## Wednesday, November 26, 2014

### Grandparent's Day!!

This morning we were fortunate to have many grandparents spend the morning with us!  We began by performing our plays for them.  These were the plays we wrote on Monday based on a theme and including a distinct problem and solution.

After that, the students conducted interviews with a grandparent and then created Google slideshow presentations to share their findings.  Although most were unable to finish, due to time constraints, we shared what had been completed prior to lunch.  They were great!  It was clear the students had learned a lot!!!

After lunch we were left with a total of 11 students.  So, together, we created a list of activities from which each student could choose.  These included math sites from the third grade web site, writing a story, poem or letter using the Chromebook or paper, creating a Thanksgiving Powtoon, including facts from the Scholastic slideshow, and reading quietly.

The students worked nicely and appeared to enjoy free time to practice whichever skills they preferred.

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving weekend!!

## Tuesday, November 25, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

This morning the students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center or practiced keyboarding skills.

In small group instruction we reviewed the 3s facts and used them to identify the 6s.  After that, we multiplied the side lengths of rectangles to determine the area.

During math with a partner, the students chose between playing one of two games; Turkey Trot or Multiplication Bump.  Both games provided practice towards memorization of the basic multiplication facts.

The technology rotation had the students review the Learn Zillion lesson about using side lengths to determine the are of a rectangle.  Then the students used Sumdog to practice what they learned.

For HOMEWORK the students need to cut apart the 6s triangle fact cards and ue them to memorize their facts.

After math we moved right into our literacy block..skipping the Go Noodle break.  :-(  This was not due to any problems but so that I could squeeze in a mini lesson.  The mini lesson introduced different ways to "hook" your reader.  For each method I modeled and explained an example using the refrigerator (my inquiry topic).  Included in the choices for hooking your reader was using onomatopoeia, beginning with an interjection, asking a question, making a bold statement, starting with an opinion, and a few others.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students wrote a hook for their inquiry project and then worked in their collaborative groups to finish writing their plays and then practiced acting them out.

As the students worked, I reviewed their hooks and conferences with a few individuals.  Additionally, I met with each "play" group to read over their scripts and suggest improvements.

After that the students worked on staging and created scenery and props.

We ended the day by squeezing in some social studies.  We read about 2 more of Maryland's geographic feature; the Chesapeake Bay and the Conowingo Day.

## Monday, November 24, 2014

### Marvelous Monday

This morning the students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center or practiced keyboarding skills.  After that we switched classroom jobs and voted on a class Dojo reward.  This time the students voted to have a pajama day. So, tomorrow is PAJAMA DAY in our class!!

Next we began our math rotations.

While working with me in small group, we reviewed our 9s facts, and began noticing patterns in the 3s.  Students easily recognized that the products of the 3s alternated between even and odd.  When 3 is multiplied by an even number, the product is even.  When 3 is multiplied by an odd number, the product is odd.  We discussed how this can help us with solving multiplication equations.

After that we learned how to break apart facts to make them easier to solve.  For example, 7 x 3 can be broken down to (7x2)+(7x1).

During math with a partner, the students played a game called, Turkey Trot, to practice all of the basic multiplication facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the students began by watching a Learn Zillion lesson about multiplying the side lengths of rectangles in order to determine the area of the figure.  Then they visited Sumdog, choosing 4th grade, measurement, area of rectangle, to apply what they just learned.

For HOMEWORK the students need to cut apart flashcards that are being sent home this evening and memorize the 3s facts.

After math we began to review the literacy block tasks for today when I had an idea...
Since this is a short week that will also be impacted by various disruptions, I asked the class if they would be interested in writing and performing their own plays, working collaboratively in small groups, of course.  They seemed excited!

So...we formed small groups and I presented the expectations for the task...

• choose a theme
• decide upon a problem and solution
• write a script using the correct format
• share the script with me for approval
Once approved, the groups will stage their play and create scenery, props and costumes, if they choose.  Any group who is finished by Wednesday morning will be able to perform for our visitors on Grandparent's Day.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the groups got to work--and every student was on task!  It was AWESOME!!!

As the students worked, I continued informal reading assessments.  I also worked with the groups as they worked on their scripts.

There are three groups.  Each group, when they met with me, shared their theme, the problem and solution, and then read through their script.  As they read we discussed improvements that could be made in the dialogue and actions.

For HOMEWORK the students need to visit the Google Classroom homework page and use the link to visit a Scholastic site about The First Thanksgiving.  Then, after reading over the site, students should post a comment including one new fact they discovered and one fact that surprised them.  I would also like students to read and respond to one comment that a classmate posts.

There are a few reasons I have included this homework assignment....it involves reading and learning about Thanksgiving (reading/social studies) AND it also forces the students to read online---reading on the computer screen.  This is a skill they will need during PARCC testing in the spring.  I, for one, do not like to read computer screens.  I tend to print out longer emails and articles to avoid reading on the computer.  However, the PARCC testing is online and students will be required to read from the screen.  Therefore, I need to provide opportunities for strengthening this skill....I hope this makes sense.

After our literacy block we reviewed the two types of geographic characteristics and then read and discussed 3 of Maryland's more famous sites...Assateague Island, Calvert Cliffs and The Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Remember that Wednesday is an early dismissal day and it is Grandparent's Day.  Also, tomorrow is our class pajama day.

## Friday, November 21, 2014

### TGIF...Hooray for the Weekend!

So...it was interesting morning, to say the least.

The day began with students reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center or practicing keyboarding skills.  Pretty normal stuff for us...

Unfortunately, as I began to take attendance and finish the lunch count, the giggling began.  This has been an issue for the last week or two...there has been constant giggling all day long which was interfering with task completion (students) and distracting thought processes (primarily mine).  Therefore, I decided it was time to move seats.  Many students were unhappy and there were several tears.  I did explain to the class why we made seating changes and I reminded them that during independent work time in math and literacy students choose where they want to work.

Once the class seemed settled, we attempted to begin our math quiz...only to have one of our friends get sick in the classroom.  So, we regrouped on the carpet and wait for building services to do their thing.

