Friday, December 14, 2012

Blogger slacker!

I'm sorry to you guys that I have been a blogger slacker this week.  My entire family has been sick with this funk and it seems that it is my turn now.  We have had a busy week with the dress up days, can collecting (we got 110), and the field trip.  Next week is going to be very busy and fun as well.  Monday is going to be a regular school day and we will continue with multiplication, biographies, plants, and the aftermath of the Revolutionary War.  Tuesday will bring Holidays Around the World to our classroom.  The students will travel to each classroom and will learn about different holidays that are celebrated all around the world.  On Wednesday, we are going to have Polar Express Day.  We will wear our jammies to school, read the story, complete many different writing and reading activities, make a multplication Santa, drink hot cocoa (Mrs. Claus' own recipe), and enjoy a viewing of the movie.  This is always a fun day and the kids have a blast.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Field Trip and Wacky Wednesday and 12-12-12!!

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for us in class.  We are taking a field trip to Brattonsville and we will get to see what it was like on a regular school day during the Colonial Days.  Tomorrow is also Wacky Wednesday!  The students can dress up as wacky as they want to.  Backwards clothes, shorts on top of pants, mismatched shoes or socks, crazy hair and remember if they dress up, please have them bring a canned good or five or $.25 or five.  Tomorrow is also historical in that it will be 12-12-12!  This will not happen again for 100 years!

Number of the Day:  137 (next odd, next even, ten more, ten less, number in words, number in flats, rods, and cubes)

Writing Workshop:  We read the story Olive the Reindeer.  This is a cute story about a dog that misunderstands the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer song and she thinks they say "Olive the other reindeer."  She takes off on an adventure to the North Pole.  The students created their own reindeer's and came up with three characteristics to describe their reindeer.  We will write stories about our reindeer and their adventures.

Reading Workshop:  We finished our reindeer and then took a reading mini assessment.  The students continued to work on their reading workshop activities.

Math Workshop:  I read a math story about Sandy Bean that always liked to count anything and everything, but she discovered that counting took to long when counting a lot of items.  She found out that multiplication was a good way to add faster.  We practiced solving some multiplication problems and then created some of our own.

Science:  We looked at our celery stalk and saw how the water moved through the roots.  We watered our seeds and then created a study guide of a diagram of a seed and plant.  This test will be next week.

**Field trip tomorrow.
**Wacky Wednesday (Bring canned goods!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

WOW!! Get better soon!

These are the three words that I want to say today.  We had six students out today and four more left sick.  Please keep your child at home if they are complaining of a stomach ache, headache, or aching body.  If they have a fever 100F or over, you MUST keep them at home.  They must be fever free for 24 hours. Please make sure your children are taking their vitamins and washing their hands.  I am disinfecting the room every afternoon when the students leave.  Thank you for your help.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite snack?

Writing Workshop:  We read a story about snowflakes and how they are all unique.  We then discussed the different ways that we are all unique.  We made our own snowflakes and wrote down five reasons we believe we are unique.

Reading Workshop:  We read a few more biographies and then the students completed questions about a reading passage.

Math Workshop:  We completed a multiplication problematic task.  The students did extremely well and I am excited to see how they do over the next few weeks.

Science:  We watched a short video about plants and all their parts.  We looked at how the food coloring moved through our celery stick to get to the top of the plant.

SS:  We looked at what life was like in Brattonsville versus our lives today.

**Field trip on Wednesday!!

Friday, December 7, 2012


That is really all I can say about today!!  Please remember to have your child bring in money for the Santa Shop on Monday, if you would like them to purchase items.  Monday is also camoflauge day.  If your child would like to dress up in camoflauge or if you just want to help out, please have them bring in a canned good or five or $.25.  Thanks for your support.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Program was amazing!!

I once again would like give a big congrats to Mrs. Colter for the awesome holiday program that she put on last night.  The kids did a great job.

Number of the day: 663 (next odd, next even, count on three, count back three)

Writing Workshop:  We are finishing up our final drafts of the small moment stories that we created.

Reading Workshop:  We are continuing to study biographies and today the students made a time line of 10 important events in their life.

Math Workshop:  Today we completed the review centers for our pattern unit.  We will have a test on patterns tomorrow.  The students need to know how to solve color, shape, picture, and number patterns, in/out (function) boxes, growth patterns, and missing addends.

SS:  We watched a Detective Bonz video about South Carolina and the Revolutionary War.  We have a test tomorrow.  The study guide came home two days ago.

Science:  We discussed where seeds are found, how water effects seeds, changes that we think we will see after 5 more days of observation of our seeds, and what is inside a seed.

**Town Hall meetings tomorrow.  Please have your child wear an Independence shirt or red, white, and blue.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Program Tonight!!

The holiday program is tonight at Castle Heights Middle School.  The students need to wear green, blue jeans, and sneakers.  They must be there at 6:30 in the chorus room.  You can pick them up after the program from the chorus room.

Morning Journal:  Happy birthday Mickey Mouse!!  What is your favorite Disney character and why?

Science:  Today we pulled apart our lima bean seeds so we could see the different parts.  We found the embryo, seed coat, and cotyledons (dicot and monocot). 

The students need to know the following definitions from this lesson:
germination: when a seed begins to develop
organisms: all living things, including plants and animals
growth: when an organism gets bigger
seedlings: young plants that grow from seeds
roots: first structure to grow.  Grows downward and hold the plant to the ground and gets nutrients.
stem:  grows up and supports the rest of the plant.
leaves:  flat (usually) green parts of the plant

SS:  We reviewed over the answers to the study guide and I introduced the Heritage project.  The heritage project is the culminating activity to our Global Children's Challenge.  The student's will research the country of their heritage.  Please note: the only people from the United States are Native Americans, so unless your family is Native American, your child should not be doing the United States.

**Town Hall meeting on Friday.  Please have them wear their Independence shirt or red.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Beans, Seeds, and Plants!

We have started the germination process with our first seeds and beans.  The students will observe the germination process over the next week.  Tomorrow, we will plant our first bean plant, where the students will observe how this plant grows over a three week period.

Number of the Day:  444 (number before, number after, 10 more, 10 less, next odd, next even)

Writing Workshop:  We are finishing up our small moment stories to display in our classroom.

Reading Workshop:  We read a few biographies about famous Americans.  The students answered questions about a famous African American, Martin Luther King Jr., after reading a short passage.

Math Workshop:  We continued our study of growth patterns and made t-charts to solve the patterns.

Science:  See above. 

SS:  We completed the Revolutionary War study guide and the students were supposed to bring it home tonight to study.  The test will be on Friday.

**Holiday program is tomorrow.  The students need to wear a green shirt and jeans.

**Town Hall meeting is this Friday.  Please have your child wear their Independence shirt or red.

**Can food drive starts Monday.  We are incorporating a spirit week with our can food drive.  If your child brings in a can good or $.25, they can dress in that days appropriate clothing.  The class with the most cans brought in will have a pizza party.
Monday: Camoflage Day
Tuesday: 80's Day
Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday
Thursday: Twin Day
Friday: Team Spirit Day

Monday, December 3, 2012

Field Trip Fun!

We had a blast at our field trip on Friday.  I am working on a slide show of all the pictures that I took and I hope to have it up on my blog by this Friday.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite Sesame Street character and why?

Reading Workshop:  We are beginning our study of biographies and autobiographies.  We will be writing our own autobiographies and choosing a famous African American to write a biography about.

Math Workshop:  We practiced solving growth pattern word problems by using a t-chart.  The t-charts help to keep us organized when working with such large numbers.

SS:  We created a battle map of SC to show where all of the battles in our state took place.  We will continue to add to this map as we study more battles.  We will have a test on the Revolutionary War this Friday.  The study guide will come home tomorrow.

Science:  We watched a short video about plants and how they grow.  Tomorrow we will plant our first seeds and observe how they grow over a two week period.

**Holiday program is this Wednesday!!

**Town Hall meeting this Friday!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Battle of Cowpens and King's Mountain

Today we focused on the battles of Cowpens and King's Mountain.  The battle of King's Mountain was the first big battle that the Patriots won in South Carolina.  In the battle of Cowpens, the Americans had another big victory.  The Patriots set up a plan to only have a few men shoot at a time.  Once these men took two shots, they were to run behind everyone else.  The British believed that the Patriots had given up and stood there on a hill.  The Patriots began to pick them off one by one. 

