Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Fridayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning the children began their day in PE.  They came back red-faced from line dancing but seemed to really have enjoyed it!

After PE, we finished our math rotations from yesterday...I was only able to work with 2 of the 3 groups, so I met with the last one today.

After the rotation, the children took the first quiz of the marking period.  These have been scored and returned to the children.  They should be stored in the math section of their binder.

While I met with reading groups the students completed independent reading group assignments, finished the first paragraph of the character analysis and continued watching author interviews to identify where they get their ideas.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed chapter 3 and defined unknown words.  We discussed the various characters and things that surprised us, such as the doctor not knowing their dad was in America. Then we began reading chapter 4 and shared our thoughts about Amanda shaking Jemmy.  After that, the children finished reading chapter 4 and marked two events from chapters 3 and 4 that led to Amanda beginning her journey.

Sharks:  We reviewed chapter 3 and defined the unknown words listed for homework last night.  Then we discussed the changes in Anna (wanted to go to school but now thinks they should head home) and Grandpa (fussy, complaining but now is bright and friendly) so far in the story.

Following lunch and outdoor recess I continued meeting with groups while the children continued their independent work.

Dolphins:  The students used the text we marked yesterday in group to respond to a BCR in their RRJs.  In group we practiced reading their word bag cards.  Then we reread the book and identified features animals have that help them survive and marked them with a sticky note.  Finally, we sorted words ending in y according to the sound the y makes.

Pandas:  The students defined a bullion in their RRJ.  IN group we discussed why Uncle Victor and Peter's dad were arguing and then expressed our opinions about involving the boys in the plan to sneak the gold out of the country.

We ended the day by sketching a map of Maryland, including a compass rose and a key with symbols, in our social studies journals.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thriving Thursday - REPORT CARD DAY

Today is flip flop day.  So we began with our math rotations.  During the teacher led rotation students created number lines using an index card as the unit fraction or whole.  Then we folded the index card to show fractional pieces.  After that, used the card to label the number line going up to 3.  SO, the difference today was we added in mixed numbers (ie 1 1/2).

During guided practice the children used dice to create a fraction.  Then, in their math journal, they wrote the fraction and showed it two ways, on a number line and as a part of a whole or set.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about identifying fractions as a point on a number line using area models.  If they had extra time, they completed the guided practice.

There WILL be a quiz tomorrow!!  For homework the children have a fraction word problem worksheet.

After math the children went to music.

When they returned they began working on independent reading group assignments, completing the first paragraph of the character analysis and listening to author interviews and taking notes as to where they get their ideas.  I met with small groups.

Cheetahs:  I met with this group first because yesterday I had spent a great deal of time modeling how to answer the BCR I assigned to the group for independent work time.  I even posted a framework for them to use.  Their responses were disappointing.  So, we discussed this at the beginning of group.  I also gave them a chance to redo their work.

After that, we reviewed their lists of unknown words from chapter 2 and discussed what we learned from reading it.  I also pointed out that chapter 1 had an even--the fisherman visited--but this chapter was more about giving us, the readers, background information that we will need to know to understand the rest of the story.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 3 and list unknown words.

Sharks:  We reread and discussed chapter 2.  Then we talked about Anna's feelings towards Grandpa (he annoys her becomes he complains so much) and identified the main event in the chapter (Grandpa is walking Anna to school because it is snowing and she doesn't want to miss the spelling bee).

For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 3 and list unknown words.

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

Dolphins:  I did another book introduction and then the children whisper read their new book.  When they finished they went back and marked the places in the book, with a sticky note, that told about different jobs people do at an aquarium.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread their book.

Pandas:  The children used Image Quest to locate a picture of a fjord.  In group we used the pictures to understand what a fjord is.  Then we reviewed chapter 1.  WE spent time talking about reading carefully and visualizing what you read.  Also, I reminded the children that they should be prepared to discuss the discussion questions that are on their novel schedule.  If they can't, then they need to go back and reread!  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 2.  In their RRJ they need to define retorted and draw a picture or create a comic to show its meaning.

We ended the day by reviewing map elements (borders, symbols key/legend, date, author and title).  Then we looked at a map of Virginia dating back to before Maryland was a state.

Students are bringing home their report cards today.  Look for them in your child's home folder!

Also, we are in need of tissues and sharpened pencils.  Thanks, in advance, for any donations!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hump Day --another delay?!?!?

UGH...Mother Nature is really trying to confuse me!!!  Just when I felt like we were getting back into a routine we have another school delay?  Oh, well...

