 activity on their reading log.  They also need to write their focus words three times each in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The students read chapter 7 and wrote about a character's action that led to an event in this chapter, in their RRJ.  IN group I modeled answering this BCR.  The students were wide-eyed...many had merely copied a sentence from the book with no background information or explanation.  We discussed the importance of fully explaining their thinking.  They returned to their seats to revise their responses.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 7 and complete 1 activity on their reading log.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 7 and wrote about a character's action that led to an event in this chapter, in their RRJ. IN group I modeled answering this BCR. The students were wide-eyed...many had merely copied a sentence from the book with no background information or explanation. We discussed the importance of fully explaining their thinking. They returned to their seats to revise their responses. For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 7 and complete 1 activity on their reading log.

We ended the day by identifying processes that change the observable physical properties of objects in order to satisfy human wants and needs.  More to the point-- we watched two video clips and discussed how trees are turned into lumber which is then used to build homes.

## Monday, November 18, 2013

### Marvelous Monday

The students began their day in the media center with Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson.  There they identified resources, using books and technology, to use in order to gather information for the quarter 2 inquiry project.

When they returned to the classroom we jumped right into math rotations.  During the teacher rotation we identified patterns in the multiples of nine.  For example, all multiples of 9 either add up to 9 or the digits add up to a multiple of 9.  Consider 9x3, the product is 27 and 2+7 =9.  Additionally, do you think 135 is a multiple of 9?  When you add 1+3+5 you get 9 which is a multiple of 9.  So, 135 is a multiple of 9.  I also taught the students a trick using their fingers.

During guided practice students practiced the finger strategy with Bartel and worked on a Problem of the Week with a partner.

Finally, at the technology rotation, the children revisited Times Table Grid and worked on the 9s basic facts.

For HOMEWORK the students are to visit mathfactcafe.com and work on the 9s facts.

We began the reading and writing block by viewing a portion of  Snow White performed by students.  Then we identified and discussed the characteristics of plays.  Some highlights;  performed on a stage, actors/actresses use a script, story is told through what characters say and do, and scenery provides hints as to time and place (setting).

After that, I modeled scanning two books on my inquiry topic (work) to develop a list of tools used in the work place.

While I met with reading groups the students will work on reading group assignments, complete the narrative poem, finish the heat changing observable properties of objects science experiment, and create a list of tools used for their inquiry project topic.

IMPORTANT NOTE for all groups:  I am trying out something new.  ALL groups will get a reading log sheet today.  There are 5 activities on it.  By the end of the week, the children must do FOUR of the 5 activities.  They should read their assigned portion each night and choose 1 activity, on the log, to complete.  The logs are due Friday.  Please email me (dana_c_holman@mcpsmd.org) if you have questions or concerns.  I borrowed this idea from another teach and want to see how it goes!

Sharks:  We practice reading and writing some of the tricky words from chapter 4.  Then we retold the beginning, middle and end of chapter 4.  After that we read chapter 5.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 5 and do 1 activity on their reading log sheet.

Following lunch and outdoor recess (and a fire drill at the end of recess) the students continued working independently while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  We took a mini quiz on their focus words and then they got a new list, with some old and some new, of focus words.  Then I gave a book talk on their new book, The Maple Thanksgiving.  After that we read up to page 4.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread up to page 4 and do one activity on their reading log.  They also need to write their focus words three times each in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The students read chapter 6 and identified the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.  In group we discussed the chapter's title, "Hana Spills the Beans".  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 6 and do 1 activity on their reading log.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 6 and identified the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed the chapter.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 6 and complete 1 activity on their reading log.

WE ended the day by watching a video about how pencils are made.  Then we discussed the observable proprieties of a pencil and identified how and why these properties would change after the pencil has been used for a week.

FIELD TRIP...we will be going to Clarksburg HS on Monday to see their production of Frog and Toad.  Permission slips went home today.  We need them back ASAP.  Please sign the slip and return the bottom portion and \$2 tomorrow!

## Friday, November 15, 2013

### Fabulous Friday!

The students began their day in PE.

Upon returning to the classroom, they took their math quiz.  These have been scored and returned to the children.  They should be stored  in the math section of the binder.  Check them out!!!

A word about grading the math quiz---to get a score of an ES, on the word problem section this week, the students had to have an equation that reflected an understanding of the problem, as part of their answer.  An ES reflects doing/showing more than was requested.  That's why, this week, I reserved the ES score for answers with equations.

