Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Terrific Tuesday

This morning, after reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center, or practicing keyboarding, we jumped into our math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led, instruction we solved multi-step word problems by writing and solving equations, using variables to represent the unknowns.  Today the children were asked questions and given hints to help them solve multi-step word problems involving any of the four operations.

During math with a partner the students played multiplication war to help memorize the basic multiplication facts.  This is a student favorite, so we have been playing it a lot over the past few weeks!!

Finally, during the technology portion, the students visited the Thinking Blocks site to practice solving word problems involving multiplication and division.  I love this site because it involves modeling and has built in check points so the students can monitor how they are doing.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on the Google Classroom homework page.  A writing entry is due Thursday.  Tonight, for math, the children will visit the Solve It! web site to solve multi-step word problems and then watch a video to check their answers and see how to solve each problem.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break.  Then we began our literacy block.

Today students received their new guided reading group books and did a first reading, listing unknown words on a sticky note, independently.  Then they read through a Google Slides presentation called, Understanding Theme.  After that the completed an assigned word work activity and practiced writing T and F in cursive.

Panthers:  We met first and I did a heavy book introduction for their folk tale, The Three Little Pigs. Then the students read the story on their own, as I listened in, to discover how the pig tricks the wolf.  After group the children completed a syllable sort using their word work words.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread their book and write their words twice, once in print and then in cursive.

Following lunch and outdoor recess we visited the media center for an introductory lesson for the 4th quarter inquiry project.  Students will pick an issue to research.  They will write an informative piece about the issues, including both sides, and then form an opinion, and explain it in writing using facts and definitions to explain their thinking.

Today's lesson focused on the question, what is an issue, and the topics from which each child can choose.

When we returned to the classroom, the children continued working independently while I met with more guided reading groups.  Unfortunately, time was limited, so I was unable to spend a lot of time with all groups.

Tigers:  Independently the students read Prince Cinders and listed unknown words on a sticky note.  They also did a syllable sort using their word work words.  In group we discussed the meaning of the word cinder and reviewed their lists of unknown words.  Then we reread the beginning of the book.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread their book, Prince Cinders and write each of their word work words, twice, once in print and once in cursive.

Leopards:  Independently the students read through their new book, Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter, and listed unknown words on a sticky note.  They also did a meaning check with 10 of their word work words.  In group, I quickly took note of the lengthy unknown words lists, and realized the book was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated.  So, I read the beginning of the book out loud, explaining difficult vocabulary along the way.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread up to the sticky note and write their word work words twice; once in print and once in cursive.

Lions:  the students read their new book, Lon Po Po, and listed unknown words in a sticky note.  They also did a meaning check with 10 of their word work words.  In group, we reviewed their lists of unknown words.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread their book and write their word work words twice; once in print and once in cursive.

F&P:  We began group with a phonics lesson where we practiced using common vowel patterns to help us quickly decode new words.  After that the children reread part of their book, Calling Dr. Carson.  Then we discussed the theme of the book using key details from the text to support our thinking.

After our literacy block, Ms. Snyder visited us and did a lesson about goal setting.  It was the perfect ending to our day!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Marvelous Monday - Welcome to the FOURTH marking period!

Just a little background--something went wrong when I attempted to post my blog for today...so I had to redo the entire entry.  Please forgive me if it is not as informative as usual...I am a bit frustrated!

This morning, after reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center, or practicing keyboarding, we changed classroom jobs and then began math rotations.

This week, in math, we will continue working towards the memorization of the basic multiplication and division facts, and we will write equations, using variables to represent the unknown, to solve multi-step word problems involving all four operations.

During the small group, teacher-led, instruction I modeled how to analyze and evaluate a word problem to determine what is known and what is unknown.  Then I modeled writing equations, using variables to represent unknowns, to solve the word problem.  I explained to students that today I did a lot of modeling but each day I will do less and less, with the children doing more and more of the work and talk...until they are solving the entire problem on their own.  :-)

During math with a partner, the students rolled two dice to determine the factors they will use to write, and then solve, a multiplication equation.  Then they will write the other 3 number sentences in the fact family.  This will provide practice in the memorization of the basic multiplication and division facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the students watched a Learn Zillion lesson about solving two step word problems, using models.  They watched it twice and took notes in their math journal.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on Google Classroom, the homework page.  There will be a writing journal entry due Thursday and they need to write equations, using variables to represent the unknown, and solve them, for two word problems.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our literacy block.

During the independent work time all students will view a Google Slides presentation about Traditional Tales.  Then they will watch a folk tale called, Jack and the Giant Barbeque, and identify the theme and three key details to support it, in their RRJ.  After that, all students will cut apart their new word work cards and put their initials on the back of each.  Next, the children will practice writing the letters P, B, and R, in cursive.  Finally, they will watch a Brain Pop Jr. lesson about spending and saving (social studies/economics) and, in their social studies journal, they will create a financial plan, using elements of the lesson, explaining what they would do if they were given \$20.

