Friday, December 16, 2011

Newsletter December 16, 2011

Thank you for all of your condolences at the death of my grandfather.  The kids were spectacular as well and every day is a new day.  He was a great man and will be greatly missed.
MathWe are almost done with unit 5, my favorite unit, and will have the test on Wednesday.  If your child will be absent please let me know so that they can take the test before the break.  We will also celebrate the end of the unit with a pizza lunch on Wednesday.  Please send in $3 with your child to cover lunch.  The next unit is about collecting and processing data.
Science We are finishing up mixtures and solutions with discussion of concentration as well as trying to get the vocabulary straight.  There will not be a test but rather a check-in with tools to see how much the students remember.
Social Studies – I continue to be impressed by the students’ ingenuity, enthusiasm and ideas for further exploration.  In my social studies class we have discussed Pocahontas Facts vs. Disney as well as had the students decide on a mini-project.   To say I am impressed with their ideas is an understatement; an English settlement created in Minecraft, an Animoto presentation on their journey, various foods, and presentations all concocted by the students.
Reading Yahara continues to dominate but we are checking in with our Harry Potter.  Also, this is a new trimester which means we start book talks again after break with the students needing to read at least 1,000 pages.
Writing The Yahara final drafts are due to me on Friday January 6th.  Some students are closer to finishing than others; please help them with their editing.  I am teaching them only to rely on spell check as a tool not as the only way to check their spelling!
Special Notes
* We are working hard in 5th grade and I love seeing how the kids are banding together to form their community.  I have the best job in the world and it is because of these kids!
* Winter party will take place Wednesday, December 21st at 1:00 PM.  It does not look like there will be any snow for sledding so we will just hang out instead in our classroom.
* There will be no homework over break, I hope the students will blog and read but that is it.  This is their chance to gear up for the second half of 5th grade.
* Congratulations to all of our students in the spelling bee.  I heard it was quite the intense spell off.  
* We have pen pals from London now.  Mrs. Clarke contacted me and wondered if we would write back and forth; the kids seem to love the connection.  Matthew is also using our blog to stay in touch; he left a long post detailing his new school.
* Thea is actively pointing at every single toy she sees and asking Santa to get it for her.  We love the holidays and cannot wait to see her face on Christmas.  
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Winter Party is December 21st at 1 PM, winter break is from December 22nd through January 2nd, New math groups and social studies groups Tuesday, January 3rd, Yahara final versions are due to me Friday, January 6th, Geography Bee Friday, January 13th at 8:40 AM, No school Monday, January 16th and Monday, January 23rd, and WM PTO meeting Thursday, January 19th 7 PM.

Way to Go Quiz Bowl Team!

Fifth-graders from the six MCPASD elementary schools definitely have their thinking caps on.

District teams from all six schools participated in Wisconsin's Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl competition, which took place on Nov. 15. Students competed online with other teams from around the state. The contest included 100 multiple choice questions in categories including history, spelling, math, science, English, current events, children's literature, government, sports, geography and more.

Each team was given two tries on each question, with speed and accuracy on the first attempt building the highest score. Team members were chosen based on the results of a screener given to all interested fifth graders. The screener had question topics similar to those covered on the actual statewide quiz bowl.

CONGRATULATIONS to the West Middleton Quiz Bowl team, which earned first place in the state!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Christmas from Us

