## Wednesday, April 30, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday

Today was a great day!  We entertained visitors!  Several MCPS employees stopped in to see how we personalize our instruction and your children were fabulous hosts!  It was such fun to show off our learning skills and strategies.

We began with math rotations.  Students working with me practiced reading time on an analog clock to the nearest minute and sharing their strategies for doing so efficiently.  One group continued their work on calculating elapsed time, too.

During guided practice the students rolled dice to identify a time, draw it on an analog clock and write it using appropriate vocabulary such as minutes after, until, before, etc.

Finally, during the technology session some students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about telling time to the exact minute and ALL students went to eh Internet site Stop the Clock to practice telling time to the minute.

For HOMEWORK the students got to choose between the Internet sites Product Game (basic multiplication facts) and Clockwise (telling time).

We began our reading and writing block with a little talk---the students have struggled with taking their time to complete their tasks accurately. So, we discussed the difference between hearing and listening.  Listening is ACTIVE and requires thinking.  When the children are given videos or lessons to watch they need to listen.  Additionally, they might have to pause, stop and rewind, or rewatch an entire activity.  This is okay and to be expected!

After our talk, I reviewed today's independent reading group assignments and the weekly ones, too.
This weeks tasks include viewing an Educreations lesson about writing the third paragraph for the issue Inquiry project. This paragraph is informing about the arguments against their issue. The second assignment is to watch a Discovery Education video about different types of resources and economic choices. The children to have a capture sheet to complete, too. Finally, all students will read the Latin American tale called The Silly Armadillo. They will compete a story map (ungraded) to reflect upon the text. Then they will identify how they use context clues and provide support, from the tale, to explain the theme. These two items will be graded.

While the students worked independently, I met with small groups of students to work on their issue writing projects.

This afternoon I have a meeting in Rockville.  Mrs. Sennewald will be in to meet with reading groups and to our science lesson.

Sharks:  The students read the rest of their book and listed unknown words.  With Mrs. Sennewald they will review unknown words and reread the end of the book.

Dolphins:  The watched a video snippet using the movie Aladdin to teach plot.  Then they reviewed the sticky notes they paced for homework last night.  In group they will review their word bag cards and share the two rising action events they marked for homework last night.  They will add these to their plot diagram.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread their book--working on fluency.

Cheetahs:  The students watched a video snippet using Aladdin to teach about plot.  They completed a 3-2-1 summarizer stating 3 things they learned, 2 connections they made and 1 question they still had.  IN group they shared this and began completed the plot diagram.  They need to read for 30 minutes for HOMEWORK tonight.

Pandas:  The students watched a video snippet using Aladdin to teach about plot. They completed a 3-2-1 summarizer stating 3 things they learned, 2 connections they made and 1 question they still had. IN group they shared this and began completed the plot diagram. They need to read for 30 minutes for HOMEWORK tonight.

The day ended with the children learning how pigments are made from natural resources and discussing what they might do to dye a piece of cloth using natural resources available around our school.

## Tuesday, April 29, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

I am determined to get through this rainy week by staying positive despite this icky weather!  So, today is TERRIFIC!

The children began their day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.

The teacher led small group focused on setting a clock to a determined time (ex. 6:58) and then sharing the strategy used with a partner (math discourse) and then with our small groups.  I was SO impressed with the children's ability to explain that at 6:58 the hour should look like it is on the 7 and why!!!  One group received some extension.  They worked on strategies to calculate elapsed time using small clocks and number lines.

Students continued playing Time Crunchers during guided practice.

Finally, during the technology rotation the children visited the Internet site, Clock Maker, to identify time to the nearest minute.

There is a telling time worksheet for HOMEWORK.

At the beginning of the reading and writing block we reviewed this week's assignments, as well as, reading group independent work.  Additionally, students were given the chance to voice concerns and/or questions about these tasks.

This weeks tasks include viewing an Educreations lesson about writing the third paragraph for the issue Inquiry project. This paragraph is informing about the arguments against their issue. The second assignment is to watch a Discovery Education video about different types of resources and economic choices. The children to have a capture sheet to complete, too. Finally, all students will read the Latin American tale called The Silly Armadillo. They will compete a story map (ungraded) to reflect upon the text. Then they will identify how they use context clues and provide support, from the tale, to explain the theme. These two items will be graded.

While the students worked independently, I met with reading groups.

Sharks :  This group met with Mrs. Benson, since I was attending a meeting in the building.  First the group identified words with double consonants.  They were then led to the understanding that the double consonants makes the vowel use it's short vowel sound.  Examples from their story include, cabbage, cunning, and rabbit.  Then the students retold pages 2-5.  Finally, they read pages 6-9.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 2-9.

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

Dolphins:  First we practiced writing words with the -ink and -ank spelling patterns.  Then we revisited the problem in Jack and the Beanstalk and identified the first event in the rising action and the climax of the story.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 10-19 and label the second and third events between the problem and the climax, using the sticky notes I provided.