Panthers:  We met and read and discussed the Google Slides presentation about Traditional Tales.  Then I modeled sorting their new word work words which focuses on the long and short I sounds and the long and short O sounds spelled vowel-consonant-consonant.  For HOMEWORK the children need to do a written header sort using their new words and read for 10 minutes - free choice.

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

Tigers:  We reviewed the Traditional Tales presentation and then I modeled sorting their new word work words which focuses on short e and long e spelled ee or ea.  For HOMEWORK the students need to do a written header wort using their new word work words and read for 10 minutes - free choice.

Leopards:  In group we reviewed the Traditional Tales presentation and then discussed the theme, and key details supporting it, for Jack and the Giant Barbeque.  After that I did a model sort for their new word work words focusing on the /k/ sound spelled -ic, -ck, -ck-, and -x.  For HOMEWORK the students need to do a written header sort using their new word work words and read for 10 minutes - free choice.

Lions:   In group we reviewed the Traditional Tales presentation and then discussed the theme, and key details supporting it, for Jack and the Giant Barbeque.  After that I did a model sort for their new word work words focusing on the /k/ sound spelled -ic, -ck, -ck-, and -x.  For HOMEWORK the students need to do a written header sort using their new word work words and read for 10 minutes - free choice.

F&P group:  This is a new group which uses ON GRADE level books to improve comprehension.  It is a scripted program.  Today I did an extensive book introduction for our first book, a biography entitled, Calling Dr. Carson.  Then the students whisper read the book.  Finally, we discussed challenges Ben Carson had to overcome to reach his goal of becoming a doctor and hearing himself paged in a hospital...hence the title!

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thrilling Thursday--End of MP 3

Today marks the last day of the third marking period.  Tomorrow is a professional day.  There is no school for students but the teachers will be busy with grading, reporting, and planning.

On to today...

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

Today we continued working towards the memorization of the basic facts during math with a partner and the technology rotation.  Students played Multiplication War or Multiplication Zone during math with a partner.  Then, they used Sumdog or That's a Fact, to practice the basic facts during the technology portion.

During the small group, teacher-led, instruction we reviewed comparing fractions and then compared multiplication problems involving multiples of ten.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break.

Then I reviewed the many resources available to the students in the daily flip chart and we revisited the rubric I will use to grade their final inquiry project.

After that, the students put their effort into publishing and illustrating their realistic fiction picture book.  There were no reading group assignments.

I did meet with a few guided reading groups to wrap up the books they were reading.  ALL groups will begin new books, traditional tales, on Monday.  We will also begin new word work units.

Tigers:  We met and reviewed the main idea for pages 45 and 47, the last two pages in the book.  Then we discussed whether we would want to be friends with Sharon, using reasons from the text as support.

Following  lunch and outdoor recess the students continued working on publishing and illustrating their realistic fiction picture books.  I met with one more group.

Lions:  We discussed the bittersweet ending to Snow Treasure.

At 12:45 I left to attend a fourth quarter planning meeting.  Mrs. Brandon, a para-educator, spent the afternoon with the children as they finished publishing and illustrating their books, shared homework writing journals, and then went to art.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

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

During the small group, teacher led, instruction, we reviewed comparing fractions using >, <, or =, and practicing the basic 7's and 8's facts.

During math with a partner, the students practiced the basic multiplication facts by playing one of two cards games; multiplication war or multiplication zone.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children practiced multiplying one-digit numbers by multiples of ten, using the Sumdog site.

For HOMEWORK there are two links on Google Classroom, the homework page, to practice the 7's and 8's facts.  Also, a writing journal entry is due tomorrow!!

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our literacy block.

First, I reviewed the rubric I will use to grade the final, published copy of the inquiry project.  Then, we revisited the many resources, available for student use, in our daily flip chart.

Today the children will complete independent guided reading tasks.  Then they will focus on publishing and illustrating the final draft of their realistic fiction picture books.

Tigers:  First, we reviewed the pronunciation and meaning of the unknown words they identified, from chapter 5, for homework.  After that, we reviewed the big problem in the book and the steps Andrew took to solve it.  Then we whisper read most of chapter 5, one page at a time, and identified the main idea/event on each page.  After group, the children reread pages 45 and 47 and added a main idea for each page to the chart in their RRJ.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread chapter 5.

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

Panthers:  Independently the students reread up to the sticky note in The Popcorn book and, in their RRJ, identified what unpopped kernels are called and explained why they would remain unpopped.  In group we reviewed these ideas and then finished reading the book.  Along the way we discussed what we did wrong if our popcorn turns out tough and how the author feels about popcorn.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread the entire book.

Leopards:  Independently the students finished reading The Popcorn Book, and, in their RRJ, wrote about how they think the author feels about popcorn using at least two examples from the book.  In group we discussed how the author feels about popcorn and the examples that prove it.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread the entire book.