Morning Journal:  It national homeless awareness week.  What can you do to help the homeless?  (Must be five sentences.)

Writing Workshop:  We worked on adding final details to our small moment stories.

Reading Workshop:  We finished our summaries and predictions.

Math Workshop:  I introduced finding the missing addend by using the acronym S.A.M.  This stands for: Sum Minus, Addend Equals, Missing Addend.  For example 7+__=9.  You take the sum of 9 minus the addend of 7 and get the missing addend of 2.

SS:  Please see above.

Science:  We created a KWHL chart about plants.  We read a short book about seeds and how they are spread around the world.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Swamp Fox, Gamecock, and Wizard Owl

Today we looked at three of the big battle leaders in our state of South Carolina.  Thomas Sumter was called "the Gamecock", because he was a fierce figther.  He and his men won many battle in the Midlands and the Up Country.  Francis Marion was called the Swamp Fox".  He and his men fought in the swamps of the Pee Dee.  They would attack and then run away into the swamps.  Andrew Pickens was called "the Wizard Owl". He was a wise leader and led Patriot militiamen into battle in the Up Country.

Number of the Day:  277 (one more, one less, ten more, ten less, next odd, next even, in ordinal numbers)

Writing Workshop:  Today we looked at adding details to our small moment stories.  We want to make sure that we don't leave the reader asking any questions.

Reading Workshop:  We practiced summarizing a story after we have read it.  When we summarize a story, we sum up the main parts of the story in our own words.  Have your child practice summarizing their story tonight at home.

Math Workshop:  We continued to practice working with in/out boxes with symbols.  The students are creating four in/out boxes with symbols at home tonight.

SS:  Please see above.

Science:  We had quick introduction on plants and how they grow.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome Back!!

My Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope that yours was as well.  I ate a lot of food, decorated my house for Christmas, and hung out with my family.

Morning Journal:  What did you do over the holiday break?  (Must be five sentences.)

Writing Workshop:  We worked on writing a good beginning for our small moment stories.  We are also beginning to do some peer revisions.  The students will now look to each other to make the necessary corrections on their stories.

Reading Workshop:  We have begun reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.  This is one of my favorite stories from my childhood.  We practiced making predictions as we read.  After you have made your predictions you need to either confirm or deny your predictions.

Math Workshop:  We are continuing to practice in/out boxes with patterns.  Instead of using the in/out words, we are now using symbols.  Ask your child to show you how to replace the words with a symbol.

SS:  We had a special guest come in and talk to us about the Revolutionary War.  Mrs. White's husband is a historian and he came in and shared stories and artifacts with us.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Happy thanksgiving to you and your families!!!  It has been my pleasure working with your children so far this year. I am very thankful for them and your support in your child's education each day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Two of Everything!

Today we read the cutest story called, Two of Everything.  It was about this little, old couple that found a magic pot in their garden.  Every time something fell into the magic pot, it would double.  Including: the little old lady and the little old man.  I will let you get the story to find out what happens.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving?  (Must be five sentences.)

Reading Workshop:  We applied our reading skills and strategies to two separate passages.  One of the passages was about Thanksgiving and the second one was about the constitution. 

Math Workshop:  We read the story Two of Everything and then made a pattern turkey.

Science:  We completed the heat test study guide.  The students will have a test tomorrow.

**No school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday!!!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  I know we all have a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday!! (That's all I could think to call it.)

Morning Journal:  Are you a spender or a saver?  If you are a spender, what do you spend your money on and why?  If you are a saver, what do you save your money for and why?

Writing Workshop:  We are continuing to add good words and details to our small moment stories.

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed over sequencing and how to use time order words to retell a story.

Math Workshop:  Today we worked on function boxes, more commonly known as in/out boxes.  The in/out box puts a number into the "magic box" and some magic happens to the number to make the out number.  For example: In goes 2 and out comes 8, in goes 10 and out comes 16, in goes 5 and out comes 11.  The rule of the box is + 6.

SS:  We took our test on the causes of the American Revolution.

Science:  We reviewed over heat and the different ways it is made.  We will have a test on this concept on Tuesday.  A study guide came home today and another one will come home on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Martha is Terrific Kid!!

Martha won our Terrific Kid for the month of November.  She has done a great job of working hard and showing friendship towards all students.

Number of the Day:  1500 (next odd, next even, 10 more, 10 less)

Writing Workshop:  In writing we focused on how to change our wording in stories to make them more interesting.  I read a story that I wrote, to my students and then showed them how I made slight changes to my story to make it more interesting.

Reading Workshop:  We discussed the sequencing of a story.  The students brainstormed all of the different time order words to help them sequence a story.  Examples: First, Next, Then, Last, After, Later, Before, Beginning, etc. 

Math Workshop:  We continued to work on patterns and extending patterns.

SS:  We reviewed for the causes of the Revolutionary War test.

Science:  We discovered that temperature is the measurement of how hot or cold an something is.  We are creating a mini-booklet to bring home and study over the weekend.  The test for heat will be on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Today we looked at the different ways that heat is made. We discovered that heat is a form of energy that moves between objects.  Heat travels through solids, liquids, and gases.  The sources of heat are where the heat comes from.  Some examples include: sun, fire, light bulbs, stove, etc.  Ask your child to try and find some sources of heat around your house.

Morning Journal:  What book would you like to read and why?  Must be five sentences.

Science:  Please see above with heat.

Math:  We discovered different types of patterns and how they each must have a rule.  We learned that patterns can not be random, that is why they are patterns.  We saw that we must go through the entire pattern to figure out the rule, because the pattern may switch from one to another.

SS:  We completed the study guide for the causes of the American Revolution.  The students should have brought this home today.  The test will be on Friday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Town Hall Meeting!!

We had a wonderful town hall meeting today and learned all about patience.  If you want to see some real patience, check out the video we watched called: The Marshmellow Test.  I'm not so sure if some of our kids could hold out for that second marshmellow.

We will have late start tomorrow.  The students must be here by 9:30am.

Number of the Day:  1300 (when is it big, when is it small, ten more, ten less, 100 more, double it)

Writing Workshop:  We finished our Veterans Day letters and continued to work on our small moment stories.

Reading Workshop:  We took our first reading passage test.  This test will allow the students to practice all of the skills and strategies that are being taught.  It will show them the different types of questions that will be asked on the PASS test.  We will take a reading passage test every other week.

Math Workshop:  We discussed different types of patterns.  We discussed that when you look at a pattern problem you MUST first find the rule of the patterns, then determine the pattern stem/unit (or if there is one), and finally how to continue or extend the pattern.  Tonight for homework the students are supposed to look at the addresses in their neighborhood and determine if these follow a pattern.

SS:  Who are the loyalist? Who are the patriots?  Which one would you side with in the Revolutionary War?  Ask your child these questions and see if they can have an educated discussion.  There will be a test on the causes of the war on Friday.  A study guide will come home tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Program=Moved to tears!

This was a wonderful program and I have to give major props to our music teacher Ms. Colter for getting the students organized and teaching all of them the songs that they sung.  Anytime children sing I typically cry, but when they sing patriotic songs it really gets me.  The playing of Taps was amazing and I know it made all of us think of people that we have lost.

Morning Journal:  Describe a person that is your hero and why they are your hero.  (Must be five sentences.)

Writing Workshop:  We wrote letters to some of the soldiers that are deployed in Afghanistan.  The students were each given a name and they will write letters to this person every month for the rest of the school year.  This first letter was to tell them that we appreciate all they have done for us.

Reading Workshop:  We are continuing to study long vowel sounds /i/, /o/, and /u/.  We are also continuing to look at consonant blends and how they are formed.

Math Workshop:  We are beginning our study of patterns.  Today the students completed a pattern problematic task with their groups.

**Due to the Veterans Day program, we did not have science or SS.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Clues, Problems, Wonderings

Today we practiced the strategy of clues, problems, and wonderings.  This strategy helps your child in their reading to pause and think about what they have read.  Tonight for homework, your child needs to complete their clues, problems, and wonderings chart with the book they are reading.

Morning Journal:  If you could be any wild animal, what would you be and why?  Must be five sentences.