Cheetahs:  The children completed vocabulary entries for two words from the Banza, bounded and astonished.  We began group by writing words with the ou vowel pattern.  Then I introduced and explained a basic plot diagram.  This is a graphic organizer that shows the problem, the rising actions, the climax, the falling action and the solution.  After explaining the pictorial representation of a story's plot, I gave the students time to fill in the setting, characters and title of the book.  For HOMEWORK the students will use sticky notes to mark the problem, the solution and the climax.

Pandas:  The children completed vocabulary entries for two words from the Banza, bounded and astonished. In group I introduced and explained a basic plot diagram. This is a graphic organizer that shows the problem, the rising actions, the climax, the falling action and the solution. After explaining the pictorial representation of a story's plot, I gave the students time to fill in the setting, characters and title of the book. For HOMEWORK the students will use sticky notes to mark the problem, the solution and the climax.

At the end of the day we had a science lesson.  As a group we discussed the resources needed to produce a sheet of blue construction paper.  As we did this, I named and defined the three types of resources, natural, human, and capital, and charted each resource the students named under the appropriate heading.

## Monday, April 28, 2014

### The Book Fair is HERE!

This morning the children began their day in the computer lab with Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson since the media center is being used for the book fair.  Students did not do a book exchange.  They can return their books next week.  While in the lab they learned about, and previewed, a site called Kids Blog.

When they returned to class we created two word splashes to guide our discourse.  One was for time and the other for basic facts.

After that we began our math rotations.  Students working with me used an analog clocks to practice telling time to the minute.  We investigated what happens to the hour hand as the minute hand moves closer to the 12.  I also shared a quick strategy for remembering which hand is the hour and which is the minute.  Minute is a longer word, so it is also the longer hand.

During guided practice students practiced writing the time correctly and then comparing times with a partner as they played the game, Time Crunch.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children solved word problem using Thinking Blocks multiplication.

There is a telling time worksheet for HOMEWORK.

Our math block was interrupted and shortened, a bit, so that we could visit the book fair.  Children will be bringing home their wish lists this evening.

We began our reading and writing block with another Junior Great Books tale called, The Banza.

Then students returned to their seats to begin reading group assignments and this week's tasks while I met with a few children for writing conferences and then moved on to meeting with reading groups.

This weeks tasks include viewing an Educreations lesson about writing the third paragraph for the issue Inquiry project.  This paragraph is informing about the arguments against their issue.  The second assignment is to watch a Discovery Education video about different types of resources and economic choices.  The children to have a capture sheet to complete, too.  Finally, all students will read the Latin American tale called The Silly Armadillo.  They will compete a story map (ungraded) to reflect upon the text.  Then they will identify how they use context clues and provide support, from the tale, to explain the theme.  These two items will be graded.

As has been the case for the past two weeks, these assignments will be due on Friday.  Anything not turned in, and not discussed with me, will receive an N.  Additionally, the only additions or changes to their independent work will be reading group tasks.

Sharks:  We began readin group with word work.  We wrote a word chain focusing on the -ai spelling pattern.  After that, we previewed their new text, The Rabbit and the Coyote, and I did a quick book introduction.  Then we read pages 2-5.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 2-5, working on fluency.

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

Dolphins:  We began with word work, creating a chain using the -ink spelling pattern.  After that we used a graphic organizer to identify the plot as the events leading from the problem, with the rising events moving towards the climax, and then the falling action leading, to the solution.  Next we identified the characters, setting and problem from the book Jack and the Beanstalk.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the book, working on fluency.

Cheetahs:  The students reread The Banza and marked places with a ? where they had questions in their head.  In group, after practicing short vowel sounds by creating word chains, we shared and discussed their questions.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread The Banza.

Pandas: The students reread The Banza and marked places with a ? where they had questions in their head. In group we shared and discussed their questions. For HOMEWORK the students need to reread The Banza.

We ended the day by reading about the natural resources found in Maryland via Maryland's web site.

## Friday, April 25, 2014

### Fantastic Friday

The students began their day in PE.

When they returned to class they jumped right into math rotations.  The teacher led, small group, rotation focused on solving word problems by writing and solving equations using a variable.  The students played the clip and cover activity from earlier in the week during guided practice.  This focused on breaking apart multiplication facts to solve them accurately and quickly.  Finally, during the technology rotation the students practiced their basic multiplication facts using a site called Product Game.

After math, the students focused on their independent work assignments.  AS a reminder, these included, the second paragraph of the inquiry project (arguments for their issue), reading about how natural resources are turned into things we use, and watching a traditional tale and identifying examples of effort and motivation from the story.

While the students worked I met with several students, individually, to conference on their inquiry project writing.

Then I met with reading groups.

Sharks:  We reviewed the problem and solution in White Wave and recalled the events we had identified in the first half of the story.  Then we finished reading the tale and identified the rest of the events leading to the solution.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced writing words with the -ight spelling pattern.  Then we recalled the problem in Jack and the Beanstalk and how Jack began to solve it.  After that, we read the rest of the story.  On Monday we will focus on the plot of the tale.