Finally, we got to our math quiz!  These have been scored and will be returned this afternoon.  Please look for it in your child's home folder this afternoon.

After the quiz we reviewed today's list of independent work during our literacy block.

First students will identify the theme in their reading group's play and use support from the play to explain their thinking.  This will be completed in their RRJ.  After that, they will finish completing the graphic organizer for this marking period's inquiry project.  Next they will identify the physical properties of a pencil and predict changes that will occur after a week of use.  Then the students will watch two Brain Pop Jr. videos about nous.  One is about plural and the other about possessive.  I have seen a real need for understanding the difference between the two.  After viewing the lessons, the students will list 3-5 examples for each, on a t-chart, in their writing journal.  When all of the above it completed, the students can work on reading or writing with a partner...either reading a play or writing a play.

While the students work I will meet with guided reading groups and individual students to do some informal reading assessments.

Tigers:  I taught the students a new strategy for decoding multi-syllabic words and then we practiced using it.  After that I did some informal assessment of individual reading growth.

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

Panthers:  The students identified the theme and support from the text in their RRJ.  In group we discussed the ending of the play and the overall theme.  Then I did a few informal reading assessments with individual group members.

Leopards:  The students identified the theme and support from the text, in their RRJ.  In group we discussed the themes they had selected.  I explained that I thought the theme was perseverance BUT as long as they chose a common theme AND used text support to explain their thinking, I would accept others.  Many felt it was acceptance.  WE also worked on improving their RRJ responses so that the students understood how to use evidence from the play to explain their thinking in a clear way.

Lions:  The students identified the theme and support from the text, for their play, in their RRJ.  In group we discussed the theme, as well as, how to use the correct support to prove their thinking.

After our literacy block we identified how natural and human-made features affect population distribution.  We also took a peek at the 3 different regions of Maryland.

We ended the day with our weekly class meeting.  First we had a group share where we expressed one thing for which we are thankful.  Next we exchanged thank yous and compliments.  After that, students had a chance to read their writing homework entries out loud.  Then we discussed new name tags and Grandparent's Day.

BTW...no writing journal homework next week...the next entry is due in two weeks on Friday, December 5!

Have a great weekend!

## Thursday, November 20, 2014

### Thriving Thursday

This morning, after students read quietly, exchanged  books in the media center, or practiced keyboarding skills, we created a word splash indicating appropriate vocabulary that should be used (and overheard by me) during math discourse.  Then we began our math rotations.

During small group instruction the students wrote a multiplication and a division equation, using a variable for the unknown, to represent and solve a word problem.  Again, we focused on ensuring the variable in both equations represented the same unknown.  Then, I had some fun...I changed the total in the word problem and the children had to rework the problem and change their equations to represent the new total.

During math with  partner the students played multiplication bump to practice memorizing their basic facts.  Technology had the students visit Sketch's World to work on the 9s facts but after a few rounds of the game the students went to the Math Mahjong site which involved creating math equations, using numbers and operations available, to earn points.

For HOMEWORK there is a question on Google Classroom.  We WILL have a quiz tomorrow!!

After math we took a quick Go Noodle brain break and then reviewed the list of tasks for our independent literacy block today.

Children will complete individual reading group assignments.  Then they will finish the back side of the inquiry project graphic organizer, taking notes on two versions of the tool they are researching.  Next they will redo/complete the verb tenses lesson and write 3 sentences using "eat" in past, present and future tense.  After that they will use Google Maps (satellite) to identify 3-5 examples of natural and man-made geographic features near our school.  Finally, they will work on fluency and comprehension as they read plays with a partner.

Tigers:  First we reviewed the double vowel words that the students identified for homework last night.  We sorted these words according to whether or not it followed the "two vowels go walking the first one does the talking" rule.  Then we discussed how this can help us decode unknown words.  After that we worked with vocabulary using context clues to help us.  Then we finished reading the play out loud.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 26 - 32 out loud.

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

Panthers:  The students were supposed to finish identifying the definition, drawing a picture and using the word in a a sentence for the vocabulary words; goblet, noble, noble and virtuous.  Unfortunately, after two days of this assignment, the work turned in was less than I had hoped.  So, we began group by discussing expectations.  Next the students attempted to retell the play, with the help of the script.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the play and, in their RRJ, explain what happens after the king leaves the maiden's house.

Leopards:  The children finished explaining the phrase, "One pleased is better than two disappointed," in their RRJ.  During lunch I looked these over and saw that there was confusion.  So, in group we discussed the meaning of the phrase and identified evidence from the story to support it.  Next we reviewed the Venn diagrams reflecting the two videos, The 3 Little Pigs and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, to understand point of view.  Finally, we reviewed the trade between the young and old women and identified each person's point of view.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the play and THINK about the theme...no writing...yet!

Lions:  The students continued working in small groups to add a character to the play who would interfere with the solution to the problem.  In group we shared these characters and realized that neither interfere with the solution.  So, then we brainstormed ideas of actions that would have gotten in the way of solving the problem.  After that wen reviewed the Venn diagrams reflecting the two videos, The 3 Little Pigs and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, to understand point of view.  Finally, we discussed the differing points of view of the merchant and his wife regarding their son.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the play and THINK about the theme.

After literacy we revisited the idea of processes that change the observable properties of a material.  We began by watching a video showing how pencils are made.  Next each student got a new pencil and identified observable properties on a capture sheet and predicted what will happen to each property after a week and indicated their reason for it.

The students ended their day in art with Mrs. Daniell.

Writing journals are due tomorrow and we will have a math quiz!

## Wednesday, November 19, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday

This morning, after reading quietly, exchanging books on the media center or practicing keyboarding skills, we began our math rotations.

During our small group instruction the students wrote a multiplication and a division equation, using a variable to represent the unknown, to represent and solve a word problem.  The focus was ensuring the variable represented the same unknown in both equations.

Students continued playing the Condition game, practicing the 9s facts and math reasoning, during math with a partner.

Finally, during the technology rotation the students worked on memorizing the 9s facts using Sumdog or That's a Fact.

