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.