## Friday, February 28, 2014

### TGIF - Read Across America

This morning the students began their day in PE.

When they returned to class, we were treated to a guest reader, from the Damascus Senior Center, who read the Dr. Seuss favorite, Oh, the Thinks You can Think, to the entire third grade.  This special event was in celebration of Read Across America Day, in honor of Dr. Seuess' birthday.

After she left, we finished our math rotations from yesterday.  I think I mentioned that I only got to two groups yesterday.  Then the students took the fourth quiz of this quarter.  Overall, I was so excited with the results!!  They have been scored and returned to students.  Please review them but they should remain in the math section of the binder.

Next, most students either finished their realistic fiction picture book story map, or, those who were done, wrote thank you letters to our guest reader.

Finally, we ate lunch and packed up!

Reminder:  Our class is taking the PARCC reading assessment at the end of March.  On Monday and Tuesday of next week, when the other third grade class is taking the reading MSA we will continue with regular instruction.  WE WILL be taking the math MSA, though, next Friday and the following Monday.

## Thursday, February 27, 2014

### Thriving Thursday!

Thursday is our flip-flop day.  So, we began the day with our math rotations.

Groups who met with me created a set of fraction strips, using construction paper, and used them to identify equivalent fractions.  During guided practice the students continued playing fractions race.  They rolled dice to create a proper fraction and then wrote equivalent fractions by multiplying the numerator and the denominator by the same number.  Finally, at the technology rotation, the students identified equivalent fractions visiting the Internet site Equivalent Fractions Matching Game.

For homework they need to play the Equivalent Fractions Matching Game, again.  There will be a quiz tomorrow.

After math, the children went to music.

When they returned we began our reading and writing block.  All reading groups were expected to watch a Learn Zillion lesson about temporal words.  Then they were assigned a section in their text to read and see if they could identify any temporal words.  Other independent assignments included completed the character analysis and the story map for their realistic fiction picture book.  They also read a biography about Thomas Edison and answered some follow up comprehension questions.  IF they completed all assignments they worked on their personal academic goal.

Sharks:  We met and reviewed the concept of a temporal word.  Then we revisited chapter one in Lily and Miss Liberty and identified temporal words.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read pages 4-8.

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

Dolphins:  We watched the temporal words lesson and identified temporal words as transition words, connecting ideas, that indicate where and when.  Then we reread Frog Songs and located temporal words.  After that I talked to the group about a few things...first, that rereading the same book for days at a time is important because it builds fluency.  Second, after informally testing their reading yesterday I recognized that this group needs to work on reading through the entire word and reading contractions.  We will do this!  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread Frog Songs and practice their word bag cards.

Cheetahs:  The students had watched a Learn Zillion lesson about temporal words.  Then they read chapter 14 and looked for temporal words in the text.  In group we reviewed the concept of temporal words and then reread the chapter to identify the central message AND examples of temporal words.  For HOMEWORK the children should read chapter 15 and look for temporal words.

Pandas:  The students had watched a Learn Zillion lesson about temporal words. Then they read chapter 15 and looked for temporal words in the text. In group we reviewed the concept of temporal words and the students retold the chapter , as well as, shared temporal words they found during their reading. For HOMEWORK the children should read chapter 16.

We ended the day trying to catch up in social studies.  First we read a book about ancient Mexico.  Then we began viewing a Power Point presentation about the Ancient Aztecs.

Reminder...tomorrow is an early dismissal day.  Also, students are encouraged to wear red, tomorrow, in honor of Read Across America day!

## Wednesday, February 26, 2014

### It's Hump Day!

This morning we had our weekly class meeting.  First, during the group share, the students shared what they are good at in math.  After that we exchanged thank yous and compliments.  Finally, we discussed challenges.

Today we focused on independent work time--the need to follow the expectations displayed on the flip chart, the importance of being responsible and trustworthy in order to get their work done in a timely manner and a reminder that if they need help, when I am not available, they should leave a note on the issue bin.  We also discussed the need for morning work prompts.  Each week I take time to look for and select prompts for the class morning work journal writing.  However, since we began working towards personal academic reading/writing goals, most students are no longer writing in their morning work journals.  Instead they are working on their goals.  So, as a class, we decided that I would provide a list of prompts that students could choose from on days they are writing in their morning work journals.  There will no longer be  prompt per day for the entire class.