For HOMEWORK there is a word problem on Google Classroom (homework page).

After math we took a quick GO Noodle break and then we reviewed the independent work for today's literacy block.

Today students will work on individual reading group assignments.  Then they will complete (or redo) the verb tense activity by watching the two Brain Pop Jr. lessons and then writing three sentences using the verb eat in past, present and future tense.  After that, students will visit Google Maps, using a link on the third grade web site, and via satellite, identify 3-5 natural features and 3-5 human-made features near our school.  These will be listed in a t-chart in their social studies journal.  Finally, the children will work on fluency and comprehension by reading plays with a partner.

Tigers:  After working on site words, we reviewed the Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the 3 Little Pigs and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.  We used this to discuss point of view.  Then we shared last night's homework (the problem in Rumpelstiltskin) and began reading the play out loud.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read pages 22-25 out loud and list words with two vowels together (ex. boast).

Following lunch and indoor recess, Mrs. Allaire visited to help us continue researching our tool for the second marking period inquiry project.  Today she focused on  identifying changes and improvements to the tool based on human wants and needs.

Once Mrs. Allaire had left, we returned to our independent work.  The students were still completing their reading group assignments, so I took advantage of the time to do informal reading assessments to update data that drives my planning and instruction.  Below you will find the tasks each group completed.

Panthers:  These students worked on vocabulary from their play.  They defined, drew pictures and wrote a sentence for the words; goblet, noble, and virtuous. For HOMEWORK the students need to reread their play out loud.

Leopards:  The children highlighted the phrase, "One pleased is better than two disappointed".  Then they explained what this meant, in their RRJ, using support from the play.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread their play out loud.

Lions: The students worked in small groups to rework their play.  The task was to add a character who would interfere with the solution to the problem.  I can't wait to see these tomorrow!  For HOMEWORK they need to reread the play out loud.

The children ended their day in PE with Mr. Benco.

## Tuesday, November 18, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday

After reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center, or practicing keyboarding skills, we began our math rotations.

During small group instruction we used the patterns identified yesterday to help us practice the 9s facts.  Then we used visualization, drawings and equations, with a variable representing the unknown, to solve word problems.  With two of the groups the word problems were "messy"...there weren't always equal groups, so the students were forced to evaluate how this might effect their answer.

During math with a partner, the children played a game called Condition, that helped the students work on memorizing their 9s facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children practiced the 9s facts using either Sumdog or That's a Fact.

For HOMEWORK there is a problem posted on Google Classroom, homework page, that is modeled after a typical question on the PARCC assessment.

After a quick Go Noodle brain break, I reviewed today's literacy tasks.  Students had independent reading group assignments.  Then they finished researching facts for the front side of the graphic organizer for their inquiry project.  After that, they watched two different versions of the 3 Little Pigs and compared and contrasted them using a Venn diagram, in their RRJ.  Next they will watch two Brain Pop Jr. lessons about verbs and tenses and write 3 sentences using a form of the verb eat, one in past tense, one in present and the final one in future.  Finally, the students will work on fluency and comprehension as they read plays with a partner.

While the students worked on the above tasks I met with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  First we reviewed verbs and -ed endings.  After that, the students wrote words ending in -ed, from their poems, on sticky notes.  Then we sorted these words according to the sound the -ed endings made.  Next, I explained that we would be working with plays and began to go over some of the structural differences in a play.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read pages 22-23 in the play Rumpelstiltskin and, on the sticky note provided, answer the question, what is the problem?

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

Panthers:  Independently the children chose two of their poems to compare.  In group we switched our focus to plays.  First we discussed the differences between a seeing a play and reading a story.  Then I passed out a reader's theatre script for the play, "The Pumpkin in a Jar".  The children were given a few minutes to preview the play and then we reviewed the general structure of a script.  Finally, we selected parts and read the play out loud.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the play out loud, working on fluency.

Leopards:  The students got a copy of the play, "The Apple Dumpling" and practiced reading through it.  In group, we discussed the similarities and differences between reading a story and seeing a play.  Then we briefly reviewed some of the structural format of a play.  After that, we each got parts and read through the play.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the play, out loud working on fluency.

Lions:  Independently the students worked with a partner from their group to revise and rewrite their BCRs about the theme in the poem, "Jessica Jean".  In group we switched genres to plays.  We began by discussing the similarities and differences between reading a book and seeing a play.  Then we briefly reviewed the structural format of a play.  Finally, I gave the students a copy of the script for, "All for a Pansa".  then we read through the script.  For HOMEWORK the students should reread the script out loud, working on fluency and thinking about a character that could be added.

After the literacy block, the students enjoyed another Go Noodle break...they had certainly earned it for working so well!!

Then we defined and reviewed the two TASS (Thinking and Academic Success Skills) that we are focusing on this marking period; evaluation and metacognition.  Students evaluate when they are asked to justify their choices, rank or order options, when they ask questions regarding facts or claims and when they demand evidence.  Metacognition is practiced when students think about what they already know, think about how they learn best, ask for help when they don't understand, choose a strategy that works best for them, and explain their thinking.

Next, the students worked collaboratively to evaluate a set of social studies vocabulary words and sort them into groups based on criteria of their choosing.  The only rules were there had to be a rule (or criteria) and there had to be more than one word (picture) in each group.

After sorting the cards based on their group's criteria, each group shared their results.  Then we defined and identified examples of both natural and human-made features.

Finally we used the satellite function on Google maps to look at Clarksburg and identify some of the geographic features.

## Monday, November 17, 2014

### Marvelous Monday

This morning, after reading quietly or practicing keyboarding skills, we began our math rotations.

During the small group instruction we identified patterns in the 9s basic facts.  Math with a partner had the students playing a game called Corners to work on memorizing the 9s facts.  Finally, during technology, the children visited Sumdog and selected multiplication and the 9s times tables to, yup, you guessed it, work on the 9s basic facts.

For HOMEWORK the students need to cut apart the triangle fact cards, for the 9s, and then use them to memorize their basic facts.

Following math we took a quick Go Noodle brain break.  Then I reviewed our independent literacy tasks.