By the way, ALL students would benefit greatly from memorizing the basic facts.  We are working on this through rotations and homework.  Two web sites that might help include; That's a Fact and Math Fact Cafe.

We began our reading and writing block by revisiting the narrative poem, "Mummy slept late so Daddy Cooked Breakfast".  We identified examples of similes within the poem and discussed that the words authors choose allow them to lend a voice to their writing.

Next, the students were show the organizer they will use to research and plan their inquiry project.  We reviewed it briefly.  They will receive more in depth instruction next week.

While I meet with reading groups the students will complete reading groups assignments, revise their narrative poems to include a simile, finish the science experiment from earlier in the week, and practice writing the letters r and s in cursive.  If they have time, I have encouraged the students to look through the books related to their inquiry project topic and begin creating a list of tools.

Sharks:  We shared their unknown word lists from last night and chose 5 words on which to "focus".  Then we reread the chapter and discussed Gregory's feelings and motivations.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing their focus words.  Then we reread the poem and identified the beginning, middle and end.  We practiced retelling it in group.  Back at their seats, the students wrote a brief summary retelling the beginning, middle and end.

Cheetahs:  The children reread chapter 5 and identified 2-3 examples of cause and effect in their RRJ.  In group we shared these and retold chapter 5 concentrating on the key events.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 5 and identified 2-3 examples of cause and effect in their RRJ In group, we discussed whether or not it was a good idea for Claire to go to the meeting.

We ended the day by identifying and discovering 8 of the Wonders of Maryland.  As we read about each one, students evaluated whether it was a natural or human-made physical feature.  The they explained what made two of these "wonders".

## Thursday, November 14, 2013

### Thriving Thursday

Since Thursdays are our flip-flops days, we began our day with math rotations.

I worked with a second group on the UCARE assessment task I discussed in yesterday's blog entry.  The guided practice rotation had students working collaboratively, using math discourse (which strategy should we use and why) to solve a word problem.  When they finished they used That's a Fact to work on memorizing basic facts.  The technology rotation had students revisiting the Cuisenaire web site and using rods to create multiplication and division equations.

For HOMEWORK there is a word problem worksheet with 2 problems. That is mandatory.  Students were also given the option to work on basic facts using That's a Fact (or mathfactcafe.com is another option).  There will be a quiz tomorrow.

After math the students went to music.

When the students returned to the classroom we reviewed possessive nouns.  Then I introduced the independent work for today.  After rereading portions of their text, students watched the Educreations lesson I posted yesterday about writing a narrative poem.  Then the children carried out the science experiment from yesterday's lesson.  They attempted to use body heat or heat from the heater or from water to change an observable property of object such as crayons and clay.  Finally, the students practiced writing the letters r and s in cursive.

Sharks:  We reread chapter 3 and reviewed unknown words.  We also worked on identifying examples of cause and effect as we read.  After reading, we discussed actions of a character that caused events to happen.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 4 and list unknown words.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working independently.

Dolphins:  We reread the poem, "Fire Drill" and worked on new focus words (every, thing, leave, there, and straight).  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the poem two times and write their focus words, 3 times each, in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The children reread chapter 4 independently.  Then we reviewed chapter 4 and began reading chapter 5 in group.  After group, the students partnered up to finish reading chapter 5.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 5.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 4.  In group we reviewed unknown words and retold the main events in the chapter.  Then we identified examples of cause and effect in the story.  Tonight, for HOMEWORK, the students need to read chapter 5 and, in their RRJ, explain whether or not it was a good idea for Claire to go to the meeting.

We ran out of time and did not get to Social Studies.  :-(

## Wednesday, November 13, 2013

### Wonderful Wednesday

We began our day with our weekly class meeting.  I used the group share to check in with the children.  They were supposed to share anything on their minds.  It proved to be insightful--some shared how they felt about school.  Others said they loved our class because everyone is nice (I agree!)  Finally, some shared personal challenges.

After that we exchanged thank yous and compliments.

Finally we discussed challenges.  First, I shared a realization--I had reflected on parent conferences and recalled discussing writing issues with many families.  I told the class that, with this in mind, it has become a personal goal to improve my writing instruction.  After that students shared and discussed challenges with keeping the coat closet clean and orderly.  This proves to be our biggest area of contention...while it does need to be addressed, it is nice that this is our biggest struggle--not bad!  :-)

Our class meeting ended early.  SO, I took advantage of the found time to share a poetry web site where a published author shares her strategies for writing poetry.  The students said they found some of her pointers helpful.