When the children arrived we jumped right into math rotations.   During the teacher rotation we reviewed last night's homework.  May students were challenged by it--and it was GOOD that I saw their mistakes--so I took time to reteach the concepts needed to complete it successfully.  After that, we used paper strips to  identify, label and count fractions.  We also used the completed visual to compare fractions and come to the conclusion that the smaller the denominator the larger the part.

During guided practice the children worked with partners to solve a problem of the week.  As they worked they discussed what information they needed to consider to solve the problem and how they knew their drawing was correct.

Finally, the children visited the Internet site, Hatchin' Fractions, during the technology rotation.

There is a worksheet for homework.

Just an aside--I met with two groups prior to lunch and finished with the last group after lunch.

Following math, the students worked independently on reading group assignments, drafting the first paragraph of their character analysis and listening to author interviews to discover where they get their ideas, while I met with small groups.

Sharks:  They completed their vocabulary activity from yesterday's reading group.  I will meet with them tomorrow to discuss chapter 2.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 2.

Dolphins:  We will begin their new book tomorrow...I promise.  For HOMEWORK they should reread Cranes and practice their word bag cards...working on fluency!  :-)

Cheetahs:  We met and I COLLECTED their novel schedules.  I explained to the group that I was unhappy with it because it did not align with the county's curriculum.  So this group NO LONGER HAS A NOVEL SCHEDULE.  After that we reviewed unknown words from chapter 1.  I also modeled how to answer a BCR with a topic sentence, supporting detail sentences and a concluding sentence.  Then the students reread chapter 1 and identified the main event and Amanda's feelings about it, in their RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 2 and list unknown words.

Pandas:  We met and I COLLECTED their novel schedule because it didn't align to the curriculum but I passed out a new and improved novel schedule...so this group DOES have a novel schedule.  In group we discussed the summary video.  Then we had a wonderful discussion about World War II.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter1 and identify the meaning of the 4 words on the novel schedule, in their RRJ.  They can use dictionary.com, a hard copy dictionary or context clues within the text.

We did not get to science today.  :-(

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Terrific Tuesday

The students began their day in art.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.  Today's teacher lesson focused on partitioning and labeling number lines of various lengths into eights.  During guided practice the children worked on partitioning and labeling number lines into fourths.  Finally, at the technology rotation, the students rewatched the discovery education video clip from last night's homework.  After that, they practiced naming points on a number line suing Fraction Monkeys.

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

We began the reading and writing block with the children sharing and adjusting their character analysis graphic organizer with new groups.  Last week the students chose a playing card and met with the number represented on the card.  Today they met with the suit.  So, for example,  last week all of the 2s worked together.  Today the hearts, clubs, spades, etc. worked together.

Next, we reviewed the graphic organizer as a whole group and I modeled writing the first paragraph of the character analysis, using the organizer.

While I meet with small groups the children will complete individual reading group assignments, draft their first paragraph for the character analysis and listen to author interviews to identify how authors get their ideas.

Sharks:  PLEASE NOTE I collected this group's novel schedules.  I was concerned that the activities did not align with our current curricular measurement topics.  Today we reviewed and reread chapter 1 concentrating on why Grandpa is visiting the Romanos and how he feels about it.  Independently, in class, the students were given a worksheet that had 3 sentences from the book with a word underlined in each sentence.  They are to use a dictionary to identify the correct meaning of the word as it is used in the sentence.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter 2 and list unknown words on a sticky note.

Following lunch and recess Mrs. Howard visited to do a lesson on trustworthiness and responsibility.

I was unable to meet with additional groups but they did get HOMEWORK...

Dolphins:  Reread Cranes and practice word bag cards.
Cheetahs:  Read chapter 1 and list unknown words on sticky note.  PLEASE disregard the novel schedule for now.
Pandas:  Watch the video clip about Writing a Summary on the third grade web site.  It is on the reading page under quarter 3.  Students may want to view it twice!

We ended the day by identifying objects that give off both light and heat.  We also arranged objects from least to greatest heat and then least to greatest light.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Marvelous Monday

Can you believe that it is above 30 degrees and the sun is shining???  What a great start to the week!!

The children began their day in the media center.  They got a chance to do a book exchange and 4 of the groups video taped their skits for last marking periods inquiry project.  The rest of the groups will complete this next Monday.

When they returned to class we began our math rotations.  When working with me, we used Cuisenaire rods to mark fourths on a number line.  During guided practice the children continued last Friday's lesson using the rods to mark halves on a number line.  However, they were to choose different colored rods as the unit fraction, or whole.  Finally, at the technology rotation, they students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about identify fractions as points on a number line.  They also completed the guided practice.