Students will complete independent reading group tasks which involve writing about the theme of poems we worked on last week in group.  After that the students will watch tow videos; The 3 Little Pigs and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs.  Then, in their RRJ, they will draw a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two fairy tales.  We will be using this in reading groups, alter this week, to introduce the idea of character's point of view.  Next the students will watch two Brain Pop Jr lessons; one about verbs and the other about tenses.  After that, they will write 3 sentences using the verb eat, using the word in past, present and future tenses.  Finally, the students will practice reading fluency and comprehension while reading plays with partners.

Tigers: First, we reviewed verbs and -ed endings.  Then we whisper read the poem, "Falling Asleep in Class" and discussed the beginning, middle and end.  After that I reminded students that the theme in literature is inferred and is one to two words telling the big idea...it is closely linked to the lesson.  Then we reviewed the common themes in literature.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, "Falling Asleep in Class", twice, working on fluency.

Following lunch and indoor recess, Mrs. Allaire, the media specialist, visited us to do a lesson about research and note taking for the second marking period inquiry project.  Students have already selected a tool to research.  They will be  finding information to help answer the driving question; what are the relationships between human needs, wants, and the development of technologies?  The note taking organizer has three sections:
What is the purpose of the tool?
What need or want did it meet?
What did the first technology look like?  What did it do?

Mrs. Allaire modeled doing the research and taking notes, using the organizer, with the tool of a refrigerator.
Then the students worked on gathering facts, using digital and print resources, while Mrs. Allaire and I helped.  Before she went back to the media center, Mrs. Allaire gathered the students to clarify expectations and all the children to share some of the facts they had learned.

After that, the students continued working independently on the tasks we began this morning while I tried to meet with more guided reading groups.

Panthers:  The students wrote about the theme of "Mummy Slept Late...", using examples from the poem to support their thinking.  In group  we read two poems; "The Haircut" and "Katie Brown's Mother" and shared inferences we made and possible themes.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread both of these poems, out loud.

Leopards:  The students answered a BCR (brief constructed response) about the theme of the poem, "Jessica Jean".  In group I reviewed the format for answering a BCR, which includes a topic sentence, followed by naming evidence from the text and then EXPLAINING the text support, and, finally, a conclusion.  Then I modeled a response using a silly theme.  After that, the students paired up with group members to reread and revise their responses, before handing them in.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read for 10 minutes, free choice.

Lions: The students answered a BCR (brief constructed response) about the theme of the poem, "Jessica Jean".  In group I reviewed the format for answering a BCR, which includes a topic sentence, followed by naming evidence from the text and then EXPLAINING the text support, and, finally, a conclusion.  Then I modeled a response using a silly theme.  After that, the students paired up with group members to reread and revise their responses, before handing them in.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read for 10 minutes, free choice.

The students ended their day in music with Mrs. Guerra.

Remember the students have their first journal writing entry due Friday.

## Friday, November 14, 2014

### Fabulous Friday!!!!

This morning, after the students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center or practiced keyboarding skills, we visited Clarksburg High School to see the play, "The Little Princess".  The play was great!!!  It was a bit long, for the children, and geared towards the upper grade levels, so some students didn't enjoy it as much as others.  Overall, it was a great experience and will be a great link to our study of plays, during literacy block, next week!!  Perfect timing!!

When we returned to school, after 12:30, the children ate lunch in the room and had some free time.  They were allowed to draw, play games or visit sites linked to the third grade web site.  I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the students go to the Sumdog site to practice math skills!!  :-)

Next the children took the math quiz.  These have been graded and returned to the students.  Please look for them in the home folder this evening.

After the quiz we set up the **new** Homework Writing Journal.  The first entry is due next Friday!  Please feel free to provide support to your child.

We ended the day with a partial class meeting.  We shared thank yous and compliments and then ran out of time!

## Thursday, November 13, 2014

### Thriving Thursday

This morning the students came in and read quietly, exchanged books in the media center or practiced keyboarding skills.  After that we began our math rotations.

During small group instruction the students practiced their basic 8s facts and drew pictures and wrote equations, using a variable to represent the unknown, to solve word problems.

Math with a partner provided students the choice of two games to play.  Both games focused on memorizing the basic 8s facts.

During the technology rotation today, the students went to Sumdog, their favorite, and chose the 8s times tables.

For HOMEWORK there is a word problem on Google Classroom.  We will have a quiz tomorrow...after our field trip!  :-)

After math we took a quick GO Noodle brain break.  Then we reviewed our literacy tasks for today.

After going over the individual reading group assignments, I reinforced the idea that literal language is saying what we mean, while non-literal language uses images to get a meaning across.  Metaphors and similes are two types of non-literal language.  Then I assigned a task where the students will sort sentences according to whether or not they are examples of literal or non-literal language.  After completing these activities, students will finish work from earlier in the week such as watching a lesson about verbs and taking notes using the 3-2-1 format and identifying their topic choice for our next inquiry project by filling out a Google form in Google Classroom.  If there is time left, they will work on fluency and comprehension by reading poems with a partner.

Tigers:  We whisper read "Should Have Studied".  Then we reviewed -ed endings...focusing on -ed can be added to verbs to signal past tense and we can cover up -ed endings to help us decode words.  The students highlighted -ed words in the poem, "Falling Asleep in Class" and then we whisper read the poem.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread "Falling Asleep in Class" twice.  We will discuss the poem tomorrow, but we didn't have time today!  :-)

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

Panthers:  The students reread the poem, "Mummy Slept Late..." and illustrated it.  Then in group we shared their illustrations and discussed why I had them do this activity.  The children thought I wanted to see how well they can draw.  So, I explained that although they had to draw to do this activity, this was not an art task.  Instead it was to help me determine how well they comprehend the poem.  Next, we reviewed the concept of theme and our list of common themes in literature.  Finally, we determined the theme of the poem is perseverance.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the "Mummy Slept Late..." poem and highlight or underline 2 examples of similes in the poem.