Friday, December 2, 2011

Newsletter December 2nd, 2011

MathWe finished unit 4 and this so far the most laborious test with plenty of opportunities for the students to have silly mistakes.  We were thrilled to see how many kids felt more secure in division and know that we will continue to keep an eye on all the skills.  So far the test will be December 21st.   Since the trimester ended, all students have to test out of fact tests again.  We started these today.
Science We continue working with mixtures and solution and today discussed saturated solutions.  Do you know how many grams of salt it will take to saturate 50 ml of water?  Your child does!
Social Studies – We finished chapter 3 “The Explorers” today and start new groups on Monday.  The next chapter moves into the British explorers and will take us through break.  In my room we did an hour of wonder yesterday, which was like a mini innovation day.  
Reading We are focusing on discussing grades this week as well as working on the Yahara Writers Contest.  Students have had little time to read in school outside of the read-aloud where Harry just got sorted by the sorting hat.
Writing I wrote more about the Yahara River Writers Contest on our website, the first draft of the short story is due on Wednesday the 7th and the final draft is December 16th.  The other three categories will be discussed the week of the 12th with that week as work time.
Special Notes
*  I will be in San Francisco next weekend to visit relatives.  Mrs. Johnston will be our sub.
*  Thank you so much for box tops, while I think Mrs. Hannam’s class did beat us we ended up with 1,001 boxtops for the school which is wonderful news for the new swing sets!
*  Snow gear is a necessity at this time of the year.  Please help your child bring in everything they need to stay warm.  If students need help acquiring gear please let mw know or contact Miss Rose.
*  Our winter break celebration is scheduled for the 21st of December so far.  We are hoping to have pizza lunch and then go sledding after recess.  It will, of course, be snow-dependent.  Mrs. Sabol will be contacting those who signed up to volunteer/donate food.
*  Winter tea is this Wednesday, do join us if you can!
*  We said goodbye to Matthew who is on to new adventures in Illinois.  He will be missed.
*  Spelling bee is next Friday.  Kyra, Sophia Ba, Sophia Bo, and Priyanka will be representing our class at 8:40 AM in the multipurpose room. 
*The pie in the face assembly is next Friday which I am sad to miss.  If I do end up needing to take a pie in the face, it will be at another time. 
*  Report cards go home this Thursday, I have already met with all students to discuss their grades.  They have to decide them first and then we discuss them and make adjustments.  Please sign the envelope and send it back to me ASAP.
*  A two-page article about the Global Read Aloud was published in “Learning & Leading” which is the official magazine for technology in education.  This discusses the first year and even has artwork from some of the kids from last years 4/5 class.  If you would like to read it, let me know.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Report cards Thursday, December 8th Human Growth and Development is, Dec. 7th and December 14th, the Winter Tea is Wednesday, December 7th 10:35-11:00, Sub  (Mrs. Johnston) for Mrs. Ripp December 9th and 12th, Winter Party is December 21st at 1 PM (we are hoping it will be a sledding party) and winter break is from December 22nd through January 2nd.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thea's Spreads some Christmas Cheer

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yahara River Writers Contest

December is dedicated to working on our submissions to the Yahara River Writers Contest.  All students will be submitting a short story to me and then they will be able to pick one other type of writing to submit: poetry, editorial, or political cartoon (to be discussed and taught the week of December 12th).

The first draft for the short story is due to me by December 7th and the Final draft is due the 16th of December.  Students are encouraged to work on this outside of school as class time will be limited.

Formatting Requirements for short story:
Maximum 850 words
Font is Times New Roman, 12 point size
Margins:  1 inch on all sides
Title:  Times New Roman, boldface; 14 point
NO NAME should appear on the final version

Formatting Requirements for editorial:
Maximum 475 words
Font is Times New Roman, 12 point size for body
Margins:  1 inch on all sides
Title:  Times New Roman, boldface; 14 point
NO NAME should appear on the final version

This is a county-wide contest where 33 school districts in the area send submissions. All entries will be judged and the top ten in each category, per grade level, will be selected.  From each top ten group, a first and second place entry will be identified.  All top ten entries will be published in the Yahara River Writers Anthology. and all authors of top ten entries will be invited to attend a workshop on the UW Campus.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some Late Pictures from Our Harvest Party

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Newsletter November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011
As Thanksgiving approaches, I have much to be thankful for.  The incredible students that are so eager to share their learning, the support of parents for all of our adventures, a team that meets every day and puts the kids first, and a school where we feel like a family.  Thank you for everything that you do for me and for us.
MathWe are almost done with unit 4 and the test is scheduled for Wednesday November 30th.  New groups therefore start December 2nd.   This unit is all about division and those math facts are important.  The next unit is my favorite topic; fractions!
Science I absolutely loved seeing the students’ thinking in their research paper.  Some really hit the mark where others missed a couple of things.  Since learning is a process, all students have the opportunity to resubmit missing components to me on Monday.  We continue science with our dry mixture challenge on Monday.
Social Studies – This week we discussed whether Christopher Columbus was a hero or a villain and it was wonderful to see the nuanced perspectives that started to show up.  Perhaps history isn’t as clean-cut as we would like it to be?  Students also had a chance to create a route using a compass outside with a video to be posted soon.
Reading Harry is getting to Hogwarts and the kids are disappointed every time I turn it off. We have also been using reading for our How To presentations, which have been wonderful.  We have learned so many things this week.
Writing Writing has been focused on the How To presentations this week but we have started a longer writing piece on whether teachers should assign homework or not.  The first paragraph is under revision and we continue with it next week.
Special Notes
* Please make sure you get our website updates or check the website regularly.  This is where I post extra directions, information, and videos for the classroom.  If a new project is introduced it often has a post attached to it on the website.  
* Congratulations to Sophia’s, Priyanka, and Kyra for representing us in the school spelling bee on December 9th.  Matthew would also have been a representative but will have moved before then.  We are very sad to see Matthew go and will miss his creative spirit.   
* Also congratulations to Jacob, David, and Sophia Bo. for representing our class in The Thinking Cap Bowl.  Their team took 1st in the state and now move on to nationals!  This is the first time a West Middleton team has placed first.
*Thank you for all of the box tops, we were in first place last week by about 200 but Mrs. Hannam’s fourth grade is gunning for us.  Rumor has it now it might be the top 3 classrooms that get to throw a pie, we shall see.  
* The students are creating snowman holiday cards to send around the world.  We have 29 cards we have to make and send to other classrooms before December 9th.  
* Thea thinks Santa is coming every day and has discovered that you can put x’s in toy catalogs and Santa may bring it.  She has also discovered Christmas music on the radio and has gotten quite adept at Jinglebells.  We are now not allowed to listen to anything but Christmas music in the car.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: CRT Early Release Wednesday, November 23rd, No school (Happy Thanksgiving) November 24th and 25th, First Trimester ends Nov. 30th, Human Growth and Development is Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th and December 14th, the Winter Tea is Wednesday, December 7th 10:35-11:00, Winter Party is December 21st at 1 PM (we are hoping it will be a sledding party) and winter break is from December 22nd through January 2nd.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Starling Murmuration