Math HOMEWORK tonight is through Edmodo.  Students need to watch the fractions on a number line video clip, on Discovery Education, and post something they learned or something they want to remember by hitting the "reply" button.  Children will need their DE log-ins which they were given today, in class, on a salmon 3x5 card.

Due to a fire drill an some housekeeping type tasks, after math the students began working independently while I met with small groups.  Independent work included reading group assignments, completing the character analysis graphic organizer for Richard Wright and watching author interviews and identifying where they get their ideas.

Sharks:  The children watch a video clip about the Blizzard of 1888.  They also previewed their book, marked 50" high on a wall in the room and wrote about how they would feel if they were trapped in a blizzard, in their RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 1.

Pandas:  I handed out a novel schedule for their new book, Snow Treasure.  We discussed how to use it and reviewed their first assignment.  Then the students watched a video clip providing background information on World War II.  They also read the back cover and the forward for the book.  Finally, they wrote a summary (3-5 sentences) about the information they learned in the forward.  This is all due tomorrow.  Anything not done in class becomes homework.  In group we did review the concept of a summary and I suggested paying special attention to the topic sentences of paragraphs to figure out the important points.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read the forward and write a summary in their RRJ.

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

Dolphins:  The students reread Footprints.  In group we discussed that the letter y has two different vowel sounds when it appears at the end of a word.  It can sound like an i or an e.  Then we read some words and identified whether the y made an i or an e sound.  We added these words to the student's word bags.  After that, I collected Footprints and introduced our next book, The Fun Club Goes to the Aquarium.  They did not get this book yet.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read the book Cranes and practice reading their word bag words.

Cheetahs:  The students watched a video clip about the early settlers of Jamestown.  In group we discussed the dangers facing the early settlers and its affects on families back in England.  Then I passed out their novel schedule and book.  We discussed how to sue the schedule.  For HOMEWORK the students need to preview the book and read the back cover.

We ended the day with a guess box.  Students had to ask yes/no questions to guess an object that gives off both light and heat.  It was a candle!  We discussed how students adjusted their thinking as they listened to my answers to the yes/no questions.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fabulous Friday

This morning the children began their day in PE.

When they returned to the classroom we began our math rotations.

While meting with me, we reviewed yesterday's lesson using Cuisenaire rods to plot and identify halves n a number line. I captured this lesson on Educreations and posted it to the third grade web site.

During guided practice the students worked with Mrs. Bartel to plot fractions on a number line without using Cuisenaire rods.

Finally, at the technology rotation, the children went to an Internet site called Fraction Monkeys to practice identifying fractions on a number line.

At the beginning of the reading/writing block, the students were put into groups. Each group was given a copy of the book, Richard Wright and the Library Card, and as I reread it, they marked pages, with a sticky note, that had actions Richard took to solve his problem. We discussed the action, why we think he did it and what it showed about his character, along the way.

Today, while I meet with reading groups, the children will work together, in their small group, to complete a character analysis graphic organizer for the book. After that, they will view interviews with various authors, via the third grade web site, and complete a capture sheet noting the author's name, where the author gets their ideas and anything else they find interesting. Additionally, many groups will work on individual reading group assignments.

Sharks: We met and each students received a novel schedule and a book, Anna Grandpa and the Big Storm. I explained, in detail, how to use the novel schedule. Then I gave them their first assignment, which is due on Monday, January 27. The students need to preview the book (look at pictures, notice chapter titles and read the front cover). Additionally, together, they will measure and mark 50" high on a wall in our room. Finally, each student needs to write about how they would feel if they were stranded in a blizzard. This needs to be done in their RRJ. They will have time in class today and Monday morning.

Following lunch and recess we had a very special treat!! One of our students shared a book and movie he had created as a project through the WINGS program.

After that, the students completed their character analysis graphic organizers.

I had to attend a meeting in Rockville, so I was unable to meet with any other reading groups. I will certainly catch up with the rest on Monday.

The students will end their day by sketching a map of the United States after viewing several maps and defining and discussing various map elements.

Sharks:  We met and each students received a novel schedule and a book, Anna Grandpa and the Big Storm.  I explained, in detail, how to use the novel schedule.  Then I gave them their first assignment, which is due on Monday, January 27.  The students need to preview the book (look at pictures, notice chapter titles and read the front cover).  Additionally, together, they will measure and mark 50" high on a wall in our room.  Finally, each student needs to write about how they would feel if they were stranded in a blizzard.  This needs to be done in their RRJ.  They will have time in class today and Monday morning.

