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.