Another amazing video we watched today

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Cool Time Lapse of the Earth

We watched this video at the end of the day

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Card Exchange

We will be taking part in a holiday card exchange with 29 other classrooms in the world.  The students will each be creating a snowman themed holiday card by December 7th, so that we may mail them by the 9th.  The students can choose what to write in the card and then we will sign all of them.  then we just wait and see what we get in the mail, it will be great fun for the stduents to see what shos up and how toehrs celeberate their holidays.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Newsletter November 10, 2011

We survived WKCE week with flying colors.  The students did their best and then we went on with our explorations.  Results will be sent home some time in the spring.  Thank you to all who donated brain food for us, the kids were so excited and felt very spoiled.
MathWe finished unit 3 with ease and then took a break from math class this week.  Today we did math challenges all day, see the video on our website, and it was incredible to step back and let the students work though problems.  We have some very creative thinkers in here.  We start math again on Monday with new groups and the test will be Tuesday, November 29th.
Science We started mixtures and solutions and are working on separating a saltwater solution.  I love all of the background knowledge they students share as well as the inferences they make throughout the process.  They are true scientists.  I have also checked in with students regarding the upcoming science research paper.  It is due next Friday.
Social Studies – This week we built background knowledge as we did a simulation on the Explorers.  I love hearing the rich discussions on which choices the ships should make as well as reading the daily journals.  We did lose a few students to scurvy unfortunately.  We start switching for reading again on Monday.
Reading I introduced conflict this week as it ties in with Harry Potter and we also discussed the roles of protagonists vs antagonist.  It is wonderful to see the added layer of perception this adds to the book and the students hate when I turn off the read aloud.   That J.K. Rowling is a genius.
Writing I love seeing the creativity on the students’ blog posts and especially how these students inspire other classrooms around the world with their ideas.  I am leaving private comments for students to tighten up their spelling and ideas.  We also briefly discussed the Yahara River Writers Contest which we will start on in December.
Special Notes
*  Thank you so much for your participation in conferences.  So far, the discussions have been rich and I love seeing the student ownership of their learning goals.  Please keep me informed if there is anything we still need to discuss or anything I can do to make 5th grade an even better experience for your child.
*  In-class spelling bee has started with the top names going to Ms. Weber by Thanksgiving.  This is voluntary n the room but I do love seeing how many students are giving it a go.  They are also challenging me to come up with definitions.   
*  We will be watching “Singing in the Rain” on Wednesday, November 23rd.  Partly because it is my favorite movie but also because Will greets us every morning with the song “Good morning” from there.   Students may bring in pillows and blankets if they would like, as well as a snack.
*  Congratulations to Jacob, David, and Sophia Bote for representing us at the Quiz Bowl.  We wish them all luck when they compete on Tuesday.
*Thank you for all of the box tops, we were in first place last week and the kids are already winding up their throw arm for that pie in the face I may get.
*  As part of our global awareness, I play holiday music from around the world in my classroom starting after Thanksgiving.  If this concerns you, please let me know.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: swimming is 14th, 16th, and 18th, , CRT Early Release Wednesday, November 23rd, No school (Happy Thanksgiving) November 24th and 25th, First Trimester ends Nov. 30th,  Human Growth and Development is Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th and December 14th, and finally the Winter Tea is Wednesday, December 7th 10:35-11:00.