Lions:  Independently the students reread chapter 29 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  When they got to group I had planned to share and discuss their summaries but the group begged me to allow them to reread the chapter out loud.  They were so enthusiastic about it!!  How could I say no? So we reread it!!  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 30, finishing the novel.

I had planned to test the children's Keep-a-Cubes this afternoon, before going to PE, but the class said they need the time to work on their inquiry projects...so, I gave them time!!  We will test the Keep-a-Cubes on Monday.

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Terrific Tuesday

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

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we reviewed comparing fractions, and multiplied one-digit numbers by multiples of ten.

During math with a partner, the children played multiplication war, again, to practice memorizing the basic facts.

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children revisited the site, That's a Fact, to practice solving basic multiplication and division facts.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment on Google Classroom, the homework page.  Students will use 2 links to practice the 7's and 8's facts.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break.

Then we began our literacy block.

We reviewed the rubric I will use to grade the final, published copy of the realistic fiction picture book.  Then we listed, on the flip chart, the rules for using capitalization.

After that, we discussed today's independent tasks.

Students began with an independent guided reading group activity.  Then they focused on revising their rough draft, and publishing and illustrating their final copy of their realistic fiction picture book.  If they completed these assignments they  practiced writing the letter Z in cursive.

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

Tigers:  In group we reviewed the main idea for the last two pages of chapter 4 (the students had attempted to complete this independently yesterday).  Then we discussed Andrew's reaction to the freckle juice and what the author wants us to think about Sharon.  After that, the children returned to their seats and, in their RRJ, they explained how Andrew reacted to the freckle juice.  For HOMEWORK they need to read chapter 5 and list any unknown words on the sticky note I provided.

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

Leopards:  Independently, the students reread their book up to the sticky note and then, in their RRJ, identified supporting details for the main idea that popcorn can be cooked in many ways.  In group we reviewed the key details that they wrote about.  Then the children continued reading until an assigned stopping point to identify where most popcorn is consumed.  Next they read to find out why some kernels remain unpopped.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread up to the sticky note.

Lions:  Independently the children reread chapter 28 and identified the main idea for each page in their RRJ.  Then they selected one of the pages, and main ideas, and identified two key details, from the text, that supported it.  In group we reviewed their main ideas for each page and shared the one for which they identified 2 supporting details.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 29.

Panthers:  Independently the students reread up to their sticky note and, in their RRJ, identified 3 key details to support the main idea that there are many types of corn.  In group we reviewed the supporting details.  Then the students continued reading to find supporting details for the idea that popcorn is cooked in many ways.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read , from the beginning of the book, up to the sticky note.

After literacy, the students finished constructing their Keep-a-Cube and determined the procedure they will follow to observe their ice cube when we test them.

Then we defined the concept of a responsible financial decision, we shared examples and I introduced a decision tree as a strategy to help make them.

We had a productive day today!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Marvelous Monday

It's hard to believe that this is the last week of the third marking period.  This school year is certainly going quickly!!

This week we will be focusing on completing and publishing the realistic fiction picture books and wrapping up our novels in guided reading groups.

In math we will be working towards the memorization of the basic multiplication and division facts, while reviewing comparing and ordering fractions.

After reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center, or practicing keyboarding skills, we changed classroom jobs and began math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we reviewed how to break up facts into small, easier problems, to help us memorize the tougher ones.  We also reviewed comparing fractions using various strategies.

During math with a partner the children worked on memorizing the basic facts as they played multiplication war.

Finally, during the technology rotation, students visited the site,  That's a Fact, to help them memorize the basic multiplication and division facts.

For HOMEWORK there are two links on Google Classroom, the homework page, to help students practice memorizing the 3's and 9's facts.

There is a homework writing journal entry due THURSDAY since there is no school for students on Friday.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our literacy block.

As I said earlier, this week our big push will be to complete and publish the realistic fiction picture books.  Prior to reviewing the independent task list, I modeled how to import/add illustrations to Google Slides using the drawing tool.

Today students will begin with a guided reading assignment and then work on revising and publishing their realistic fiction picture books using Google Slides.  If they finish early, they will practice writing the letter Z in cursive.

As they work I will meet with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  We reviewed vocabulary for chapter 4.  Then the children began whisper reading the chapter, page by page.  At the end of each page we identified the main idea/event from it and added it to a t-chart in their RRJ.  We completed pages 34 and 36 in group together and then the children returned to their seats to finish the chapter on their own.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 4.

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

Panthers:  Independently the students reread chapter 9 and, in their RRJ, answered:  What is the best thing that happened to Gregory?  Why would Gregory feel this way?  During our group, I collected their books and introduced a new genre, literary non-fiction.  This is an informational text that is organized like a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  I introduced our next book, The Popcorn Book, and we practiced some of the vocabulary.  Then, after previewing the book, the students read the first 4 pages to identify why popcorn is kept in the refrigerator, how many types there are, and who discovered it.  For HOMEWORK  the students need to reread up to the blue post-it note in their book.