Writing Workshop:  We continued to write to the prompt: If I were president of Independence Elementary, I would...

Reading Workshop:  Clues:  This may be the title, pictures, captions, charts, graphs, and writing in the text.  Problems:  This may be problems the characters are having or problems the student may have with words or sentences in the story.    Wonderings:  These are questions that you may have about the story.

Math Workshop:  We played the word problem game.  The students moved around the classroom and answered each others word problems.

SS:  We discussed the First Continental Congress and how this affected the colonists and their relationship with Britain.

Science:  We reviewed over states of matter and how they are affected by change.  We will have a test this Friday.

**We will have a fundraiser night at Nishie G's this Thursday.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I hope that you guys can join us at the fall festival today from 6-8pm.  It is going to be fun for everyone.

**There is no school tomorrow.  It is election day.  Go out and VOTE!!!!!

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite type of pretzel?  Must be five sentences.

Writing Workshop:  If I were president of Independence Elementary, I would...

Reading Workshop:  Today we practiced a new strategy of STP.  This means: Stop, Think, Paraphrase.  Have your child practice reading a book to you and doing this strategy.

Math Workshop:  We played a game to practice our multi-digit addition and subtraction facts.  Tonight for homework the students need to create two subtraction word problems that are to the 100's.

SS:  We looked at the reasons for the American Revolution.  The students saw that after the British put the taxes in place, that the colonists were very angry.  When the colonists began to revolt, the British put the Intolerable Acts in place.  Ask your child what the Intolerable Acts are and what this means for the colonist.

Science:  We made our own condensation with ice and water.  We discovered how condensation is made on the grass and cars in the morning.  We looked at how matter freezes, melts, and boils.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Ribbon Week is Over!!

Even though red ribbon week is over, that does not mean the conversations about being drug free should stop.  We still need to have these conversations with our kids about saying no to drugs.  Unfortunately the peer pressure starts earlier and earlier and we want our kids to know what to say. 

Morning Journal:  The British began to impose the intolerable acts on the colonists, which made them more angry.  Intolerable: unable to be tolerated, dislike greatly, not able to be tolerated.  Describe five things that you find intolerable in your life.  (Must be five sentences.)

Reading Workshop:  The students were able to complete their Time for Kids, respond to reading, letter to me, and sequencing activity.

Math Workshop:  We practiced subtracting across zeros.  Please have your child tell you the story of Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Green, and today we added in ME!!

Science:  We reviewed over the three types of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.  The students took their test on solids, liquids, and gases.  They had to write the three types of matter, draw a picture of each one, and then give a definition for the types of matter.

SS:  We reviewed the reasons the South Carolina colonies wanted to become a royal colony.  The students pretended to be a colonist and write the king a letter about why they wanted to be a royal colony.

**Fall Festival is Monday from 6:00pm-8:00pm in the school parking lot.  Please come dressed in your best red, white, and blue outfit.

**NO SCHOOL ON TUESDAY.  Go out and vote!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

CRAZY Sock Day!!

Today we "Socked it to Drugs"!!  Tomorrow we will all wear red shirts to show our support for standing up against drugs!!

Number of the Day:  111 (1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less, next odd, next even)

Writing Workshop:  We are continuing to travel around the world through our Global Children's Challenge.  The students write down three important facts from each of the locations that we travel to.

Reading Workshop:  We read the article "Crackle, Flash, Boom" and the students wrote down three questions from the article and we will complete the questions tomorrow as a class.

Math Workshop:  Ask your child to tell you the story of Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Green.  This is a story that I told them today to help with subtraction with regrouping.

Science:  We read about matter, mass, volume, observable and measurable properties.  The students watched a short video that showed great examples of these properties.

SS: We reviewed over the problems between the colonists and the British.  We discussed the Tea Tax and the Stamp Act that were imposed upon the colonists.  The students are realizing that we are headed to a war between Britain and the 13 colonies.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crazy Socks and Mismatched Shoes

Tomorrow we will be "Stepping Out Against Drugs" by wearing crazy socks and mismatched shoes. 

Morning Journal:  What are you doing for Halloween today?

Reading Workshop:  We read a short article about the rainforest and the students had to find facts (something you can prove) and opinions (something that you think or feel) from the article.  They also read some sentences and had to tell whether or not they were facts or opinions.

Math Workshop:  We practiced subtraction with regrouping to the 10's and the 100's.  We played a game of rolling the dice and subtracting our two numbers.  The students began creating subtraction word problems for a quiz on subtraction.

SS:  Today we read about the colonists and how they were first ruled by the regulators.   The original colony of Carolina split into three sections: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. These regulators made the colonist mad and they contacted the king of England for help.  He appointed a governor of South Carolina, but this did not work either, because he was located in Charleston and couldn't get across the state fast enough to help.  The colonists once again complained and the king set up the government for them.  He first appointed a Royal Governor, who appointed a Royal Council, who appointed the Commons House of Assembly (the local government).  The only problem with the Commons House of Assembly is that the royal governor could veto anything they decided.  The Bristish government then began to tax the colonist and once again the colonists were angry.

Science:  We had a fun activity today where we took a solid (caramel), turned it into a liquid (melted caramel), and then turned it back into a solid (candy apples).  It was a yummy experiment and taught the students about solids, liquids, and gases.

**REPORT CARDS DID NOT COME HOME TODAY!!!!  They were misprinted and we will get new ones as soon as possible.  Thanks for understanding.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jam Against Drugs!!

Jam against drugs will be our classroom theme for tomorrow!!  The students are allowed to wear their jammies to school and we will jam a few times.  I will discuss with them the reasons that it is important to live a drug free lifestyle.

Number of the Day:  330 (Number before, Number after, next odd, next even, ten more, ten less, one hundred more)

Writing Workshop:  We read the story Big Mama's and Short Cut by Donald Crews.  This is a great example of how an author took a story and pulled a small moment from the story to make a new story.  We continue to work on our small moment plans and stories.

Reading Workshop:  We focused on main idea and supporting details.  Please have your child pull out the main idea from the story they read and three supporting details for this main idea.

Math Workshop:  We looked at estimating differences.  This is just rounding and then subtracting.

Science:  We completed a lab on the differences between solids and liquids.  We then discussed the differences with solids, liquids, and gases.  The students will need to find one example of each of these at their homes.

**Wear jammies tomorrow.  NO COSTUMES!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Slow and Rapid Changes

We have a test tomorrow on slow and rapid Earth changes.  The students are bringing home a study guide today with the things they need to know on the test.

Morning Journal:  We use coal and oil in our daily lives.  Describe three ways that we use coal and oil.

Writing Workshop:  We read a book about Earthquakes.  We made a list of facts and opinions from the book.  This allowed us to review one of the rapid changes that happens on the Earth.

Reading Workshop:  We read an article about "Slithering Snakes".  The article had five pictures on it that needed captions.  The students wrote captions to go under each of these five pictures.

Math Workshop:  The students moved around the room and solved each others word problems.  The student with the most word problems solved, correctly, received a prize!!  We completed a problematic task where the students were discovering how addition and subtraction relate to each other.

Science:  Please see above with slow and rapid changes.

**No school on Friday or Monday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Snake in a Classroom

I have posted the video on YouTube of Mr. Swygert getting the snake out of our classroom.  It is under the title: Snake in a Classroom and posted by Jenna P.  If you would like to hear me scream like a little girl, then go check it out.  You can also see our hero principal!

Number of the Day: 230 (next odd, next even, 10 more, 10 less)

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed over our sound spellings for the week and practiced locating them in sentences.  The groups that worked with me today, got to practice finding long vowel words in their stories.  We read a short article about animals and their ear adaptations.  We found the facts (something you can prove) and opinions (something that you feel) within the article.

Math Workshop:  We played the star game.  This game allowed the students to practice solving addition and subtraction word problems to earn stars.  The students with the most stars received an award.

Science:  We looked at ways the land can change in slow and fast ways.  The rapid changes in land are: volcano, tornado, earthquake, hurricane, tsunami.  The slow changes in land are: weathering, erosion, and deposition.  We also discussed the different ways that we use coal and oil in our daily lives.