Leopards:  The students used the words from homework (cocooning, concealing, and obscuring) in sentences to prove they know the meaning of each.  In group we began by sharing some of the better written sentences.  Then we reviewed the concept of a theme and the common ones used in literature.  After that, the students reread the poem with a partner and discussed possible themes.  Then we discussed the theme, honesty, as a group.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, "Jessica Jean" and explain the theme to an adult.

Lions:  The students used the words from homework (cocooning, concealing, and obscuring) in sentences to prove they know the meaning of each.  In group we began by sharing some of the better written sentences.  Then we reviewed the concept of a theme and the common ones used in literature.  After that, the students reread the poem with a partner and discussed possible themes.  Then we discussed the theme, honesty, as a group.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, "Jessica Jean" and explain the theme to an adult.

After our literacy block, the students began working collaboratively to sort social studies related vocabulary into groups.  There were only two rules...each group must have more than 1 word card and each group had to be named according to the rule used for putting the word cards into the group.  They will complete this task tomorrow afternoon.

Before packing up, I introduced a new homework assignment that we will begin next week.  Starting next Friday, students will be expected to turn in a written paragraph in a journal.  The directions will be glued inside the front cover of this journal.  Students will choose a topic (any topic) and then either write a narrative, informative or opinion piece.  They will need to do some research, using the computer with adult permission, and provide a picture or illustration to go with their writing.  This will NOT be graded but we will attempt to share them during our class meetings.  The purpose is to get students reading and writing each week about subjects that motivate them.  I will answer more questions, from students, tomorrow, and hopefully pass out their journals at that time.

The students ended their day in art, with Mrs. Daniell.

Our field trip is tomorrow.  We WILL eat in school, after the field trip.  There WILL be a math quiz tomorrow!!

## Wednesday, November 12, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday - Wims Celebrates Veterans!!

Our day began with Wilson Wims ES's first annual Veteran's Day flag raising ceremony.  It was a gorgeous morning to honor the men and women who have fought to protect our country's freedoms.  We were treated to some speeches from local veterans and singing by our fourth grade chorus.

When we returned inside, we had a brief discussion about respecting veterans and the sacrifice they make for the citizens of our country.

Needless to say, we got a late start on our math rotations, but, it was well worth it!!

Due to our late start, I took the opportunity to begin the tasks for the 4/5 compacted math class that will be offered next year.  There are only 5 students who will be participating in these activities.  These students were selected based upon a required articulation tool that was completed for each student in the class.  Students who scored above a certain number, based on data from previous report cards and assessments, will complete 5 specific activities between now and February.  Once this is completed, parents of the students who qualify will receive additional information.

With that said, I met with five students to work through our first activity.  During this time the rest of the class rotated between math with a partner and technology.  During math with a partner, the students played multiplication war or crazy 8s to work on basic fact fluency.  During the technology rotation, the children visited Cuisennaire Environment, and used the rods to model parts and wholes.  Then they wrote a multiplication and division equation to reflect the rods they displayed no their computer.

For HOMEWORK the students have a word problem to solve on Google Classroom (homework page).

After math, the students enjoyed lunch and recess.

When they returned to class we reviewed the independent work assignments for today's literacy block.  First students will complete reading group assignments.  Then, if they haven't already, they will finish their narrative poem.  After that, they will view a lesson about metaphors and similes and, in their RRJ, they will write 2 sentences comparing and contrasting metaphors and similes.  After that, they can watch a video of Katy Perry's "Fireworks" and think about the metaphor in the song.  Next, they will watch a lesson about verbs and complete a 3-2-1, about verbs, in their writing journal.  After that, they will complete a Google form, in Google Classroom, indicating their topic choice for the second marking period inquiry project.  If there is time left, they will read poetry with a partner, practicing fluency and comprehension.

While the students are busy with the above tasks, I will meet with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  We shared last nights homework and then whisper read, "The First Thanksgiving," for the final time.  After that, I introduced the concept of a verb (tells what the subject is doing--can be an action word or a linking word).  Next, I handed out a worksheet with two poems.  The children whisper read, "Should Have Studied" and we worked to identify some verbs.  Finally, we reviewed common themes in literature and discussed the theme of the poem.  For HOMEWORK the students will reread the poem, 3 times, working on fluency.

Panthers:  Independently the students identified a simile from "since Hannah Moved Away" and illustrated it in their RRJ.  In group, we shared the illustrations and similes.  Then I handed out a poetry packet.  Today we focused on the poem, "Mummy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast".  I read the poem out loud and we discussed vocabulary and the main idea in each stanza.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, out loud, twice.

Leopards:  Independently the students read a new poem, "Jessica Jean", and drew a picture of the images in their mind, in their RRJ.  In group we started by sharing the lines they chose to illustrate from "Since Hannah Moved Away" for homework last night.  After that I read "Jessica Jean" out loud and we identified the meaning of several vocabulary words.  Then the students shared their illustrations.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, out loud, and identify the meaning of the three words we underlined (cocooning, obscuring, and concealing).

Lions:  The students received a new poem, "Jessica Jean," and read it independently and drew a picture of the images in their head, in the RRJ.  In group we began by sharing last night's homework, the student's favorite line from "Since Hannah Moved Away" and the picture they drew.  Then I read the poem, "Jessica Jean" out loud discussing some of the vocabulary.  Next, the students shared their illustrations.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, out loud, and identify the meaning of the three words we underlined (cocooning, obscuring, and concealing).

Before heading to specials, we handed out many papers including the report cards.  Please keep the report card at home but RETURN THE SIGNED ENVELOPE to school tomorrow.

THe students ended their day in PE with Mr. Benco.

## Tuesday, November 11, 2014

### Terrific Tuesday - Final Day of Parent Conferences

Today is the final day of parent conferences and it is an early dismissal day.

The students came in this morning and either read quietly, practiced keyboarding skills or exchanged books in the media center.  After that we began our math rotations.  We continued yesterday's activities since our math block was shortened today in order for us to visit the media center.

In small group the students practiced their 8s facts and then used pictures and equations to solve word problems.  We also practiced writing a related fact when given a multiplication or division equation.  (if given a multiplication equation, then we wrote a division equation, and vice versa.)