Cheetahs:  We began with word work, creating word chains using short vowel sounds.  After that, we reviewed the problem, solution and events we had identified on Wednesday in group.  Then we finished identifying the events in the tale White Wave.

Pandas:  We reviewed the problem and events that we had identified, in group, on Monday.  Then we began identifying the rest of the events in the plot of the tale White Wave.

We ended the day identifying the meaning of consumers and financial.  Then we named the steps needed to achieve financial goals.

## Thursday, April 24, 2014

### Take Your Child to Work Day

A lot of you did just that!!!!  We had ten students in class today, plus my own son, Jason.  While we didn't begin anything new, we made great use of our time!!

During math we made two groups instead of our usual three.  When working with me the students analyzed a word problem and wrote equations, with a variable, to represent and solve it.  The other rotation was a choice.  The children were able to choose between visiting the Internet site Thinking Blocks to practice solving word problems involving multiplication or they could play the clip and cover game we did in small group earlier this week.

After that, the children went to music.

When they returned  we revisited the independent work assignments from the week.  Then I explained that today would be a good day to receive extra, individualized help.  So, for the rest of the day, I worked with individual students on their inquiry project and traditional tales assignments, while the rest of the children worked towards completing their assignments for the week.

There is NO homework tonight.

There will NOT be a math quiz tomorrow.

I did NOT meet with reading groups today or do a social studies lesson--half the class was absent!

## Wednesday, April 23, 2014

### A VERY Wonderful Wednesday

This morning the class took the third, and final, MAP-R reading assessment.  This is the self adjusting, computerized test that students take each year beginning in third grade.  IT is used to plan for appropriate instruction and ensure that the lessons are meeting each student's needs.

I truly could not be any prouder of your children!!!!  They ALL put an enormous amount of effort into the test!  I was able to see them reading and rereading the text selection, answer choices and questions.  It was truly a model of how any person should attack an assessment.  Believe me, I praised them long and hard, using specific details of what was so wonderful!  :-)

With that said--we did not have math today and there is no math homework.

When we returned to class...almost two hours later...I applauded their effort.  Then we discussed the purpose of the flipped instruction/personalized learning we do in class each day.  I wanted to make sure the students understand that it frees me up to meet with individual students and small groups AND that it allows students to pause and replay as necessary.  This enables them to receive instruction at their own pace and repeat as necessary.

Next, we discussed the next step in the inquiry writing assignment.  Revising paragraph 2.  I modeled how to read their paragraph and record it using an iPad.  Then I showed students how to replay it and make sure it sounds right.  Students were instructed to use the revising pens to make corrections as necessary.

While I met with small groups, the students completed independent reading group assignments, and watched an educreations lesson about paragraph 2 and then drafted and revised one.  After that they read about natural resources and identified how chocolate, vanilla and rice are grown processed and used.  Finally, they watched the traditional tale King Midas and the Golden Touch and wrote about effort and motivation in the story.

Sharks:  We began rereading White Wave and marked the problem and events in the plot.  Tomorrow we will finish our rereading and continue to mark events and the solution.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 1 and 2 of White Wave.

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

Dolphins:  Independently the students read their word bag cards twice.  In group we practiced writing words with the -ight pattern.  Then we reviewed the problem and solution the children marked in the Jack and the Beanstalk book.  After that we reviewed that plot is the events leading from the problem to the solution.  Then we began identifying the events in the plot of the book.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread Jack and the Beanstalk...working on fluency!

Cheetahs:  The students reread White Wave and began charting the events in the plot and the main character's reactions to them.  In group we practiced short vowel sounds by making word chains--ask your child about that!  Then we began identifying the events in the plot of the story and the main character's reactions to them.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread White Wave.

Pandas: The students reread White Wave and began charting the events in the plot and the main character's reactions to them.  In group we began identifying the events in the plot of the story and the main character's reactions to them. For HOMEWORK the students need to reread White Wave.

We ended the day by reviewing the three types of natural resources.  Then, with the help of a student, we refocused our attention to the natural resources found on the map of Maryland and discussed how each would be characterized.  Finally, we watched a silly You Tube video about saving natural resources.

## Tuesday, April 22, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in art.

When they returned to class we reviewed the math rotations and listed them on the white board since the Promethean Board was not working.

During the teacher rotation the students first listed and discussed various strategies to solve the fact, 6x9.  Then I reiterated that I expect students to use the strategy that makes sense to them and works!!  After that, the students completed part of an activity that required the use of logic and multiplication, addition and subtraction.  As they worked, I leaned in and had each child to explain their thinking.

At guided practice the students played Multiplication Chance, again, to help them memorize the basic multiplication facts.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the children worked on solving word problems, involving multiplication, by visiting the Thinking Blocks, site.

For HOMEWORK the children have a worksheet to complete but there were two different assignments determined by their performance during the teacher rotation today.

After math I had to attend an in-house meeting.  So, under the supervision of Mrs. J, the students got started on their independent work.

