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!!!