Next we began our math rotations. I had planned to have a normal rotation schedule but it didn't end up that way--

As many of you know, in fourth grade there are two choices for math...4th grade math or a compacted math class that covers BOTH 4th AND 5th grade math in one year.  The testing process for the compacted class falls on the third grade teachers.  Over a period of time, we involve our students in tasks, determined by the county, and take notes as to their thoughts and problem solving processes.  Students who persevere and correctly complete one task move on to the next (at a later point) while those who are completely frustrated and confused are not put through anymore of these tasks.  Afterwards, we use data to determine student eligibility for the compacted class next year.

So, with that in mind, students began the first task for the compacted math class today.  I got through one group only!  The other two groups rotated between a guided practiced word problem and using an Internet site Cuisenaire Environment to write multiplication and division equations based upon cuisenaire rods.  This is similar to what we did in small group yesterday.

For homework all students must practice their addition basic facts using That's a Fact (web site) for at least 10 minutes.  If you don't have Internet access, use flashcards...home made or store bought.  :-)

We began our reading and writing block by reviewing the characteristics of narrative poetry.  Then I modeled writing a narrative poem.  This lesson was captured using Educreations and uploaded to the third grade web site.

After that we viewed a Power Point presentation explaining and defining possessive nouns.  Students practiced turning the sentence, "Miguel owns that car." into a sentence with a possessive noun.

Following lunch and outdoor recess Mrs. Howard stopped by to teach about bullying and teasing.  Before her lesson, though, I assigned reading group homework:

Sharks:  Read chapter 3 and list unknown words.
Dolphins:  Read the poem, "Fire Drill" two times.
Cheetahs:  Read chapter 4 and list unknown words.
Pandas:  Read chapter 4 and list unknown words and any questions you have.

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of observable properties of objects and identifying which are changeable.  Then we discussed objects which have properties that are changed by heat.  Finally, we identified safe sources of heat that are available in our classroom.

## Tuesday, November 12, 2013

### Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in art.

When they returned to the room we began our math rotations.  The group working with me used Cuisenaire rods to identify and write multiplication and division equations.  At guided practice, students wrote 2 multiplication and 2 addition equations for each fact family....similar to yesterday!
:-)  Finally, the students practiced their addition basic facts using the Internet site, It's a Fact.

Tonight, for math homework, I gave the students a choice--they either need to complete a multiplication worksheet or practice the basic addition facts, for at least 10 minutes, using the Internet site, That's a Fact.  Check your child's planner to see their choice!

IN reading we watched a video of a boy reading Casey at the Bat.  This was a different version than the students watched for homework last night.  Afterwards we identified "juicy words" that painted pictures in our head and discussed the need for careful word choice in poetry---since it is written in a concise way.  We also identified the beginning,m middle and end of the poem.

For HOMEWORK the children need to read for 20 minutes--free choice.

After eating lunch the children packed up and went home!

## Monday, November 11, 2013

### Marvelous Monday --- Parent/Teacher Conferences!!

The day began with a school wide ceremony honoring veterans in our community since it is Veteran's Day.  After that, the children visited the media center for a quick book exchange and lesson about writing good research questions.

When they returned to class, we began our math rotations.  During the teacher rotation, students were given two copies of  a problem solving process and a word problem key word chart, prepared by Mrs. Bartel.  One is to be stored in the math section of the binder and the other is glued into the front cover of the math journals.  We went over both documents and then used them to solve the first problem on tonight's homework worksheet.  Hopefully, these will provide support to students who are still struggling with math word problems.

During guided practice, the students worked with partners to write 4 equations given a set of 3 numbers.  They discussed how the equations were related and which numbers represented the groups.

At the final rotation students revisited the Times Table Grid.  This time, however, they focused on the 8 times facts.

For homework, all students must complete the final 3 word problems on the worksheet we began in class.  Disregard the "guided practice" label on the front and the "exit card" label on the back.  I switched the focus of my lesson at the last minute and used the only word problem worksheet I had at my fingertips!  :-)

Due to a shortened reading and writing block, there was not a focus lesson today.  Additionally, I did not meet with reading groups.  Instead I met with two inquiry project groups, transportation and schools.  Together we discussed and wrote questions to guide their research.

While I met with these two small groups, the rest of the class worked on writing their narrative poem rough draft and attempted to write research questions.

HOMEWORK:  All students should watch the Disney version of Casey at the Bat which is on the reading page of the third grade web site.

Students ate lunch, after our shortened reading and writing block, and then packed up!

## Friday, November 8, 2013

### TGIF!!!

The students began their day in PE.