First, any student who was absent yesterday needed to read the Chinese folktale White Wave.  After that, all students watched an Educreations lesson (3rd grade web site - inquiry projects MP 4, paragraph 2) which captured me teaching and modeling how to draft the second paragraph for the issue inquiry project.  Next, the children used the iPad to read or listen to information about how vanilla, chocolate and rice are harvested and processed into food and materials that satisfy human wants and needs.  Finally, the students watched the traditional tale, King Midas, and completed a comprehension activity focusing on effort and motivation.

The students have been told that the inquiry project, paragraph 2, the natural resources activity and the King Midas worksheet are all due by the end of the day Friday.  Any work not turned in will receive an N, unless the student works out a different arrangement with me BEFORE Friday.  :-)  We began this process (identifying essential tasks and making the due date Friday) the week before Spring Break and it yielded great success!!

Following lunch and indoor recess the children continued working independently.  Due to a few scheduling issues I was only able to meet with the Dolphins.

Dolphins:  We revisited the -ight spelling pattern.  Then the students whisper read Jack and the Beanstalk, as I leaned in to listen and provide support and praise.  AS they read they marked the problem and solution with sticky notes.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread the book.  PLEASE leave the sticky notes in place for tomorrow's reading group discussion.

ALL OTHER GROUPS need to read for 15-20 minutes--free choice!

We ended the day with science.  First we debriefed and reviewed what the students have learned on their own, via technology, about natural resources.  Then we viewed a map that identified the natural resources found in Maryland.  Finally we watched a video to learn how to save natural resources.

BTW...some students have a line through the bottom of the math homework sheet.  I had to make a quick change to my homework plans...students are to complete problems 7, 8 and 9, even if there is a pink line through the problems.

## Monday, April 21, 2014

### Marvelous Monday

While I definitely enjoyed my time off last week, it was AWESOME to come back to this class!  These children make my days so much fun!!!

Today the students got to experience one of those "life lessons"--sometimes things don't turn out as planned, so you need to create a new plan.  When I arrived at school, our Promethean board was not working.  Therefore, we were unable to utilize one of the main tools on which I rely.  We briefly discussed this and I shared my Plan B--using the white board, the old fashioned way.  :-)

But first, the children visited the media center.

When they returned we rolled right into our math rotations.  Our focus, in all 3, was meeting the goal of memorizing the basic multiplication facts by the end of the school year.

During the teacher we played a game where we matched basic facts with broken down, easier, facts.  For example, 8x6 might match 4 groups of 6 plus 4 groups of 6.  The guided practice rotation allowed students to play a multiplication basic fact card game to help with the memorization process.  Finally, the children play Invasion of the Moon Monkeys, on the iPad, to help with learning those pesky facts.

There is a worksheet for homework that follows up from the teacher lesson.

After math, I read the Chinese Folktale, White Wave, to the class and we identified the plot of a story as the events leading from the problem to the solution.

I will be leaving early today to take my boys to the pediatrician.  So, Mrs. Sennewald, our substitute, will meet with reading groups while the students complete independent assignments.  These activities include rereading White Wave, watching King Midas, a traditional tale, on the iPad and responding to comprehension questions about effort and motivation, reading about how natural resources (chocolate, vanilla and rice) are turned into goods that humans want and need and capturing how each begins, is processed, and what it's used for, on a worksheet.

Sharks:
They will reread White Wave and identify the plot through oral discussion.

Dolphins:
These students will review the -ight pattern and read Jack and the Beanstalk.  They will also identify the plot through oral discussion.

Cheetahs:
They will reread White Wave and identify the plot through oral discussion.

Pandas:
They will reread White Wave and identify the plot through oral discussion.

The day will end with science.  After reviewing the 3 types of natural resources, the students will play a memory game matching natural resources to how they are used by humans.

## Friday, April 11, 2014

### Fantastic Friday

I can honestly say it has been an AWESOME week!  I think the "talk" we had on Monday that involved me laying out the week's tasks and explaining that no work equates to an "N" really helped to focus the students.  The children have been super productive which, in turn, allowed me to get a lot accomplished.  :-)

The students started their day in PE.

When we returned to class we reviewed last night's homework as a way to prepare for our quiz.  Then the children took their math quiz.  These have been scored and should be kept in the math section of the binder.  Please look it over!

At the beginning of our reading and writing block, I used 4 student examples, of the introductory paragraph for the issue inquiry project, to identify strengths and weaknesses.  We discussed what was well done and what needed to be tweaked.

As part of today's independent work, each child had to revise their introductory paragraph.  Additionally, students had reading group assignments and were expected to complete the natural resource and myth activities.

Sharks:  We reviewed the rule that when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking.  Then we decoded some words using the rule.  Next, we defined and located some vocabulary from the text.  Finally, we read and discussed chapter 3.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the children continues working independently while I met with more groups.

Dolphins:  The students worked with me, and then Mrs. May, to complete their introductory paragraph for the inquiry project.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed last night's homework and even learned from some mistakes.  :-)  Then we revisited the short vowel sounds.  Next we defined and discussed the concepts of motivation, effort and persistence.  Finally, we shared examples of effort and motivation from the John Henry book.