**No school on Friday or Monday.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I try to find something clever to title each day, but today all I could come up with was Monday.  I guess that shows that it truly was a Monday.  Mondays are always so busy in our classroom.  I am checking morning journals from the previous week, checking over reading workshop from the previous week, and reviewing over things we learned from the previous week in addition to learning new knowledge.

Morning Journal:  If you could adopt any pet, what would it be and why?

Writing Workshop:  We continued to work on our settlements and labeling our land features.

Reading Workshop:  This week we are reviewing all of our long vowel sounds.  We read a short article and practiced drawing conclusions.  To draw a conclusion you must take information from your own knowledge+the information from the article=the conclusion.  Have your child practice drawing conclusions as they read their story each night.

Math Workshop:  We continue to practice addition with and without regrouping.  The students are doing very well with addition, but we are beginning subtraction tomorrow and that is usually a struggle.

SS:  The students labeled a map of SC with the borders, rivers, ocean, mountain range, main cities, the capital, and they created a map key.

Science:  We reviewed over land and water features and took a test on these concepts.

**There is no school on Friday or Monday!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yes, it's true!!!

If your child tells you there was a snake in our classroom today, then they are telling you the truth.  A snake came out of our air conditioner today when I turned it on.  I immediately got the students out of the classroom and Mr. Swygert and a few other teachers came to the rescue.  We got the snake out safely with only a few screams from me.  (I do not like snakes.)  I was turning on the air for our GCC Gold Challenge today.  We are all trying to get 33,000 steps (1/2 marathon) to compete for the gold pedometers.  We stopped periodically throughout the day to exercise and dance.  This helped most of us get a few more steps.  The students can keep earning steps for the gold challenge throughout the day.

Morning Journal:  It's Candy Corn day!!  If you could build something with candy corn, what would it be and how would you build it?

Writing Workshop:  We continued working on our Power Point presentations.

Reading Workshop:  We read a short informative article about bats echolocation.  The students had to figure out what would be the supporting details in the article to unlock the main idea.

Math Workshop:  We exchanged our word problems that we created for homework and practiced unpacking a few different multi-step problems.  The students took a short quiz on addition.

SS:  We took our SS test on Native Americans, Explorers, and the settlements of the new world.

Science:  We reviewed over land and water features for a quiz on Monday.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Tomorrow, the students and I will compete in the GCC gold challenge.  The GCC has challenged each class to try and take 33,000 steps per person (1/2 a marathon).  We have accepted this challenge and will work throughout the day tomorrow to make sure we reach this goal.  Please make sure your child is wearing their pedometer.

Number of the Day:  180 (number before, number after, next odd, next even, draw in place value blocks, in words)

Writing Workshop:  We began a project that will have us writing across the curriculum.  We are practicing putting together writing, SS, and Science through this project.  The students have to pick 4 out of 6 landforms that we are studying and create their own settlement.  They will name the settlement and then place their landforms in it.  In each of the different land form areas, they must decide what they would like to build in it.  We will put these into a Power Point presentation on Monday.

Reading Workshop:  We have gotten a little behind on our workshop activities this week, so I had the students work on their activities and they met with me in their guided reading groups.

Math Workshop:  We practiced adding numbers with two, three, and four digits.  I am beginning to teach them how to unpack a word problem.

Science:  We worked on our projects.

SS:  We finished the study guide for our test tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This was such a busy day and all I can say is "Whew"!!! 

Number of the day:  1600 (next odd, next even, 100 more, 10 more, 10 less)

Writing Workshop:  We finished the assessment from yesterday and the students began working on a new story.  Tomorrow they will add in details about their characters.

Reading Workshop:  This week's phonics focus is /a/ spelled a and a_e, /e/ spelled e and e_e, /i/ spelled i and i_e, /o/ spelled o and o_e, /u/  spelled u and u_e, /j/ spelled j and dge, /s/ spelled s and cy.

Math Workshop:  We reviewed over last night's homework and then we were called for pictures.

SS:  We discussed the effects that slaves had on the economy and plantations in SC.

Science:  We reviewed over the water features vocabulary.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Great Program!!

We had a wonderful program this morning that was all about the history of music in the United States.  It began with the Native American and how they would sing their children to sleep, went through the sailors that first came here, we saw how the slaves used music in their daily lives to convey messages, sung through how the settlers worked together to build our country, they sang about the wars, entertainment, and America's favorite pastime, baseball.  It was a great show and gave us a brief history lesson.

Morning Journal:  What can you do to help protect an animal in their natural habitat?

Writing Workshop:  We answered the following question: What are some of the reasons that Native Americans moved in South Carolina and how are these similar and different to the reasons that we move today? Give three examples.

Reading Workshop:  The program took up most of this time, but I did get the chance to introduce all of the activities that they have to complete this week.  Please remember that in order for your child to show me their learning they must complete: respond to reading, letter to me, skills and strategies, Time for Kids, and Word Study.

Math Workshop:  We reviewed over adding numbers with three or more digits, with and without regrouping.  We will continue to review this over the next couple of days.

SS:  We discussed the reasons that the slaves created the Gullah language.  We also talked about why Charleston is such an important city to the rest of the United States. 

Science:  We are trying to find out the different types of water features in the world.  The students are looking up the definitions in many resources to the following water features: lakes, ponds, streams, oceans, icebergs.

**Picture day is tomorrow!!!  This picture will go in our yearbook and we will also take our class picture.  Please make sure your child is looking their best.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are you ready for Friday?

I know that I am ready for Friday, but the question is are you?  This week has been a lot of fun and tomorrow will be no exception.  We have learned so much this week and we will continue the race to learn tomorrow.

Number of the Day: 1100 (word form, ordinal numbers, ten more, ten less)

Writing Workshop:  We looked at how to check our writing after we have finished writing a new piece.  We practiced checking capital letters, punctuation, misspellings, and not beginning a sentence with because or and.  These are things that we will continue to work on every time we complete a morning journal.

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed over our sound spellings for this week with the sounds of /s/, /j/, and long a and e.  We discussed the characteristics of a myth and legend and the differences between the two.

Math Workshop:  We practiced adding two numbers and regrouping with a place value chart and blocks.

SS:  We discussed the reasons that the Charles Town settlement in SC was so successful and the different crops that were grown her for both profit and their own enjoyment.  Ask your child to name at least two of each for review.

Science:  We took our test on fossils and soil.  This will come home in their Tuesday folders.

**Picture day is on October 16th.**

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Soil and Fossil Test Tomorrow!!

Today in science we created a study guide for the soil and fossil test that we will take in class tomorrow.  Please make sure your child studies this tonight as part of their homework.  I will do a small review before the test tomorrow and take any questions they need to ask.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite type of breakfast food and why?

Writing Workshop:  We were completing the school writing prompt of: A time you had fun with a friend.

Reading Workshop:  We did not do reading workshop today, due to late start day and completing the school writing prompt.

Math Workshop:  We reviewed over basic addition problems like: 8+7=___.  We reviewed that they numbers that you add are called addends and the answer is called a sum.  I introduced estimating sums, which is basically just rounding the two addends and then adding up the rounded numbers to get your estimate.

**School pictures are next week on October 16th.  You must send in your order form on this day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pasta and Pajamas

I hope that all of you that were able to attend Pasta and Pajamas night had a great time.  I'm very sorry I was unable to attend.  I am still not feeling completely up to par.  I am now on an antibiotic, so hopefully it will kick in soon.

Number of the Day: 900 (next odd #, next even #, add 10, subtract 10, When is this number little? When is this number big?)

Writing Workshop:  We worked on a small moment story.  Instead of writing a story about an entire weekend, we are trying to focus on a small moment of our weekend.  I gave the students the example of my weekend trip to the mountains.  I told them the story of my entire weekend and then told them the small moment of me almost drowning on my white water rafting trip.  The almost drowning part was only over three minutes, but I gave a lot of details and focused on my feelings in that moment. One word: SCARY!!!

Reading Workshop:  This week we are focusing on tall tales and myths.  Our phonics focus is the /j/ sound spelled -ge and -gi_, the /s/ sound spelled -ce and -ci_, long /a/ spelled -a and -a_e, and long /e/ spelled -e and -e_e.  Have your child locate these sounds and sound spellings as they read their book each night.

Math Workshop:  We took our test on rounding and these will come home next Tuesday.