When they returned to class they took the first math quiz for this marking period.  Overall, the students did very well.  These have been graded and should be stored in the math section of your child's binder.  Please look it over!!

We began the reading and writing block by reviewing the characteristics of narrative poetry.  Then we read a poem entitled, "Fun", and identified and discussed the theme.  After that we highlighted words and phrases that pointed to the theme.

Next, we reviewed a checklist identifying expectations for their narrative poem.  I will be using this list when I grade them.  So, students were encouraged to refer to it as they draft their rough drafts.

Finally, we revisited using a table of contents to write open ended research questions for the quarter 2 inquiry project.  I made sure to stress that each question should mention the word tools and the topic of the project.

While I met with small groups the students finished the storyboard planning organizer for their poem and then began drafting it.  Next, they worked on writing questions, using a table of contents, for their inquiry project.

Sharks:  We began small group with students partnering up to read a passage (3 sentences) and choose the correct main idea from a list of three.  Then we shared each one with the entire reading group.  After that, we used the beginning, middle and end drawings from homework Wednesday night to retell chapter 2.  Students did their best but missed the mark--often they identified unimportant details instead of key events.  So we referred to the text and thought about the story line to revise our thinking...lots of good discussion!

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

Cheetahs:  We began small group with students partnering up to read a passage (3 sentences) and choose the correct main idea from a list of three. Then we shared each one with the entire reading group.   Next we defined and discussed unknown words from last night's homework.  Then we identified the important events from the beginning, middle and end of chapter 3.  Finally, we discussed how Ben changed in this chapter.

Pandas:  We reviewed their unknown words from chapter 3 and discussed our personal feelings as we read about Kyle's predicament...especially when he received the phone call at the end of the chapter.

Dolphins:  We read a paragraph and identified the main idea.  I also collected their books.

We ended the day by reviewing the difference between telling and tattling.  Then we evaluated (thumbs up/thumbs down) whether scenarios were telling or tattling.  Finally, we reviewed the definition of bullying and identified the 3 different forms of it...psychological, verbal and physical.

Remember...Monday and Tuesday are early release days.

## Thursday, November 7, 2013

### Thrilling Thursday

Today is the day we flip flop math and our special.  So we began the day with math rotations.

When students worked with me they drew representations to solve the equation 28=4 x Z.  We discussed their pictures and identified that they naturally used division to solve a multiplication.  Additionally, we recognized the relationship between multiplication and division and suggested other ways to represent the problem and identify the unknown.

One of the groups worked on the fourth grade skill of identifying all possible factors of the product!

The technology rotation revisited Times Table Grid, discussing with a partner how to identify the placement of the product on the multiplication chart.

Guided practice had the students working with a partner to draw a representation of a word problem to solve for the unknown and write a division and multiplication equation for each.

There is a worksheet similar to the guided practice activity for homework tonight.  We will have a quiz tomorrow!

After music, I reviewed the guided practice worksheet with the entire class to clarify misconceptions.  I explained that the variable ALWAYS represents the unknown in a problem.  The known information needs to be shown in the equation with a number.  The unknown information should be indicated with a variable.  The position of the variable will change position in multiplication and division equations BUT what it represents stays the same!!

Next we moved on to our reading and writing block.

First, we reviewed the characteristics of narrative poetry.  Then we revisited the planning sheet for the narrative poem we will write.  I explained that I was unhappy with the way it was laid out and, therefore, we would be using a different organizer.  Then I modeled choosing a theme and completing the new planning sheet for the narrative poem.

After that, we revisited the Power Point that explains the quarter 2 inquiry project.  Then the children were put in groups and given their topics.  Actually, they listed first, second and third choices, for topics, earlier in the week.  We just did a little negotiation and finalized groups today.

Next, I explained the difference between an open (lots of answers, good for encouraging research, ex.  How did technology change the way work is done at the office?) and closed (only one answer, ex. What tool is used to send emails?) questions.  Then I modeled using the table of contents from a non-fiction book to create open questions that will guide my research for the quarter 2 inquiry project.

While I met with small groups the students read poetry and located examples of narrative poems.  They also chose a theme and complete the storyboard sequence organize to plan for their narrative poem.  After that, they worked with group members to write open questions for their topic using the table of contents from a book they will be using.

Following lunch and indoor recess, the students began their independent work while I met with groups.

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing their focus words.  Then we practiced retelling their book, A Family Tree.  This proved to be a challenge.  So after struggling through, we went back and marked the main events with a sticky note.  Then, we retold the story, again.  After that, I provided a template for the students to use as they retold the book, in writing, in the RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread their book (fluency) and write their focus words 2 times each, in a fun way.