Pandas:  The students reviewed their story and marked places that showed Paco demonstrating effort and persistence.  In group we shared and discussed these actions.

To end the day, the students played the budget game in small groups!

## Thursday, April 10, 2014

### Thrilling Thursday

Today is flip flop day.

But first, before jumping into math, we did a quick gallery walk to share and view the habitat illustrations we have been working on during science.

Then we began our math rotations.

During our small group instruction, we continued identifying knowns and unknowns and writing equations with variables to represent and solve multi step word problems.  The students wanted to play Multiplication Basketball again today...so that was our guided practice rotation.  Finally, during the technology rotation the students revisited thinking blocks but, this time, solved multiplication word problems.

There is a worksheet for HOMEWORK and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

At the beginning of the reading and writing block, I reminded the class of the discussion we had Monday--at the end of the week, any assignments that were not turned in, and which the students had not requested help, would receive a score of an N.  The reason for this is simple...too many students are not focusing on their work and not asking for the support or help they need.

After the reminder, I provided an opportunity for students to meet with me and get a list of missing tasks.  Only one student took advantage of this.  So, I am hopeful, that by the end of the day tomorrow, all assignments will be turned in.

Sharks:  We began group by reviewing some unknown vocabulary in chapter 2.  Then we read chapter 2.  After that, we reread page 9 and identified how it demonstrated the concepts of motivation, effort and persistence.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 2.

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

Dolphins:  The students used their new books, and other resources, to identify 3 more words with the -ight pattern.  Then they worked with Mrs. May to catch up on the inquiry project.

With some found time, I met with several students to work on personal academic goals!

Cheetahs:  The children read the rest of John Henry and listed unknown words.  In group we reviewed the unknown words from homework and class work today.  Then we did some word work review.  We revisited the rules that when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and when a vowel is followed by a double consonant, the vowel makes the short sound.  Then we practiced using these two rules to read some words.  For HOMEWORK the children need to add 4 words to each side (8 words total) of the chart in their RRJ.  The chart reflects the lesson from reading group today.  They should use their John Henry book to find the words.

Pandas:  The students read chapter 3 and listed unknown words.  In group we reviewed their unknown words from chapters 2 and 3.  Then we defined and discussed the concepts of motivation, effort and persistence.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 4 and list unknown words.

At the end of the day we reviewed the idea of a budget as a plan.  Then we viewed a couple of budgets and discussed whether or not they were attainable, identified how challenging each was and determined if they were detailed enough.  Then I began introducing a budget game the children will, hopefully, play tomorrow.

Tomorrow is CRAZY SOCK day!

## Wednesday, April 9, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday - Report Card Day

We began our day with our weekly class meeting.  During our group share the students identified one change they would make to our class.  Next we exchanged compliments and thank yous...and there were a lot to share!  :-)  Finally, we discussed challenges.  Today's challenges included not over loading the lunch buckets and picking up pencils, and other objects, off the floor.  Both of these issues came from students' mouths...refreshing!!

Next we began our math rotations.  During the teacher led small group instruction we focused on identifying the knowns and unknowns in word problems in order to write equations (using a variable) that represent and solve the problem.  The students played basketball multiplication during guided practice.  This was a fun game to help memorize those pesky multiplication basic facts.  Finally, during the tech rotation, the children revisited the Internet site that poses word problems and provides a video taped explanation of how to find the answer.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on Edmodo.  This is posted to Edmodo as a note so the students do not "turn in" anything.  They need to watch the linked video (linked to the note in Edmodo) and then post a reply about 1 thing they learned.  I also encouraged the students to read their peers' replies and comment on one or more of them.  I am trying to encourage math discourse.

At the beginning of the reading and writing block I did a quick mini writing lesson.  First we reviewed various ways to hook our readers.  Then we read and discussed the 3 model introduction paragraphs in the students' inquiry project planning packet.  You can access this through the third grade web site (inquiry projects, MP 4).  Finally, I modeled writing my own introduction paragraph suing the page in the inquiry project planning packet.

While I met with reading groups the students completed independent reading group assignments.  Then they drafted the introduction paragraph for their issue inquiry project.  After that the children completed the natural resources and Arachne myth activities that were assigned on Monday.

Sharks:  First we defined and discussed the concepts of effort, motivation and persistence.  Then we  identified new vocabulary from the first chapter of their new book, The Three Brothers.  After that we read the first chapter.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 1, pages 2-4.

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

Dolphins:  The students reread The Greedy Goat.  In group we discussed the idea of letter patterns and how knowing them can help us decode words.  After sharing some we have already studied, I introduced the -ight pattern.  Then we practiced reading and writing words that use the pattern.  After that the children spread out their word bag cards and had a chance to share words and identify the letter pattern in the word.  For HOMEWORK the children need to practice reading their word bag cards and write the -ight words, in their RRJ, two more times.

Cheetahs:  The students added vocabulary entries for sprawling, shore and peak, to their RRJ.  In group we reviewed the meanings of these words.  Then we read 4  more pages and identified John Henry's motivation for getting a job on the railroad.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read up to the sticky note and list unknown words.