SS:  We looked at the effect that the settlers had on the Native Americans in SC, both the good and bad.

Science:  We started reviewing for our soil and fossil test.  We will take this test on Thursday.

**Picture day is October 16th.  Order forms came home in your child's Tuesday folder.

**Tomorrow is late start day.  Your child must be at school by 9:30am.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm back!!

So sorry that I haven't blogged the past couple of days.  I have been really sick, but I am back now and here is the latest updates...

Morning Journal:  Friday: What are you going to do this weekend?  Monday:  What is your favorite type of snack?

Writing Workshop:  Thursday, Friday, and Monday:  We are continuing to work on our thematic stories about our minerals.  We are also beginning a new story where we will start to look at focus in our writing.

Reading Workshop:  We have looked at folktales, fairy tales, myths, and legends.  We are continuing our small group work and this week we will look at short vowel sounds.

Math Workshop:  Rounding to the nearest 10, 100, and 1000.  We have a test on this concept tomorrow.  A great review website is: (Click on third grade, Click on rounding, Click on nearest 10, 100, or 1000's)

Science:  We have looked in depth at the different materials soil can be made up of and today we tested our soils to see if they can be separated by water.

SS:  We are studying the first settlers in SC.  We have discussed the reasons they may have come to SC to settle.  For example: religious freedom, more land, and discovering new things.

**Pasta in Pajamas is tomorrow night from 6:00-7:30.  You needed to have signed up by this past Friday to attend.

**Cookie dough and tumbler orders are in.  You can pick them up by tonight at 6:00pm or tomorrow from 7:00-8:00am.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Soil, soil everywhere!!

There is soil all around us!  Different types, shapes, sizes, and more.  Today we looked at the different types of natural materials that our school is made up of and many of them have soil in it.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite Italian food and why?

Writing Workshop:  We continued writing our thematic stories about our favorite mineral.  We read some Native American legends and discussed some characteristics of them.

Reading Workshop:  We worked on our reading workshop activities and many of the students met with me in small groups.

Math Workshop:  We reviewed rounding to the nearest 10 and 100.  The students brought home a half sheet of paper for homework tonight, but they only need to do the ones that have rounding to the nearest 10 and 100, NOT the 1000's.

Science: The world is full of natural resources.  Our main natural resource is coal.  We use it every single day when we use electricity.  We took at walk around the school and looked at the natural resources that make up our school building and the surrounding areas.  We collected some sample items and we are creating a fossil with these items. 

SPIRIT DAY IS FRIDAY!!!  Please have your child wear red, white, and/or blue!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mmmmm, Sweet Frog!!

Sweet Frog frozen yogurt was very good tonight!!  I had the caramel coffee with Butterfinger and white chocolate pieces on it.  My boys had chocolate with sprinkles.  It was enjoyed by all, which was very apparent by the chocolate mustaches I had to clean off.

Number of the Day:  200

Writing Workshop:  We practiced thematic writing today.  We used our mineral observation sheets to get people to guess which mineral was our favorite.

Reading Workshop:  We are continuing our study of long vowel sounds.  We are beginning to look at the characteristics of legends.  We have already read The Legend of the Bluebonnet and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie DePaola.  Both of these legends are written to explain things that happen in Texas.

Math Workshop:  Today we reviewed rounding to the nearest 10 and I introduced rounding to the nearest 100.  Please look in your child's math journal for examples on how to round.

SS:  We looked at the explorers that came to South Carolina and we are starting to create a pictorial guide as if we were an explorer coming to SC.

GCC:  We are in Venezuela.  Please check it out!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apple Day!!

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite fruit and why?

Writing Workshop:  We practiced adding supporting details to our writing.  The students finished their fractured fairy tales and presented them to the class.

Reading Workshop:  We reread Ananse's Feast and discussed the characteristics of a folktale.  We took a quiz on this story and the students were allowed to use their books for the quiz.  We practiced the phonics sounds of long a, e, i, o, and u.  We saw that they could be spelled with their own letter or with magic "e" added to the end of the word.

Math Workshop:  We learned how to round to the nearest 10.  Please check your child's math journal for the examples on how to round to the nearest 10.  We learned the rhyme: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 Hit the Floor (Round Down).  5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Raise the Vine (Round Up).

Social Studies:  The students pretended that they were kings, queens, and explorers.  They created skits to pretend that they were asking permission to explore the new lands.  We watched a short video that showed some of the first explorers to the United States.  We discussed the reasons the explorers came to SC.

**Spirit night is tomorrow night from 5-9 pm at Sweet Frog!!  I should be there around 6:30!  I hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Columbus discovers America?

We are learning that Columbus did not actually land in America and never actually touched American soil.  September 16th marked the anniversary of the day that Columbus left for the new world.  The students wrote about what they think it would have been like to sail with Columbus to the new world.

Writing Workshop:  We looked at adding details to our writing.  For example: If the students are responding to the following morning journal, What did you do over the weekend?  I play a game. It was fun. I like it.  This is the response I am getting from most of the students.  Instead I want to see good details in their writing.  For example:  I played a soccer game with my team the Dragons.  It was so much fun because I scored the only goal.  I loved it because everyone was cheering for me and my parents bought me ice cream.  We will continue adding these details to our writing.

Reading Workshop:  We continued to read Ananse's Feast and discuss the characteristics of a folktale.  The students looked at the differences between a folktale and a fairy tale.  I continue to work with my guided reading groups on a daily basis.

Math Workshop:  We finished our math centers dealing with place value, comparing and ordering numbers, standard, expanded, and word form.  We are taking a test on these concepts tomorrow.

SS:  We are beginning our study of explorers that traveled through and settled in South Carolina.

Science:  We are moving on from rocks and minerals and have begun our study of fossils.  The students are very excited to make their own fossils and study them next week.

**Our book fair buy day is tomorrow.  If your child wants to buy books, please send money in with them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Leaves, leaves every where!

Why do you think leaves change color?  That is the question on the morning journal. 

Writing Workshop:  We discussed being the authority on things.  We are all an authority on something in life and I want the students to know that they are the authority on things as well.  We brainstormed a list of things that we are the authority on.  For example: I am the authority on: teaching, being a mom, wife, taking care of a dog, etc.

Reading Workshop:  We continued to read the folktale Ananse's Feast.  We are discussing more characterisitics of a folktale.  (trickery, variety of tools, poor person becomes rich, ordinary people in everyday life)

Math Workshop:  We are having a test on place value, values, comparing and ordering numbers, standard, expanded, and word form.  Today we played games to help us review for the test.  We will continue reviewing tomorrow for our test on Friday.

SS:  We located England, Spain, and France on a world map.  We discusssed the reasons why explorers wanted more land (crowding, no more available land, dream of riches, adventure)  I also asked the big question of "Why was Columbus' voyage important?"

Science:  We took our test on Rocks and Minerals.

Don't forget to check out our progress on the Global Children's Challenge.  We are working hard and have already made it to location number 6!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Fair is HERE!!

The book fair has begun at Independence!!  Our book fair buy day is this Friday!  The third grade grandparents lunch is tomorrow at 12:00 pm.  I hope to see many of the grandparents here.

Number of the Day:  25

Reading Workshop:  We began reading Ananse's Feast which is a folktale.  We looked at characteristics of a folktale.
1.  wishes are granted
2. magic objects
3. animals talk
4. monsters appear

We will continue reading this folktale this week and will discuss more characteristics of the folktale every day.

Math Workshop:  We are continuing to study place values up to the 100,000 place.  We are working on comparing these numbers using greater than, less than, and equal to.  We will have a test on these concepts on Friday.

SS:  We had our test on Native Americans today and have been reading the book The Native.  This is a story of a 9 year-old Native American boy's first contact with white settlers.

Science:  We reviewed for our test on rocks and minerals.  The test will be tomorrow.  Please have your child study the test review that came home today!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

SS Test Tomorrow!!!