Next we began our math rotations.  The teacher group used Cuisenaire rods to build models showing fractions on a given bar.  Then, using the rods, we drew diagrams and identified equivalent fractions.

At guided practice the students played a game called Fraction Race.  This practiced identifying equivalent fractions and basic multiplication facts--two birds, one stone!  :)  To play the students rolled dice to create a proper fraction.  Then they multiplied the numerator and the denominator by the same number to create equivalent fractions.  At the end of the round, the winner was the person with the most correct answers and they won five points!

Finally, at the technology rotation the students watched a Learn Zillion lesson identifying equivalent fractions using fractions strips.  They also completed the guided practice exercise that went with this lesson.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on Edmodo.  Students use the link on the Edmodo assignment to visit an Internet site and play Equivalent Fraction Bingo.  Then they will tell me, via Edmodo, a strategy they used or learned.

During our reading and writing block the children worked on independent reading group assignments, completed the character analysis, finished the story map for the realistic fiction picture book and read and responded to comprehension questions about Thomas Edison.

I spent time meeting with reading groups and assessing individual student's growth in reading.

Sharks:  The students got a new book, Lily and Miss Liberty.  I gave a short book introduction and we began reading the first chapter.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 1-3.

Following lunch and indoor recess, I spent a majority of the time assessing student reading.  I did meet with one more groups.

Dolphins:  We reviewed the t-chart they did for homework last night and the students underlined the base word and circled the suffix in each word on their chart.  We also practiced reading their word bag cards.  Independently the children wrote about the problem in the story and how Froggy solved it.

Pandas:  Reread chapter 13 and, in their RRJ, they identified the change in this chapter as well as their own personal point of view regarding the change.

The day ended with the students viewing pictures of the original light bulb, as Edison designed it, and one from present day.  Then they took a risk and used words or pictures to explain how it works.  After that, they viewed a video explaining how the light bulb actually works.  Finally, they discussed their new learning!

## Tuesday, February 25, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in art.  When I picked them up, I got to see the wonderful winter scenes they created.  In a word---AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

When they got back to class they jumped right into math rotations.  I was in a meeting, in the building, so the teacher rotation was led by Mrs. May.  When working with her, the children used musical notes to identify equivalent fractions.  During guided practiced they played Fraction Contraption, from yesterday, to identify equivalent fractions.  Finally, during the technology portion, they watched a Learn Zillion lesson about identifying equivalent fractions using a number line.

For HOMEWORK the students have a fraction chart worksheet.

While I  met with small groups during our reading and writing block, the children worked on independent reading group assignments, publishing their character analysis and planning the picture book for the third quarter inquiry project.  They also read a biography about Thomas Edison and answered some comprehension questions.

Sharks:  We met and completed the BCR we began, in group, yesterday.  The students reread what they had written to explain Anna and Grandpa's relationship at the beginning of the book.  Then they explained how and why that relationship changed, first orally and then in writing.  For HOMEWORK they need to read for 15 minutes--free choice.  I have collected their reading group books.  We will begin a new one tomorrow.

Cheetahs:  We shared their t-charts from homework last night and discussed how to be more specific by including details from the text.  Then we read and discussed chapter 12.  Our discussion focused on the overall mood in this chapter and Anna's feelings regarding the disappearance of Dr. Crider.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 13.

Following lunch and indoor recess the children continued working independently while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  The students whisper read Frog Songs and marked the problem and solution with sticky notes.  We reviewed the problem and solution and identified what Froggy did to solve the problem.  Then we defined a suffix as a word ending and found words, in their book with -ing and -ed endings.  We created a t-chart in their RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread Frog Songs and add words with -ing and -ed suffixes to the chart in their RRJ.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 13 and, in their RRJ, identified Peter's point of view regarding the rain and explained whether or not they agreed with it and why.  In group, we discussed the point of view as being a feeling.  Then we reviewed the expectations for answering a BCR, in general, and specific to today's assignment.  I felt like the children actually increased their understanding of what they should have included in their responses.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 14.

We ended the day by comparing New York City present day to that of the past.  Then we watched a video clip about Thomas Edison's inventions and how he helped usher in the age of electricity.