Due to a fire drill, I met with Pandas during the beginning of science.

The students completed the habitat illustrations that show how living organisms get their basic needs from their environment.  We will share these in the morning.

Pandas:  The students wrote about Paco's motivation for leaving home in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed this and reviewed their lists of unknown words from homework last night.  For HOMEWORK tonight, the students need to read chapter 2 and list unknown words.

REPORT CARDS went home today!  These are yours to keep!!

There is a canned food drive all week.
Friday is crazy sock day.

## Tuesday, April 8, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in art.  Today they are bringing home two projects--a winter scene and a clay pot!!  The children are very excited to share their work with you!

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.

The teacher led group focused on using the CUBES strategy to solve multi step word problems.  In all groups we solved the first problem together.  Then the students worked with a partner or two to solve an additional problem and share it with the group.

During guided practice the students played Multiplication War to practice the basic multiplication facts.

The students visited this Internet site to solve word problems and then view a video explaining how to solve it.

There is a worksheet, similar to the one we did in small group, for HOMEWORK.

After math, I had to attend a meeting.  The teacher who stepped in began meeting with students to ensure they could clearly explain both sides of their issue.  I continued this process when I returned to class.

During that time the students worked independently on the following tasks.  First, they continued researching both sides of their issue. Next, they watched a video discussing natural resources and categorizing them as renewable, non renewable or inexhaustible.  Finally, the students read or watched a myth and completed a capture sheet identifying characteristics of myths.

Following lunch and outdoor recess I continued meeting with students to discuss their inquiry topics.

Unfortunately, this took all afternoon.  Therefore, I did not get to reading groups.  Reading groups will be met with tomorrow.

We ended the day working on our habitat illustrations depicting how a living organism gets its basic needs from its environment.

## Monday, April 7, 2014

### Marvelous Monday

The students began their day by visiting the media center for a quick book exchange.  Then Mrs. Rose took them to the computer lab to continue researching their inquiry project issue.  Today they were expected to identify more arguments in favor of and against their topic.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.

This week we will continue identifying knowns and unknowns in word problems, writing equations, with a variable, to represent the problems, and solving those equations to answer the questions.  We will also work on memorizing our basic multiplication facts.  All students need work on this skill.

During the small group lesson students practice using the cubes method, drawing a known and unknown chart and writing equations with an appropriate variable to solve a two step word problem.  Guided practice gave students the chance to be a teacher and quiz partners ,using flash cards, on their basic multiplication facts.  Finally, the students practiced solving word problems using the Internet site, Grand Slam Math.

For HOMEWORK the students have to complete the backside of the worksheet we completed in  group today.

At the beginning of the reading and writing block, we reviewed the characteristics of a myth.  Then I spent time explicitly reviewing independent work assignments.  There were no independent reading group assignments.  All students needed to continue researching their inquiry issue.  Students were told they needed AT LEAST 4 arguments FOR and 4 arguments AGAINST their issue.  Next on the list was a science task.  Students are to watch a Discovery Education video about natural resources.  While viewing, they will complete a capture sheet by listing examples of natural resources and identifying each as inexhaustible, renewable or non-renewable.  We briefly went over these terms but they are covered in the video, as well.  Finally,  students will read or watch a myth using the Internet site Myths and Legends and identify various characteristics of myths using a capture sheet.  I was careful to explain that students will receive additional work throughout the week but these task MUST be completed before Friday.

While students worked on the assignments explained above, I met with small groups.

Sharks:  We reviewed the beginning, middle and end chart from Friday and used it to determine the theme of the story, A Fair Swap.  After that, we revisited the idea that when a c is followed by an e or an i it usually makes the s sound.  Then I taught them that is a g is followed by an e it generally makes the j sound.  I put the word edge on the board and the students were all able to successfully sound it out!  Finally, I began giving a book talk for our next story, The Three Brothers, but time got the best of us.  The children will get the book tomorrow.

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

Dolphins:  We retold the story, in group, and then reviewed the concepts of theme and main idea.  Next we discussed the theme of The Greedy Goat.  Finally, the students wrote about the theme, in their RRJ, and provided support from the text to explain their idea.

Cheetahs:  We got a new book today...John Henry:  An American Legend.  After a brief book introduction, we began reading the story together.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread up to the sticky note.

We ended the day with students working collaboratively to research the habitat of a living creature.  Then the group created an illustration, being sure to include the items which provide the basic needs (food, water and shelter) for the organism.

## Friday, April 4, 2014

### It's Fridayyyyyyyyy!!!!

The students began their day in PE with Mr. Lee.

When they returned to the classroom, the took their first quiz of the fourth marking period.  It assessed solving multi step word problems involving multiplication and addition.  These have been graded and should be in the math section of your child' binder.

I was at a meeting this morning, so Mrs. May taught a lesson on identifying and using abstract nouns.  Then she read the folk tale, The Fisherman and the Turtle, to the class.  When I got back we used characteristics from the traditional tales chart to determine that this was indeed a folk tale.

