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.