Sunday, April 26, 2015

IXL, Partners, and
Math Practice

We have been working on finding the AREA of shapes.  The formula base x height was easy enough to remember, but when asked to find the area of more complex shapes, we needed a lot more practice.  As it turns out, that’s easy enough to accomplish these days!  With our IXL program, kids are solving problems with a partner (both kids MUST participate!) and they are not only having a great time, they are figuring out a LOT as they move through the problems.  Using a dry erase marker, they work directly on the problem and are able to see every aspect of what they are doing as they work.  What happens when they get a problem incorrect?  Well, frankly, that’s one of my favorite moments.  It means they have a HUGE opportunity to learn exactly what they did wrong, and how they should do it differently the next time.  It’s so important for them to understand that making a mistake is not only okay, it can help you learn MORE!  These work sessions are pretty spectacular.  They offer a judgment-free zone where asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, rather, it’s a sign of strength.  Helping one another solve problems make them better students, but more importantly, it makes them better human beings too. 

I would highly recommend trying IXL at home or at the library (  It’s a great way for them to practice things they are finding difficult.  They offer a remarkable array of topics to choose from.  Let me know if you need your child’s user name and password.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Student of the day
Each year, my students have the chance to be Student of the Day.  They will have an assigned day toward the end of the school year and they will be able to share ANYTHING they want with their classmates.  They can bring favorite stuffed animals, toys, books, photo albums, trophies, collections or anything else that they would like to share.  If they have a pet they would like to bring, let me know and we can work out a specific time for the visit. 

Please write a letter to your child.  Each parent/grandparent may write a letter, or you can write one letter together.  In this letter, you can tell your child what you like about them, why and what you are proud of, things that make you happy about your relationship, things that you tell them all of the time, as well as things that you might not get a chance to say as much as you would like.  They LOVE hearing from you!  Don’t worry about what you write anything you tell them will be cherished for years to come. 
Jbxzb  Write from your HEART!  weryi
This letter should be addressed to your child and BROUGHT to school.  Please SEAL the envelope, as I won’t read the letter until the moment of their Student of the Day.  Your letter(s) will be read, OUT LOUD, along with the letter I write to them, on their “assigned” day.
On the outside of the envelope, please put: STUDENT OF THE DAY and their NAME.  SEAL IT!  Thank you!
Letters should be sent to school with your child.   I will schedule kids soon please let me know if there is a day that works better than another for you, please let me know as soon as possible.  We will do Student of the Day at about 3:15 each day. They will have about 15 20 minutes to share and hear their letters.  Also, if your child has a birthday during this time, I will assign them their birthday as their day (or the day closest to it).  We will start on Wednesday, April 29th.  Thank you in advance for doing this!  These letters will be cherished for years to come.


Letters need to be returned to school a few days before their assigned day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fingerprint Poetry
After spending time brainstorming things they could include in their poems, kids will use one of the four fingerprint templates, filling them with cool and interesting things about themselves.
We had a great time brainstorming!  They had a lot of great ideas and as always, we used our easel to record our ideas.  The charts we make are kept up in the room while we are working on the project and allows them to add ideas or get ideas as they work.  

There are so many things to include in our poems! 
Favorite things
Character traits
Things I’m proud of
A day in my life
Dreams for the future
What would people say about me?
What makes me unique?
Fun things I’ve done
Words/phrases that remind me of things in my life
Sentences that describe myself
Favorite memories

I will post pictures of finished products next week!  YahOoO!
We are continuing our quest to provide evidence when we are discussing or writing about things in every aspect of our day.  We have spent time writing about Pippi because she’s fun to write about and kids are able to easily find evidence to support their ideas.  After we finished the book Pippi Longstocking, I started to read the first chapter in another Pippi book called Pippi in the South Seas.  When I was about half way through the chapter, I stopped and asked them to think about what they thought might happen next.  What EVIDENCE did they have to support their thoughts?  The photograph shows our anchor chart the writing in black is what someone thought might happen next.  The purple is the evidence to support their thought. 
We will continue to practice giving evidence to support our thoughts in a variety of ways with both fiction and nonfiction texts.  It’s important for them to not only be able to discuss their ideas, but write them down too.  Talk to them about the books they are reading in school!  Here are some questions to ask them about their reading:
What can you tell me about the story so far?
Can you predict how the story will end?
What would you have done if you were the character?
As you read, what are you wondering about?
Can you put what you’ve just read in your own words?
What is the most important point the author is trying to make in his/her writing?
What was your favorite part of the story?
Why do you think the author wrote this book?
Is there a character in the story like you?  How are you alike?

Read books together!  They LOVE hearing a book and they LOVE talking about the book too!  There’s nothing better than hearing them laugh out loud when I’m reading to them.  Yay!