After that, the students worked on independent reading groups tasks, continued researching their issue for the inquiry project and completed the Jack and the Giant Barbeque follow up, while I met with small groups.

Sharks:  In group we created a chart identifying the key event from the beginning, middle and end of A Fair Swap.  Next week we will use this as we determine the theme of the tale.

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

Dolphins:  The students illustrated and labeled the key event in the beginning, middle and end of their story.

Cheetahs:  The students illustrated and labeled the key event in the beginning, middle and end of their book.  We shared these in group and used the events to help determine the theme of the book.

Pandas:  The students identified the key event in chapters 3, 4, and 5.  Then we discussed the common thread (listening to Snake Grandmother) and determined the theme of the tale.

At the end of the day we reviewed the concept and components of a budget.  Then we watched a video clip to further strengthen our understanding.

## Thursday, April 3, 2014

### Thriving Thursday

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

During the teach led small instruction we continued evaluating our knowns and unknowns to solve multi step word problems.  Today's problems involved a parking garage.  The other rotations had the students playing multiplication war to help memorize the basic facts and using Thinking Blocks to reinforce problem solving skills.

There is a worksheet for HOMEWORK tonight and we will have a quiz tomorrow.

After math, the children went to music.  When they returned the students began their independent work assignments.  These included reading group assignments, researching their inquiry project issue and the traditional tales characteristics worksheet that was a follow up for Jack and the Giant Barbeque.

I met with small groups.

Cheetahs:  The students began listing the key events, in their RRJ, from their story, before coming to group.  In group we reviewed the concepts of theme (an implicit message) and main idea (what the story is mostly about).  Then we revisited Ashes for Gold and listed the key events in the RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the students should reread the story, pages 2-15.

Sharks:  In group we retold the story A Fair Swap.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the book.  Tomorrow we will be using the key events to help determine the theme of the book.

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

Dolphins:  The students reread The Greedy Goat and marked the important events using post it notes.  Then we met and listed the important events (I called this the foundation or backbone of the story.)  Then we discussed and defined the concepts of theme and main idea.  The theme is a lesson learned from the story but not stated in the story.  The main idea is stated--it is the most important thing that happened (kind of--that's third grade thinking).  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the entire book.

Pandas:  The children read chapters 3, 4 and 5, and then listed the key events, from the entire story, in their RRJ.  In group we began identifying the key events, but took some time to discuss what made some of the actions important (specifically, in chapter 2, Grandmother gave the same advice to both villages, but only one village listened).  Therefore, we only got through the first two chapters.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapters 3, 4 and 5.

We ended the day by reviewing the concept of a budget as a plan.  Then we identified parts of a budget including income, and expenses (both fixed and not fixed).

## Wednesday, April 2, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday

This morning the students began their day with a bus evacuation drill.  Once that was completed we returned to the classroom to have our weekly class meeting.

Our meeting was truly student centered today.  The group share was free choice.  Students shared what was one their mind...one students shared her favorite color is pink , while another student shared that some of his friends weren't being very friendly.  After that we exchanged thank yous and compliments.  Finally, during the challenge portion, we discussed students being unkind to one another.

Let me say a few words about this--I feel strongly that each and every student should, rather, must feel comfortable in my classroom.  The school day is long...too long to feel uneasy!  It is my expectation that all students accept each other.  They don't have to be best buddies but I can not tolerate teasing or putting other people down.

As a class we discussed ideas of how to react when challenged with uncomfortable situations.

Next we began our math rotations.

During the teach led small group instruction, we focused on identifying known and unknown pieces of data, within word problems, as parts or wholes.  Additionally, we decided whether problems would require one or more than one steps to be solved.  Using these ideas and the bar model strategy we learned yesterday, we practiced solving word problems.

During guided practice, students worked together to solve word problems.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the students used a site called Thinking Blocks, to identify parts and wholes and solve word problems.

There is a two step word problem worksheet for HOMEWORK.

Before working independent work and small group instructional time, I modeled completing the first part of the inquiry project.

First, I chose a topic (are paper bags better than plastic?) and listed my background knowledge.

Next, I showed the students how to access the list of research links (third grade web site, inquiry projects page).

Then I read one of the linked articles and took notes on the 3 column capture chart identifying and defining key words, important facts and stakeholders.

Before turning the children loose, I took the time to name BOTH sides of each issue AND state what type of information the students needed to locate.  For example, I did not take notes on how to make paper bags...that is not pertinent.  However, I did note that bleach and chemicals used to make paper bags contribute to pollution.

So...while I met with small groups the students completed independent reading group assignments, used resources to identify and define key words, facts and stakeholders involved in their issue and identified which type of traditional tale Jack and the Giant Barbeque is and explained their thinking using support from the story.

Sharks:  The students reread pages 2-8.  In group we learned, suing examples from the text, that the letter "c" makes the "s" sound when followed by an "e" or an "i" (decided, distance, fireplace, etc.)  Then we began reading the rest of the book.  We got cut short due to lunch, but the group voted to read the rest of the book tonight.  So, for HOMEWORK the students need to read pages 9-16.