Following lunch and recess we had a very special treat!!  One of our students shared a book and movie he had created as a project through the WINGS program.

After that, the students completed their character analysis graphic organizers.

I had to attend a meeting in Rockville, so I was unable to meet with any other reading groups.  I will certainly catch up with the rest on Monday.

The students will end their day by sketching a map of the United States after viewing maps and defining and discussing various map elements.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Beginning of the Third Marking Period

Well, today marks the first day of the second half of the year...a bit delayed!

Between the snow days and the two hour delay, the students arrived quiet and groggy, but that's to be expected!  :-)

The morning was spent on math.  The children participated in our regular rotations.

The teacher lesson focused on using Cuisenaire rods to plot and label fractions on a number line.  During guided practice the students watch a Learn Zillion lesson about plotting unit fractions on a number line.  Finally, at the technology rotation, the children visited an Internet site called Fraction Frenzy to practice identifying and naming fractions of a whole.

After math, it was time for lunch!

Following lunch I gave the class a brief overview of the reading and writing program for the next 9 weeks.  We will be concentrating on historical fiction, a subset of realistic fiction.  The students will be writing a character analysis and they will each publish their own realistic fiction story.

After I set the stage for this semester, the students got into small groups and made lists of things that change.  This lesson comes from the William and Mary program for gifted learners.  After sharing and discussing the children's lists we came to the conclusion that change is everywhere.  It happens over time and can be positive or negative.  Additionally, change can be natural or created by man and it can be orderly or random.

Next, we read the historical fiction book, Richard Wright and the Library Card, and identified actions the main character took, choices he made, that led to events in the story.  This was in preparation for the character analysis each child will be expected to write.

Finally, we ended the day with the remaining three groups sharing their disease/parasite presentations they created at the end of the second marking period.

There is NO homework tonight.

We will get back to our normal routine next week...I promise!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Bittersweet Friday

This day marks the end of the second marking period...and the dreaded last day for Mr. McGee.

The day began in a regular manner...the students went to PE and I planned for next week.

After PE we jumped into math rotations.  Students working with me practiced identifying and naming fractions of a set using word problems.  During guided practiced they completed their fractional fish aquariums.  Finally, those who participated in the technology rotation were able to choose any Fraction Internet site that is linked to the third grade web site.

After math, the children worked to complete the inquiry project and get it published.  Additionally, many finished the travel brochure.  Those who didn't need not worry.

After lunch and outdoor recess we finally had a chance to share our disease and parasite presentations.

Then the entire school gathered in the gym to have a surprise send off celebration for Mr. McGee.  If you follow me on Twitter (@runnerdana)you can see 2 pictures from it.

Remember, there is no school for students on Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday is a grading and reporting work day for teachers.

Wednesday begin the third marking period and a new era with our wonderful acting principal, Mr. Bill Collins.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thriving Thursday

It's flip-flop day.  So, we started our day with math rotations.

The teacher lesson focused on identifying and explaining how to determine 2/3 of a piece of ribbon.  Main points were that 2/3 always means 2 out of 3 equal parts but 2/3 can be different sizes depending upon the defined unit fraction, or whole.

During guided practice the children continued working on the fractional fish aquarium they began yesterday.  They are using fractional parts of  circles to create fish and other creatures living in a tank.

Finally, to reinforce the naming of fractional parts, the students used the iPad app called fractions.

After math, the children went to music.

When they returned they continued working on their inquiry project and travel brochure while I met with small groups.

Writing group:  Students reviewed the feedback I gave on their concluding paragraph.  Then I explained the feedback, gave examples of topic and concluding sentences and answered questions.

Following lunch and outdoor recess I had every intention of meeting with reading groups.  However, the students needed support and help to complete their inquiry projects.  SO, the majority of the afternoon was spent conferencing, revising and editing with individuals.

READING GROUPS will resume NEXT week with NEW books.  We WILL get back to our regular routine.  I urge you to contact me, via email, if you have any questions or concerns.  Believe me, though, your children are engaged in meaningful reading and writing activities every day...even when they do not meet in formal reading groups.

At the end of the day, I handed out a MATH HOMEWORK WS.  We will NOT have a quiz tomorrow.

Also, all students should read for at least ten minutes.

We also shared a few travel brochures.

Students are asked to wear BLACK tops to school tomorrow.  WE want to black out the school in honor of Mr. McGee's last day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

My day started, before the children arrived, by meeting our new acting principal, Mr. Collins.  I can honestly say he seems WONDERFUL!  He was friendly, kind, caring and demonstrated a good sense of humor.  As much as we will miss Mr. McGee, I feel reassured that things will be ok...well, better than that, they will be WONDERFUL!