Students Do a Math Challenge

I love these opportunities to share the way the students think - I want to find more opportunities like this!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quiz Bowl Info

Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl Participants and Practice Schedule!
Sophia Bo
Jacob NJ
David S.
Liam N.
Jack M.
Sophie W.
Jason Y.
Erik S.

Tomorrow (Thursday) - during math
Monday, November 14 - 9:30-10:00
Tuesday, November 15th - Actual Quiz Bowl (9:30-10:30)

How To Presentations

One of the goals in 5th grade is to get students ready to present on topics, which definitely counts as a lifelong needed skill.  We have therefore decided that the students need to teach each other something through their presentation.

Here are some guidelines:
  • The presentations can be either filmed and shown to the class or done live in class.
  • All of the presentations will occur during the week of November 21st (Thanksgiving week)
  • Presentations do not have to be longer than 2 to 3 minutes
  • Students will be evaluated on how loud and clear they spoke to their audience, how they presented, and whether they kept itn interesting (rubrics will be provided).  This will be a combination of peer evaluation and teacher evaluation.
  • Topic is student's choice, as long as we learn something.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Introducing Our Lunch Time Book Club

The 5th grade team is excited to announce our lunch time book clubs starting the week of November 14th.  The idea is simple; a book club during lunch recess one day a week.  This is a wonderful way for the students to read or re-read a wonderful book and discuss it with their friends.

Mr. Meinholz will be reading The Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan and meeting on Thursday's

Mrs. Ripp will be reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and meeting on Thursday's

Mr. Getz will be reading Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book One The Capture by Kathryn N Lasky and will meet on Friday's.

Students do need to have their own copy of the book to participate!  If you have any questions, please contact one of the teachers.

The 5th Grade Team

Newsletter November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011
MathWe finished unit 3 and did the pre-test for unit 4 today.  Unit 4 is all about division so the students need to keep practicing their math facts.  Many are tested out for the trimester, which helps them greatly during class.  We will start unit on Monday November 14th and the test will be November 29th.  This is only a 7 lesson unit.
Social Studies – We finished chapter 2 yesterday and are doing our awesome simulation right now on the explorers.  Students have to travel the sea to get to the Americas for either Portugal or Spain; survival is not guaranteed.  We start groups again on November 14th with chapter 3 that has to do with the Explorers.  We also finally did a mystery Skype call with the whole class.  It is an incredibly engaging way for the students to use all of their geographical knowledge of the world to determine the mystery place. 
Reading We continue our discussion of main idea and details and have also started listening and reading along to Harry Potter.  The narration is impeccable and the students are having fun figuring out the hidden meaning of names, which then transfers into their writing.  We work a lot on inference in all of our subjects and have many discussions on what we do as great readers; it is wonderful to hear the kids speak of their reading skills, thus developing their metacognition.
Writing This week we finished the examples of types of topic sentences we can use and are moving into transitions sentences.  The students have repeatedly shown me that they know what a paragraph consists of.  However, when asked why they don’t then use that knowledge in their writing, they replied, “Well, we get so excited that we forget!”  Fair enough, I love excitement any day.  We will continue with our back to basic writing to get them ready for middle school.
Science – We finished our variables unit with the Flipstick Olympics; talk about science thinking in action. The team representing Japan ended up taking the gold.  We are in the midst of our first science research paper where we are trying to answer which bubble gum is the best.  The students are performing the experiments and trying to either prove or disprove their hypothesis.
Special Notes
* These kids make me so proud.  I am still getting to know them better and thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.  Through the blogging challenges they are giving me their opinions and feedback, which are duly noted so if you haven’t seen their writing take a moment to check it out.
* Thank you to everyone who will be donating snacks and drinks next week, it really helps us get through WKCE.
*  Conferences have started and these are student and teacher led so your child has to come to it.  If you would prefer a meeting without your child present, let us schedule another meeting.
* Also, thank you to all of the incredible parents that made our Harvest Party such a success.  It was a great time for the kids and the food was wonderful.  I am humbled by all of the parent support I get.
* Don’t forget to practice for the in class spelling bee taking place November 7th through the 10th.  The top 4 spellers will represent the classroom at the school spelling bee on December 9th at 8:40 AM.
* Dates for your calendar:  swimming is November 7th, 9th, 14th, 16th, and 18th.  Conferences Tuesday, November 8th through Friday, November 11th, CRT Early Release Wednesday, November 23rd, No school (Happy Thanksgiving) November 24th and 25th. 
*  On a personal note, my brother is finally coming from his tour of duty in Afghanistan.  Some of you may remember he came to speak to the kids last year about being a trauma nurse over there and I am hoping I can get him in again.  It was a riveting hour long discussion with the kids.  To say that we are thankful he is coming home is an understatement.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Survive a Zombie Attack

In honor of Halloween, we watched the following video yesterday.