Cheetahs:  We retold chapter 2 using the beginning, middle and end drawings from last night's homework.  The focus was on telling the main events--not the details.  After that, we identified examples of cause and effect from the chapter.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 3 and list unknown words on a sticky note.

Pandas:  We shared examples of narrative poetry they located in books.  Then we identified and defined unknown words for chapter 2.  After that we discussed the internal conflict which Kyle is facing in chapter 2.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 3 and list unknown words and questions.

Sharks:  We ran out of time in the morning and afternoon, so we didn't get a chance to meet.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 2 for fluency.  We WILL meet tomorrow.

We ended the day by determining the difference between telling and tattling.  We read a book called, A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue and evaluated situations to determine whether they were tattling or telling.

Tomorrow is PAJAMA DAY.  Students may wear pajamas to school but must wear appropriate shoes (we have PE) and are not allowed to bring stuffed animals!!

## Wednesday, November 6, 2013

### Wonderful Wednesday

Our day began with our weekly class meeting.  During our group share I introduced the two TASS (thinking and academic success skills) skills for the second marking period. Over the next 9 weeks students will be thinking about the way they learn and incorporating evaluation (of resources, answers, ideas, etc.) into their learning.  After that we exchanged compliments.  Since there were no challenges, we skipped that part!

We jumped right into our math rotations after our meeting.  The teacher rotation reviewed the idea that multiplication and division are inverse operations.

I captured and added two educreation lessons to the third grade web site.  One is a lesson on solving word problems by identifying the knowns and unknowns, writing an equation and drawing a picture to solve it.  The other is about the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.

The technology rotation had students visiting the Times Table Grid web site and discussing, with a partner, how to locate the answer on the multiplication table.  Finally, the guided practice rotation involved students identifying various ways to share a given number, by drawing a picture and writing a related multiplication  and division sentence for each.

There is a fact triangle worksheet for homework.  Students can view today's lesson, on the third grade web site, to help them!

We began our reading and writing block by reviewing the characteristics of narrative poetry (has a beginning, middle and end, tells a story).  We also reviewed the concept of figurative language being a tool writers use to make their writing more clear and interesting.  Similes and metaphors and two types of figurative language that compare seemingly unsimilar objects or things.

After that we read a narrative poem, identified the beginning, middle and end and the theme (after reviewing what a theme is--authors inferred message or lesson).

Finally, I modeled how to plan a narrative poem by first choosing a theme and them identifying what will take place n the beginning, middle and end.

While I meet with small groups the children will work on assignments from yesterday and begin planning their own narrative poem.

Sharks:  We reviewed chapter 1 and discussed how and why Gregory changed from the beginning to the end of the chapter.  Then we read chapter 2.  Tonight, for HOMEWORK, the students need to reread chapter 2 and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.  We will use this to begin discussing sequence in reading group tomorrow.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing our focus words.  Then we reviewed page 10 and finished reading the book.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 10-16 and write their focus words 3 times each in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The students completed the two vocabulary entries using unknown words from chapter 1.  We began reading chapter 2 together.  For HOMEWORK they need to finish reading chapter 2 and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.  We will use this to retell the chapter in group tomorrow.

Pandas:  The students finished writing about a title for chapter 1 in their RRJ and creating a vocabulary entry for a word from their unknown word lists for chapter 1.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter 2 and list unknown words and questions they have.

We ended the day by reviewing and identifying observable properties of objects.  Then we identified which properties could be changed without altering the makeup of the object.

## Tuesday, November 5, 2013

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning I was involved in a meeting in school.  So, the students were left in the extremely capable hands of Mrs. Benson, following my plans!

After going to art, the children returned to class and began their math rotations.

The teacher rotation focused on recognizing patterns in the 4s fact on a multiplication chart.  Identifying patterns will lead to quicker memorization.

The technology rotation had the students watching a Learn Zillion video using bar models to solve division word problems.  After viewing the lesson, the children completed the guided practice in their math journal.

Finally, the guided practice rotation had students working with partners to build arrays, using the Building Arrays web site, and write a multiplication and division equation for each.

There is a worksheet for HOMEWORK focusing on the patterns in the 4s facts.

Before going to lunch and recess the students reviewed the idea that poetry is an avenue to communicate thoughts and ideas in a new and different way.   Then we identified the difference between literal and non-literal language.  I introduced figurative language (non-literal) as a tool box full of tools (such as similes and metaphors) that writers use to communicate their ideas so that their readers form a picture in their minds similar to the one the writer has.

