Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Welcome Back!

How exciting it is to begin another year!
Even more exciting is that with each new year, come new friends and faces--and this year-- a new classroom!

We spent our first week getting to know each other and becoming acclimated with our class schedule, routine, procedures, and expectations.
Ask your child about our color chart, BBQ Bucks, and our class pet, Ike.
Today, we launched our first math unit on place value. Here we will be exploring the 4 unique ways to represent 3- and 4-digit numbers. Standard form uses only digits. (243) Expanded form shows the sum of the value of each digit. (200 + 40 + 3) Word form uses only words. (two hundred forty-three) Place value blocks allow students to hold and manipulate a number using flats (100), rods (10), and cubes (1). We will also work on comparing numbers and ordering numbers.
We have published our first piece of writing which we are eager to share with you on Monday, September 12, at Memorial Park's Back-to-School Night from 6 pm until 7 pm. Today, we finished drafts for our second published pieces entitled "This Summer was One in a Melon!"
Stay tuned for more information about our daily schedule, class contract, and book nooks.
Before you go, take a peek at a few of our read aloud favorites!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Poetry and Audioboom

Be sure to take a listen in to the dozens of poems students have recently published for their poetry anthologies. From haikus to never poems and color poems to concrete poems be ready to laugh and smile!
A special thank you is owed to Mrs. Ryan for her assistance in creating our class playlist of poetry on Audioboom. Click here to listen in.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Snow Day Update and Valentine Box Inspiration

Snowed in and so much to do!

In addition to printing out our Texan pen pal letters, and prepping Valentine goodies, I want to take a few minutes to update you on the fabulous learning going on in Room 16.

We recently launched our exploration of cursive with a weekly Cursive Cadet to help us sky write, trace, and practice our newest letter of the week. Kudos to those cadets!

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We're diving into fractions- equal parts of a whole or a set. We also explored a few strategies for finding the fractional part of a set using division.

Last week we used a number line to record mixed numbers.

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After making Groundhog Day predictions, we studied facts about Punxsutawney Phil, his burrow called Gobbler's Knob, and the famous legend behind this famous friend. We were even fortunate enough to watch the early morning footage of Phil's prediction we'll have an early spring.

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A few more expository pieces have been published and are now on display outside our classroom. I have since learned a great deal about the numerous types of dinosaurs, how bears hibernate, the role of football coaches, and the necessary items dog owners should have. 

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Last week used Tagxedo in the computer lab to create Valentine-inspired word clouds. Check out this free website for endless fun.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we are taking part in a cross-country Valentine exchange. We have decorated and customized nearly two dozen valentines to send to classrooms as far away as Alaska, California, and Arizona. Our valentines were decorated to represent our town and state. Bulldogs represented our schools' mascot while Boston-themed stickers highlighted a few of our capital city's famous landmarks such as Fenway Park and Breed's Hill. The tabby cat was included to show our state cat, while marine animals represented our renowned New England Aquarium. 

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 The first Valentine to arrive to Memorial Park came from Wallington, NJ-- a town in the shape of a heart measuring only one square mile!

Snowed in and looking for a fun activity? Grab an empty cereal box or tissue box and decorate it to become your valentine box. Here are a few links to offer you some inspiration as you decorate. 

Visit Crafty Morning for some colorful and creative ideas.


 Ucreate also has some unique valentine mailboxes here.

Tons of Amazing Valentine Boxes at

Happy shoveling and happy crafting!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Gobbling Up Word Problems, the Wampanoag Gazette, A Winter Break Reading Challenge, Clementine, Partial Sums, and Dedicated Digital Natives

Happy New Year!

2015 closed out with festive problem solving, social studies newspaper writing, and reading for information.

Thanksgiving brought an opportunity to use keywords, number sense, and understanding of operations as they composed festive-themed math problems. 