The Next 2 Weeks

We have a lot of exciting events happening here in our room the two next weeks so I thought a nice list of dates would be helpful. Almost all of this information can also be found on our website.

Box Tops for Education is happening at the moment, I have volunteered to have a pie thrown in my face if we win. Students can bring in box tops to us until December 2nd.

In class spelling bee will take place all next week with the top 4 going on to represent us at the school spelling bee.

There will be no math and no social studies/reading switches all next week.

Friday Nov 4th - we start our simulation on the Explorers during social studies/reading time 1:40-2:40 PM. For the next 5 days the students will be staying with me during this time.

Monday Nov. 7th - WKCE testing starts and runs through Wednesday November 9th
Below are our testing times:
Monday Nov. 7th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

Tuesday Nov. 8th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

Wednesday Nov. 9th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

Swimming also starts Monday Nov 7th. The dates are November 7, 9, 14, 16 , and 18. the students leave at 9:40 and return around 11 AM. They need to have their bathing suits, towels etc with them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's a Harvest Party

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our First Mystery Skype

We got to do our first Mystery Skype where we called Joan Young's classroom. The kids are already excited about the next time!

The Kids Thought This was Cool

WKCE Testing Time Information

WKCE testing times are as follows for Mrs. Ripp’s room:

Monday Nov. 7th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

Tuesday Nov. 8th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

Wednesday Nov. 9th
8:30 - 9:30 AM (Math)
1:40 - 2:40 PM (Reading)

This is a lot of testing for the kids and a way to keep their energy up is to provide fun snacks for them. If anyone is interested in donating a snack or a drink for any of these days, please let me know.

The testing sessions will not take that whole hour but I want to make sure we are not rushed for time.

Note that swimming starts this week as well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thea sings happy birthday to Brandon

Friday, October 21, 2011

Newsletter October 21, 2011

MathWe are rocking through unit 3 and the unit test will be on November 3rd.  The students are working with their protractors and compasses and also learning about angles.  I am excited to see the progress in math facts.
Social Studies – The second chapter on the early people is in full swing and the students continue working on comparing, contrasting and working on projects tied in with the text. 
Reading We have been discussing main ideas and details as it ties in with our writing and we are getting better at summarizing.  We use these skills in all of our subjects and the students are feeling more and more comfortable retelling something in their own words.  We will be starting Harry Potter “The Sorcerer’s Stone” as our next read aloud which ties in with character conflicts, author’s purpose and themes of literature.  I encourage the students to bring in their own copy of the book if they have it and have also ordered copies for the class.  We will take the time to dig into the mythology of the book as well, I can’t wait!
Writing This week was all about topic sentences in our writing boot camp.  Students have been given 3 different types of topic sentences to use as they write.  They have been browsing articles to look for great topic sentences and are getting more critical in their approval of them.  We love going back to basics and I get a kick out of “this is so fun!”  that I hear in the classroom.
Special Notes
* We continue to just have a blast learning.  Today, during science when the kids were working on challenges it just was incredible to see them work together and also to hear all of the great ideas.  They are becoming critical problem solvers and learners, what an adventure it is.
* Next week will be a short one with a lot of learning packed into 2 ½ days.  We will watch Tuck and compare it to the book, we will wrap up flip sticks in science and get ready for the flip  stick Olympics, we will continue our boot camp delving into concluding sentences and of course have a lot of fun.
* The harvest party is On Wednesday with food and games.  The students may go to any classroom to participate; Mr. Meinholz will be playing kickball, Mr. Getz will have board games and we will have other types of games. 
* The students are busy blogging and we have been asked to be blogging buddies with a classroom in England who are just learning how to blog.  Please take a moment to leave the kids a comment; they work so hard on their blogs.
* Spelling Bee word lists went home this week, I do not require the kids to participate in the classroom spelling bee, but if you would like your child to participate please let me know.  The top 4 will go on to represent us at the school spelling bee on December 9th.
* The tie-dye shirts went home yesterday and instructions on what to do next are posted on our web site.  Tuesday is wear your tie dye t-shirt to school so mark your calendars.
* Thank you for signing up for conferences, most of you should have received a confirmation from me, if not, you have either not signed up or we are still figuring out a time.
* WKCE info went home today and dates have been set:  November 7th – 10th we will be testing math and reading.
* Dates for your calendar:  CRT is Wednesday, October 26th and No School Thursday October 27th and Friday, October 28th, swimming is November 7th, 9th, 14th, 16th, and 18th.  Conferences Tuesday, November 8th through Friday, November 11th