Next I introduced similes and metaphors as two ways to compare seemingly unrelated things.  Similes make the comparison using "like" or "as".  Metaphors don't.  An example of a simile is, My pillow is as hard as a rock".  An example of a metaphor is, "The linebacker was a steamroller."

Following lunch and recess I reviewed the independent work assignments.  Students worked on individual reading group assignments.  They also watched a video about similes and metaphors.  After that, they wrote an d illustrated an example of each in their RRJ.  Next, they practiced writing the letters h and k in cursive.  Since time was short, they were told, repeatedly, that these assignments would roll over to tomorrow.

Sharks:  We didn't meet.  :-(

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing their focus words.  We also discussed the problem in the story and related the actions to it.  Then we read page 10.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read page 10, twice, working on fluency.

Cheetahs:  The students re watched the Educreations lesson about vocabulary entries.  Then they chose two unknown words from last night's homework and created vocabulary entries for them in their RRJ.  In group we reviewed the format for vocabulary entries and I clarified a few misconceptions.  Then we discussed the problem in chapter 1.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 1.  In their RRJ they identified a title for this chapter and used specific details from the book to support/explain their choice.  Then they re watched the Educreations lesson on vocabulary entries and chose one word from their homework last night to create an entry in the vocabulary section of their RRJ.  IN group we reviewed their assignments and I reminded the children that they are not expected to complete both assignments today...they will carry over until tomorrow.  We discussed chapter 1 and I answered questions they identified for homework last night.

ALL STUDENTS have a cause and effect HOMEWORK assignment on Edmodo tonight.  Those who do not have Internet access can complete it in class during morning work tomorrow.

We ended the day with the students working collaboratively to identify the physical properties of objects.

## Monday, November 4, 2013

### Welcome to MP 2!!!

The students began their day in the media center with Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson.  There they were introduced to the inquiry project for the second parking period.  For a detailed description visit the third grade web site and look under the inquiry project tab.

When the students returned to the classroom we continued our rotations from Thursday.  When working with me, the students practice identifying the knowns and unknowns within a word problem.  I emphasized that our word problems can only have one unknown, so the rest are knowns.  We also labelled parts and wholes to determine whether to multiply or divide.  Since pxp=w, if the unknown is a whole, division is your best bet.  The inverse is also true.  Since division is w divided by part = part, when the unknown is a part, you want to use division.  After writing an equation to match the word problem, the students used pictures and/or counters to solve for the unknown.

Note:  One group was stretched to solve a two step word problem with more than one possible answer!!

During guided practice the students worked collaboratively in groups. Each group was given word problems and they had to use the wording of the problem to determine whether they were grouping or sharing. Then they had to draw a picture and write an equation to solve each one.

At the technology rotation, students watched a Learn Zillion lesson relating division to the real world. Then they completed the guided practice lesson, with the video, in their math journal.

There is a word problem worksheet for homework.

Today's reading and writing block began with an introduction to poetry.  We identified and defined the idea of narrative poetry (sequential, has a beginning, middle and end, tells a story) and a stanza (lines of poetry that belong together...stanzas are separated by space).

While I met with reading groups the students worked on individual reading group assignments, they explored poetry books and identified examples of narrative poems and stanzas, and the practiced writing the letters l and b in cursive.

Sharks:  I collected their Oregon Trail books and we began a new book called The Chalkbox Kid.  First, I did a quick book introduction.  Then I read chapter 1 out loud to the group.  After group the students partnered up to reread chapter 1.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 1, working on fluency.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced reading and writing last weeks focus words.  We also reread pages 2-10.  The children struggles with both.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read and write their focus words 3 times each in their RRJ.  Then they need to reread pages 2-10, working on fluency.

Cheetahs:  The students wrote about their biggest fear in their RRJ.  In group we shared their writing.  Then I introduced our next book, Different Dragons.  I explained that the main character, Ben, has a lot of fears, or dragons.  We are going to read about how he conquers his dragons.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 1 and list unknown words on a sticky note.

Pandas:  The students wrote about their favorite place in their RRJ.  I had planned to share these in reading group but we ran out of time.  Instead I gave a brief introduction to our new book, Winners Take All.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 1 and write unknown words and any questions they have on a sticky note.

We ended the day by defining the idea of an observable property (something you can see, feel, hear or smell).  Then we identified observable properties of  a material.  Finally, we shared ways we could change the observable properties and reason for it.