## Monday, February 24, 2014

### Marvelous Monday!!

The students began their day in the media center with Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson.  Mrs. Rose read the realistic fiction picture book, The Relatives Came, and reviewed the problem and solution with the children.  She also took time to point out the layout of the book and discuss how the illustrations support the text.

When the children returned to class, we began our math rotations.  This week, in math, we swill be focusing on equivalent fractions.

The teacher group used pattern blocks to identify fractions equivalent to 1/2.  At guided practice, the children played a game called, Contraption Fractions, to practice identifying equivalent fractions.  Finally, during the technology rotation, they viewed a Learn Zillion lesson identifying equivalent fractions using area models.  They also completed the guided practice portion of the online lesson.

For HOMEWORK the students have a fractions on a number line worksheet.

Before moving on to independent work and meeting with reading groups, the students began planning their realistic fiction picture book.  First, they thought about the setting of their book.  Then they got into groups with other students using a similar setting.  In the group they began sharing and discussing their ideas.

Next, I showed the students the Kidspiration story map they will use to plan their book.

Today, while I meet with small groups, the children will finish publishing their character analysis, begin working on the story map for their realistic fiction picture book, and read a biography about Thomas Edison.

Sharks:  We met and whisper read, while I listened in, the final chapter of Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm.  Then we discussed the changes in Anna and Grandpa through tou the book and the theme of the story.  After that, we worked together to write about the changes in the main characters.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread chapter 8.

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

Dolphins:  We reviewed the consonant blends str- and scr- and added 4 words to their word bags.  Then I did a book introduction for their new book, Frog Songs.  After that, the students whisper read the story while I listened in.  For homework tonight, the children need to reread the book and practice reading their word bag cards.

Cheetahs:  We met and began reading chapter 11, "The Hold".  After reading page 55 we discussed the concept of a hold and  compared cruises today to voyages back in the 1600's.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 11 and complete the t-chart (fun vs. danger) in their RRJ.

Pandas:  I had given this group a day without independent work to give them time to finish their character analysis.  Unfortunately, some chose to take advantage of this situation.  SO, when I called them to group, we discussed my disappointment.  For HOMEWORK they students need to read chapter 13.

The day ended with the students sorting pictures of objects as giving off heath through electricity or not.

## Friday, February 21, 2014

### TGIF

Wow!  We have been in school for four days this week...feels kind of weird.  LOL!  Personally, I am hoping to make it a full week, next week.

The students began their day in PE.

After PE, they returned to class and took a quiz covering fractions and mixed numbers on a number line.  Overall, the children demonstrated great understanding!!  The quizzes have been scored and returned to the students.  They should be stored in the math section of the binder.  Please look it over!  :-)

The quiz was short, so we had some extra time on our hands.  Never fear...having missed so much school recently, we had plenty to do.  So, the students participated in one math rotation.

One group met with me and completed the fraction train activity where they matched different representations of fractions, similar to dominoes.  Another group worked with Mrs. Bartel to roll dice (2 for the numerator and 1 for the denominator) to create an improper fraction.  Then they wrote the fraction and created a number line to represent it, in their math journal.  The final group revisited the fraction app on Edmodo.

Today, during our reading and writing block, we focused on two items...completing the character analysis and using Kidspiration to create a story board for each group's historical fiction novel.  The Kidspiration activity served two purposes...first, it forced the students to revisit the text and retell the important events.  Second, it gave the children an opportunity to increase their comfort with this software package, since they will be using it to create their story map for the realistic fiction picture book inquiry project.

Cheetahs:  We met and reviewed chapters 9 and 10, including the student's lists of unknown words.  Then the children split into two groups (boys vs. girls) and completed the story board, for A Lion to Guard Us, using Kidspiration.

Sharks:  We met and finished reading and discussing chapter 7.  Then the students worked together to complete the Kidspiration story board for their book, Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm.

After lunch, we all had a blast at our school's Jump Rope for Heart.  Then it was back to work.

Dolphins:  The children whisper read Old Jacket, New Jacket and then completed a Kidspiration story board, together, as a group.

Pandas:  We met to discuss chapter12, focusing on the last three sentences pertaining to the importance of the snow to the plan.  After that, the children worked in small groups to complete a Kidspiration story board for their book, so far.