During math with a partner, the students played the Crazy 8 board game to  help memorize their basic 8s facts or they played Multiplication War.

Finally, during the technology portion the students visited Times Table Grid and worked on the 8s facts.  After completing the facts twice, the students could choose to continue with this site or visit Sumdog and work on basic facts there.

For HOMEWORK the students need to visit the Google Classroom page to view Multiplication Rock - 4 Legged Zoo, twice, and then explain how to solve for an unknown, in the 8s fact family, using the 4s.

After math, we visited the media center where Mrs. Allaire introduced the class to our second quarter inquiry project.  The driving question for the inquiry project is, "What are the relationships between human wants, needs, and the development of technologies?"  Students will research and analyze how a specific tool has changed, based on human wants and needs, due to advancements in technology.

The students ate lunch after visiting the media center and then returned to our classroom.

Next I reviewed today's independent work tasks.  First, the students had to write the final copy of their narrative poem.  Next they needed to complete the simile activity that was assigned yesterday.  After  that, they were given time to review the topic choices for the second marking period inquiry project.  Finally, they were expected to read with a partner, working on fluency and comprehension.

As the students worked independently, I met with some guided reading groups.

Tigers:  First we reviewed the -ai and a__e patterns.  Then I introduced -ea and we searched for words, with the pattern, in the poem, "The First Thanksgiving".  Next we whisper read the poem, working on fluency.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem twice and illustrate it on the bottom or back of the page.

Panthers:  First, I collected their current poetry books.  Next, I introduced the poem, "Since Hannah Moved Away", and we made personal connections.  After that, we reviewed the -ou pattern and decoded words that included it.  I also reviewed vocabulary, such as, velvet and halibut.  Finally, the children received a copy of the poem and whisper read it.  For HOMEWORK students need to reread the poem, twice, working on fluency.

Leopards:  Students reread the poem, Since Hannah Moved Away".  Then they identified a line of the poem that they liked and explained why they liked it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, and identify and illustrate one line of the poem they liked.  It can be the same one from reading group.  The illustration should be on the bottom or the back of the poem.

Lions:  Students reread the poem, Since Hannah Moved Away".  Then they identified a line of the poem that they liked and explained why they liked it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, and identify and illustrate one line of the poem they liked.  It can be the same one from reading group.  The students need to write the line and illustrate it in their RRJ.

After literacy it was time for dismissal!

## Monday, November 10, 2014

### Marvelous Monday - Beginning of Parent Conferences

Today and tomorrow are early release days.  The students will be dismissed at 12:35.  Teachers will be holding parent conferences in the afternoon on both days.  I truly look forward to speaking with all of you about your child's progress in third grade thus far.  :-).

After reading quietly or practicing keyboarding skills we began our math rotations.  This week we will focus on memorizing the 8s basic facts and continue drawing pictures and writing equations, using a variable to represent the unknown, to solve word problems.

Today, during the small group teacher led instruction, we added the 8s facts to our multiplication table.  Then we identified patterns that we noticed, including that the 8s facts are the doubles of the 4s.  Additionally, some groups practiced using the 2s facts to solve problems involving the 8s by doubling them twice.

During math with a partner the students played a board game called Crazy 8s to help memorize the 8s facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the students revisited Times Table Grid and practiced the 8s facts.

Math homework, tonight, is on Google Classroom (homework page).

After math, the students ate lunch.  When they returned to the room, we began our literacy block.

First, I modeled using the organizer and storyboard, from Friday, to write a narrative poem.  Then I reviewed today's tasks.

First, the students will draft a narrative poem, using their organizer and storyboard, in their WRITING JOURNAL.  Net, they will read a simile poem and practice writing similes on the back of the poem.  Finally, they will read poems, with a partner, out loud, working on fluency and comprehension.

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

Tigers:  We reviewed the -ai pattern.  Then we whisper read the poem, The First Thanksgiving" and identified the beginning, middle and end.  Finally, we reviewed our list of themes and decided the theme for this poem might be friendship.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read this poem, out loud, twice.

Leopards:  First I collected their, "Honey, I Love," books.  Then I handed out a poem called, "Since Hannah Moved Away".  Students read over it independently and then we shared some personal connections.  After that we reread the poem and discussed the comparisons.  We also reviewed the list of possible themes and identified friendship as the theme of the poem.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, twice, out loud.

Lions:  The students received a new poem, Since Hannah Moved Away."  They read it over and we shared some personal connections.  After that, I reread it and the students identified examples of similes in the poem.  Then we discussed the theme of the poem, friendship.  For HOMEWORK the students will read the poem, twice, out loud.

Students in the panthers group received some writing support, so i didn't meet with their reading group.  They should read for 10 minutes this evening, though.

The entire class, for HOMEWORK, should read their narrative poem rough draft (in their writing journal) out loud to an adult.

## Friday, November 7, 2014

### Fabulous Friday

This morning, after reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center or practicing keyboarding skills using Typing Club, the students took their first math formative for the second marking period.  These have been scored and will be returned to the children this afternoon.  Please look for them in home folders this evening.

After our quiz, we took a Go Noodle break.  Then we began our literacy block.

We began the literacy block by reviewing the characteristics of a narrative poem.  Then I modeled how to plan for the writing of a narrative poem.

After that, I reviewed the independent tasks that needed to be completed during today's literacy block.  First, students need to complete the beginning, middle and end for Casey at the Bat.  Then they needed to finish the 3-2-1 for Physical and Chemical changes.  After that, the students had to write 3 similes.  Finally, they needed to plan for their narrative poem by completing an organizer and a storyboard.  Finally, they could practice reading poetry with a partner to practice fluency and comprehension.

While students worked on these assignments, I met with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  First I collected their books.  Then we reviewed the sound that the -ai pattern makes.  We practiced reading some words with the -ai pattern.  Then I passed out a poem and the students highlighted words with the -ai pattern in the poem.  We practiced decoding those words.  Then I reviewed some vocabulary, from the poem, with the children.  Finally, we practiced whisper reading the poem a couple of times.