Leopards:  Independently, in their RRJ, identified the theme of A Lion to Guard Us identified 2 key examples to support it.  When we met in group I collected their A Lion to Guard Us books.  Then I introduced a new genre of literature called literary non-fiction.  This is informative writing that is formatted like a story with a beginning, middle and end.  The students had a chance to preview a text, The Popcorn Book, as we reviewed some vocabulary.  Finally, the students read a section of the book to identify 2 uses for popcorn.  For HOMEWORK the students need to reread up to the red sticky note.

Lions:  Independently the students read chapter 27 and, on a t-chart in their RRJ, identified the main idea for each page.  In group, we reviewed these main ideas and then we stepped it up a notch.  We revisited the main idea for page 176 and the students reread the page to find 2 key details to support it.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 28.

After literacy, the students went to music to end their day.

I did not get a chance to grade Friday's quiz...I will do it tonight and return them tomorrow!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thrilling Thursday

Before we get started on today's happenings, a reminder that tomorrow is our field trip to Clarksburg High School to see Tarzan.  Students will be eating lunch upon returning to school.  They can order lunch from school.

Ok...on to today...

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

During the small group, teacher-led, instruction we focused on comparing fractions using number lines.  Math with a partner was a repeat of yesterday.  The children played a card game involving comparing fractions.  They were expected to use our word splash as they engaged in math discourse with their partner.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the children visited the Internet site, Fresh Baked Fractions, to compare fractions.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment in Google Classroom, homework page.  We will have a QUIZ tomorrow covering comparing and ordering fractions.  It will be VERY similar to our small group lesson today!!

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our litereacy block.

Today's independent work began with a guided reading group task.  Then the children completed the rough draft for their realistic fiction books using my Educreations lessons and their own screencasts.  Once they were finished they met with a peer to revise and edit their rough draft using the rubric I will use to grade it.  Next the children completed any unfinished work, such as, the culture worksheet, the subject/verb agreement lesson and activity, and the Facebook page representing their famous African American.  Then the children practiced writing the letters Y, U, and V in cursive.

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

Tigers:  Together we reread chapter 3, one page at a time, and identified the main idea/event on each.  The children had done this independently yesterday, today we did it together and compared their responses.  When they returned to their seats, they used the text to answer the following question in their RRJ:  What did ANdrew do after making freckly juice?  FOr HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 3.

Following lunch and outdoor recess the students went to art

After art, we returned to the classroom and the students continued working independently and I met with more guided reading groups.

Panthers:  Independently the students reread chapter 9 and then answered the following question in their RRJ:  What does the author wants us to think about Ivy?  What words or actions show you this?  In group we discussed Gregory's father's reaction to Mr. Hiller's comments on page 67.  Then we discussed the question they answered in their RRJ, and wrote a new response, together, as a group.  Finally, the students drew a line of learning under their own answer and copied the one we wrote together.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread chapter 9.

Leopards:  Independently the students read the historical note on pages 116 and 117.  Then, in their RRJ, they explained what they thought the author wants the readers to think about the families who made the move to Jamestown and identify 2 examples to support their thinking.  In group we discussed their responses to the RRJ question and then talked about the book in general.  After that we decided that the theme of the book is not giving up and shared a few examples.  For HOMEWORK they need to mark, with a sticky, 2-3 places in the book where the children don't give up.

Lions:  Independently the students reread chapter 26 and, on a t-chart in their RRJ, they listed the page number and main idea/event for each page in the chapter.  In group we reviewed the chapter, page by page, and the main ideas.  For HOMEWORK the students need to read chapter 27.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't get to science, but we did begin to explore how we will use Google Slides to publish our realistic fiction picture book.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

Ahhh...with testing behind us, we are back to our routine...well, sort of!  We will be changing our specials time with fourth grade for today and tomorrow...but everything else is business as usual!  :-)

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

During the small group, teacher led rotation, the students practiced comparing fractions using area models, number lines, and/or thinking about benchmark fractions (0, 1/2, or 1).

During math with a partner, the students used playing cards to create and compare fractions.  Of course, discourse was expected!!

Finally, during the technology rotation, the children visited the Internet site, Dirt Bikes, to compare fractions.

For HOMEWORK there is an assignment posted on Google Classroom, homework page.  For MATH students will view two Khan Academy lessons about comparing fractions and then play a game that is linked there, too.  There is also a WRITING journal entry due THIS Friday.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our literacy block.

Today's independent work tasks include guided reading group assignments, and using my Educreations lessons and the students' own screencasts to complete the rough draft of the realistic fiction picture book.  Then students will complete the subject agreement lesson by watching Brain Pop Jr. and doing the follow up worksheet.  After that they will finish their culture worksheet and their African American Facebook page.  When they have completed all assignments they can choose to practice their reading, word work, keyboarding or writing.

Of course, while the students worked independently, I met with guided reading groups.

Tigers:  We revisited chapter 2 and used the pictures they drew of the beginning, middle, and end, to write a summary of the chapter together.  After that we reviewed new vocabulary for chapter 3.  Then the students returned to their seats and read chapter 3, noting the main idea/event of each page on a t-chart in their RRJ.  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 3.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students enjoyed PE with Mr. Benco.