Here is the study guide for the SS Test:  (The things highlighted in yellow are MUST know for the test!)
1.      Cherokee:
            Food: corn, beans, squash, meat
            Homes: 30-60  homes in a town, square
            Crafts: made cooking pots and ladles from gourds
            Leaders: Sequoyah-writing system
            Government: council, chief, women decided on war
   Special Facts: cleared fields by lighting fires
   Region: Blue Ridge

2.      Catawba:
            Food: beans, squash, meat
            Homes: made of bark, dome shaped
            Crafts: pottery
            Leaders: Hagler
            Government: chief, council
   Special Facts: “river people”, celebrate the harvest
   Region: Piedmont

3.      Yemasee:
            Food: shellfish
            Homes: covered with leaves
            Crafts: pottery
            Leaders: ???
            Government: ???
  Special Facts: midden mounds, warm weather-lived near beach; cooler weather-moved         
  Region: Coastal Zone

Morning Journal:  What is the best part about fall?

Reading Workshop:  We studied the genre: historical fiction.  We looked at the characterisitcs of this genre.
1.  Based on history.
2.  True facts.
3. Made up characters, but can be based on real people.
4.  Real places.
5. Real events.

Math Workshop:  We went to numbers in the 10,000 place.  We wrote numbers in standard (167,324), expanded (100,000+60,000+7,000+300+20+4=167,324), and word form (one hundred sixty seven thousand three hunded twenty four).  We also practiced comparing numbers with greater than (>), less than (<), and equal to (=) symbols.

SS:  See above!!

GCC Challenge:  We are now at our fifth location!!!  Please check it out.
Username:  Mrs. Patrick's Class_203060
Password:  patriots

I had a blast on my trip and I will be sharing pictures and rock samples with the students.  I will post the pictures on my blog for you guys to see as well.  I visited the Blue Ridge Mountains and found some great rock samples that we have studied.  I even went to a Cherokee village!  It was fun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

National Teddy Bear Day!!

What is your favorite stuffed animal?  Mine is a stuffed cat that my grandmother gave me the year before she died.  I was eight and in third grade at the time and it meant the world to me because it was so "expensive".  This was the last gift she gave me before she passed away.  My youngest son, Brennan, still sleeps with this stuffed cat.

Writing Workshop:  We read Little Red Riding Hood and then the fractured fairy tale version called The Wolf's Tale.  We looked at the similarities and differences between the two.  We worked on our own fractured fairy tales with our partners.

Science:  We finished labeling our minerals and then I gave them the correct names for each one.  We discussed the characteristics of each one.  We discovered that diamonds are the hardest mineral, but the school district neglected to include one in our kit. (LOL)

Math Workshop:  We played Place Value Musical chairs and looked at the standard form (157), word form (one hundred fifty seven), place value (ones, tens, hundreds), and the value (100, 50, 7) of each number.  We played the card game and tried to create the largest number possible to beat our classmates. 

Reading Workshop:  We continued to work with our groups to practice reading with fluency and comprehension.  The students are working independently to complete many different activities to further their reading skills.

**FIRST DAY OF GLOBAL CHILDREN'S CHALLENGE!!  Please have your child write down their steps each evening and wear their pedometers every day!!

Fractured Fairy Tales!!

We have been working on creating our own fractured fairy tales.  We have studied fairy tales and then the different ways that we can change them to become different.

Number of the Day:  18

Writing Workshop:  We have learned that there is both a protagonist and an antagonist within a fairy tale.  We have looked at how they have changed Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Three Little Pigs.

Reading Workshop:  What should you do if you don't understand a word in a sentence?  Sound it out, find words that you know, break it into syllables, look at context clues, look at the pictures.

Math Workshop:  The students played "Cubes in a Box".  They used strategies for estimating how many cubes would fit into a box.  Then they tested their estimates by actually putting the cubes in the box and analyzing whether or not there estimate was close or not.  They looked at whether or nto their number was odd or even and how they decided.

Science:  We took at quiz on the three different types of rocks.

SS:  We looked at how an archeologists digs up artifacts to discover how a culture worked long ago.  We also began our Global Children's Challenge.  We are so excited.
Username: Mrs. Patrick's Class_203060
Password: patriots

Monday, September 17, 2012

Constitution Day!!

Did you know that we celebrate our constitution every September 17th?  The students learned about Constititution Day today and a little bit about how our government is run.  We wrote about what it means to be a good American in our morning journals.

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed over the correct way to choose a book and how to behave during reading workshop time.  I began my small groups and we discussed the cover, back blurb, and the chapter headings with each group.  Some groups looked at vocabulary within the book.  Ask your child about the book they read with their group.  Have them describe to you whether or not a book is easy, just right, or challenging.

Math Workshop:  We finished our graphing test today.  There is no math homework tonight.

Science:  The students received descriptions of our 12 minerals and are trying to figure out which name fits with their minerals.  We will finish classifying them tomorrow.

SS:  We looked at the Yemassee tribe that was located along the Coastal Zone.  This tribe fished and traveled along the rivers and oceans.  The only way we know anything about these tribes today is the Midden mounds that have been found.  These Midden mounds are literally ancient piles of trash!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Have a great weekend!!

Sorry I missed blogging last night.  I was so tired after Moe's night and playing with my own kids that I didn't have it in me, so I will do a double tonight.

Thursday Number of the Day: 13;  I introduced the number of the day on Thursday.  The students will use this number to practice many of the skills they learned in second grade, for example: 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less, words, with pictures, odd and even numbers, etc.  This will make sure that they have these basic skills down for when we begin addition and subtraction.

Morning Journal:  What is your favorite type of music and why?

Writing Workshop:  We read a regular fairy tale and a fractured fairy tale.  We looked at how they have changed the fractured fairy tale and we worked on our own fairy tales to share with the class.

Reading Workshop:  I introduced the Global Children's Challenge.  We are beginning our journey at Niagara Falls, Canada.  The students will receive their pedometers next week on September 19th and we will take a journey around the world.  If you want to find out more about this great project, please go on

Math Workshop:  We reviewed all of the different types of charts and graphs:  tally mark chart, frequency chart, tally mark graph, bar graph, pictograph, line graph, and dot plot.  We took our test on the first 12 questions today and we will finish the test on Monday.

Science:  We finished the final two tests on our minerals: hardness and magnetism.  Hardness is based on the Moh's Scale of 1-10.  One is the softest and can't even be scratch by a fingernail. Five is in the middle of hardness and can be scratch by a penny, and 10 is at the top of hardness and can't be scratch by a nail. We tested the hardness of our minerals by scratching each of them and trying to see if it left a mark with a fingernail, penny, or nail.  We tested the magnetism by holding up a regular magnet and seeing if it attracted the mineral.

SS:  We learned that the Cherokee Indians settled in the Blue Ridge Region for the rivers and farm land.  Each tribe is ruled by a chief and tribal council.  It is ultimately the women's decision to go to war or keep the peace.  They made pottery, fished, hunted, and farmed the land.  They had a square home made of sticks in the summer and a round home with no windows for the winter.  The Catawba Indians settled in the Piedmont.  The Catawba River is named for these Native Americans.  They also had a chief, but he ruled this tribe.  They only had one home for both the winter and summer.  They made pottery, fished, hunted, and farmed the land.

The fundraiser is due no later than Monday morning at 8:00 am!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Comic Book Day!!

Today is national comic book day!!  What is your favorite comic book character and why?

Science:  We looked at the luster (shininess) of our minerals.  We classified them as metallic, glassy, waxy, and dull. 

Math Workshop:  We went over last nights homework and made sure that we had the correct answers.  The students took some data and put it into a line graph, then created three questions to go with that line graph.  Homework is page 137, numbers 1-6.

Reading Workshop:  We brainstormed a list of things that we can write in our reading journals after we read.  The students then completed their workshop activities on their own or read with me.  I will begin working with groups on Monday!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-11 Anniversary

Thank you to the men and women that serve in our military and take care of us every day as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics.  Please take a moment to think of those that lost their lives 11 years ago in the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Morning Journal:  We are the Patriots!  What are the characteristics you think we should show every day as Patriots?

Writing Workshop:  We are creating our own fairy tales.  I read a version of Beauty and the Beast to the students and we discussed the different parts of a fairy tale.  The students are working on their own fairy tales in small groups.

Reading Workshop:  The students began working on their own with reading, word work, and writing their weekly letters to me.  I will continue to add on activities for them to complete during this time.

Math Workshop:  We collected data from around the school into a tally mark graph and then created a bar graph and pictograph using this data.  We will continue to review graphs and will have a test on Friday.