Multiplication Gingerbread Bump offered us practice building our math fact fluency. We roll two die, multiply to find the product, and cover that number on the board. If you calculate the same product again, you can "lock in" that product by placing a second tile on it. The first player to use all 10 tiles wins!

When playing Santa's List, mathematicians had to check that problem cards displayed the correct answer. If it did, the card would be placed on Santa's "Nice List." In the event that the problem had been solved incorrectly, the card would then be placed on Santa's "Naughty List."

Historians worked together to highlight key details about the life of the Wamponoags using our Social Studies text, Massachusetts: Our Home. Next, writers organized their information into top down webs before bringing it all together in the form of news articles for the Wampanoag Gazette.


Their articles were then recorded on AudioBoo! Click here to listen to Marissa and Nathan W.'s article about hunting in the forest. Chris and Joao read aloud their article about building wetus here. Shakwan and Bella inform readers about the spring chores that kept the Wampanoags busy

Air Holiday took off and travelers ventured to six different countries to learn about the unique holiday traditions. Stops included France, Germany, Israel, Australia, and Sweden. 

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Just before vacation, students were introduced to one of my favorite storybook characters--Clementine. Be sure to ask your child what landed her in the principal's office in Chapter 1. 

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Congratulations to our December PRIDE award winners. They are true role models!

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2016 has been off to a strong start!

Many readers accepted the Winter Break Reading Challenge and read for 150 minutes in creative ways. Some readers read on New Year's Day while others read in pajamas, with grandparents or in the car. This Wednesday, those readers will enjoy a hot chocolate party after school as their reward!

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In writing, students have been drafting and publishing their expository pieces. Topics range from bears, wolves, video games, basketball, hockey, tae-kwon-do and football. Writers are in the process of typing their pieces using their Google Docs account. From keyboarding to customizing text, inserting images and tables, these digital natives are taking advantage of this fabulous program.

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Published and in the Author's Chair!
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 In math, we launched with strategies for adding three-digit numbers. We learned how to add using an expanded algorithm to calculate partial sums as well as add on an open number line.

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Come back soon to read about our S(pecific)M(easurable)ART New Year's resolutions.. 

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Finding Fiction, Paws, Personal Narratives, Multiplication and More

Our days sure have been filled with learning!

In Reading, we launched Reader's Workshop and searched our classroom library for "just right" books. We are working to build our fluency so that when we read, it sounds as though we are talking. We use post-its to track thinkmarks when we discover an unfamiliar word, have a question about the text, learn new information, recognize a character trait... The list goes on!

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During Reader's Workshop we also practice our oral reading with weekly poems, read current event articles on our iPad minis, and enjoy word work practicing our spelling words. 

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While our first unit focused on fiction, characters, setting, and plot, this week we launched our second unit with a focus on informational texts. 

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Ask us about this week's read aloud--a literary nonfiction text. 

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Students who continue to be role models and show expected behavior that is safe, respectful, and responsible have earned themselves valuable Paws which can be turned in for $100 BBQ bucks! Teachers and staff are always on the lookout for that Paws-itive behavior--both in and out of the classroom. 

In Writer's Workshop students chose a "seed" idea from a larger "watermelon" idea for their first personal narrative. These student accounts range from family vacations to the birth of siblings to adventures in a haunted house! Students focused on choosing an entertaining beginning to hook their reader. Following their detailed main event using dialogue, sound words, and varied sentence starters, writers closed with an extended ending reflecting on the story's main event.

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This week, students met with their writing partners to peer edit their pieces before teacher conferences.

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In math, we dove right into multiplication and division. We connected multiplication to repeated addition of equal groups. For example 4 x 6 = 6 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 24. We have learned our 2s, 5s, 9s, and 10s table. Below, Andrew is using his nines finger tricks. We worked with building arrays, and this week we explored the Distributive Property which taught us to break apart large arrays into two smaller arrays. 

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Practice with problem solving has continued using Exemplar word problems. It is important that we show all of our thinking and use math terms in our explanation.