When they returned to class, they continued working independently while I met with more guided reading groups.

Panthers:  The students read chapter 9, with an assigned partner, and then identified the main idea/event on a t-chart in their RRJ.  In group, we reviewed chapter 9 and identified the main idea on each page.  This was a challenge for the students!  For HOMEWORK they need to reread chapter 3.

Leopards:  The children reread page 112 and then used an online resource to identify the definition of the word, drew, and then wrote a sentence using the word with the meaning in which it was used on page 112.  In group we reviewed this activity and I modeled how to identify the correct definition and then use the word in a sentence.  Some students struggled with this.  For HOMEWORK the children need to reread chapter 23.

Lions:  Independently the children read chapter 25 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  In group we reviewed the chapter by identifying the main events, at times referring back to the text.  After our discussion, I modeled writing a good summary and the students drew a line of learning under their own, and copied mine.  For HOMEWORK the children need to read chapter 26.

At the end of the day the children worked collaboratively to construct their Keep-a-Cube, using their plans from yesterday, while making necessary adjustments along the way.

Remember, Friday is our ield trip to see Tarzan at Clarksburg High School.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Terrific Tuesday--We are DONE!

Today was our final session of the PARCC!  WOO HOO!

Students came in, used the restroom, and read quietly.  Once everyone, and every thing, was settled, we began the third, and final, session of the reading/language arts PARCC.  AS has been the case all along, I saw the students putting effort into their work and using strategies that were taught, and practiced, in class this year.  I was very proud of each and every child!!

After the testing session, the children enjoyed a snack break.

Next, we reviewed and practiced, Drop, Cover, and Hold, an earthquake drill.

Then, I addressed a couple of issues I have noticed in the student's realistic fiction rough drafts.  First, we discussed verb tenses.  A few students are shifting tenses within their story.  I remember doing this, myself, as a child.  :-)  The second topic was the use, or overuse, of transition words and phrases to create a smooth story.  I added a page to our daily flipchart with ideas and examples of various transitional words and phrases.

Following these mini lessons, the students resumed working on their rough drafts, using both my Educreations lessons and their own screen casts, while I worked with individual students.  I have added a new Educreations lesson to the third grade web site teaching and modeling the construction of the final two paragraphs.

After enjoying outdoor recess and lunch, the students returned to the classroom and participated in a school wide Drop, Cover, and Hold drill that was followed by a fire drill.

Then we began working on a science project.  The students began working in small, collaborative groups, to design and build a Keep-a-Cube...a device that will keep an ice cube from melting for 30 minutes.

Today, the children received their group assignments.  Then they joined a new Google Classroom page called Holman's Mad Scientists to access links which provided information about materials that can be used to insulate ice.  After that, the group worked together to define the problem, generate ideas, and create a design for their Keep-a-Cube.

Tomorrow we resume our regular routine AND homework!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Marvelous Monday

Remember that our Pennies for Patients collection is going on until March 27!!

Also, tomorrow is our final day of PARCC testing!!  We will have a lter lunch.  SO, please, send in a healthy snack.

This morning, the students read quietly, exchanged books in the media center, or practiced keyboarding.  After the announcements we changed classroom jobs and began math rotations.

During the small group, teacher led, instruction, students used >, <, or =, to compare fractions with alike numerators or denominators.

During math with a partner the children engaged in math discourse as they played Fraction Tic-Tac-Toe to practice comparing fractions.

Finally, during the technology portion, the children visited the site, Melvin's Match, to practice identifying equivalent fractions.

There is no homework tonight or tomorrow night, due to PARCC testing.  HOMEWORK will resume Wednesday!!

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break and then began our literacy block.

Before going over today's independent work, I did a quick review of properly punctuating dialogue in writing, and words we can use instead of the word "said".  I also added some resources to our daily flip chart for the students to use.

Today's independent tasks begin with an independent guided reading group activity.  Then students used my Educreations lessons and their own screen cast to draft the first four sections of their realistic fiction picture book.  After that, they watched a Brain Pop Jr. lesson about subject/verb agreement and completed a follow up worksheet.  Finally, they finished the culture worksheet and their African American fake "Facebook" page.

Tigers:  First the students whisper read chapter 1.  Then we reviewed some vocabulary for chapter 2 (allowance, combination, arithmetic, and aisle).  Next the students whisper read chapter 2 to find out how long it took Andrew to save up his money and how much the recipe cost.  Finally, we discussed the beginning, middle, and end of chapter 2.  Then students returned to their seats to reread chapter 2, and, in their RRJ, draw a picture of the beginning, middle, and end of the chapter and write a sentence to go with each of the three pictures.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the children continued working independently while i met with more guided reading groups.