At the end of the day, some groups were still working on the Kidspiration story board.  Therefore, I pulled the rest of the children and we reviewed the various purposes for maps  Then I gave them 3 different maps (one for an airplane showing the airspace in the DC metro area, one of Texas highways and the other of Vermont attractions) to "read" using the legend.  They were quite excited!!

## Thursday, February 20, 2014

### Thriving Thursday

Today is our flip-flop day.  So we began with math rotations.

The teacher led rotation focused on creating and labeling number lines using fractions and mixed numbers with denominators of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8.  At guided practice the students played a game matching fractions and mixed numbers to number lines on their game boards.  Finally, the technology rotation had students viewing a Learn Zillion lesson about plotting mixed numbers on a number line.

For HOMEWORK the children are expected to use the Edmodo fractions app (go to the app launcher on the right hand side near the scroll bar and go to refraction).  There WILL be a quiz tomorrow.

During our reading and writing block the students worked on independent reading group assignments and finishing their character analysis.  This include drafting the conclusion, revising their writing and publishing the final copy.  During any "down" time they focused on their personal academic goals.

I met with small groups.

Pandas:  We met and discussed the change in mood in chapter 11 using specific details from the text.  After that, each child read their first and second paragraphs, of the character analysis, and I provided verbal and written feedback to help them revise and improve their writing.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 12.

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

Dolphins:  These students used their sticky notes from yesterday to write about the process of turning milk into ice cream.  In group we whisper read part of From Milk to Ice Cream and then we worked on decoding multi syllabic words by identifying parts and sounds we know.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread Old Jacket, New Jacket.

Sharks:  We met and reviewed strategies for decoding unknown words...especially looking for sounds we do know.  Then we began rereading chapter 7.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 46-48.

Cheetahs:  The students had a LONG group yesterday so they were off the hook today.  ;-)  For HOMEWORK, though, they need to reread chapter 10.

We ended the day with social studies.  We identified the purposes for different types of maps, such as, political , physical, temperature, population density and road maps.

## Wednesday, February 19, 2014

### Hump Day

Ahhh...back to routine!!!!

We had a wonderful Valentine's Day party.  A HUGE thank you to all of the parents involved with planning such a great event!!

This morning we started our day with our weekly class meeting.  Prior to the group share I showed the class this video clip from Meet the Robinsons.  Then, each student had a chance to share their thoughts/reactions to the film segment.  After that, we shared compliments and thank yous.  Finally, we turned our attention to challenges.

Our challenge section focused on our personal academic goals.  The students gave me feedback regarding their struggles/frustrations.  Some of my take aways included finding more time for the children to work towards their goals and providing quicker feedback.  The children suggested giving them more control, such as checking their own work with answers keys I provide or testing each other on their spelling words.  It was very refreshing and liberating to hear the children ask for more control over their destiny!!!

After our class meeting we jumped into our math rotations.  I had planned to meet with all 3 groups but that didn't happen.  Instead I worked with a group of students on an assessment task for next year's 4/5 compacted math class.  This task, called Fraction Train, has domino-like cards using numerical, area model and number line representations of fractional parts and mixed numbers.  The students need to arrange the cards so that each piece connects with a like representation.

The other two groups rotated between  a Learn Zillion lesson using an area model to identify fractions on a number line and a hands on activity where they drew a line 6 inches long, rolled a die and then partitioned the line according to the number rolled on the die.  After that, they labeled the number lines.  As an extension, students were encouraged to roll two dice or extend the number line to include 2 or 3 wholes instead of just one.

For HOMEWORK the children have a worksheet reviewing measuring to the nearest half inch.

Today, during the reading and writing block, the students worked on independent reading group assignments.  After that, they watched a lesson, taught by me and captured on Educreations, about drafting the concluding paragraph for the character analysis.  I suggested viewing it more than once. After watching the lesson, the students were to draft their own concluding paragraph.  If they finished these tasks, they were to read realistic fiction books and work on their personal academic goals.

Meanwhile, I met with small groups.