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

Panthers:  We began group by sharing the pictures they drew of the images that were in their head as they read the poem, "What is Life Like in the Hood?".  After that we discussed the author's message.  I explained that writer's want to get a message across to readers...this is not explicitly stated but, as good readers, we have to infer it.  As a group we decided the author wanted us to appreciate our own neighborhoods, because the one in the poem wasn't as nice as our own.  Then we discussed if we would want to live in the 'Hood and used details from the text to support our thinking.

Lions:  The students shared the pictures they drew for homework last night of the images they had in their head as they read the poem, "The Amazing Teacher's Lounge".  As they shared, they automatically revisited the text to identify support for their illustrations.  Three was even some respectful disagreement among group members as they discussed their images.  It was really a great discussion...oh, and one more thing,  the students tossed about the word "infer", using it appropriately, through out their discussion!

After our literacy block, we reviewed the meaning of observable properties.  Then the students worked in collaborative groups to identify 3 observable properties of 5 different objects.  Then they identified one physical change they could make to each and reason they might make that change.

Finally, we had our regularly scheduled class meeting.  During our group share students named one thing they did, during the first marking period of school, that would make their parents proud.  After that we exchanged compliments and thank yous.  Finally, we began brainstorming reasons that students are being responsible during independent work time AND what we can do to change that!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Remember, dismissal on Monday and Tuesday is at 12:35!!

## Thursday, November 6, 2014

### Thrilling Thursday

This morning the students read quietly, exchanged book in the media center or practiced their keyboarding skills, as I collected field trip permission slips and money.

Once that was completed, we began our math rotations.

During the small group instruction we continued working on our memorization of the 4s basic facts.  Then we solved word problems writing both a multiplication and division equation, using a variable to represent the unknown.

During math with a partner, the students continued using dice to create arrays and then wrote both a multiplication and division equation to represent the array.

For HOMEWORK there is a problem on Google Classroom (homework page) and we WILL have a QUIZ (or formative) tomorrow.

After math we reviewed the independent work assignments for today's literacy block.  First, students will complete individual reading group assignments.  Then they will finish watching the narrative poem, "Casey at the Bat", and identify the beginning, middle, and end with a picture and a sentence.  They will also watch the Brain Pop Jr. lesson about physical and chemical changes and identify examples of observable properties and these two types of changes.  Next, they will watch two video clips about similes (comparing two seemingly unrelated objects or ideas using the words "like" or "as") and write three similes.  Finally, they will practice reading poetry with a partner, working on fluency and comprehension skills.

I will meet with guided reading groups as the students work on their assignments.

Tigers:  We met and reviewed their drawings of the beginning, middle and end of the poem, "Art Class".  Then we whisper read the poem, "Morning Count".  For HOMEWORK the children need to practice reading the poems on pages 6 and 8.

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

Panthers:  Students read the poem, "What is Life Like in the Hood" and wrote about their feelings in their RRJ.  In group we reread the poem and shared the students feelings.  Based on their responses, it became apparent they didn't completely comprehend the poem.  Therefore, we revisited it and discussed the writer's words, one stanza at a time.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem, out loud, and draw a picture of the images the poem creates in their minds.

Leopards:  The students revisited the poem, "Fun", and in their RRJ, they identified the theme and explained their thinking.  In group we shared and discussed the themes they identified for the poem.  These were not correct (they weren't themes) so we reviewed the list of common themes in literature and I modeled how to go down the list and determine which might fit.  We also discussed and identified the author's message (sometimes things don't go as planned).  I made sure the students understood that both the theme and author's message need to be inferred.  For HOMEWORK the students will read the poem, "Honey, I Love," out loud, twice.

Lions:  The students reread the poem, The Amazing Teacher's Lounge" and, in their RRJ, identified the theme, explaining their thinking.  In group we reviewed the format of the poem and reread it, too.  Then we shared the student's RRJ responses about the theme of the poem.  This led to a discussion about perspective, because I had thought about a different theme.  After that we discussed the author's message in the poem.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the poem and draw a picture of the "amazing" teacher's lounge based on the words used in the poem.

After our literacy block we had a heart to heart talk about respect and responsibility.  Lately, many students have not been completing their independent work tasks.  Some even come to reading group and say they forgot to do their work.  It is written clearly and displayed throughout the block on the Promethean Board. Also, when they should be practicing their reading (either by independently or with a partner), all it takes is a quick glance around the room to see this isn't being done as we practiced the first week of school.

Before going to art, I modeled how to complete a chart naming an object, stating 3 observable properties, identifying a way to change one of the properties and naming a reason why one might make that change.  Students will complete this chart, during independent work time, tomorrow.

The children will end their day in art with Mrs. Daniell.

## Wednesday, November 5, 2014

### Wonderful Wednesday

This morning the students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center or practiced keyboarding skills.

After the announcements we began our math rotations.

Today's small group instruction focused on memorizing the 4s facts and writing a related multiplication and division equation, using a variable to represent the unknown, for a given word problem.

During math with a partner, the students complete the grouping or sharing activity that they began on Monday.  To quickly refresh...the students had to sort word problems according to whether they involved making equal groups or sharing equally.  Then they had to solve the problems.  If they finished early, the rolled dice to create an array (ex. if they rolled a 2 and a 5 they created an array with 2 rows and 5 in each row) and then they wrote one multiplication and one division equation to math the array.

Finally, during the technology portion, the students began by watching a Learn Zillion lesson about interpreting the meaning of division by matching equations to real world examples.   After that they returned to Times Table Grid and practiced the 4s facts.

For HOMEWORK there is a word problem on the HOMEWORK page of Google Classroom.  AS we did in small group today, students need to write a division and a multiplication equation that represents the word problem, using a variable for the unknown, and then solve it.

After a quick Go Noodle break, I reviewed today's independent literacy tasks.