SS:  The students participated in a council meeting.  They discovered that a chief does not have the final say, but instead the council helps him to make the decisions and then the women of the council make a final decision on whether or not to have war or peace.  They had to decide whether or not to go to war over a piece of very fertile land.  They came to a decision that they would form one big tribe and share the fertile land.

LATE START DAY TOMORROW!!!  School begins at 9:40!! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

National Newsprint Day!!

It's national newsprint day!!  If you could design your own magazine, what would the title of the magazine be and what type of articles would be in it?

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed over the correct procedures for reading workshop and how to log in our books each day.  We took the reading portion of the MAP testing.

Math Workshop:  We look at line graphs and how to read, create, and answer questions about line graphs.  We learned that we have to look at the horizontal or x-axis first and the the vertical or y-axis second.  We discovered that a line graph looks at data over a longer period of time.  The students need to complete page 149; 1-10 for homework.

Science:  We applied the light test to each of our minerals.  We observed whether or not they were opaque=no light, translucent=small amount of light, or transparent=a lot of light.

SS:  We learned that the Cherokee Indians were the first settlers of South Carolina.  We looked at how they organize their villages and began creating our own pictures of the villages.

Fundraiser packets and money are due on Wednesday!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Play Ball!!

It's national Little League Day!  What is your favorite sport?  This is the question the students answered today in their morning journals.

Writing Workshop:  We looked at adding details to our writing and not writing such simple sentences such as: I like soccer. It is cool.  It is great.  I want them to add descriptive details that make their writing interesting.

Reading Workshop:  We reviewed fiction and nonfiction and looked at some more genres under the fiction category.  We learned that fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, and fantasy books all fall under the fiction category.

Math Workshop:  We went over our homework on dot plots and discussed the answers.  We will continue to look at the types of questions that are asked with dot plots.  We practiced creating pictographs as a class.  We asked the question: What is your favorite fruit?  We made a tally mark graph and then turned it into a pictograph.  The students need to create their own question for homework and then make a pictograph with the data they collected from their families.

SS:  We have a test on the six regions in SC tomorrow.  We reviewed over the six regions and their characteristics.  The students brought home a study guide for the test tomorrow.

Science:  We created a graphic organizer to show the three different types of rocks, characteristics of each, and drew a picture to help us remember the rocks.

Book orders are due tomorrow!!  Please have your child wear red, white, and blue to celebrate spirit day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rocks or Minerals?

The big question today was:  What is the difference between rocks and minerals?  Over the past week, we have focused on rocks and the three different types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic).  Today we looked at minerals and how they are different from rocks.  We discovered that all rocks are made up of two or more minerals, but minerals are NOT rocks.  We will continue to work on this concept over the next couple of days.

Morning Journal:  It's national bubble blowing day.  What is your favorite type of candy and why?

Writing Workshop:  We reviewed over our list of nouns and I introduced verbs as action words.  We will continue to work on these concepts.

Reading Workshop:  Yesterday we looked at the difference between fiction (not real) and nonfiction (real) books.  Today we looked at some of the genres (type of story) underneath each of these headings.  We learned that fiction can be realistic fiction (a story that could happen, but has not actually happened) and historical fiction (a story that takes a real historical event and makes up characters to describe the event).  In nonfiction we looked at informational text (contains all real facts), biographies (written about a famous person by another person), and autobiographies (written by a famous person about themselves).  The students will start looking at their books and trying to judge which genre their story is that they are reading.  Please start asking your child, which genre they think their story is that they are reading at home. 

Math Workshop:  We continued our study of dot plots or line graphs.  We created a class dot plot of the family members names and then analyzed the dot plot for mode and range.

Science:  Please see above about rocks and minerals.

SS:  We reviewed over the six different regions in South Carolina and their main characteristics.  Ask your child to draw you a map of SC and try to label the six regions.  I bet they can do it.

Book orders are due by Friday!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hope you had a great labor day!!

I hope that you all had a great labor day.  I spent the day with my family at the pool and eating some shrimp.  It was nice to get to relax with the whole family.

Morning Journal:  What did you do over the long weekend?

Reading Workshop:  We discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books.  We brainstormed a list of fiction and nonfiction books that we have read in class.  We worked on completing an open sort through our word work.  The students classified and categorized four different items.

Math Workshop:  We created a tally mark graph through a dice game and then put the graph information into a dot plot (Line Graph).  The students learned how to find the mode:  the most and the range: the lowest number minus the highest number.  Tonight for homework they have to create a dot plot of their family members names.

SS:  We learned about the final two regions of South Carolina: the outer coastal plain and the coastal zone.  We colored in these two regions on our map and label them with the correct names.  We will have a test on the regions on Friday.

Science:  We finished our rock classification sheet and we will move on to minerals tomorrow.

The book order is due FRIDAY!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Enjoy the long weekend!!

We have no school on Monday!!  Enjoy your long weekend with your family. 

Morning Journal:  It's national best friend day.  Describe your best friend in three sentences.  The students got their first morning journal grade today.  This quarter I am only grading them on the completion of the morning journals.

Reading Workshop:  We created a list of reasons we might abandon books.  The students created an awesome list and had some really creative reasons as to why we might give up on a book.  I will be adding in the next aspect of reading workshop next week: Word Work.

Math Workshop:  We made a bar graph of the students favorite type of candy.  They polled each other with a tally mark graph and then used that information to create a bar graph.  They created four questions that went with their bar graph and turned it in to me.  They received a score based on whether or not they had all of the pieces they needed in their bar graph.  It was a score out of 10 points.

Science:  Our focus was still on sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.  Today we looked at our 12 rock samples and tried to figure out the specific names for these rocks by looking at a description.  We will continue this activity on Tuesday.

SS:  We reviewed over the Blue Ridge Region and the Piedmont Region and their locations.  We read about the Sandhills Region and the Inner Coastal Plains Region.  We colored these regions in on our graphs.  We will have a test on all the regions on Friday.

The book order is due next Friday!  Thank you for a great first week.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Metamorphic, Igneous, and Sedimentary Oh MY!!

Today we looked closely at the three different types of rocks and how they are formed.  We began to classify and categorize rocks in these three areas of :  metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary.  The students watched a short video about these rocks and made ton of connections to the observations that we made on Monday.  We also sang a short song about the three different types of rocks to help us remember them.

Morning Journal:  What job would you like to have and why?

Writing Workshop:  We continued to work on our terrible day stories.  I even told them one of my terrible day stories from when I was a kid. 

Reading Workshop:  We learned how to "buzz" in the correct way.  When a student buzzes about a book, they talk about it with a partner. We discussed that they need to remember to listen politely, make eye contact, ask good questions, and talk about things they have in common.

Math Workshop:  We took our tally mark graph data and created a bar graph.  The students collected data on the birthdays of their classmates and then created a bar graph.  They also created their own favorite drink graph.  Tonight for homework they need to complete page 146, set C.

Science:  Please see above about rocks.

SS:  We continued to focus on the Blue Ridge Region and the Piedmont Region of South Carolina.  We created a t-chart with the different qualities of both regions.

Book orders are due next Friday!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Fire Drill

We had our first fire drill today and the kids did a really great job.  They stayed in line and were quiet the entire time.  I can't ask for anymore.

Morning Journal:  If you could build a skyscraper, what would you put in it and why?

Writing Workshop:  We read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day.  After reading the book, we brainstormed ideas of our own terrible days.  The students are going to use this brainstorm to write their next story.

Reading Workshop:  We looked at how "Reading Is Thinking" and created a chart to show all of the different things that we think about while we read.

Math Workshop:  We reviewed over our homework and made a class graph of all our families favorite foods.  The students played a dice game by throwing a dice and then making a tally mark graph to show how many times the dice landed on each number.  Tonight for homework, they only had to create a question that they would like to turn into a class bar graph.

SS:  We read about the Blue Ridge Range and the Piedmont Range of our state.  We discovered that the Blue Ridge has mountains in it and the Piedmont (where we live) contains rolling hills.  We are in the process of coloring a state map to show all of the ranges in our state.

Science:  We are classifying and categorizing igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks in our journals.  This will be a great study guide for the students.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What kind of rock is that?