Cheetahs:  Independently the students answered a BCR, in their RRJ, naming a character trait for Dr. Crider and using two specific examples, from the text, to support their idea.  In group we began by identifying the requirements for answering a BCR.  Sentence 1 should answer the question.  Sentences2 & 3 (and possibly more) should use SPECIFIC details/examples from the book to support their answer in sentence 1.  The final sentence should be a conclusion or an, "I think" statement. After that, we focused on their character analysis.  Each student read their first two paragraphs aloud while the group and I provided feedback to help them revise their writing.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 10 and list unknown words.

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

Dolphins:  Independently the students reread their book and marked, with sticky notes, the steps needed to turn milk into ice cream.  In group we reviewed the steps they had marked.  This was quite a challenge for the group.  So we eventually, remarked the steps, together.  For HOMEWORK the students need to retell an adult (using the sticky notes in the book) the steps for making ice cream.  After that, each child read their first two paragraphs of the character analysis aloud while I provided feedback for revisions.

Pandas:  The children read chapter 10 and completed vocabulary entries, in their RRJ, for proposed and sentinels.  They also prepared to discuss the surprise at the end of the chapter.  IN group we discussed the surprise. For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 11 and think about the mood.

Sharks:  The children reread chapter 6 and marked places is the book, with a sticky note, that showed Anna's thoughts (T) and feelings (F).  In group we shared these as we discussed the chapter.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 7 and list unknown words.

We ended the day by identifying objects that produce heat through electricity.  Then we read about heat energy.  The big take aways---heat moves from an object that is hot to an object that is cold and heat is the movement of energy.

## Tuesday, February 18, 2014

### Welcome Back...It's Been a While!

Wow!  It has been 6 days since I last saw your kiddos!!

With a two hour delay and our class Valentine's Day parties,today will not follow our regular schedule.  Nevertheless, it's so good to be back in action!!

Before lunch we had our math rotations.

The teacher lesson focused on identifying and labeling fractions greater than one on a number line.  During guided practice the students worked on a chart naming and showing (using whole models and a number line) fractions greater than one.  Finally, during the technology rotation the children visited an Internet site called Fraction Flags.

For HOMEWORK some students need to finish the chart they began during the guided math rotation.  All others should practice their basic facts using Math Fact Cafe or That's a Fact.

Reading HOMEWORK:  The students were told to reread the last assignment for homework this evening.  SO..
Dolphins:  Reread the entire book and practice word bag cards.

Following lunch we used a Power Point presentation to get an overview of the quarter 3 inquiry project.  In short, each child will write an illustrate their own realistic fiction picture book.  After getting the big picture, we watched, and discussed, some author interviews, focusing on how they get their ideas and their own personal writing process.

Finally, the students got a chance to celebrate Valentine's day with a party that included exchanging valentines, yummy snacks, a game and some crafts.

Thanks to all of the wonderful parents who helped make this a fun event!

## Wednesday, February 12, 2014

### Hump Day

We started our day with our weekly class meeting...which we have not been able to have the past couple of weeks due to the weather.  For our group share I showed the class this clip and then gave each child a chance to share their thoughts.  After that, we exchanged thank yous and compliments.  Finally, we discussed two challenges.  The first challenge pertained to the newly implemented personal academic goals.  I explained that I needed their patience and understanding as I figured out how to provide them enough time and support to achieve their goal.  The second spoke to honesty and respect in the classroom.  I will leave it at that.

After our meeting we began our math rotations.  The teacher group practiced counting and labeling fractions and mixed numbers, using thirds and sixths, on a number line showing three wholes.  During guided practice students used a die to create fractions with a denominator of 6 and then drew a model of it and labeled it on a number line.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the children  visited the Internet site, Measurement Game.

For HOMEWORK there is a fraction on a number line worksheet.

During the reading/language arts block, the children worked on independent reading group activities.  They also watched author interviews and perused realistic fiction books, completing a capture sheet, to prepare for the upcoming inquiry project (writing a realistic fiction picture book).  Then they read about heat and light energy for science.  Finally, they worked toward meeting their various personal academic goals.

Before meeting with reading groups I met with students to plan or work on their academic goals.

Fluency:  This group will get pieces of text to read.  I will read the text to the student once.   Then they will reread it and I will time them.  I will then calculate how many words they read er minute.  Next, the child will practice reading the text until they can read it fluently.  They will then return to me and I will time them, reading the text, and calculate words per minute.  We will repeat this process until the goal is met on an initial cold read.