Once the children arrived we changed jobs and had our weekly class meeting.  Today's group share was a check-in, of sorts.  The students had a chance to share how they are feeling, considering the changes that are in store for us.

After that we shared compliments and thank yous.  Then we discussed and brainstormed ideas for setting personal academic goals related to reading/writing.  Finally, each child wrote their own personal goal.  I will conference, individually, with the children to ensure it is appropriate.

Next we began our math rotations.  My mini lesson used pattern blocks to identify unit fractions (wholes) and then name and write fractional parts.  Some groups extended the lesson to identifying equivalent fractions.

The technology rotation had students strengthening their fractional knowledge using the site fractions shoot.

During guided practice the children began creating aquariums using fractional pieces to make fish, plants and others items that will live in their tanks.

For HOMEWORK the students voted and decided they wanted to practice naming and identifying fractions by playing Fraction Shoot for 10 minutes.  The link is above and on the 3rd grade web site.

While I met with small groups the children continued working on their inquiry projects and travel brochures.

Sharks:  They whisper read pages 14 and 15  of Germs Make Me Sick.  We used the word antibodies to practice identifying known parts of a word to decode new words.  We also used context clues to define an unknown word, again suing antibodies.  Then the children reread pages 14 and 15 and wrote an example of cause and effect in their RRJ.  After that, the students repeated the process with pages 16 and 17.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread pages 14-17.

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

Dolphins:  We reviewed compound words and practiced using word lists to make some.  Then we reread Footprints.    I explained the concept of a summary and then we orally summarized the story.  For HOMEWORK the students need to use the word lists to create 3 more compound words and add them to the list in their RRJ.  They also need to reread their book.

Due to a chorus and band concert, I was unable to meet with the Cheetahs and Pandas BUT they DO have HOMEWORK.  Both groups need to read chapter 4 and think about (no writing necessary) examples of cause and effect.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday

I think I mentioned in yesterday's post that this week had some interruptions to our regular routine.

Well, today was no exception.  This morning I was in meetings, in the building but out of the classroom, from 9:15-12:40.  So, I relied on the very capable hands of some instructional assistants to ensure the children continued with their academic assignments.

The students' day began with art.

When they returned to the room they began math rotations.  The teacher lesson focused on building fractions using pattern blocks.  During guided practice the students played the fraction memory game.  Finally, during the technology rotation, they used a fraction app on the Ipad to reinforce naming and identifying fractions.

For HOMEWORK the students need to use the fraction app on Edmodo for 10-15 minutes.

After math, the students continued working on the independent reading and writing tasks that need to be finished this week.  They published the first three paragraphs of their inquiry project.  They worked on a page for the secret class book.  Then they watched a lesson modeling the fourth and final paragraph for the project, taught by me and captured using Educreations.  After watching it once, or twice, they drafted a concluding paragraph.  Finally, they worked on their travel brochures.

After lunch and indoor recess the students continued working independently while I met with individuals and small groups to help them with the writing of their inquiry project.

We ended the day working in small groups on the disease/parasite presentations.  The students will share these tomorrow at the end of the day.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Marvelous Monday

It may be cold outside but at least the sun is shining!!!  Yippee!

This week marks the end of the second marking period.  Therefore, we will be tying up a lot of loose ends!  Additionally, my schedule is a bit wacky--I will be working all week but have several meetings to attend--so, I will be in and out of the classroom.  Luckily, there are many awesome helpers who will ensure that the students' learning contionues.

On to today...

The children began their day in the media center working in small groups on their skits for the quarter 2 inquiry project.

When they returned to class, we reviewed all of the items that we will be completing this week and, together, created a flip chart to keep the class focused and informed.

After that, we went to the computer lab to take the MAP-M.  This is the computerized math assessment that self adjusts as the children take it.  As students answer a string of questions correctly they increase in rigor.  The opposite is true, as well.

The data from this test is NOT reported on the report card and has nothing to do with placement for next year.  All of my kids are going to fourth grade!!

Instead the data is used to show what the children have learned and guide my planning and instruction to ensure they are receiving lessons that will help them grow!!

After the MAP-M, the class will enjoy lunch and outdoor recess.

When they return to class Mrs. Sennewald will be in the classroom so that I may attend a planning meeting for the third marking period.