Thursday, October 20, 2011

To Rinse Out Your Tie-Dyed Shirt

  1. Keep the dye in the shirt for 24 hours, or overnight.  (In the plastic bag).
  2. To rinse it out you need a basin or a bucket and a source of running water.  (Outside with a bucket and a hose, or inside with a bucket and  laundry sink are good places to rinse).  It will probably take at least 5-10 buckets of water to rinse it.  Lots f dye will come off in the water.
  3. Fill the bucket with water and put the shirt in, rubber bands still on.  Wear gloves or your hands may be stained!  Squeeze the water through the shirt about 20 times, vigorously.  Then empty the bucket and fill again with clear water.
  4. When most of the dye is out you can take off the rubber bands.  The easiest way is to clip them with scissors - but be extremely careful not to make a hole in either your gloves or the shirt.
  5. Continue rinsing and vigorously squeezing water through the shirt until the water is almost clear.  (Changing water in bucket as necessary).  Then wash the shirt in the washing machine on warm water with detergent to get out the rest of the dye.  If you have old towels of similar color to the shirt you could dry them together so the shirt doesn't wrinkle so much.  If you have rinsed it out well no more dye will bleed out after this.
  6. The dye is fiber-reactive dye,  It becomes a part of the cloth,  You do not have to wash it in any special way after this.  It is a good idea to wash it with "similar" colors like you would any other bright colored garment.  It will not fade unless it is washed with bleach.  Also, don't wear it in a chlorinated swimming pool, because this will make it fade.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Midwest Region

Written, performed and created by the students.

The Southwest Region

As a culminating project on chapter 1, students created a video on the Southwest Region using all of their facts.

Spelling Bee Info

The annual spelling bee is coming up and today the students were given the word list to study from Ms. Weber. In our room participating in the spelling bee is optional, however, if you would like to have your child participate and study the words, please let me know.

The top 4 will be representing us at the school spelling bee on December 9th at 8:40 AM.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Remember Back to the Future?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The 3 Sheep and the Big Bad Wolf 300 Years Ago

The 3 Little Chicken and the Big Bad Alligator Mystery Style

The 3 Little Pigs in the Future

The 3 Little Humans in Space

The 3 Little Pigs Underwater

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Character Week

This week we are asking all of the students to wear certain colors to represent great character traits. The colors are as follows:

Monday: Citizenship, Purple
Tuesday: Responsibility, Green
Wednesday: Respect, Yellow
Thursday: Honesty, Blue
Friday: Caring, Red

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thea plays piano

This was our house on Saturday morning

Friday, October 14, 2011

To sign up for a conference, click on the button below!

Newsletter October 14, 2011

Math – We started unit 3 today which is back to geometry and angles. The students therefore switched groups today and their math tests went home today. Please sign the test and send it back for Monday. Students are able to get a secure, developing, or beginning on skills. If a student has a beginning they may receive a 2 week extra does of this skill during resource time. Today a blanket permission slip went home to cover this. This is so we can ensure that all students are secure by the end of the year. Please sign and send back in.

Social Studies – We start our next chapter on Monday, The Early People. I am excited to dig into the early history of the United States and have some fun projects planned to go along with the reading skill of compare and contrast. We are also reading with a purpose, gather details to support our topic sentences and main ideas.

Science – We are done with planes and moving on to flipsticks. This has given us a wonderful opportunity to put on our teacher hats and evaluate ourselves and our work. This is much more helpful for the kids than me just handing them a score. The kids will be creating their own variable experiment in school as their final assessment.

Reading – This was the final week of the Global Read Aloud and we finished the book yesterday. The kids were surprised at the ending. We now get to watch the movie to compare and contrast it to the story (it is quite different!). We are also working on summarizing and synthesizing, which led the students to act out the 3 Little Pigs told with a different lens. I will be videotaping these performances and putting them on our website for you to see.

Writing – This week we started writing boot camp. In the next few months we will be working on the basics of writing such as paragraphs, topic sentences, details, how to write introductions and conclusions and more. I am excited to get the kids writing even better.