Spelling:  Several members of this group were ready to be tested on their first list.  After taking their test, and passing, they were given a pre-test on a new list.  Again, words they spelled incorrectly were used to create a new list to practice.

Sharks:  We met and reviewed chapter 5.  Specifically, the students were asked to mark sections, in the chapter, that showed the passengers on the El felt scared.  Then we used the examples as we orally answered how people on the train must have felt.  HOMEWORK:  Read chapter 6 and list unknown words on a sticky note.

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

Dolphins:  The students reread pages 2-5 and practiced their word bag words , independently.  In group we reviewed the idea that some words have silent consonants.  Then I did a quick book talk for pages 6 through the end.  Then the students whisper read the entire book while I listened in.  We worked on breaking apart multi syllabic words.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the entire book and practice reading their word cards.

Cheetahs:  Independently the students read chapter 8 and listed unknown words,  In group we discussed chapter 8.  Specifically we identified how the children's feelings changed because of Dr. Crider's actions.  We also reviewed their lists of unknown words.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 9 and list unknown words.

Pandas:  Independently the students read chapter 8 and completed vocabulary entries for pact and torture.  Then they drew a picture, using the text, of how Per Garson stacked the gold on the sled.  They described their picture in complete sentences.  In group we reviewed the vocabulary and discussed Peter's feelings at the end oft he chapter when he didn't find the cave.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter 9.

We ended the day by using friction to create heat with three materials; chop sticks, an eraser on paper and popsicle sticks.  Then we listed the objects from least to greatest amount of heat produced by friction.  Finally, we analyzed how more heat might have been created.

Due to the impending weather, MCPS has announced we will not have school tomorrow.

## Tuesday, February 11, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

Isn't it nice to start the day with the sun shining??

The children's day began with art.  Mrs. Gribbon-Lindemon completed a project with them, but then shared her experiences as a published author and illustrator.  This was to give more background information in preparation for the third quarter inquiry project, writing a realistic fiction picture book.

After art, we began our math rotations.  The teacher lesson focused on identifying and counting fractions of sixths on a number line.  During guided practice the children modeled and placed, on a number line, thirds by rolling a die and using that number as the numerator.  Finally, they practiced measuring to the nearest half and quarter inch using the Internet site, Ruler Game.

For HOMEWORK the children have a worksheet labeling fractions on a number line.

During the reading and writing block the children worked on independent reading group assignments and completing the first two paragraphs of the character analysis.  After that, they prepared for the upcoming inquiry project by listening to author interviews and perusing various realistic fiction picture books, using a capture sheet to help them focus on different characteristics.  They also read about light and heat energy...and, if there was time, worked on their personal academic goal.

Cheetahs:  The students met with Mrs. J and reread chapter 7.  Then they discussed how Jemmy, Meg and Amanda were like the Night People who were introduced in this chapter.

Sharks:  The group met with Mrs. J, reread chapter 5 and reviewed their lists of unknown words.  Then they discussed how Anna and Grandpa's relationship is changing.

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

Writing Goals:  We met and each child received a writing journal.  They will write paragraphs that have 4 sentences (topic sentence, 2 sentences elaborating on the topic and a conclusion).  There is a checklist in the front to help them.  Additionally, there is a topic list on the first page.  Using this list is optional--it's there in case they can't think of anything to write about.  They should hand in the journal after each paragraph.  I will then provide feedback to help them improve their writing.

Dolphins:  We reviewed words that have silent consonants and added three examples (write, know and lamb) to their word card bags.  Then I did a book introduction for the new book, From Milk to Ice Cream.  The book talk focused on breaking down multi syllabic words in order to decode them.  After that they whisper read pages 2-5.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread pages 2-5.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 7 and were supposed to come to group prepared to discuss why Peter thought Uncle Victor was smart...I even told them to pay special attention to page 43.  Some students did this....others, not so much!  After a "talk" about rereading the text if they couldn't respond to the discussion question, we identified why Peter thought his uncle was smart.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 7.

We ended the day by using non-living materials (erasers, chop sticks, etc.) to explore how friction produces heat.

WRITING HOMEWORK:  ALL students are supposed to read the first 2 paragraphs of their character analysis to an adult.  They should read it out loud so they can listen to their writing and make necessary changes.