Under her watch the students will work on publishing the first three paragraphs of this marking period's inquiry project.  They will then work on a page for a class book (you can ask your child about this).  After that, they will watch an Educreations lesson, that I created, to learn about the expectations for the 4th and final paragraph of this quarter's inquiry project.  They can re watch the lesson as needed.  When they are ready, they will draft the final paragraph and turn it in.  Finally, they will work on the travel brochure for either Cairo, Zimbabwe or Timbuktu.

At the end of the day Miss Kistler's class will join us and we will work on our small group disease/parasite presentations.  I have told the children they will get to work on them today and tomorrow.  We will present Wednesday afternoon!  :-)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Freezing (Rain) Friday

Due to freezing rain, we had a two hour delay this morning.

So, we began our day with a math quiz.  The math quiz included a review of most of what we have learned this year plus the fractions we have worked on most recently.

I am using the data for intervention small groups next week.  Students who struggled with past concepts will receive a refresher lesson with time to practice these skills.

The quizzes have been scored and returned to students.  They should be kept in the math section of the binder.

Following lunch I began small group instruction while the children worked independently on their inquiry projects and their social studies travel brochures.

Sharks:  I did a cause and effect lesson with the students and they copied the notes from it into their RRJ.  Then I shared clue words for cause and effect and we practiced making cause and effect statements with these words with the cause first and then saying the effect first.

Snapshot of the lesson....usually the cause is mentioned first but the effect can come first....the cause is the "why" and the effect is "what happens"....clue words:  because, so , if...then, therefore, as a result, since

Next we read pages 11 and 12 and wrote examples of cause and effect , in their RRJ, as a group.  Finally, the students read page 13 and identified an example of cause and effect in the RRJ independently.

Dolphins:  We practiced reading their word bag cards.  Then the students whisper read the book and we discussed it.  We concentrated on what was funny at the end (Moosling was following his own footprints) and how we realized it (he saw his reflection).

Then we reviewed the concept of compound words.  The children received two word lists and we practiced suing the lists to create compound words.

Cheetahs:  We reread sections of chapter 3 and practiced making cause and effect statements.  We worked on being specific to prove we understood the text.

Pandas: We reread sections of chapter 3 and practiced making cause and effect statements. We worked on being specific to prove we understood the text.

Thriving Thursday

Today is our flip-flop day.  So, after selecting our Star Students for December (caring), we jumped into our math rotations.

The teacher lesson focused on building iterations of unit fractions.  We focused on 2/3, 3/4, 5/4 and other related fractions.  We compared the fractions we built to 1 whole and came up with some conclusions.  For example, when the numerator and the denominator are the same, the fraction is equal to one.

During guided practice, students played a fraction matching game.

Students revisited the Edmodo fractions app during the technology portion of math.

For HOMEWORK there is a fraction worksheet.  We WILL have a quiz tomorrow.  I did suggest that students might want to revisit the Edmodo fraction app, also, for homework....but that is optional.

After math the children went to music.  When they returned, I reviewed the travel brochure, section by section, that the children will be creating, using their research, for either Cairo, Timbuktu or Zimbabwe.

While I met with small groups the students worked on independent reading groups assignments, published the first three paragraphs of their inquiry project and gathered research to complete their travel brochure.

Dolphins:  We added new words to their word bag.  Then I introduced the next book, Footprints. AS the children read the book, I listened in and provided prompts and praise.  Afterwards, we discussed using context clues to understand unknown words such as the word wise on page 14.  For HOMEWORK the students need to practice reading their word cards and reread the book.

Sharks:  The students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about using a stand out sentence to identify the main idea of a section of text.  In group we discussed the lesson and related it to our writing.  The students know that each paragraph begins with a topic sentence which tells the topic, or main idea, of the paragraph.  Next, we revisited page 9 and read our main idea statement.  Then we check the topic sentence on page 9 and noticed it had the same idea as statement we wrote!  Finally, we read page 10 and identified the main idea using the topic sentences.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 5-10.

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

Cheetahs:  The students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about using context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words in text.  In group we reviewed the lesson.  Then we went over the unknown words they identified for homework last night and used the glossary and context clues to figure out their meanings.  For HOMEWORK the studnets need to read chapter 3 and highlight or circle unknown words.

Pandas:The students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about using context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words in text. In group we reviewed the lesson. Then we went over the unknown words they identified for homework last night and used the glossary and context clues to figure out their meanings. For HOMEWORK the studnets need to read chapter 3 and highlight or circle unknown words.

We ended the day with the students working on their disease presentations.  They will get more time tomorrow and then they will present at the end of the day.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

We began our day with our weekly class meeting.  Today's meeting focused on goal setting.  So, the group share had students naming a specific skill they feel is a strength.  After that, we shared compliments.  Finally, we focused on academic goal setting.