Special Notes –
* You can reach me by calling my voicemail at 829.9374. Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions and/or concerns. Communication between us is REALLY important to the success of your child. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me!
* Thank you so much for all of the book fair presents, almost all of the books have been snatched up by the kids. The kids have also started recommending more books to each other and it is fun for me to see which books are the must reads.
* When we watch Tuck Everlasting, the students will be allowed to bring already popped popcorn in. I will send home more details once I have the movie.
* If you have not signed up for a conference please contact me to make sure you do.
* Our video from NBC 15 is on our website along with other goodies from our classroom.
* Finally, a huge thank you to all of you for supporting this classroom and me. I have the best job in the world and I am thrilled to be the teacher of these incredible children.
* Dates for your calendar: Picture Re-Take day is October 21st , CRT is Wednesday, October 26th and No School Thursday October 27th and Friday, October 28th, Swimming is November 7th, 9th, 14th, 16th, and 18th. Conferences Tuesday, November 8th through Friday, November 11th

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our First Week Video

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Students Work on Synthesizing as a Reading Strategy

This was reading today, on Thursday they finish creating and then perform (which I will tape and share).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thea tells me how she really feels

Friday, October 7, 2011

Newsletter October 7, 2011

Math – We are in the midst of multiplication practice and although the book says to use certain methods the students may use whichever method that works best for them. I cannot stress enough how they need to practice their math facts if they are not secure in them. It really slows down their math progress if they don’t know them. The unit test will be on Wednesday and Friday new groups will start.

Social Studies – I love how we are doing social studies/reading and so do the kids. The big strategy we are working on is compare/contrast and also reading with a purpose. There are many different projects happening all meant to challenge the students at their level. The groups will be reshuffled Monday October 17th.

Reading – The third week of the global read aloud meant skyping again with the 4th grade class in Virginia. This time we lead the discussion and students had created wonderful discussion questions. We love putting our teacher hats on and facilitating the discussion. We also worked on determining importance, which again is something we already do but just didn’t know it made us better readers. A reminder that students are expected to read 1,000 pages in the trimester, this gets shown via book talks, so they need to sign up for those.

Writing – We continue to journal focusing on setting our text up correctly and supporting our opinions. We are also working on how to properly discuss without raising our hands. Some of the topics discussed have been how old someone should be to get a cell phone and also whether students would want everything to live forever.

Science – We are working on planes and the variables that determine how far they fly. Super fun. We also put on our teacher hats and evaluated our own science responses and determined how one gets their point across effectively. The next lesson will be the flipsticks.

Special Notes –
* You can reach me by calling my voicemail at 829.9374. Please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions and/or concerns. Communication between us is REALLY important to the success of your child. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me!
* Thank you so much for all of the support regarding the contest. It certainly was exciting to have the camera crew in here and I am so proud of the way the kids were shown. We have gotten a lot of positive response from the community. I will know this weekend whether we made it into next week. The contest ends October 31st and I appreciate all of your votes.
* It was so fun to see all of you at the dance, Thea had such a wonderful time dancing with the students and I love catching up with all of you.
* Please make sure you get those Human Growth and Development permission slips in. the classes are November 30th, December 7th and December 14th.
* Swimming is coming! Permission slips go home today, please send them ASAP.
* Book fair is next week so I will not be sending home an October book order. I will be in a class on family night, I am sorry I have to miss it.
* There will be a half day sub next Friday as I will be in the assessment meeting. I do not know who this sub will be.
* Dates for your calendar: Scholastic Book Fair runs October 10th through the 13th with family night on the 11th, Picture Re-Take day is October 21st , CRT is Wednesday, October 26th and No School Thursday October 27th and Friday, October 28th.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pretty Cool

Screenshot from NBC 15's homepage

We Are On the News

Here is our video from NBC 15

Monday, October 3, 2011

Internet Safety Discussion and Video

Today due to a great debate piece in Time For Kids, we discussed internet safety and how old students should be to get on Facebook or other social media sites. It is wonderful to see how aware the students are already about how to create an online identity, as well as how to protect themselves. We are also learning how to discuss appropriately without raising our hands, which is a life skill. We finished the discussion with watching the video below which is slightly creepy but really gets the point home of how to stay safe.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Hello from Seoul, South Korea