## Monday, February 10, 2014

### Marvelous Monday

I'm looking forward to a fun, full week of learning!  :-)

The children began their day in the media center.  They completed video taping their skits from last marking period's inquiry project and then viewed all of them.

When we returned to class we began math rotations.  The teacher lesson focused on identifying and counting thirds on a number line.  During guided practice the students gathered information and created a line plot to display it.  Finally, at the technology rotation, the children visited the site, Interpret Line Plot, to practice obtaining information from a line plot.

Note:  A really important understanding that some students are still struggling to understand is that one third is ALWAYS one out of three equal parts of a whole but the value of one-third can be different depending on the size of the whole.

HOMEWORK:  Students have a line plot worksheet to complete this evening.

Today we began the reading and writing block by revisiting the personal academic goal each child wrote in early January.  I explained to students that I have come up with a menu of activities for each type of goal and that, instead of meeting with reading groups today, I will meet with groups of students who wrote similar goals.

After meeting with me and determining how they will reach their goal, the students will begin working towards it, in the morning, before going to our special, and, during the day, after they have completed all independent work.

I explained that it will be up to each student to keep in contact with me regarding questions, confusions and frustrations ...or if things are going well.  After they reach their goal, they will celebrate it and choose a new one.

Main Idea/Writing detailed sentences:  The main idea portion of this academic goal group has decided they want practice worksheets.  Together we found several.  They will begin by reading a paragraph and identifying the main idea from a list of choices.  Once they have that under their belt, they will read a paragraph and write a main idea sentence.  Next, our plan is that they will read a portion of text, identify the main idea and 2 pieces of support from the text.

The sentence writing part of the group will be choosing a word from various parts of speech (I have magnets, word card and lists for them to use...their choice) and write a "juicy" sentence.  We haven't planned next steps yet.

Typing Fluency:  The second group I met with wants to learn keyboarding skills so that they become fluent typists.  As a group we decided they will use a prepackaged program called Mavis Beacon teaches Typing.  The first step for this group will be for each child to take the pretest.  Then we will use that data to choose an appropriate smaller goal.

After lunch and indoor recess, the students continued working independently and I met with more personal academic goal groups.

Spelling:  This group and I worked together for a bit until we came up with a plan that satisfied us all!  We decided that I would give the group a pre-test.  Then, after assessing their spelling, each child would receive an individual list.  The children were then given a spelling journal with their personal word list in it.  They can choose various methods to learn the correct spelling of the words.  When they are ready, they simply tell me they need a test.  Once they have memorized a list, we begin the process again.  Currently, they can write their words in their journal, write them on white boards, use an iPad app to practice the words and test each other.  We will begin collecting more practice options.  I have encouraged the students to share ideas with me, as well.

Reading (decoding and fluency):  This group met with me briefly.  We discussed their goals and I shared some thoughts.  We will meet to finalize our plans in the morning.

The day ended with a science lesson.  We defined and named examples and non-examples of friction.  Then we watched a video clip illustrating friction at work in race cars.  After that, we viewed photographs and discussed how friction was demonstrated in the picture and what materials were rubbing together.

## Friday, February 7, 2014

### I'm Back!

This has been a crazy week!  I apologize for the lack of communication!!

Tuesday I was at a meeting/training in Rockville, Wednesday was the ice storm and yesterday I had a medical situation pop up, unexpectedly.

Hopefully, today is the return of the routine I crave!!

The children began their day in PE.  When they returned to class we completed our math rotations from yesterday.

Students who met with me generated measurement data, by measuring the length of their shoes, and shared it by creating a line plot.

Mrs. Bartel met with a group of students, too, who practiced measuring items to the nearest quarter inch.

There was no technology rotation.

After meeting in groups the students took a math quiz.  The quizzes have been scored and should be stored in the math section of the binder.  Please look it over.

We began the reading and writing block by reviewing verbs tenses.  Students were reminded that the verb is the action in the sentence.  They also reviewed the regular verbs add an -ed to the end to make them past tense and have a helping verb, either will or shall, in front of them to make them future tense.

Next we spent time figuring out where we were---which assignments had been completed and which had not.  Then I updated the independent work chart.