We watched a short video about setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals.  Then I explained that each child will soon be setting a goal for reading/writing and a goal for math, that THEY want to work on.

More to come on this...

Next we began our math rotations.  Today's teacher lesson used circles as the unit fraction.  We  defined the numerator and denominator and used the denominator to decide which circle we would use to color in a given fraction.  For example, if the fraction is 3/4, the students chose the circle with partitioned into 4 equal parts and colored in three of those parts.

During guided practice the children played a game called, Roll, Slide and Cover.  They rolled two dice and created a fraction.  Then they found that fraction on the game board and covered it with a colored square.  The first to get four in a row was the winner.  This practiced naming and identifying fractions of a whole, using circles.

Finally, the students enjoyed the Matching Fractions web site during their technology rotation.

For HOMEWORK the students are to work on a fractions app in Edmodo.  We went over how to find the app in class.  They should work on it for 5-10 minutes.  It begins with a brief placement assessment to determine what each child knows.  Then the child will be given short mini lessons and games.  I receive data telling what the child is working on.

While I met with small groups today the students worked on independent reading group assignments, their inquiry project and gathering information for the upcoming travel brochure.

Sharks:  The students received a new book called, Germs Make Me Sick!  We reviewed a few vocabulary words from the book and then began reading it.  After each page the students reread the page and wrote a main idea statement.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread pages 5-9.

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

Dolphins:  We practiced their word bag cards.  Then we added the -er ending to words to turn an action word into a word that names someone who is doing something.  We also noticed that this changed a one syllable word into two.  Then they identified and wrote about the problem and solution of the book in their RRJ.  I connected this to cause and effect, as well.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread their book.  They will get a new text tomorrow.

Cheetahs:  The students received a new book called, "You Make Me Sick".  They read chapter 1 and identified two examples of cause and effect in their RRJ.  In group we reviewed being specific when identifying examples of cause and effect.  We also used the headings to identify what sections of text were about AND used those to help us find cause and effect in the text.  Finally, we used the glossary to define words in bold print.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 2 and highlight or circle unknown words.

Pandas:The students received a new book called, "You Make Me Sick". They read chapter 1 and identified two examples of cause and effect in their RRJ. In group we reviewed being specific when identifying examples of cause and effect. We also used the headings to identify what sections of text were about AND used those to help us find cause and effect in the text.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 2 and highlight or circle unknown words.

The day ended with the students working in small groups to research their disease/parasite and begin working on their presentation.  We will continue this tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Terrific Tuesday!

Brrr....it is cold outside, but rest assured, it is toasty in our classroom!

The day began in art.

When the students returned to the classroom we began math rotations.

Students working with me used Geoboards to identify an area as a unit fraction (a whole) and then create equal parts and name the fractions each represent.

During guided practice the students used Cuisenairre rods to complete a practice activity where they answered questions relating equal parts to the unit fractions.

Finally, students viewed a Learn Zillion lesson about representing fractions in different ways and completed the guided practice in their RRJ.

For HOMEWORK the students have a worksheet, similar to the one they did during guided practice in class, to complete using the Cuisenaire Environment web site.

After math, the students worked on independent reading group assignments, publishing the first three paragraphs of the inquiry project and gathering information about Cairo, Timbuktu or Zimbabwe, for a travel brochure.  I met with small groups.

Pandas:  We met and I did a mini lesson about identifying cause and effect in text.  The students took notes in their RRJ.  Notes included the cause is the "why" and the effect is the "what happens".  Additionally, the students listed the following key words; because, so, therefore, as a result, consequently, and since.  Before sending them back to their seats, I used each of the key words in an example of a cause and effect.  Finally, the children revisited the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?" and identified two examples of cause and effect in their RRJ.

Cheetahs:  The children revisited the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?" and identified two examples of cause and effect in their RRJ.  We also met briefly to add key words for cause and effect (because, so, therefore, as a result, consequently, and since) to yesterday's notes and practice using them in sentences.

Following lunch and indoor recess Mrs. Howard visited to do a lesson about being trustworthy.  The end result was the students working together to create an acrostic poem, using the word trustworthy, on the Ipad.

The day ended with a science lesson.  The students were put into groups and assigned a topic, either a type of communicable disease, non-communicable disease, or a parasite.  They researched their subject using resources on the third grade web site and began creating a way to present the information to the rest of the class.  We will continue this lesson tomorrow.

There is NO reading homework this evening.  However, it is always beneficial for students to read for 15-20 minutes!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome Back...again!