Today we were lucky enough to get a video from our buddies in South Korea

Thea helps out Mumford and Sons

Newsletter September 30, 2011

MathWe are in the middle of the second unit which is all about numbers.  We have worked with adding and subtracting whole numbers with decimals and will soon start to work with multiplication of such numbers.  Students need to know their math facts so please have them practice if they are not secure in the.
Social Studies – We started our new social studies curriculum this week with projects, discussion of reading strategies, particularly compare and contrast, as well as projects for some.  We love how we are getting to work with smaller groups, really focusing in on the comprehension strategies as well as all of the great information for them to explore.  Groups will be reshuffled every chapter depending on how a child needs to be challenged.
Reading – The second week of the Global Read Aloud has been great.  We skyped with three 4th grade classrooms in Ohio, who had wonderful questions for us and we did a lot of predicting and summarizing in here.  Our buddies in South Korea also created a video for us, which can be seen on our website.  We are currently working on the strategy of asking questions, which the students are very good at.
Writing We are still blogging, the students know that they can ask to blog during recess and many are taking me up on that opportunity to not have to do it at home.  We are also journaling, where I encourage the students to use more difficult words and simply circle them if they are unsure of the spelling.  Most kids are finding enough time in the morning to get their spelling work done, however, some are handing it in late.  They all have the option of bringing it home and work on it there if they feel they need more time.  Spelling is an essential skill for all people and it is something they have to practice.    
Science – We are halfway through variables and had a lot of fun with our lifeboats this week.  Students created hypotheses, tested them and then graphed their results to make predictions.  We are working on using our science language to show our understanding as well.
Special Notes
* Our video goes live on Monday and I will send the link for you to vote on it (if you want to vote for us).  It was incredible for me to hear what the kids would spend the $10,000 on if we won.  They had ideas from fun stuff like tree houses, carpet, more computers to things like more books for the library or fixing the gym floor.
* Blogging is going really well and we now have gotten more than 400 comments on the blogs.  I am in touch with several teachers across the world that are watching our blog for ideas and to see how the kids are developing in their writing.  We had a 3rd grade classroom constructively critique our blog posts this week, which was a wonderful learning opportunity for all of the kids.  We will be doing the same for them.
* We are having some issues with filling out assignment notebooks in the switching of the rooms so for the month of October all students have to have their assignment notebook checked by their math and social studies/reading teacher.  This is to secure the habit of writing down your homework in the room you are in but after October the responsibility falls back on the student.
* The students were great with the sub and I am finally feeling better.  I am so looking forward to a full week with the kids next week with no sub in our room.
* Dates for your calendar:  PTO Back to School Hawaiian Party Night is Friday, September 30th 6 PM,  Scholastic Book Fair runs October 10th through  the 13th with family night on the 11th, Picture Re-Take day is October 21st , CRT is Wednesday, October 27th and No School Thursday October 28th and Friday, October 29th.

A Land Region Report - One Group's Project in Social Studies

Chapter 1 Writing Activity Guideline
Write a Report

Writing Prompt:  Choose two land regions you have read about in this chapter.  Then write a report that compares and contrasts the two regions discussing climate, geography, landforms, and lifestyles.  Tell about the history of the land regions, as well as what makes them a region.  Provide facts, details, and examples in your report.

Step 1.        Compare and contrast your two chosen land regions by recording their similarities and differences in a chart.  Include differences in climate and geography.
-         Look at the region map on page 16 and 17 for clues.  Use other illustrations to gather more information.
-         In your textbook, find descriptions of what makes a region its own and what sets it apart. 
Step 2.       Use your chart to make an outline for your report.  Think about how to organize the information.  Include an introductory and a closing section.

Step 3.       Use your outline and chart to write a draft of your report.  Make sure you are highlighting similarities and differences between the two regions (compare and contrast).
Step 4.       Review your work to make sure you have divided the information into paragraphs by topic.  Also, check to make sure that used correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Step 5.        Make all necessary changes and prepare your final report

A Land Region Book - One Groups Project in Social Studies

Chapter 1 Writing Activity Guideline
A Land Region Book

Write and also illustrate a book comparing and contrasting the Land Regions discussed in the chapter.

Step 1.        Decide how you want to organize your book.  For
example, you could discuss each region in a section by itself, or you could do a section on climate, one on geography and so on. 

Step 2.       Use information you learned from your textbook. 
-         Make a list of all of the regions you will include in your book.
-         Use maps and descriptions from your textbook to find out where each region is and what makes them special.  Write notes to yourself about the landforms and the climate.
-         Study pictures and descriptions from your textbook to find and list details about each region. 

Step 3.       Use your lists to prepare the pages of your land regions book.  Remember that this is an illustrated book, so you should include drawings with captions.  You should also include charts, maps, and other types of pictures. 

Step 4.       Review your work.  Does your book illustrate how the land regions are similar and different?  Are your text and artwork historically correct?

Step 5.        Make any necessary changes or additions to prepare your final land regions book.  Put the pages in the correct order.

Step 6.       Follow the directions to make your land regions books cover.  Remember to include a book title on the cover.