Panthers:  Independently the students read chapter 8, and, in their RRJ, they drew a picture of the beginning, middle, and end of the chapter, and wrote a sentence to go with each picture.  In group we reread sections of chapter 8 to discuss words and actions that give us information about characters and their traits.  Then we shared the children's beginning, middle, and ends.  Finally, I wrote a sentence for the beginning, middle, and end, that the children copied, below a line of learning, into their RRJ.

Leopards:  Independently the children read chapter XXIII and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  In group we reread sections of the text to determine characters' reactions upon seeing one another.  We identified the words and actions that led us to our thinking.  Finally, we discussed what we think might happen if there was a next chapter in this book.

Lions:  Independently the students read chapter 24 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  In group we reread select portions of the chapter to infer what had happened to Jan Lasek's passport and why the German's had "saved" him.  Then we shared several of the children's summaries.

After our literacy block, we read about insulators using a non-fiction text, and watched a video clip found on the Discovery Education web site.  The students will use this knowledge to help them build a Keep-a-Cube...an insulated container to prevent an ice cube from melting.  This will be done in class, using the elementary design process.  I introduced that to the children, as well.

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fantastic Friday--A Visit with Mr. Wims' Family!!

This morning the students came in visited the restroom and read quietly.  Once we were all settled, the students took the second, and final, unit of the math PARCC assessment.  I was proud of the way they tackled this task.  I noticed students working carefully and using strategies!!

After PARCC we took a quick snack break.

Then I reviewed some of the key points to remember as they continue drafting their realistic fiction picture books.  Next, the students worked independently, while I met with several individuals, using my Educreations lessons and their own screencasts to draft the first two failed attempts at solving the problem.

During this time we took a break to visit with Mr. Wilson Wims' daughter and cousin.  They answered the children's questions providing a lot of information about growing up in Clarksburg during segregation.  It was so interesting!!

After writing and the visit with the Wims family,  the children enjoyed outdoor recess and lunch.

When they returned to class we began an long, overdue class meeting.  We began with an unfortunate occurrence from today's recess and lunch, that involved students in our class teasing another student from our class.  Once we addressed this issue we moved on to our group share.

During group share the children had a chance to tell what was on their mind.  This led a couple of children expressing sadness over the loss of a relative.  We spend time talking and helping one another feel better...there were a few tears, but I think, in the end, everyone felt better.

Next we exchanged thank yous and compliments.  This is always a highlight because I find out about acts of kindness that I may have missed!  :-)

Finally, we ended with challenges.  The students wanted to discuss the name calling and teasing issue.  We brainstormed ways to end this challenge.  Students shared the need to stand up for one another in various ways!

Monday is a regular day but we will have our final day of PARCC testing on Tuesday...with a later lunch and a snack from home!  :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thrilling Thursday - PARCC Math

This morning, after visiting the restroom and reading quietly, the children began the first unit of the math PARCC.  I was so proud of the effort and concentration put forth during the testing session!!

After, the students had a chance to eat their snack and take a break.

We will take the second, and final, math unit of the PARCC tomorrow.  Remember to send a healthy snack.

Next Tuesday, March 17, we will take the final reading session of the PARCC.

After our snack, we began working on our inquiry projects, the realistic fiction picture book. First, I reviewed issues that I had noticed and then shared some of the student's work who were on target.  This gave the children a chance to hear what their peers were writing, to provide them with ideas and hopefully, some motivation.  Then, Mrs. Hostler and I worked with individual students, while others worked independently, using the feedback I had provided in writing.

Next the students enjoyed outdoor recess and lunch.

When they returned to class, I shared a new app called, Whooo's Reading.  It is basically an online reading log.  I was just introduced to it today, so I am not sure how I will put it to use, but I am hoping to play around with it soon!

Finally, the students ended their day in art with Mrs. Daniell.

Just a note...we will work on writing, again, tomorrow and resume reading and math groups on Monday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

Just a couple of reminders...

PARCC resumes tomorrow.  We will be eating lunch at 1:20 tomorrow and Friday.  PLEASE send your child with a healthy snack  on these days.

Also, please return the signed permission slip and \$4 for our Tarzan field trip as soon as possible.

On to today...

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

Today's small group, teacher-led instruction focused on comparing fractions with like numerators, using <, >, or =.  During math with a partner, the students completed a worksheet comparing fractions with like denominators and then played Go Darth, an equivalent fraction card game similar to Go Fish.  Finally, during the technology portion, the students watched, and took notes on, two Learn Zillion lessons.  One focused on comparing fractions with like numerators.  The other involved comparing fractions with like denominators.

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

First students completes independent guided reading tasks.  After that they worked on their realistic fiction picture book.  Today I have added an Educreations lesson modeling writing the problem paragraph/page.  The children were expected to use this and their own screencast recording to write the rough draft for the problem.  Next, students completed a word work activity.  Then they  read and answered questions about culture (social studies) and finished their fake Facebook page representing their assigned African American.

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

Tigers:  In group, the students whisper read chapter 1, as I listened in.  Then we discussed the skill of writing a summary and the students took notes, in their RRJ, about it.