The students came in quiet and tired...I think we are all ready to get back to our routine!!

They began their day with Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Dodson, who visited our classroom since the media center is FREEZING!!  The ladies put the students into groups according to their inquiry project subjects.  In those groups, the children began planning and creating a storyboard for a skit they will write and perform.

After that, Mrs. Rosenthal visited to introduce and explain this year's science fair to the students.  Information can be found here.  This year students will not automatically receive science fair packets.  They can pick one up in the main office or you can download one at the link above.

After that, we went to the computer lab to take the winter MAP-R reading assessment.  This is the self-adjusting computerized reading assessment that children take in the fall, winter and spring, beginning in third grade.  The purpose of this test is to identify student strengths and weaknesses in reading.  I use the data to identify what instructional practices are working and what changes I need to make.

The students spent about an hour and a half working on this assessment and some still haven't finished.  I am so proud of each and every one.  They put effort into it, didn't give up and used their strategies...and it PAID OFF!  Overall, the scored weren't goo, they weren't great, they were AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students came in and worked on their inquiry project and researching either Cairo, Timbuktu or Zimbabwe in preparation for making a travel brochure.  I met with small groups.

First, I met with a group to discuss their writing.  I gave direct feedback as to what was missing in each child's inquiry project and they were given a chance to ask questions.

Next I met with the DOLPHINS group.

Dolphins:  We practiced their word bag cards and then they whisper read their book.  After that, we did a mini lesson on breaking apart new words, looking for the parts they know.  Finally, we discussed the problem and solution in the book and the owner's feelings at various points.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread the book and practice their word bag cards.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed cause and effect and made a chart in their RRJ.  I defined cause as the "why" and effect as the "what happens".  For HOMEWORK they need to reread what "Makes Popcorn Pop" and think about cause and effect.

Sharks and Pandas have reading HOMEWORK, too....Sharks need to reread the first two paragraphs of their article and pandas need to reread their entire article.

We ended the day with a quick science lesson.  We defined the concepts of a disease and a communicable disease.  We will be identifying the symptoms, causes, treatments, and prevention of several diseases later in the week

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!!

It's so great to be back!  I had an awesome Winter Break but I really did miss the kids at school!

We began our day by quickly sharing something about our break.  Then we jumped into math rotations...since it is Thursday, our flip-flop day.

Students working with me identified a fraction as a comparison of parts to a whole.  We are calling the whole the "unit fraction".  Using Cuisenaire Rods we identified "unit fractions" and then identified and names fractional parts.  One big idea is that 1/2 means 1 out of 2 equal pieces...1/2 can be diffe3rent sizes or values but it always refers to one out of 2 equal parts.

The second rotation had students working towards memorizing their basic facts using That's a Fact.

Finally, at the third rotation the children watched a Learn Zillion lesson about understanding fractions as a fair share.

There is NO math homework tonight and NO quiz tomorrow.  I am trying to ease back into the routine!  :-)

After math we reviewed the reading and writing block assignments which included vocabulary entries for the Cheetahs and Pandas, publishing the first three paragraphs of the inquiry project for all and gathering information about a place to create a travel brochure.

The new assignment, the travel brochure, encompasses reading, writing and social studies.  The students will choose either Cairo, Zimbabwe or Timbuktu.  They will view resources on the third grade web site and takes notes on a chart in their social studies journal.  After that, they will create a travel brochure, using a template I provide, about their place.

Sharks:  We read and discussed the first two paragraphs of an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?".  After each paragraph we identified the main idea of it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the first two paragraphs.

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

Dolphins:  We began a new program called the Fountas and Pinnell Intervention.  Today the students got word bags and three words to practice.  Then we used sounds we knew from other words to help us read new words.  After that, I gave a book introduction and then the students read their new book independently, as I listened in.  Afterwards, the students identified the problem in the book with a sticky note and we discussed it.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the book and practice reading their word cards.

Cheetahs:  The students read an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pops".  As they did, they listed unknown words on a sticky note.  Then they chose two of the words from their list and created vocabulary entries in their RRJ for each.  In group we reviewed using a thesaurus and then referred to the article to identify examples of cause and effect.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?"

Pandas:  The students read an article called, "What Makes Popcorn Pops". As they did, they listed unknown words on a sticky note. Then they chose two of the words from their list and created vocabulary entries in their RRJ for each. In group we reviewed using a thesaurus and then referred to the article to identify examples of cause and effect. For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the article, "What Makes Popcorn Pop?"

Of course, we didn't have social studies at the end of the day since it was integrated into our reading and writing block!  :-)