We are trying very hard to answer that question in our class.  We want to find out what type of rocks we have out of 12 samples.  Today we were just making observations about the different types of rocks.  Tomorrow we will try to classify and categorize each of these types of rocks.

Morning Journal:  If you could visit any state, which one would it be and why?

Writing Workshop:  We presented our imaginative stories to each other today and I have to say for their first stories, these are awesome.  I will be displaying these outside in the hallway.  I hope that you will be able to see them.

Reading Workshop:  Today we looked at which types of books would be easy, just right, or difficult.  We discussed and brainstormed different things that we thought would go under each category.  The students then picked books that they thought were just right.  Most of the students got to read to me today and I will get to all of the others tomorrow.

Math Workshop:  We continued to look at tally mark graphs and frequency charts.  The students are creating their own tally mark graphs tonight for homework.  They are supposed to poll family members to see what type of food they like best and then put it into a graph.

Science:  We looked at 12 different rock samples and wrote observations that went with those rock samples.  We will discuss these tomorrow and try to put these in the correct categories.

SS:  I did not get to SS today.  I gave the students extra time in science, because we were having so much fun looking at the rocks.

**Don't forget that the fundraiser came home yesterday and is due on September 17th.

Tuesday Folders:  All boys got a Boy Scout Flyer, All girls got a Girls on the Run Flyer, All students got a book order and WatchDog Dads invitation.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fund Raiser Starts Today!!!

Your child will be bringing home a fundraiser packet today.  These are due back to school on September 17th with the order forms and money.  Thank you for supporting our school.

Morning Journal:  If you could visit a national park, what would you do while you were there?

Writing:  We are putting the finishing touches on our imaginative stories.  The students are completing their illustrations and typing their stories on the computer.  We will present these stories to the class tomorrow.

Reading Workshop:  We looked at how readers choose books to read on a daily basis.  We brainstormed many different things including:  looking at pictures, looking at the title, reading the summary on the back, recommendations from friends, subjects we enjoy.  We read our own books quietly at our seats and looked at which types of books we would enjoy.

Science:  We created a KWHL chart about rocks and filled in all that we know about rocks.  We observed three different kinds of rocks and wrote down properties of each.  We also analyzed how the three rocks are similar and different.  The vocabulary your child needs to know is:  properties, physical properties

SS: We said a chant to remember the cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west.  We brainstormed a list of places that we had been in South Carolina.  We looked at the atlas in our social studies books and and different types of landforms that are in SC.  We will continue to look at the landforms of SC for the next couple of weeks.

The students need to read for 15 minutes and complete pg. 146 Set A in their math book. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Rules Day!!

The students did not have any homework today, but they did bring home their agendas with their class rules written inside the front.  Please review through these rules with your child this weekend.

Morning Journal:  It's National Smores Day!  If you could go camping, what would you like to do while camping?  The journals must be at least three sentences.

Writing:  We are continue to work on our imaginative writings.  The students are almost done and they will present these on Monday.

Reading Workshop:  We looked at "Reading As Thinking" and the students read their own books quietly in the classroom.  I gave them a quick assessment on their vocabulary, word fluency, and word recognition.  This data will be used for information purposes only.

Math Workshop:  The students created a graph with information that they gathered from their tables.  They had to look at how many students had "e" in their first name and then put that data in a graph.

Science:  We completed an experiment on the liquid that flows the fastest.  The students went through the scientific process and found that water flows the fastest, then juice, syrup, and soap.

SS:  We created a map key for the state of South Carolina and looked at the cardinal directions.

It has been a great first week and I am so glad that I get to work with your children this year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And we are off and running!!!

Today we began by writing a morning journal about how to make our school a bully free zone.  This is a very important subject, because bullying is becoming so prominent in our schools.  Ask your child today what they think they can do to stop bullying.  We continued writing our imaginative summer stories and they are coming along great.  We will share these stories tomorrow with the class. 

We had PE today and the kids had a blast.  Please make sure your child wears their sneakers every Thursday.

During reading, we looked in the reading center and brainstormed different kinds of books they would like to read this school year. We also continued reading our "I Survived" book.  The students are really enjoying this story.

In math we played a review Jeopardy game on addition, subtraction, patterns, money, and time.  I was very excited to see how great the students did with these concepts.

In SS, we looked at a map of South Carolina and discussed the different features on a map.  Ask your children what features they noticed on the map today.

For Science, we looked at the Scientific Method and different safety rules for completing an experiment. 

We completed another following directions activity and created a fun monster.  The students brought the monster and a library inventory home.  The library inventory is due tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome Back!!

Today was the first day of school and we had a blast!!  We began the day with responding to a morning journal.  The students answered the question:  What advice would you give some of your classmates to be a good friend?  They had to write at least three sentences.  We talked a little bit about our classroom rules and what we would like them to be this year.  We brainstormed a list of rules and we will continue to narrow them down on Thursday and Friday.  We read the book Chrysanthemum, about a little girl that gets picked on because of her long name.  We talked about how everyone is different and we should accept everyone for who they are in our classroom.  I made sure that the students understood that we are a family and we work together in everything.  We practiced creating a graph with our names and then the students got to make a graph out of Skittles!!  Eating the Skittles was the best part of course.  They created their own graphs in their journals and polled the class on some of their favorites.  We played a following directions activity where I sang the directions and the students created a picture of a character named Mac-A-Lena.  Once again we discussed differences in people and the importance of following directions.  We finished the day by creating a "My Me Poster".  These are hung up in the classroom!  The students have a small homework assignment tonight.  They need to fill in the "My First Day" sheet and return it to school tomorrow.  I am ready for the second day of school and I hope your child is also.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Goodbye Pineville, Independence here I come!!

I want to say a good bye to all of my friends at Pineville Elementary.  I have accepted a third grade position at Independence Elementary in Rock Hill, SC.  I will miss my Smiler family, but as we always say, "Once a Smiler, Always A Smiler!"  I have been at Pineville for the past six years and it will be very difficult for me to start a school year with a new group of people.  I will always be thankful for the experiences that I have gained from my Pineville family.  Thank you for being a part of my family.  If any of you ever need anything, please contact me at

I am excited to say that I will be a Patriot at Independence Elementary.  I look forward to this new journey!  Thank you for your support.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

AR Celebration!

We rocked it out at the AR celebration today!  I got to honor 15 of our students for achieving their AR goals this quarter.  I am very proud of all their accomplishments this year.  We wrote letters to next years third graders, with advice from the pros.  The students were also helping me to move my classroom.  Next year I will be teaching first grade.  I will be out in the "Learning Cottages" (room M3).  Please stop by next year and tell me how your child is doing in fourth grade.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Three More Days!!!

AR and more AR!!!  We are reading a lot.  Everyone in the class took two tests today and we will finish up our AR goals tomorrow.  The AR celebration is on Thursday at 9:15.  We will have our ice cream party on Friday. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Away We Go!!

Here we are at the final week of school.  It seems like just last week we were starting out the school year together.  We have come a long way this year and we are almost finished.  This week we are going to focus on making those AR goals, Combinations, Permutations, and Probability, Real vs. Make Believe, Soil, and Cardinal Directions!

Tuesday:  Test on Soil!  (The study guide came home last Thursday.)
Wednesday:  Test on Probability, Permutations, and Combinations.
Thursday:  AR Celebration at 9:15am.
Friday:  Test on Morning Math and reading.  Last day of school!  We will have our multiplication ice cream party on this day.  Report cards will come home with your child.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Heritage Day!!

Thank you to all of the parents that came for Heritage day!!  We had a lot of fun today.  We began the day going to the assembly, where we learned the history of Pineville.  We went back to the classroom and watched a Reading Rainbow episode about heritage and creating a family tree.  We got to hear the author Patricia Pollaco speak about her book The Memory Quilt.  We created our own quilt squares and then enjoyed our picnic lunch.

AR Assembly is next Thursday!!  Time is to be announced.  As of right now no one in our class has made their AR goals.  The students will continue to work every day to make their goals!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

7 days left!!

NO morning journal.  We read AR instead!!!

Morning Math:  Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Patterns, Place Value

SS:  We took our test on the continents and oceans.

Science:  Natural Resources, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reading:  We finished the time lines of our lives and then began a compare/contrast activity with ourselves and the characters from the story.

Heritage day picnic is Friday at 12:00.