First, students will read an assigned poem and write about how they felt as they read the poem, in their RRJ.  Next the students watched the Casey at the Bat video and identified the beginning, middle and end of this narrative poem with both a drawing and a sentence, in their RRJ.   After that the students watched  Brain Pop Jr. lesson about physical and chemical changes and completed a 3-2-1 in their science journals.  Next, they watched two video clips about similes and then practiced writing three similes in their writing journal.  Finally, they practiced reading poems with a partner, working on fluency and comprehension.

As the students worked on their assignments, I met with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  First we reviewed the vowel-consonant-e pattern and located words which fit it.  Next we created a t-chart in our RRJ and sorted words with the /ea/spelling pattern according to the sound the /ea/ makes.  After that we reviewed and shared the rhyming words that the students identified for homework. Next we whisper read and discussed the poem on page 22, "Art Class".  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread page 22 and draw the beginning, middle and end in their RRJ.

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

Panthers:  The students read the poem, "Cheering People Up", in the book, DeShawn Days.  Then in their RRJ, they wrote about how they felt as they read the poem.  In group we reviewed some basic ideas about poetry, included that it is mean to be read out loud and that words are grouped into lines and lines grouped into sections called stanzas.  After that I read the poem out loud, twice, and the students had a chance to share how they felt when they read the poem.  Finally, we discussed common themes in poems/books and determines that the theme of this poem was compassion.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread, "Cheering People Up", twice, out loud.

Leopards:  Independently the students read the poem, "Harriet Tubman", and in their RRJ they wrote about how they felt as they read the poem.  In group we reviewed some key concepts about poetry (meant to be read aloud, doesn't follow the typical grammar rules for good writing, words grouped into lines and lines into stanzas, visualization is important, etc.)  Then I read the poem out loud twice and the students shared how they felt as they read the poem.  After that, we quickly reviewed common themes in poetry/books, and determined that courage or bravery might be the theme of the poem, "Harriet Tubman".  For HOMEWORK the students need to read the poem, "Harriet Tubman" out loud and explain the theme (courage/bravery) to an adult.

Lions:  Independently the students read the narrative poem, " The Amazing Teacher's Lounge" and wrote about their feelings, as they read it, in their RRJ.  In group we reread the poem and the students shared and discussed their feelings that they wrote in their journals.  After that, we identified common themes in books and poetry and discussed the theme of the poem.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread their poem out loud.

After our literacy block, the students received a permission slip for our next field trip.  Next Friday, November 14, we will be visiting Clarksburg High School to see the play, "The Little Princess".  Please return the signed permission slip, with \$5.50, as soon as possible!!  Students who return it tomorrow will receive a Dojo.

Prior to going to PE, with Mr. Benco, we reviewed the idea of observable properties and physical changes. This was just a general debriefing to clarify and explain ideas that were introduced through the Brain Pop Jr. lesson.

## Monday, November 3, 2014

### Q2...Here we go!!!!!!

Today marks the first day of the second marking period!!!

After reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center or practicing keyboarding skills, we began our math rotations.

This week, in small group instruction we will focus on the 4's multiplication facts and using drawings and equations to solve word problems. Today we filled in the 4s facts on our multiplication chart and identified patterns such as;  the products are all even, we are adding 4 more each time, and the 4s facts are the doubles of the 2s facts.  After that, we used visualization, drawings and equations, using a variable for the unknown, to solve word problems.

During math with a partner, the students sorted division word problems deciding whether they were examples of grouping or sharing.  Then they worked with their partner to solve each of the problems.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about solving division problems using repeated subtraction.  Then they visited the Times Table Game site on the Internet and practiced identifying the 4s facts.

For HOMEWORK the students have all received a packet (2 pages) of triangle fact cards.  They need to cut apart the triangles and use the cards to begin memorizing the 4s facts.  The students should cover the number that is circled, with their thumb, and multiply the other two numbers together.  Then they can lift their thumb to see if their answer is correct.  Students should practice these facts daily until they are completely memorized.

We did take a short break during math to attend a PBIS assembly kicking off the second marking period.  Therefore, math ran until lunch and recess.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, Ms. Snyder, the guidance counselor, visited to do a lesson about teasing.

When she left I explained to the class that we were beginning a new literary genre, poetry, specifically, narrative poetry.  Narrative poems are those that tell a story and include many of the elements we find in fictional stories.

After that brief introduction, I shred their tasks for literacy block.  Today they will be listening to reading when they visit the third grade web site and listen to the poem, "Casey at the Bat".  Then, in their RRJ, they will identify the beginning, middle and end of the poem by drawing a picture and writing a sentence for each.  After that, the students will watch a Brain Pop Jr. video about physical and chemical changes.  They will complete a 3-2-1 in their new science journals to ensure they understand the concepts of observable properties, and physical and chemical changes.  Finally, the students will practice fluency and comprehension skills when they read poetry with a partner.

Tigers:  The students were given a new poetry book.  We reviewed the format of poetry, specifically that the sections of text are called stanzas.  We also identified examples of rhyming and repetition in poems.  Then we practiced reading two poems and identifying what the poem was about.  For HOMEWORK the students will read, "Library Time" on page 13 and identify two sets of words that rhyme on a sticky note.

Leopards:  The students were given a book of poems called, Honey, I Love.  We focused on the poem, "Fun", found in the middle of the book.  We discussed the elements of a narrative story and related it to those of a narrative poem.  Then we read the poem, "Fun" and identified the beginning, middle and end.  After that, we looked at other poems in the book and identified the number of stanzas in each.  For HOMEWORK the students will select a poem, in their book, to read aloud in group.  (We talked about poetry is meant to be read out loud!)

Lions:  We met quickly to go over tonight's homework assignment.  For HOMEWORK this group is to go to Google Classroom and visit our LITERACY page.  There is an assignment posted there.  Students will visit the poetry web site that is linked to the assignment and read 2-3 poems.  Then, in the comment section of the assignment on Google Classroom, they will post the title of a poem they liked and why they enjoyed it. I am also requesting that they respond to one of their classmates.

Panthers:  We didn't get a chance to meet.  There is no HOMEWORK assignment in their planner but it would be great if the children could read for 15 minutes!

The students ended their day in music with Ms. Guerra.

Remember there is NO SCHOOL tomorrow due to Election Day.