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

Dolphins:  The students reread pages 3-12 and listed words with the /oa/ pattern.  In group we reviewed these words and the sound /oa/ makes.  We also reviewed the rhyme, "if two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking".  Then we retold the first half of the story.  Finally, we popcorn read the rest of the book.  For HOMEWORK the students need to practice their word bag cards and reread pages 13-24.

Cheetahs:  The children read their new book, Ashes for Gold, identified answers to the "before" questions written in their RRJ.  In group we reread the story and shared the students "before" questions and answers.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 2-15.

Pandas:  The students read chapters 1 and 2 of their new book, Tales from Near and Far.  They answered any of the before questions they could, that were written in their RRJ.  In group we shared their questions and I explained the difference between open and closed questions.  Open questions have more than one possible response and encourage details and information.  Closed questions are those with one answer, such as, "how old are you?".  Next we identified their questions as open or closed and practiced changing some of the wording to create open questions out of closed.  For example, who is the main character, a closed question, could be changed to describe the main character, an open one.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread chapters 1 and 2 and write 1 open and 1 closed question that can be answered in this section of text.

At the end of the day, in science, we reviewed the 4 basic needs of all living things.  Then the students got into groups of 4 and were assigned a living organism to research using Encyclopedia Britannica. The students worked together to research the habitat in which the organism lives and illustrate a poster it showing how the basic needs are provided.  WE will continue this project next week.

## Tuesday, April 1, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning the students began their day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.

The teacher led group watched an animation video using bar models as a strategy to solve word problems.  Then we worked together to solve a 2 step word problem using a bar model to help us.

During guided practice students solved one step word problems.  At the technology rotation the children watched a Learn Zillion lesson about solving two step word problems using a model.

There is a two step word problem worksheet for HOMEWORK.  There is an Educreation lesson, about the bar model strategy, using one of tonight's homework problems, uploaded to the third grade web site.

We began the reading and writing block by reviewing yesterdays assignments.  First, I  explained more clearly, that the purpose for asking questions before reading Jack and the Giant Barbeque was to help us identify the characteristics of traditional tales in the folktale.  Then I modeled using the characteristic chart to write the "before" questions.  Then, I reviewed the first two steps of the issues inquiry project; choosing an issue and identifying background knowledge.

While I met with small groups, the students completed independent reading group assignments, chose an issue and listed background knowledge, and wrote "before" reading questions and watched the folk tale, Jack and the Giant Barbeque.

Dolphins:  I met with the students first to explain that we will be focusing a lot on fluency.  We defined fluency as smooth reading that sounds similar to the way we speak.  Then we identified punctuation marks as a sign to take a brief pause.  Next, we turned to page 2 in Elephant and Tiger and located punctuation marks in the text.  Finally, I modeled reading the page fluently.  The students then went back and read the page 5 times, working on fluency.

Sharks:  First we made sure that each student had a traditional tale characteristic chart in the reading section of their binder.  After that we reviewed the sound made by the vowel combination, -ea, in most words.  We also did a quick word building activity with -ea.  Next we wrote "before" questions, using the traditional tales characteristic chart, to help focus us as we begin our next book, A Fair Swap.  Then we read up to page 8 in the book.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 2-8 in A Fair Swap.

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

Dolphins:  I met with this group again.  This time we began a new book.  First, though, we practiced identifying parts in words that we recognize, in order to decode new, longer words from the new book.  After that, I did a book talk and we found words, in the text, that I used in my summary.  Finally, the students whisper read pages 2-12 and we added two new words to their word bags.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 3-12 and practice reading their word bag cards.  We are looking to achieve automaticity with the word bag cards.

Cheetahs:  Independently the students completed a vocabulary entry, in their RRJ, for the word clever.  In group we reviewed open and closed questions.  An open question encourages more detail.  Closed questions typically have one word answers such as yes or no.  An example of a closed question might be, "How old are you?" The response is going to be one word...your current age.  After writing a question together as a group, the children each attempted to write an open question using the traditional tales characteristic chart.  For HOMEWORK the students need to add 2 open, before questions (using the traditional tales characteristics chart) to the chart in their RRJ.

Pandas:  The students watched a video clip about the Hopi Indians and wrote three new facts they learned in their RRJ.  In group we shared these facts and identified characteristics of the Hopi tribe.  For homework the students need to write 3 "before" reading questions using the traditional tales chart in the reading section of their binder.

We ended the day by defining the idea of a habitat and reading about 5 different ones; the ocean, the rain forest, the forest, the wetlands and the desert.  Then we described our schoolyard habitat.

Before packing up I shared some exciting news with the children.  This will be my last year at DES.  I will be joining Mr. McGee, at the new school, Wims ES, next school year.  I told the children that we can keep in touch through Edmodo and email and be life long friends!!

I've been at DES for 13 years...it's been AWESOME but I am ready to begin a new journey.  Trust me, it was a very difficult decision to make.  This is a great community!!