Following lunch and outdoor recess, the students went to PE.  We usually go to PE at the end of the day on Wednesdays, but due to PARCC testing, we switched with fourth grade.

When we finally returned to the classroom, the children continued working independently and I met with more guided reading groups.

Panthers:  Independently the students read chapter 7 and, in their RRJ, they drew a picture for the beginning, middle, and end, and wrote a caption under each.  They also wrote their word work words using one color for consonants and another for vowels.  Once in group we shared their beginning, middle, and end pictures and captions.  Then I modeled writing a summary of this chapter and the children copied it into their RRJ.

Leopards:  Independently, the students read chapter XXII and wrote a summary of it in their RRJ.  They also used 10 of their word work words in the Give Me a Clue activity.  In group we reread the chapter and I modeled writing a summary, thinking aloud as I did so.  Then the students drew a line of learning under their summary and copied mine.  We analyzed the two for similarities and differences.

Lions:  Independently the students read chapter 23 and wrote a summary in their RRJ.  They also used 10 of their word work words in the Give Me a clue activity.  IN group we reread and discussed the chapter.  Then I modeled writing a summary, thinking out loud as I did so.  The students drew a line of learning under their summary and copied mine.  Finally, the children analyzed the two summaries and identified things they did well and what could have been improved.

We ended with the day with a brief review of how heat is transferred, and conductors and insulators.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Terrific Tuesday

This morning, after reading quietly, exchanging books in the media center, or practicing keyboarding, we voted on a whole class Dojo reward.  The students voted to be able to use the Chrome Books during recess.  So, next time we have indoor recess, the students will be able to play on the Chrome Books.

Then we began our math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we worked on comparing fractions with the same denominator.  Students played, "Go Darth", a Go Fish type game using equivalent fractions, during math with a partner.  Finally, during the technology rotation, the children watched a Brain Pop Jr. lesson about equivalent fractions and then practiced identifying equivalent fractions using Sumdog.

Remember...due to PARCC testing...there is NO formal HOMEWORK this week!

After math we reviewed today's independent tasks and then I did some troubleshooting (answered some questions students had regarding their work).

Today students will complete independent guided reading assignments.  Then they will finish writing the beginning of the realistic fiction picture book using my model Educreations lesson and their own screen-cast of them telling their story.  Next, the students completed an assigned task using their word work words.  After that, they read about culture (social studies) and answered some questions about their own culture.  Finally, they worked on the fake Facebook page representing their assigned African American.

After enjoying lunch and outdoor recess, the students began working on their independent work while I met with guided reading groups.

Leopards:  We began by rereading chapter XXI together and discussing the importance of taking breaths at punctuation marks to make sure we are using correct phrasing.  After discussing the chapter in general, we identified the key ingredients in a summary and the students took notes in their RRJ.  Then I modeled how to write a summary of chapter XXI and the children copied it into their RRJ for future reference.  Independently, the children did a meaning check with 10 more of their word work words.

Lions:  The students read chapter 22 independently and marked one place they were surprised and another place they were confused.  They also did a meaning check with 10 more of their word work words.  In group we used the places they marked, in the text, to discuss the chapter.  We focused on why Herr Holm was angry, why Peter's mom left the ship abruptly, and the surprise at the end of the chapter (Peter is face to face with a German soldier).

Panthers:  Independently the students read chapter 6 and then, using an online dictionary, identified the meaning for nursery and piece, as the words are used in this chapter.  Then they wrote a sentence, of their own, using each word, to show they understood the meaning.  They also did a syllable sort using their word work words.  In group we shared the definitions and sentences they wrote.  Unfortunately, most of the students didn't choose the correct meanings.  So, to learn from our mistakes, we reread the chapter and then redid the entire assignment, together, so that we could see how to complete it correctly.

Tigers: This group worked with Mrs. Hostler on reading and writing skills today.  I WILL get to them tomorrow!!

We ended the day with a whole group science lesson and experiment.  First we read a non-fiction text about heat energy.  We learned that the faster molecules move the warmer the temperature of the matter and vice versa.  Then we investigated what would happen to the temperature of water when we mixed hot and cold water.  We discovered that the heat transferred to the cold water making the temperature, of the mixed water, in between the original temperatures of the hot and cold water.

Monday, March 9, 2015

And...we're back!!!!!

This morning, after reading quietly or practicing keyboarding, we changed classroom jobs and heard about Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser sponsored by our SGA.  Information about Pennies for Patients is coming home this afternoon in each child's home folder.

Next we began our math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led rotation, we reviewed identifying and generating equivalent fractions.  Specifically, we practiced multiplying the numerator and denominator by the same number to generate equivalent fractions.

During math with a partner, the students used fraction strips to identify and generate equivalent fractions. They cut and glued pieces of fractions strips into their math journals and then labelled the equivalent fractions.

Finally, during technology, the students visited the Internet site, Triplets, and to practice identifying equivalent fractions.