While I met with small groups the students completed independent reading group assignments.  They also finished drafting and revising the first two paragraphs oft eh character analysis.  To do this they were expected to view a lesson I had uploaded onto the third grade web site.  Next they worked on watching the author interviews and noting where they get their ideas.  Finally, they read about light and heat energy and identified new ideas they learned and a question they had.

Sharks:  We met and the students reread chapter 4 independently.  Then we discussed the changes in the main characters, since the beginning of the book, using examples from this chapter.  We started to identify how events built upon each other, but ran out of time.

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

Dolphins:  We met and the students reread, Old Jacket, New Jacket, with a partner.  They focused on identifying changes in the book and the main character's feelings and motivations that created the change.  When they were finished we discussed the problem in the book and how Iris solved it.  As we did we identified the character's feelings and motivations that led to the events in the story.

Cheetahs:  The students reread chapter 6 independently.  In group we discussed chapter 5and 6.  First, we shared the pictures that the students drew for homework depicting the argument between Mistress Trippett and Amanda.  Then we ventured into chapter 6 and shared our thoughts as to what happened to Amanda's money and how Amanda must have felt when she grabbed Jemmy and Meg and fled the house.

Pandas:  The students reread chapter 5 and created a vocabulary entry for the word mindful.

We ended the day by defining the concept of culture using non-fiction text.  Then we brainstormed and identified aspects of our school's culture.  The children really shared some great examples!!

## Monday, February 3, 2014

### Snowy Monday

The children began their day by visiting the media center.

When they returned to class, we visited the science fair.  We had the chance to see some awesome projects.  I was quite impressed!!!

When we returned to class we began math rotations.  Today, during the teacher rotation, we explored measurement using rulers and identified how to measure to the nearest 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch.

During the technology rotation the children watched an educreations lesson about creating and using a ruler to measure to the nearest quarter inch.  If they finished early the did the guided practice or rewatched the lesson.

Finally, at guided practice, the students rolled two dice to create a fraction.  They wrote the fraction in their math journal and drew both a representation and a number line depicting the fraction

For HOMEWORK the students are expected to practice measuring to the nearest quarter inch using the Fun Brain: Measurement Game web site that can be found here or on the third grade web site.

At the beginning of the reading and writing block I briefly reviewed the expectations for the second paragraph of the character analysis.  I have created an Educreations lesson, that can be found on the third grade web site, that more explicitly teaches how to write this section.  Students will be required to view it, at least once, prior to writing their draft.

While I meet with small groups the students will work on independent reading group activities, writing their character analysis and reading a science article answering, "What are light and heat energy?"  This article can also be found on the third grade web site.

Cheetahs:  I met with this group first.  We discussed the two events from chapters 3 and 4 that led to Amanda's decision to go to America (Virginia).  After our discussion, we followed a plan to answer a BCR (What were the vents that led to Amanda beginning her journey to Virginia?).  First, the students copied the question in their RRJ.  Then we practiced answering the question in our first sentence.  Each child shared what they were going to write.  After that, the children returned to their seats to write 2 support sentences, explaining their answer (sentence 1) using specific examples from the text and writing a concluding or "I think" sentence.

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

Dolphins:  Independently the students identified, in writing, features that sea creatures have to keep them safe.  In group we reread The Fun Club Goes to the Aquarium.  We also used the word special to discuss words that have letter clusters (more than 2 letters) which produce a unique sound.  Finally, I did a book introduction for their next book, Old Jacket, New Jacket, which they will get tomorrow. For HOMEWORK the children need to practice their word bag cards and reread The Fun Club Goes to the Aquarium.

Pandas:  Independently the students completed a vocabulary entry for the word precaution and explained, in writing, what Uncle Victor's exact plans are for the children.  In group we reviewed the word precaution, and the new vocabulary chart.  We also examined pictures of air raid shelters to help us understand the precaution of air raid drills that was mentioned in the book.  Finally, we shared our opinions about Uncle Victor's plans.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 4.

Sharks:  The students reread chapter 3 and wrote about the changes in one of the main characters, either Anna or Grandpa, since the beginning of the book.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 4 and list unknown words.

We ended the day by identifying object that produce heat through burning.  We also discussed similarities and differences amongst the object.  We noticed they all produced heat through burning, fire, but what was actually burning was different.

I will be out of the building at a meeting tomorrow.  There will NOT be a blog post.