Remember, there is NO HOMEWORK this week, due to PARCC testing.

After math we took a Go Noodle brain break.

Then we reviewed today's independent work tasks.
Students will begin by watching an Educreations lesson I made about writing the beginning of their realistic fiction picture book.  Then using their own screencast, they will draft the beginning of their story.  Next, they will do an assigned word work activity.  After that, they will read about culture (social studies) and answer some questions about their own culture, based on the article.  Finally, they will finish the African American fake "Facebook" page.  If they finish early, students will read by themselves or with a partner, practice keyboarding, or write a letter for the Wee Deliver program.

After lunch and outdoor recess, the students worked on their independent work while I met with guided reading groups.

Panthers:  We reviewed the first 4 chapter of The Chalkbox Kid, and then reread chapter 5.  Then I introduced the concept of summarizing text and the students copied some notes into their RRJ.  Finally, I modeled writing a summary for chapter 5 and the students copied it into their RRJ as a model.

Lions:  In group we orally discussed the first 20 chapters of the book.  Then, together, we read and discussed chapter 21.  After that we discussed the concept of writing a summary and the students took notes in their RRJ.  Finally, I modeled writing a summary of chapter 21 and the children copied it, as an example, in their RRJ.

Due to the need to catch up and regroup from missed days, I was unable to meet with all groups.  Rest assured, any group missed today will be met with tomorrow!!

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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday - Day 2 of PARCC reading/language arts

So, once again, the students came in, checked in using the Promethean board, visited the bathroom, and read silently.

After announcements, we began the second unit of the PARCC reading/writing assessment.  Once again, I was a very proud teacher!  Students could be seen using strategies through out the 75 minute session.

When we finished, the children enjoyed the snack they brought from home and I modeled how to play the recess game, "Apples to Apples, Junior".

Next we proceeded to math.  Yesterday we were only able to get through one rotation.  So, today, we picked up where we left off and finished the rotations.

As a reminder...

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we constructed number lines and used Cuisenaire rods to locate, label and identify equivalent fractions.

During math with a partner, the students created a flap book, in their math journal, identifying fractions equivalent to 1/2.  Then they played Fraction Contraption which practices identifying equivalent fractions.  During both activities the students were expected to engage in math discourse.

Finally, during the technology portion of math, the students played the online version  of Fraction Matching Game to practice identifying equivalent fractions.

After we completed the math rotations, we worked on planning our realistic fiction picture books.  First, I reviewed what we had learned about using Screencastify to capture the students telling their story using the index cards.  Then, I set the students free.  By recess, every student had completed a screencast of them self telling their realistic fiction story.  Success!!

After enjoying indoor recess and lunch, we returned to class and help an impromptu class meeting.  There have been some challenges brewing with some students teasing (or joking around) with others and other students feeling sad and relying on teachers to fix their problems too quickly, too often.  So, we had a long talk about reading peoples body language and knowing your audience...some people enjoy joking around, while others get hurt too easily.  We also talked about the difference between tattling and telling.

The good news is I see the children working together to point out when other children's feelings are hurt and then telling their friend to apologize.  I see great teamwork!  I really want the children to understand that we ALL make mistakes and say things we wish we hadn't.  It's how you address those mishaps that indicate the type of person you are.

In the end, I was so proud of the class...they were open and honest and seemed to really take in my advice.  :-)

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

A permission slip is coming home today.  Please look for it!  We will be going to see Tarzan at Clarksburg High School on Friday, March 20.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Welcome to PARCC - Day 1 (reading/language arts) AND Progress Reports

Welcome back!!  We have had quite the adventure with winter weather lately, haven't we??

When the students came in this morning, they checked in on the Promethean board, visited the rest room, and then read quietly.

Once everyone, and everything was settled, we took the first session of the reading and language arts PARCC.  The children put a lot of effort into the test and could be seen using their strategies!!

Once we were done with today's testing session, the students had a chance to eat the snack they brought from home and unwind for a bit.

Then we began our math rotations.

During the small group, teacher-led instruction, we constructed number lines and used Cuisenaire rods to locate, label and identify equivalent fractions.

During math with a partner, the students created a flap book, in their math journal, identifying fractions equivalent to 1/2.  Then they played Fraction Contraption which practices identifying equivalent fractions.  During both activities the students were expected to engage in math discourse.

Finally, during the technology portion of math, the students played the online version  of Fraction Matching Game to practice identifying equivalent fractions.

Unfortunately, we only got through one math rotation before it was time to enjoy indoor recess and lunch.

After lunch and indoor recess I modeled how to use an app called Screencastify.  I then demonstrated how to use the 6 index cards, which I created as part of planning my realistic fiction picture book, to tell my story.  The students then attempted to use Screencastify and their index cards to tell their story.  Unfortunately, their was a glitch in the settings, which we fixed, but the students will need to redo their Screencasts.  Eventually, the children will watch their SCreencasts as they write their rough drafts.

At the end of the day I distributed interim progress reports.  These are yours to keep!